Need Of The Hour
We are almost into the fourth week of the ongoing strike. There are quite a few repercussions of that but the foremost that comes to mind is the gradual scarcity of food that we are beginning to face. However, if we take initiatives we can be self-sustainable in this area because growing your own food is like printing your own money and all is not lost. All Hill people are enthusiastic gardeners; every house has an array of flower displays on their porches and balconies.
- We can direct the same enthusiasm into Growing Our Own Food now and lack of space and land is NOT a hindrance. Start taking control of your future:
- For those of you who don’t have land, a spiral and vertical permaculture garden is the solution or Those same pots that grow flowers can be used to grow vegetables
- If you have a small plot outside your homes, a square meter permaculture garden is a fantastic way to grow a large variety of vegetables in a limited space.
- As opposed to mono traditional gardening, start developing a poly dimensional system where you can grow different varieties in one plot for e.g. grow fast growing plants around the base of larger plants.
- Don’t throw your precious vegetable kitchen waste, compost it instead.
- Save seeds. Extract seeds from your used vegetables and propagate them.
- Barter and share
- Preserve your food (gundruk, kinema, churpi are all of our traditional belly loving ferments. MAKE MORE of these)
- Cook community meals
- Forage for wild foods and while you’re at it, get to know the rich and bio diverse flora of our region. They’re all out there : the nettles, the mushrooms, the thotneys etc
- Become self sufficient
- And if you need help, assistance and advice from us, we are always available on the phone or email.
- Lastly, as hippie as it may sound until schools reopen, let’s utilise this time to raise free range children in the outdoors and while we’re at it, let’s try homeschooling them!!!
Food is probably the most important part of our survival and especially at this juncture of our lives, we can now look back to the time when we considered its origin to be inconsequential or even inane, reflect back to the times when we wasted excess…but perhaps if we look at this situation in a positive way, this is an opportunity for us to celebrate food grown in healthy soil and more importantly, a second chance for us Hill people to reignite our Darjeeling Hills into what it should be – clean water, clean air and healthy happy people everywhere.
Let us truly come together as a community. It’s the need of the hour.