A few years ago, the United Nations warned that the world was running out of land for new agriculture, and that it was too late to start it.
It’s time to act now, says the CEO of the Ecovillages program at the University of Maryland, Chris Nisbet.
That means we need to find new ways to grow food, he says.
Nisbit, who is also the CEO and co-founder of the ecovillsa project, says we have to get away from the current agricultural paradigm, and to build a new one.
“This is not a situation where you have an entire crop growing, you have one or two animals that are being raised and fed, and we have no idea how they’re going to live.
We have no clue what it’s going to take to support them,” he says in an interview.
That’s why he’s started the Ecotouristic Community of Maryland program.
Niskins plan to create ecovillaion, a community of people who will grow, harvest, process, transport, and sell the fruits and vegetables they grow.
The project is funded through a grant from the USDA, but it could be scaled up to the millions of people in the United States, where food insecurity and growing unemployment are high.
We can’t afford to be doing this at the same time as we’re getting worse,” Niskin says.
The community will also help the region’s farmers, who are struggling to compete with the rising demand for meat and dairy products.
“So they’re being pushed into that space. “
We have a lot of land that could be used for this type of production, and they can’t even farm the fruits,” Nisbett says.
“So they’re being pushed into that space.
And it’s really unfortunate.”
For the first time in decades, Niskens farm has a growing crowd.
This summer, about 500 people turned out for the first day of growing the vegetables on the family’s property.
There were so many people there that the tractor was so overloaded with fresh produce that Niskines team had to pull it over and take the produce home.
The family plans to grow as much food as possible on the property.
It could be another $1 million, which would cover all the costs of setting up the site.
“That’s a lot.
That would be enough to buy a house.
It would be a good investment, and it would help them grow their crops,” Niscbits mother says.
She’s referring to the $3,000-a-month rent the family paid last year.
Nislits family plans on farming the family farm for about three years.
If it were not for the Ecots, she says, she and her husband could never have gotten the farm started.
“I think it would have been much harder,” she says.
One of the biggest challenges of the food revolution is the lack of transparency, Nisbits father says.
And he has a simple solution: The community is helping the farmers get ahead.
“You can’t have people sitting around saying, ‘Look, I’m going to grow vegetables for the next six months, and then, oh, I’ll grow some apples for the last month,'” Niskinas father says in a video.
“There needs to be a way to communicate, because we’re doing this in secret.”