Posts Tagged ‘#agriculture’

We typically think of climate change as the biggest environmental issue we face today. But maybe it’s not? A skyrocketing demand for food means that agriculture has become the largest driver of climate change, biodiversity loss and environmental destruction. In this presentation, Jonathan Foley shows how agriculture and land use are maybe a bigger culprit in the global environment, and could grow even larger as we look to feed over 9 billion people in the future.


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In this video from The Nation and On The Earth Productions, ecologist David Holmgren traces the path of permaculture from its roots in the 1970s to its potential, in the future, to reshape how humans interact with the planet. He explains how its premise—working with nature rather than against it—will help us adapt to and survive in a resource-scarce world.

The seed is the first link in the food chain – and seed sovereignty is the foundation of food sovereignty. If farmers do not have their own seeds or access to open pollinated varieties that they can save, improve and exchange, they have no seed sovereignty – and consequently no food sovereignty.

The deepening agrarian and food crisis has its roots in changes in the seed supply system, and the erosion of seed diversity and seed sovereignty.

Seed sovereignty includes the farmer’s rights to save, breed and exchange seeds, to have access to diverse open source seeds which can be saved – and which are not patented, genetically modified, owned or controlled by emerging seed giants. It is based on reclaiming seeds and biodiversity as commons and public good.

The past twenty years have seen a very rapid erosion of seed diversity and seed sovereignty, and the concentration of the control over seeds by a very small number of giant corporations. In 1995, when the UN organised the Plant Genetic Resources Conference in Leipzig, it was reported that 75 per cent of all agricultural biodiversity had disappeared because of the introduction of “modern” varieties, which are always cultivated as monocultures. Since then, the erosion has accelerated.

via The seed emergency: The threat to food and democracy – Opinion – Al Jazeera English.

GROW BIOINTENSIVE was developed by John Jeavons and Ecology Action. It has been successfully used in 142 countries around the world. This film was produced to further a global movement toward biologically‐intensive sustainable farming and the work of Ecology Action and G‐BIACK.

To make a batch of the extract, simply mix one part well-rotted compost (that contains a mixture of plant matter and animal manure) with six parts water. Stir well. Let the mixture stand for about a week, then filter it through cheesecloth. Spray the liquid (undiluted) on plants, or use it to soak seeds overnight.

The German researchers say that compost extracts cause surface concentrations of phenols (chemicals that are toxic to fungi) to increase considerably. This results in induced resistance to fungal infections. Extracts from compost containing (any kind of) animal manure result in much better resistance than ones from only plant material.

Plant resistance typically declines about seven to 10 days after treatment, so for best results, repeat applications every five to seven days.

via A FUNGICIDE FROM COMPOST.


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With the oil crisis looming, this program highlights a sustainable and biodiverse way of farming which works with the natural landscape.

 

Gandhi once burned British cloth imported from the mills of Manchester to reveal the power of the indigenous spinning wheel; and led the famous Salt March to underscore the capacities of all Indians (in fact, all human beings) to live autonomously, depending on the support of themselves and each other while throwing off the shackles of global empire.

Renowned food and anti-globalization activist Vandana Shiva’s Bija Vidyapeeth (University of the Seed), co-founded with Satish Kumar in 2001, is grounded on the four Gandhian principles of non-violence: swaraj(self-rule), swadeshi (home-spun), satyagraha (truth force), and savodaya (the uplifting of all).

Inspired by these principles, this university grown on a farm preserves a wild diversity of indigenous seeds in cooperation with thousands of farmers across India and the world, committed to the organic principles of working with Mother Earth—rather than waging war on her with chemicals.

via Yes! Magazine


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The Food Forest is being developed by Annemarie and Graham Brookman and their children Tom and Nikki, to demonstrate how an ordinary family, with a typical Australian income can grow its own food and create a productive and diverse landscape.

January 13, 2012 BBC News