Tending to a change
While performing these essential roles in our lives, community gardens also offer a local way to counter the globally relevant challenge of climate change.
Who would have thought that planting potatoes or parsnips could have such a great effect on our world?
Over time, the tie between food security and climate change has grown. The United Nations (UN) has provided a forum where member countries can agree to institute policies and treaties that will address climate change. This will be the case in December when countries meet in Copenhagen for the United Nations Climate Change Conference (see http://en.cop15.dk).
For food security in particular, the idea is to ensure that people have access to secure and nutritious food that benefit their health and wellness. We hear the axiom that a global problem must often find a local solution. Of course, confronting the challenges of climate change does not hinge solely on a single local solution.
Moreover, policies that bind and reflect the will of regional, provincial, national and international governing bodies are imperative. Still, all those local actions that you and I do daily, weekly or yearly are also pivotal. And while there are different ways we can make a difference and address the ties between climate change and food security, one of the ways lies at our feet. That bountiful harvest of beets, cabbage or turnips that we cultivate in our gardens and also our community gardens, make a difference.
For good reasons, community gardens are touted for their integral contributions to the health and wellness of individuals and communities. They offer a means by which people and other members of the environment – living and non-living – can mutually benefit as a whole. Community gardens also engender and strengthen such things as our sense of place, quality of life and social support networks, the latter being a specific determinant of health (see Achieving Health and Wellness: Provincial Wellness Plan for Newfoundland and Labrador). While performing these essential roles in our lives, community gardens also offer a local way to counter the globally relevant challenge of climate change.
However we look at it, climate change is clearly on the front-burner. Many acknowledge that we are already experiencing changes to our climate, enhanced and accelerated by human actions. For Newfoundland and Labrador, this means changes to sea level, erosion, precipitation as well as the resultant effects on our health and wellness. Regarding the tie with food security, “Climate Change and Food Security: A Framework Document” (see Food and Agriculture Organization of the United
‘While there are different ways we can make a difference and address the ties between climate change and food security, one of the ways lies at our feet.’