Agriculture trade groups have developed programs, including training and financial incentives, aimed at attracting young people. The National Young Farmers Coalition through member surveys has found that the bulk of new operators are going the organic route.
Pesticides can get onto organic produce through contamination of water or soil through pesticide spray drift from neighboring farms, and through contact with non-organic produce after harvest. Larger residue measurements suggest an organic producer deliberately used a pesticide that is not allowed.
World-renowned permaculture teacher Geoff Lawton’s techniques, if used widely enough, can literally save the planet from itself. In a video introducing his techniques, Lawton says he’s taught more than 6,000 people in more than 30 countries “permaculture design science.” His techniques, he says, allows people “to provide for all their needs in a way that’s beneficial to the environment and so that they can survive in a really abundant and meaningful way.”
It took three years, but finally the new farm bill (Agricultural Act of 2014) was passed and is being touted as a “historic win” for the organic industry. The bill replaces the 2008 farm bill extension that had defunded valuable programs, such as marketing, research, certification, data-collection and cost-share that helped organic farmers become more productive and develop better marketing techniques. Thanks to the new bill, those programs will be reinstated and additional new ones implemented.
Make no mistake, the world is coming into major transition and change. Economies are inflating like helium filled balloons, debt is escalating like runaway trains and it’s unlikely to be long before big shifts happen. That’s why growing your own food is important, especially as GMO, chemtrails and pesticides continue to decimate topsoils and contaminate the food chain. You don’t need much, a window sill will do, or a balcony that gets some sun. But if you have some spare space in your garden, what about this amazing idea – the ‘underground greenhouse’ – for all year round growing…
According to a new publication from the U.N. Commission on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), small scale, organic farming can create strong local food systems – the only viable, sustainable way to feed the word. Sixty experts from around the world weighed in on the problem in Trade and Environment Review 2013: Wake Up Before it is Too Late, which includes a commentary from IATP. The report calls for ‘ecological intensification,’ or a shift from conventional mono-culture planting to independent, small-scale production and permaculture, which can create a mosaic of sustainable regenerative systems which can feed all of us.
A new study will make it hard for Monsanto, Dow, and DuPont to argue that they aren’t simply desirous of eliminating all of nature, and then – us. A detailed analysis of species diversity – more plants, animals, and insects – is included in the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Oxford University’s report published in the Journal of Applied Ecology, looking at data from 94 previous studies covering 184 farm sites dating back to 1989. It shows how organic farms support life on planet Earth, and how GMO farms do not.
From the Center for Food Safety’s Cool Foods Campaign, Food & Climate: Connecting the Dots, Choosing the Way Forward contrasts the dominant, fossil-fuel dependent industrial agriculture system with organic and agroecological systems, and shows how the environmentally-friendly approach is also the best hope for future global food security as it not only reins in runaway carbon emissions but offers climate resilience as well. The concept of resilience is key, report author and Cool Foods Campaign director Diana Donlon explained in an interview with Common Dreams.
Today, the Washington State House voted unanimously to approve HB1888, the Hemp Freedom Act, which would “permit the development in Washington of an industrial hemp industry,” effectively nullifying the de facto federal prohibition on the farming and production of hemp crops within the United States. The vote was 97-0.
Policy makers should value environmental, health benefits of small-scale local farming, researcher argues.
Remember Agent Orange? The US Army sprayed it all over Vietnam. It defoliated (destroyed) plant growth and brought on cancers and birth defects. One of its significant ingredients was a chemical called 2.4-D. Well, the US Dept. of Agriculture has cleared the way for brand new Dow GMO corn and soy crops. They are engineered to withstand spraying with 2,4-D. The theory is, the corn and soy will survive, but pesky weeds will die. Of course, the drifting spray of 2,4-D will kill all sorts of other plants, including fruit trees. And there is that species called Human. Have a little lymphoma with your corn chowder.
Abby Martin speaks with Scott Kinnear, director of the Safe Food Foundation, about the case of Steve Marsh, an Australian organic farmer who lost his organic certification after his crops were contaminated by Monsanto GM seeds from a neighboring farm. As a result, Marsh and his family are no longer able to sell their product on the organic market and have lost a great deal of their income.