What would you say if I told you that we grow all of the food to feed the world on less than 1/32nd of the planet? Have you ever taken the time to think about how very little arable land we have in the world? Here on the Prairies it can be easy to take for granted the wide open, fertile fields that surround us.
Every April 22 we celebrate Earth Day. This year I started thinking about my first days at the Canola Learning Centre farm.
Often when we have school children visit the farm we do the Earth is an Apple activity. The first time I did this I was shocked at the tiny little strip of apple peel I was holding up to the kids to represent all of the growing land on Earth.
This is an easy activity that can be done almost anywhere, with the young and the old. I’d love to credit a source for this activity but it seems to be all over the web. So thanks to whomever you are – we send you warm vibes!
Earth as an Apple Activity:
1.Get an apple and a knife. Make sure you have a proper cutting surface and that little fingers are safely tucked away.
2. Slice the apple into quarters. Set aside three of the quarters. These represent the oceans, lakes, rivers and all other bodies of water. The fourth quarter represents the total land area of the world.
3. Slice the land quarter in half. You have two 1/8th pieces. Set aside one of the pieces. This represents the ice, deserts, swamps and mountains. The other 1/8th is the land that you still have left.
4. Slice this 1/8th piece into four sections. You have four 1/32nd pieces. Set aside three of these pieces. These represents areas too rocky, too wet, too cold, too steep or with soil too poor to produce food. They also include the areas of land that could produce food but are buried under cities, highways, suburbs, shopping centres and other structures people have built.
5. This leaves us with a 1/32nd slice of the earth. Carefully peel this slice. This tiny bit of peeling represents the surface. This strip is less than five feet deep and produces all of the food in the world.
When we see this small amount of land that produces our food, it’s easy to see that protecting land resources is important.
Farmers take extra care when working on their land. They are stewards of the land, air and water. Farmers take pride in keeping Earth’s most precious natural resource healthy and productive. #FarmToFood
You can watch farmer, Brian Chorney talk about being a steward of the land and how he keeps his farm sustainable for generations to come in my previous post Sustainability Top of Mind.
Here are Just the Facts that I found at CropLife Canada:
- World food demand will increase 70% by 2050.
- A farmer in 1900 produced enough food for 10 people. Today’s farmer feeds over 120 people.
- One of every eight Canadian jobs is related to agriculture.
- No-till farming can reduce soil erosion by 90 to 95 percent or more compared to conventional tillage practices, and continuous no-till can make the soil more resistant to erosion over time.
- One tree can remove the same amount of carbon dioxide from the air that is emitted from a car driving 17,700 km.
- Half a billion people live in countries chronically short of water; by 2050, the number will rise to more than four billion.
Visit CropLife Canada to read the full list of Just the Facts related to modern agriculture.
This Earth Day, April 22, join the conversation #FarmToFood!
Live Well…Keep Well…Be Well…Jenn
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