BUILD ECO-TOPIA! Hydroponics, guerilla gardening, agri-igloos, and abandoned giant grow-ops can deliver the world you need and our children deserve

During this Covid-19 global pandemic, more people than ever are recognising that without a dependable food supply, we're in danger if not actually doomed.
Even without a global pandemic, many people live in food deserts (urban areas without good, nearby grocery stores packed with affordable, healthy food), or don't have the ability to get to grocery stores easily (because walking is difficult or impossible, or they don't own cars). 
In other places such as Canada's north, most food is transported from thousands of kilometres away and thus is extremely expensive. The range and quality of those imported foods is also much narrower than it is in southern cities.
The answer to this problem must be local food production: local in homes, in neighbourhoods, and in "third spaces."
One of the most effective systems for growing food when space and water are extremely limited is hydroponics. Instead of using soil, these systems douse plant roots in nutrient-laden water, preventing water loss (through run-off and evaporation), and when hydroponics are indoors, the plants are safe from rabbits, locusts, vandals, and other threats. Safety from pests also means no need for pesticides, thus protecting the people who eat the crops, and more importantly, the people growing the crops (a labour justice issue too often entirely ignored).(
Growing your own food--or with your neighbours, colleagues, and others--reconnects you to one of the most important resources on earth. Gardening is relaxing and energising; it's an excellent way for children (and adults) to connect with nature and learn to treasure (and not waste) high-quality food; it's exercise; it can save you money; it's an excellent diversion from witnessing what's wrong into doing what's right for you and the world. Here are more reasons. It could even help you live to be 100. 
Below you'll find several videos on innovation in local food production in Canada, the US, and Kenya, beginning with several on hydroponics.(
Unfortunately the first video (a slide show, actually) is silent, but it demonstrates the Y-fitters build I've seen in only one other video. The advantage of the Y-fitters is that the mouth is the same size as the typical grow-pot, so no more labourious and tricky slicing endless holes into PVC pipes.While most people can't build a greenhouse (and in Edmonton, building it to survive winter would be costly), one bank of these can fit against a wall inside one's house or even apartment, and with the right grow lights can produce substantial food. 
No, building such a device wouldn't be easy, but this method seems to be far easier and better than most I've seen, and they supply at least partial food security. The more of these per household, per neighbourhood (can work in schools, temples, community halls, seniors' homes, businesses, libraries, and almost anywhere else), the better. 
As the old wisdom says, if you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. 
Here's a video with subtitles demonstrating building a Y-fitter hydroponics garden:

And here's a video with detailed discussion of constructing such a device:

This Calgarian couple claims to earn
$10,000.00 by growing microgreens in their basement. You may have no desire to go into business or grow microgreens, but depending on your needs, desires, and capacity, you might be able to grow more food in your basement than you can eat--so the rest you can give away or sell. The fellow doesn't let his wife speak much at all, which is frustrating, and the interviewer doesn't intervene to change that, but at least the video supplies plenty of detail on the operation: 
For Northern Canadians living on land and in a climate that makes sustainable, affordable agriculture nearly impossible, the geodesic greenhouse (called, for local cultural reasons, an igloo greenhouse) is creating an excellent opportunity to serve Northerners at less than half the cost of imported groceries. I hope future projects of this sort will involve more--or be run by--Northerners in general and Inuit in particular, but it's clear this project is adding value.

In Inuvik, community gardeners have been doing excellent work for some time. Despite the extremely short growing season, for a few weeks at summer solstice, the North gets sunlight twenty-four hours per day, boosting the greenhouse's productivity so greatly at not far from the North Pole, it produces watermelons.

Assuming this TD advertorial is to be believed, Canada currently has around 280,000 square metres of glassed growing spaces currently unused. Why? The now-legal cannabis industry has under-performed so badly that it's abandoned its own retrofitted greenhouses. But that's a win for the 100% of people who will always need food more than they need cannabis, so community groups, green entrepreneurs, and others must use this capacity.
In the US, most of which is far warmer than most of Canada, growing food year-round is much easier because one can do so outdoors, including organic food. In fact, one can do so on neighbourhood green patches such as the space between the road and the sidewalk. 
While myopic rule-writers and rule-enforcers have sometimes fought these guerilla gardeners doing such excellent work, more people are joining the cause, and eventually more cities will work to help instead of hinder this vital mission:
Using the philosophy of Marcus Garvey, the Black Panther Party taught Africans in the US to create their own cooperative institutions to meet their own needs and lift each other collectively. Some USian Africans are still following that example:  
In Kenya, a country constantly amazing for technological innovation (digital payments via cellphone starting in 2007; huge CGI animation sector; the development of the Konza Tech City "Silicon Savannah"), hydroponics is a lucrative field for entrepreneurs:
Please ask your roommates, family, neighbours, and local institutions if they'd be interested in sharing knowledge about local food production (especially hydroponics), and better yet, creating something together. Then use your various channels to share what you learned and built together.
As a country, we weren't ready for Covid-19--not by a long shot. Saving yourself like an average doomsday "prepper" means turning your back on others. Joining with others for mutual security is creating and living the world we want and our children deserve.


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