Fresh From Our Contributing Authors What's a "contributing author"?
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Food Shortages, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Structure, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Miles Durand June 20, 2013
Miles Durand (right), in Lesotho
Lesotho is a small, mountainous country in Southern Africa. There has been an alarming two third reduction in its food production since colonial times. The signs and causes are self-evident and can be seen on the landscape and within the population. There is an urgent need to move the existing agriculture, in decline, to one of ascendancy in food production, and return the soil to good health and fertility. Many of the ingredients needed for this transformation are located within the country and its neighbour of South Africa. And within the world wide sustainable / conservation agriculture community, accessible on the internet is all the knowledge, information and technology needed to make it happen.Comments (0)
- Companion Planting Information and Chart
- Companion Planting Guide
- Biodiverse Systems are More Productive
Community Projects, Conferences, Courses/Workshops, Presentations/Demonstrations, Social Gatherings — by Roberto Perez Rivero
Permaculture has for more than 30 years been an innovative system of techniques based on the best practices of traditional cultures of the planet, knowledge learnt from Nature and its ecosystem functioning and the adoption of new technologies that are ecologically friendly. All of this, combined with deep ethics and design principles to integrate the different dimensions of sustainability in human settlements — like energy, water, transportation, financing, human communities and other issues — makes Permaculture a unique experience for those that have been practicing it since the late 1970s.Comments (0)
Biodiversity, GMOs, Health & Disease, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by I-SIS June 18, 2013
The most exhaustive, and up-to-date summary of the dangers of GM agriculture for 2013. GM agriculture is a recipe for disaster, as this report will make clear. It is also standing in the way of the shift to sustainable agriculture already taking place in local communities all over the world that can truly enable people to feed themselves in times of climate change.
GM agriculture is failing on all counts while hazards to health and the environment are coming to light. Opposition to GMOs is gaining momentum worldwide but the expansionist GM corporate agenda continues undiminished. GM agriculture is a recipe for disaster as this report will make clear. It is also standing in the way of the shift to sustainable agriculture already taking place in local communities all over the world that can truly enable people to feed themselves in times of climate change. Take action now to ban environmental releases of GMOs, locally in communities, villages, towns, municipalities, regions, as well as nationally and globally. We the people need to reclaim our food and seed sovereignty from the corporate empire before they destroy our food and farming irreversibly.Comments (0)
by Rob Avis
I recently had the opportunity to interview my friend Tad Hargrave from Marketing for Hippies in Edmonton, Alberta. Verge has been hosting Tad’s workshops in Calgary, Edmonton and Central Alberta for the past few years now, and we’ve benefited greatly from his coaching services too.
We share a similar vision with Tad: we see the importance of showing people how to thrive in earth repair businesses. A lot of our students want to follow their dreams, quit their 9-5 jobs, and work for themselves full-time doing the things they love — but they don’t know how to communicate what they do, and attract clients to engage their services, talents or products.
In this interview, Tad and I talk about some of the most important, simple and no-nonsense marketing strategies you need to do regardless of whether you are just starting out or if you have been at it for a while. Take a listen, let us know what you think.Comments (1)
Economics, Food Shortages, GMOs, Society — by George Monbiot
Who do Bono and the ONE campaign really represent: the very poor or the very rich?
It was bad enough in 2005. Then, at the G8 summit in Scotland, Bono and Bob Geldof heaped praise on Tony Blair and George Bush, who were still mired in the butchery they had initiated in Iraq(1,2,3). At one point Geldof appeared, literally and figuratively, to be sitting in Tony Blair’s lap. African activists accused them of drowning out a campaign for global justice with a campaign for charity.
But this is worse. As the UK chairs the G8 summit again, a campaign that Bono founded, with which Geldof works closely(4), appears to be whitewashing the G8’s policies in Africa.
Last week I drew attention to the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, launched in the US when it chaired the G8 meeting last year(5). The alliance is pushing African countries into agreements which allow foreign companies to grab their land, patent their seeds and monopolise their food markets. Ignoring the voices of their own people, six African governments have struck deals with companies such as Monsanto, Cargill, Dupont, Syngenta, Nestlé and Unilever, in return for promises of aid by the UK and other G8 nations.Comments (3)
Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Medicinal Plants, Trees — by Susan Kwong June 15, 2013
This is the mid-Autumn post for the ongoing research project about perennial plants and self-perpetuating annual plants providing food in temperate climate Australia. The original article introducing this project, stating its aims, and providing participant instructions, can be found here. Growers are sending me information on a month-by-month basis, then this information is collated and published the following month. All previous posts from this series can be found by clicking on my author name (Susan Kwong), just under the post title above.Comments (5)
Aid Projects, Aquaculture, Community Projects, Conservation, Irrigation, Potable Water, Regional Water Cycle, Water Harvesting — by I-SIS
How Integrated Natural Resource Management improves water security for small farmers.
by Dinabandhu Karmakar, Professional Assistance for Development Action (PRADAN), India
Photo © Craig Mackintosh
Why does PRADAN support small decentralized farm-based rainwater harvesting rather than big projects? In short, we made a commitment to poor, small-holder farmers to ensure happy, self-sustainable livelihoods in their own farms. Fifty seven percent of Indian rural households own some land, the majority of farms less than one hectare and about half depend entirely on seasonal rain . Many of these farmers do not have access to irrigation projects tied to big dams and government-sponsored canal programmes.
We work in central India, an area of undulating terrains with large numbers of tribal peoples who until 3-4 generations ago were forest dwellers and hence not experienced as farmers.Comments (1)
DVDs/Books — by Samuel Alexander June 14, 2013
Paul Gilding, author of The Great Disruption, has described Entropia as "a masterful work of the imagination… a literary manifesto that will inspire, challenge, and give hope."
Richard Heinberg, author of The End of Growth, has praised the book as follows: "Overflowing with insight and beautifully written, Entropia unveils the radical implications of moving beyond fossil fuels. This book may come to define what sustainability really means."
Below is an excerpt from Samuel Alexander’s new book, Entropia: Life Beyond Industrial Civilisation. This book is a ‘utopia of sufficiency’ that brings to life a simple living community that became isolated on a small island after the collapse of industrial civilisation. Looking back from the future, the book describes the economy, culture, and politics of the community.Comments (0)
Unapproved Monsanto Crop (Wheat) Found Growing in Oregon, Whilst “Monsanto Protection Act” Sneaks Into Law
A genetically modified strain of wheat that was never approved by the United States Department of Agriculture as been discovered growing in Oregon, triggering a federal probe that is now spanning several states. The GMO wheat was made by biotech company Monsanto and was tested in parts of the US until 2006, at which point Monsanto stopped pursuing the USDA’s approval. Investigators are now trying to figure out why the pesticide-resistant crop was still growing years later, and it couldn’t come at a worst time for Monsanto. Backlash against the company continues to grow, and over the weekend millions of people around the world participated in anti-Monsanto demonstrations. Meanwhile, a so-called "ag-gag" law being proposed in North Carolina would make it illegal to expose any wrongdoings committed by Monsanto and other agriculture companies. Andy Stepanian of Sparrow Media joins Meghan Lopez to discuss. — YouTube
GMOs, Health & Disease, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Jeffrey M. Smith
Our movement to end the genetic engineering of the food supply just entered a whole new era. On May 25th, two million people in 436 cities and 52 countries banded together to express their outrage over GMOs and Monsanto’s attempted takeover of seeds and agriculture.
Read more.Comments (1)
The leaders of Big Agriculture — Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta — are determined that the world’s population remains ignorant about the serious health and environmental risks of genetically modified crops and industrial agriculture. Deep layers of deception and corruption underlie both the science favoring GMOs and the corporations and governments supporting them.
This award-winning documentary, Seeds of Death, exposes the lies about GMOs and pulls back the curtains to witness our planet’s future if Big Agriculture’s new green revolution becomes our dominant food supply.Comments (0)
Want to push green to another level? You can now live green and die green with environment-friendly burials. These new alternative methods will make you turn in your grave!
Backed by the popular seals of "sustainability, eco-friendliness, and fair trade", funeral businesses are now offering you killer deals to go back to the land.
Remember, it’s not about how much it will cost you in the end but more about how much you are giving back to your planet and the future generations… or so they say!
The great thing about our present time is that you will always find people to help you rest in peace with your carbon footprint.Comments (2)
Biodiversity, Consumerism, Deforestation, Food Shortages, Health & Disease, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Earth Policy Institute
Janet Larsen and J. Matthew Roney, Earth Policy Institute
The world quietly reached a milestone in the evolution of the human diet in 2011. For the first time in modern history, world farmed fish production topped beef production. The gap widened in 2012, with output from fish farming—also called aquaculture—reaching a record 66 million tons, compared with production of beef at 63 million tons. And 2013 may well be the first year that people eat more fish raised on farms than caught in the wild. More than just a crossing of lines, these trends illustrate the latest stage in a historic shift in food production—a shift that at its core is a story of natural limits.
As the global demand for animal protein grew more than fivefold over the second half of the twentieth century, humans began to press against the productivity constraints of the world’s rangelands and oceans. Annual beef production climbed from 19 million tons in 1950 to more than 50 million tons in the late 1980s. Over the same period, the wild fish catch ballooned from 17 million tons to close to 90 million tons. But since the late 1980s, the growth in beef production has slowed, and the reported wild fish catch has remained essentially flat. (See Excel data.)Comments (2)
General — by Toby Hemenway June 13, 2013
The Permaculture Flower, modified from David Holmgren. The petals represent
the basic human needs, and we work to meet them sustainably on the personal,
local, and regional levels.
Permaculture is notoriously hard to define. A recent survey shows that people simultaneously believe it is a design approach, a philosophy, a movement, and a set of practices. This broad and contradiction-laden brush doesn’t just make permaculture hard to describe. It can be off-putting, too.
Let’s say you first encounter permaculture as a potent method of food production and are just starting to grasp that it is more than that, when someone tells you that it also includes goddess spirituality, and anti-GMO activism, and barefoot living. What would you make of that? And how many people think they’ve finally got the politics of permaculturists all figured out, and assume that we would logically also be vegetarians, only to find militant meat-eaters in the ranks? What kind of philosophy could possibly umbrella all those divergent views? Or is it a philosophy at all?Comments (13)