Category Archives: Education

Why Farming Is Broken (And Always Has Been) (4 min)

MinuteEarth – Sep 27, 2017 – 4 min

Thanks to the Land Institute for sponsoring this video!

VIDEO LINK (4 MIN)

To learn more about their work, visit https://landinstitute.org/ To feed everyone in the future, we may need to disrupt 10,000 years of farming practices and turn agriculture into a closed system. Thanks also to our supporters on https://www.patreon.com/MinuteEarth

To learn more, start your googling with these keywords: Annual plant: living for a year or less, perpetuating itself by seed Perennial plant: living for several years Polyculture: the simultaneous cultivation or exploitation of several crops or kinds of animals Natural systems agriculture: cropping systems based on processes found in nature Agroforestry: land use management that combines the cultivation of trees/shrubs with crops/pasture to create more productive and sustainable land-use systems Alley cropping: planting agricultural crops between rows of trees or shrubs.

If you liked this week’s video, you might also like: Alley cropping: https://nac.unl.edu/documents/agrofor… Agroforestry: http://www.fao.org/forestry/agrofores…

Regenerative Agriculture Podcast

The Regenerative Agriculture Podcast, hosted by John Kempf, is a great show to start with. Here are some of the show’s episode titles to whet your appetite:

  • Preventing nitrogen and phosphorus leaching.
  • Things to do when plants don’t respond to nutrient applications.
  • Why should we care about soil health?
  • Symbiotic relationships in ecology.
  • How insect pests identify unhealthy plants.

You might be wondering, do I need to be tech-savvy to listen to a podcast? Absolutely not! Here’s an easy guide on how to access podcasts:

  1. Install the “Stitcher” app from iTunes App Store or Google Play (Android).
  2. Register on the Stitcher app.
  3. Browse shows and “star” your favorites to automatically download new episodes.
  4. Listen to shows through the Stitcher app on headphones, or even better, via Bluetooth over your car’s audio system.

SOURCE

Agroecology and the fight against deadly capitalist agriculture

Climate and Capitalism, June 17, 2018 by Colin Todhunter

Agroecology can free farmers from dependency, manipulated commodity markets, unfair subsidies and food insecurity. It is resisted by giant corporations that profit from the status quo.

Colin Todhunter is an extensively published independent writer and former social policy researcher based in the UK and India. This article was originally published as “Dangerous Liaison: Industrial Agriculture and the Reductionist Mindset,” on his blog, East by Northwest. Colin invites readers to follow him on Twitter.

Food and agriculture across the world is in crisis. Food is becoming denutrified and unhealthy and diets less diverse. There is a loss of biodiversity, which threatens food security, soils are being degraded, water sources polluted and depleted and smallholder farmers, so vital to global food production, are being squeezed off their land and out of farming.

A minority of the global population has access to so much food than it can afford to waste much of it, while food insecurity has become a fact of life for hundreds of millions. This crisis stems from food and agriculture being wedded to power structures that serve the interests of the powerful global agribusiness corporations.

Over the last 60 years, agriculture has become increasingly industrialised, globalised and tied to an international system of trade based on export-oriented mono-cropping, commodity production for the international market, indebtedness to international financial institutions (IMF/World Bank).

This has resulted in food surplus and food deficit areas, of which the latter have become dependent on (US) agricultural imports and strings-attached aid. Food deficits in the Global South mirror food surpluses in the North, based on a ‘stuffed and starved’ strategy.

Whether through IMF-World Bank structural adjustment programmes related to debt repayment as occurred in Africa (as a continent Africa has been transformed from a net exporter to a net importer of food), bilateral trade agreements like NAFTA and its impact on Mexico or, more generally, deregulated global trade rules, the outcome has been similar: the devastation of traditional, indigenous agriculture.

SOURCE

Why you should add a little Swedish lagom to your life

It has to do with moderation, but it’s so much more than that.

Last year was one of extremes — weather, politics, news and for me, home environments. (I moved from incredibly dry California to verdant and perpetually damp western Washington state.) So I could do with a bit of moderation in the coming year. Which is why I’ve found the Swedish concept of lagom so appealing — and others have too. (With no fewer than eight books on the subject, it’s clear this is a trend.)

To learn more about it, I spoke with lagom expert Anna Brones, an author whose recently published book, “Live Lagom: Balanced Living, the Swedish Way,” serves as a guide to this way of thinking. Some say lagom translates to the English word “moderation,” but it’s a little more holistic than that, much in the same way hygge means much more than “cozy”.

The simplest definition of the term, according to Brones’ book, is “… just right. Not too much, not too little,” and it’s “… a thread that ties many parts of Swedish society together, the cornerstone of personal behavior, design ethos, and community.” She explains that in more detail in the video below:

Lagom:Just enough (2 min)

Article

Family farming is civilization!

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil – Family farming, usually organized as smallholdings, accounts for 84% of all Brazilian rural properties, but occupies only 24% of the area devoted to agriculture in our country. It corresponds to 40% of the gross value of production, as well as 77% of the jobs in agriculture. In addition, it is responsible for more than 50% of the products of the Brazilian worker’s basic basket.
However, in addition to the already evident inequality in the concentration of land (the average family size in Brazil is 18.37 hectares, while the latifundium/large land estate is 309.18 hectares), the reality is that the Brazilian family farmer , the main responsible for feeding the Brazilian people, receives only 13% of the resources allocated by the government to the agricultural sector.
The other 87 per cent go to large latifundia, less productive than family farms, which employ fewer people compared to family farms, which are mostly used to produce primary goods for export (as opposed to family farms) that cause more damage to the environment in relation to family properties, and above all, which are owned largely by foreigners or by Brazilian politicians.
http://www.fort-russ.com/2017/12/family-farming-is-civilization.html

Save the earth and better yourself: 8 reasons why growing your own food is the best decision you will ever make

Have you ever thought of growing your own fruits and vegetables? If not, now is the time to start considering it. It may seem tedious and overwhelming, but in reality it is actually easy and simple. You can start by growing them in your backyard, or if you do not have any yard, consider container gardening in your balcony, patio, or on a windowsill. Still not convinced? Here are eight reasons on why you should start growing your own food.

https://www.naturalnews.com/2017-11-29-save-the-earth-and-better-yourself-8-reasons-why-growing-your-own-food-is-the-best-decision-you-will-ever-make.html