If you have a backyard, be frickin’ thankful.

Tokyo City

This is Tokyo, which i had the pleasure of visiting for 4 days.

In a city where soil only exists buried under thick layers of concrete, edible plants are rare. There are many beautiful ornamental gardens, but where is the food? Japan as a whole imports 60% of its total calories consumed, relying on huge amounts of imports – specifically, meat consumption has increased roughly nine-fold between 1955 and 2005. How is this sustainable? How will people feed themselves in a post fossil fuel world? This is a significant challenge for Japan who have launched some interesting projects in response.

Upon my return to Australia, I had a new outlook on just how spacious and undeveloped our country is. Nothing like the kilometers and kilometers of concrete footpaths, roads, and walk ways which are swept clean so that not a trace of soil remains.

Particularly in my home town Newcastle, there is space EVERYWHERE. Arable soil abounds, yet so little of it is cultivated to produce food.

In an age where environmental consequences of  industrial agriculture are becoming more widely understood, there is a growing urge to produce food locally and organically. But that’s not enough. If we really want to take the next step we need to be providing for our own needs on our doorstep, in our backyards. We have all of this space which could be used to sustain us, why are we continuing to rely on industrial food production methods which require 10 kilojoules of fossil fuels in order to produce 1 kilojoule of food?!?!

Silly i recon.


Sure, I’m not suggesting that everyone must rip up their front yard and plant cabbages, but unlike densely populated areas we certainly have the space to make an effort for our cities to support more living things other than us.

If you have a nature strip, why don’t you plant a herb garden, or put in some native flowers for the bees, or a tree for the birds. If you live in Australia, consider yourself lucky and make better use of the space around you.


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