Due to recent news regarding food contamination from overseas sources, a greater awareness of what we are actually consuming has risen. Whilst I would have no concerns about consuming Australian produce whether it be organic or conventionally grown by Australian farmers, I am definitely weary of much of our imported foods. The irony of it all is that it is predominantly us as consumers driving this demand as we seek cheaper food and/or produce out of its growing season.
Obviously in my opinion the answer is to experience the joy and rewards of growing your own and eating seasonal vegetables, and when this is not possible, then buying Australian grown produce. Making your backyard garden more productive and sustainable to do this is no more difficult than any other type of garden.
If you are time poor and you are after a low maintenance sustainable garden, there are many easy care productive plantings. Consider bananas, passionfruit and citrus trees, with an understory of herbs and interspaces filled with strawberries, eggplants, sweet potatoes, rocket and cherry tomatoes. All of these plants will produce adequately with very limited care once established. Obviously with more care they will produce even better, however it is possible to maintain a time and production balance.
Now if time is not limited, a constant cycle of seasonal fruit and vegetables is a must, along with chooks! I just love the efficiency of chooks in the backyard. As scrap consumers, they are second only to pigs, but most urban backyards probably should not have pigs! They produce one of the best fertilisers for the garden and they provide the daily gift in the form of a glorious egg! Initially, years ago, I also believed that they would be great at eating all the caterpillars in my garden, and whilst this is in fact true, they tend not to just eat the caterpillar, but all the leaves too!
On a final point, you will note that your homegrown produce, you will get some perfect specimens as well as those with imperfect blemishes and some will be nibbled by pests. However, they will be full of flavor that wont be due to microscopic bacteria from human effluent used for fertilizer in another country….and if it is, at the very least it will only be from your family…eewwh!