Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Blazing Blazey

This is the book I bought PJ for his birthday. It's written and signed by our hero, Clive Blazey, founder of The Digger's Club, where we buy the majority of our seeds. 

Here is his introduction from the Digger's Winter Garden 2008 catalogue:
Dear Minister

We would like to see a government supported campaign to encourage the growing of fruit and vegetables in Australian back yards. When we grow our own food at home we cut our greenhouse emissions by 25-30% because we don't rely on commercial crops which:
  • Consume non-renewable oil to till the soil, plant the seed, weed the crop, harvest the crop and transport it to the silo or market.
  • Consume electricity to process the crop, package the crop, refrigerate the crop and finally to provide lighting at the supermarket.
  • Consume oil which is the main ingredient of nitrogen fertilisers, weedkillers and pesticides that grow the crop.
  • Consume electricity used to pump the water for irrigation.
  • Finally the consumer drives by car to the market to pick up the food and bring it back - using non-renewable oil.
When gardeners grow their own food at home they eliminate all these steps and from day one, meet half our 2050 Kyoto target of 60% reduction 42 years early!

Gardeners are the largest group of people bringing CO2 back to earth. A campaign encouraging food gardeners will reach 3-4 million households.
  • Growing lawns, trees and flowers brings CO2 back to earth. By composting and recycling green waste at home we are sequestering carbon in the soil. 
  • Gardening being a home based activity means gardeners drive less, buy less, and consume less than other groups. It is pedantic to say gardening is "green," but it is "greener" than any other activity.
30% of Diggers staff have cut their CO2 emissions by 60% today – 42 years ahead of target. They have done this by: 
  • Growing their own food – a 25-30% saving
  • Buying carbon offsets for their cars
  • Switching to renewable energy
  • Installing solar hot water, riding bikes etc.
  • Growing plants instead of laying concrete and paving
  • Composting and recycling
When we grow our own we use less land and less water to produce our food than commercial growers. Diggers research shows gardeners who grow their own food cut water use by 66%.

Not all gardening activity brings CO2 down to earth, particularly the modern fad for paving and flaxes which minimises bio mass and photosynthesis. For this reason we believe the campaign should be focused on growing food rather than just supporting gardening in general. 


Clive Blazey, The Diggers Club


ToneMasterTone said...

Here's an interesting article on the opposing viewpoint:

Meg said...

This is no argument.

"The GHG emissions associated with food are dominated by the production phase, contributing 83% of the average U.S. household’s 8.1 t CO2e/yr footprint for food consumption.." -this refers to industrialised agriculture that relies on oil, not to the backyard farming that Blazey champions.

Mr Dubner eats Big Macs, lives in a giant polluted metropolis and is happy to fill his kids with food colouring.

This is not how I want to live.

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