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Community Food Security for Y2K



I like the following little list of things communities can do to build food security. It is a good complement to "Y2K and the Food Supply: A Message from Concerned American Farmers: Prepare" -- Tom Atlee



From: Bagelhole1@AOL.COM
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 1999 01:21:10 EDT


I just wanted to make you aware of what I am doing --
self-sustainability, community food security, and such. The success of these
efforts depends on the extent of global collaboration that occurs.
This work is a humanitarian, non-commercial, global project.
This is not a solicitation for money, only for possible collaboration.

For the last 11 months or so, I have been working on the best solution to the
upcoming y2k phenomenon (no one can know the degree of the consequences),
which, in my opinion, is to make neighborhoods as self-sustainable and
resilient as possible.

To make that a reality, I have created a website focusing on low-tech
sustainable ideas, such that if one were to access the site, they could by
implementing these ideas become relatively self-sustainable within 1-3
months -

THROUGH THE BAGELHOLE is a lighthearted name with the idea that everybody
must pass through the bagelhole and when they do they become
self-sustainable. Two people have volunteered to fix the site up, which
it badly needs, to become truly effective.

In addition, to augment the above, the side project "community food security":

1. Greenhouses can be very simple, and they are more effective for growing
large amounts of organics then gardens. They are especially essential in
colder regions. One start up greenhouse company has offered to supply theirs
at cost (somewhere between 0 and $1000). They are geodesic domes, 8' diameter.

The innards could have the latest technique for growing called "aeroponics":
vertical structures for the seedlings with nutrient fed looped tubing,
utilizing a solar powered battery and pump (photo is attached). The
manufacturer has agreed to sell these, which include hydroponic seed
propagation for about $5000. These could fit about a 30'x 10' greenhouse. In
one season, the produce would be of a much higher value than the setup costs.
And after that the maintenance and care is very minimal. They have a working
model in N. California that can be transported to SF. I have no financial
connection with either of these companies.

But this seems to me a genuine and inexpensive way to create real "community
food security" within the remaining months. And it would be great for kids to
have the learning experience and real organic produce to eat instead of the
junk they currently get for school lunches. It would also be great for
churches and community centers.

There are also some ideas on how the greenhouse when built right next to a
building can provide warmth and fresh air. Soon these ideas will be available
at my website: As soon as the volunteers can get it reconstructed. You can
hunt around there, if you like, in the meantime.

The simplest greenhouse could be made simply with pipes and clear plastic.

There is a time consideration. The greenhouses need to be in place at the
latest by Fall, to reap the harvest for the winter of 1999. Installation
takes a few weeks at most. Here are some other ways individuals can help make
themselves and their communities food secure:

2. Vertical gardening on sidewalks, balconies, roofs, streets, etc.: Make a
column out of chickenwire and tarpaper or cardboard about 3 1/2 feet high, 14
inches diameter. Hold a 4 inch diameter pipe in center and fill with sand and
stones (for watering), fill the rest of the area with good soil, remove the
pipe. Cut 3 inch slits or pockets around the outside thru the wire and
paper in a spiral pattern. Insert seedlings in slits (16-60). Melons
on the bottom, salads and greens in the middle, tall things, beans, peas,
etc., at the top. One side gets more sun, is a consideration. Sizes are
arbitrary. 4 or 5 vertical gardens should feed a family plenty of
vegetables, plant about 2 weeks apart to keep a steady harvest.

3. Local gov'ts. should be asked to bring grains from the silos across America
where they often rot every year and store them in accessible places for
neighborhoods in your city.

4. Lettuce, sprouts, herbs, and wheat grass on window sills.
People can live on those foods above.

5. Edible landscapes and front yards

6. Stocking local ponds, lakes, with fish

I was hoping that by making you aware of these endeavors that, the
"community food project" might get kick-started in your area as well as
developing interest in the possibility of neighborhoods becoming relatively
self-sustainable within a short time.

Kind Regards,

Tom Osher (


Tax id 94-3111898

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