Answer: More than all the food that has been produced by farmers, foragers and gardeners over the past 8,000 years! That’s right, to feed the world’s growing population we will need to produce as much food in the next 4 decades as was produced since the dawn of agriculture. This means doubling calorie production from all the land that is currently under cultivation. How will this be possible? Increasing local food production – including home gardening – will be a big part of the solution.
For most of my life, I have been observing the shift from family farms and local food production to centralized, industrialized agriculture fueled by cheap oil and federal subsidies. I started Gardener's Supply and the Intervale Center thirty years ago to form beachheads in my hometown and in backyards across America that proclaimed “local, organic food grown here.” It is encouraging to see that finally, real progress is being made. The amount of local food being grown with sustainable practices is now increasing faster than the amount of food produced on industrial-scale farms thousands of miles from dinner tables.