COVID-19 has erupted into the WHO’s former classification of a pandemic. China who serves as the world's source of materials and products has ceased economic and manufacturing activity since the start of the outbreak. Currently, save for culture specific foods, there is no primary effect on foods within our supply chain. This posting represents our opinion and estimation of the the effect that COVID-19 has on our food system, please prepare responsibly.
As the spread of the virus picks up speed in the U.S., SYF expects conditions similar to what has been observed in countries like China, South Korea, and Italy where they have virus clusters and then evolves into an epidemic. These countries have adopted strict quarantine measures to slow the infection rate of COVID-19. When having clusters in an area, there is a run on sanitary, food, and water supplies. In epidemic conditions, food availability becomes strained and uncertain. As the quarantine lengthens, food gets rationed.
The Secure Your Food (SYF) program developed its perspective of the food system based on disaster management. Our hazard analysis of the food system highlighted a major issue that contributed greatly to food insecurity. In Canada, most of our food comes from out of country, food that is needed to maintain or increase health. This presents an extreme vulnerability should there be an interruption in the supply side to the food system.
The areas in which we source our produce (fruits and vegetables) comes from the United States, Mexico, and Central America. Recently, the production and supply side of the food system has resulted in shortages, mainly due to extreme weather. The United States has major infection clusters, one of which is in California. This area produces a large portion of our produce and should quarantine measures be enacted all production and transportation will cease.
The orientation and posture of governments are generally toward business, which means human needs are secondary. Food is a commodity and not a right. This is the context in which we operate, where a large part of our food comes from out of the country. This is where we are most vulnerable, our food insecurity has developed as a result of this context.
As the virus rages across areas we depend on for produce, should a quarantine be declared in those areas it is certain there will be shortages and rationing. This posting is not to sow fear but to inform your actions. Prepare responsibly but also expand your options. Listed below is how you can grow in containers, a method which anyone with living space can do.
Our growing season is beginning and it is only prudent that we start growing our own food. Some may have a garden but in our estimation growing outdoors is a gamble. This past year in my area, the harvest was affected by extreme weather events and cold nights. What thrived was the plants I grew in self watering containers. When weather became extreme or cold, I could bring them inside and as a result, they thrived.
Urban Growers - Container Gardening
Container growing allows you to optimize the conditions in which your plants are growing. When outside conditions are good you can put this plant in the perfect spot. When conditions become less optimal, you can move to a place (inside) until conditions improve. With the self watering feature, you can ensure that the plant will have its needs met while skipping a day or two of watering for you. SYF has no affiliation or partnership with the following links and these links represents what we believe is some of the best information.
West Coast Seeds have great guides, seeds, and resources to draw upon
Gary Pilarchik’s My First Container Gardening (video)
10 of the easiest vegetables you can grow in a container (video)
Self watering Container, this method makes watering easier as you can skip more than a couple of days between watering (video)
https://youtu.be/E8aE9nd8D4s I use this system with great success.
One I will be trying this season Is this other self watering container system