Cuba and especially Havana was famous for centuries from beautiful cultural heritage, then for some time everyone knew who was Fidel and recently Cuba is most famous from Cuba urban farming - most spectacular organic urban farming revolution ever happened on the Planet.
In 90-ties, the food system relying heavily on import collapsed and oil supply was suddenly shortened, Cuba faced dramatic shortages in food supply. Before crisis 50% of food was imported from Middle and Eastern Europe. Another 50% produced locally could not get to the city because of lack of gasoline. Literally there was no gasoline to transport the fresh food to the city.
People having bicycles were in much better situation, they could get to countryside and buy fruits, vegetables and rice. That economic disturbance started very spontaneous green revolution. Cubans had to learn how to grow vegetables. The government cancelled all laws which banned urban farming in the city. Anyone who declared to produce food, got the a piece of land to take care of. Even the lawns in front of ministry of agriculture were turned to veggie patch.
Food production in Havana multiplied 50 times in 5 years. Today 80% of Havana’s fresh food is produced within city limits. All intensive organic. Pesticides are banned, because of the threat of water contamination.
The world is today at oil peak, the moment when demand exceeds supply. This means that from today, the oil surplus will get smaller every year. This sounds pretty boring – I know. I felt same reading this sentence few times before until I saw the diagram based on US military report published recently by The Guardian. When I opened the link to article today, I can see the diagram being removed , but seeing it 2 weeks ago and reading that part was real eye-opening:
“The US military has warned that surplus oil production capacity could disappear within two years and there could be serious shortages by 2015 with a significant economic and political impact.”
From now on I believe, that oil peak is not a distant threat. It can knock my door in few years. This is why it is better to be prepared and learn how to grow your own fruits and vegetables.
If you want to know more about Cuba urban farming and what you can learn from Cubans:
Another interesting video about Cuba urban farming you may watch here.