A Simple Fix for Farming
Rohit Khare stashed this in Food
This does seem too good to be true.
So: combine crop rotation, the re-integration of animals into crop production and intelligent farming, and you can use chemicals (to paraphrase the report’s abstract) to fine-tune rather than drive the system, with no loss in performance and in fact the gain of animal products.
If it's equivalently profitable, then farmers will switch to it (and smaller farmers _are_ switching away from industrial scale agriculture)... If it can be made _more_ profitable, then the whole sector will eventually switch to it. However, something like 3/4 of the ag sector is industrial, growing products as feed crops for industrial processes such as ethanol production.
I predict a separation between industrial agriculture and food agriculture, with people demanding superior quality products that only come from more sustainable methods.
That's already started to happen -- look at the popularity of Farmers Markets, organic produce, and Whole Foods.
But you're right -- ultimately this is a money issue. If it makes more money, more people will commit to it.
Hmmmm. Please explain corn subsidies to me.
Paying farmers to lose money or to not grow things is holding them in a cycle of dependency on a system which is inherently flawed to begin with.
This is a good study--it relies on older methods of farming which worked pre industrialized monocropping. Monocropping, by definition, depletes the soil--using the available natural methods is fantastic progress. Organic isn't the savior either--yes, I love the thought of not eating Roundup, but there are bio-pathogens transmitted in soil, too.
I'm cautious about blindly trusting organic labels and WF en toto--I prefer to grow what I can and to know my local farmer/meat producer. Sourcing things locally and knowing the producer can't be understated--much more important, I think, than the organic/non argument.
It's great to see the our local farms packed with people lately--only wish it had been sooner.
Also, I've got my eye on aglocal.com (@aglocal) even though I don't eat meat--any startup that is focusing on connecting local farmers/meat producers with clientele interested in bypassing the industrial system is one I'll watch.
I'm very intrigued by anyone who pulls this off--I'll be honest--meat guys don't usually get props and tweets from vegetarians, but in this case, I'll make an exception--anyone who connects our local farmers with people who want to better source food is on my fan list. I'll even help them out and make the local connections. Probably slip in a veggie or two just because that's what I do...
I cook meat for the family. It makes such a difference sourcing it properly. I can smell the chemicals in factory farmed meat now. Can't be good. I choose to waste less, source better, and make the $$ balance out. Currently, I have a farm connection for meat, eggs, and someone who makes me goat cheese on Tuesdays. I stop at the farm and pick up leaves and veggies en route home for work, and go to local bodegas by specific ethnicity for the rest...Yes, I'm shopping in several languages and farms, but done properly, it's part of the pulse of life, not some food-freak spending all day looking for nori:) And I think it's important enough to invest that little extra planning.
Truly, though, urban farming is the way to go--raised beds, planting in areas that are vacant or formerly known as decoration--it's not even one of my freakish deviations anymore--it's become cool.
"And I think it's important enough to invest that little extra planning." AMEN! Especially if you're a parent.
Well, after a solid dozen years living under and airport, we managed to escape for the country. Still within striking distance to everything we do, but part of the plan was to get at least half off the grid and produce what we can without being so crazy about it that the Discovery Channel sends scouts. Even in the city, we were able to do quite a lot w a small greenhouse and a bunch of strategic raised beds. I'm really rooting for that type of setup and smallish farmers and communities bringing us back to that level of connection...both with our food and communally.
Yes! As an aside, because I'm on my mobile and heading out to soak up some D, Bill Maher described delivery pizza as "the drunken hook-up of food."
GOOD FOR YOU, BTW. Compost much?
OMG, yes!!! One of the biggest problems moving was that I had to leave my fully matured awesome compost behind. I reduce the garbage generated by my house so much and the compost is a glorious addition to the garden. Since it'll take me a season to rebuild, I am going to get some manure and also fish fertilizer that my friend, a fisherman (I'm in RI) has promised to provide.
I totally intend to overdo this, goal being to have enough leftover to supply others--what's a few carrots among friends. There's nothing like the feeling of going outside and finding dinner growing and deciding on the spot. However, I predict a few fewer FB friends and Twitter followers after I beat them over the head with 20 varieties of zucchini... Luckily, I do a lot of canning and preserving. It's cathartic as well as healthy and tasty.
LMAO @ Discovery sending scouts...