This is one of the coldest winters on record in the United Kingdom. An article published today on Sky News reports that, “with the icy weather set to continue, the UK could be heading for one of its coldest winters since 1890.”
I was glad to bump into a gardening acquaintance from our village last night as we were grocery shopping. He said that all of his crops were dying in these uncharacteristically harsh conditions, just like mine! It may sound silly, but I’ve been feeling lately like I’ve let my garden down since many of the annual “winter hardies” started keeling over. The truth is, they are meant to forge on through the cold without any protection, but obviously The Big Freeze has been extremely crippling! Sad but true. I’m still interested to find out if they resume activity when a major thawing out occurs.
All of this leads me to speculate on the term “self-sustainability.” Because the kale (and chard, leeks, turnips, Brussels, lettuce, etc) won’t grow due to the weather, we are buying it from outside sources. But what if the big food giants were to cease existing? We’d need to be ready with preserved and stored foods. If we depended on the very land we lived to feed us, our lives and diets would be different. Our ideas of sustainability would need to be rooted much deeper. We’d need to grow more to store more, and we’d spend lots of our time with these activities. I often wonder about the rhythms and truths of that sort of existence; sometimes it seems strange to me that we are so far removed from that kind of reality.
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