Climate change effects on food growing

Climate Impacts on Growing Food

Andrew and Megan Dobson Community, Sustainability

Our network of growing friends on the Central Coast and further afield has been very hard hit this summer. As you are all no doubt aware, many local farmers have suffered very long periods of dry weather, followed by the effects of bushfire, followed by the effects of torrential rains.

Two of many examples:

  • Little Feet Gourmet, located at Ourimbah Creek Road, Ourimbah, watched seven years of organic garden beds washed away in flash flooding. They must rebuild from scratch.
  • Purple Pear Farm, located at Anambah Road, Anambah (near Maitland), had to cease vegetable production due to lack of rain.

In addition, seed prices from our wholesaler have increased.

For example:

  • Eggplant: Florida Market 10 grams, ordered April 2019 at $6.05, invoiced this week at $9.60.
  • Radish: French Breakfast 25 grams, ordered November 2019 at $7.65, invoiced this week at $8.45.

This is the seed to grow the vegetables that will be sold to supermarkets and greengrocers and that we will eventually purchase and eat.

What does this actually mean for us all? I suspect these factors and many more will compound the existing problems in our food production and supply chain and eventually affect us all. My educated guess is we should anticipate an increase in the price of fresh produce.

So what can we do for our local community?

1. Grow food in your backyard;
2. Grow food at the Ecovillage;
3. Support local farmers by purchasing their produce at the farm gate, signing up for their home delivery options, visiting them at local markets like Avoca Beach Farmers Market, or making use of local food co-ops;
4. Keep an eye out for volunteer working bees at local farms to help them rebuild.

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