December 8, 2007

Lawn replacement

Dryden resident - and my wife - Angelika St.Laurent went over to Oneonta on Wednesday night to join a panel discussion on peak oil and climate change. The local paper picked up most strongly on her call for people to turn our many acres of lawn into something more useful:

"Kill your lawn."

That was one of the recommendations from a panel discussion based around peak oil and climate change held Wednesday night at the First United Methodist Church.

Angelika St. Laurent of Cornell University promoted growing more vegetables and fruits locally - including on lawns - as a way to mitigate food-supply problems related to peak oil and climate change...

St. Laurent suggested there are ways to gain back "food independence."

In addition to growing more fruits and vegetables locally, local governments should be encouraged to relax restrictions on the small-scale keeping of livestock.

Zoning codes in suburban and urban areas often restrict the keeping of animals other than pets.

"Chickens in your backyard are great fun," St. Laurent said.

The article gets one thing wrong - Angelika left Cornell at the end of July to focus on developing an orchard in Freeville - but otherwise it's an interesting report on a night's discussion of a difficult subject. Our current way of life is tightly bound to the expectation that energy is cheap, and changing that will require major reconsideration of much of how we live.

On a related note, I'll be presenting a book review of Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle at the Corning Public Library on February 6th.

Posted by simon at December 8, 2007 2:26 PM in ,
Note on photos