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Organic Farms will Feed the World

Reuters UK is reporting on the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements’s (IFOAM) reaction to a recent U.N. food summit touting chemical fertilizers and genetically modified (GM) crops rather than organic solutions to tackle world hunger. From the article:
At the U.N. food summit in Rome this month, the World Bank pledged $1.2 billion in grants to help with the food crisis. “The $1.2 billion the World Bank says will solve the food crisis in Africa is a $1.2 billion subsidy to the chemical industry,” said Vandana Shiva, an Indian physics professor and environmental activist speaking at the forum in Modena. “Countries are made dependent on chemical fertilizers when their prices have tripled in the last year due to rising oil prices,” she said. “I say to governments: spend a quarter of that on organic farming and you’ve solved your problems.” She said industrial farming was based on planting a single crop on vast surfaces and heavy use of chemical fertilizers, a process that used 10 times more energy than it produced. “The rest turns into waste as greenhouse gases, chemical runoffs and pesticide residues in our food,” she said. In contrast, organic farms could increase output by 10 times by growing many different species of plants at the same time, which helped retain soil and water, she said. “In a one-acre farm in India they can grow 250 species of plants,” she said.
Read the full article here. As organic farmer Eliot Coleman points out in this video, he can produce—on his small four-season farm in Maine—up to 24 times the number of carrots per acre in a year than a large-scale farming outfit. (And his fields are filled with the biodiversity necessary to support and benefit from the local bee population.)


10 Books to Curl Up With This Winter

William Wordsworth was right when he said, “Nature never did betray the heart that loved her.” Nevertheless, the cold, dark days of winter can still get the best of even Nature’s most tenderhearted admirer. What’s one to do? We here at Chelsea Green have concocted the perfect cabin fever remedy with our suggested winter reading […] Read More..

Draft Power: The Life-Affirming Alternative to “Big Ag”

Farmers young and old are seeking new ways to shrink their carbon footprint and promote more ecologically friendly ways of getting chores done. So, what’s a modern farmer to do? For some, the centuries old approach of using draft animals—especially horses—is offering a very 21st century solution. Read More..

Top 8 Chelsea Green Books the Self-Styled Oregon Militia Should Read

The ongoing armed militia occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon is showing no signs of ending — so, rather than send them snacks, or sex toys, we had an idea: Send them a book! Better yet, send them several Chelsea Green books. Don’t worry, we’ve picked five key titles that we think […] Read More..

A Book for the Fruit Nerd on Your Holiday Gift List

Have a fruit enthusiast on your holiday shopping list this year? Then give the gift that Booklist calls, “a thorough investigation of one wonderful fruit”—The Book of Pears by Joan Morgan.Sure cherries, plums, peaches, and other fruits have their unique qualities, but nothing quite compares to the pear’s luscious texture, richness of taste, and fragrance reminiscent […] Read More..

Unlock the Secret to the Perfect Salad with Soil Sprouts

As the weather gets colder and seasonal produce only means root vegetables, we begin to dream about fresh greens and colorful salads. Without a greenhouse or expensive equipment, it’s hard to imagine a reality in which you can have fresh and local greens every day. Luckily, Peter Burke has a method: in his book Year-Round Indoor […] Read More..
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