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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.)


Tips on No-Till Farming and Cover Crops

In the below Q&A, author and permaculture designer Shawn Jadrnicek answers questions about no-till farming and the use of cover crops from two readers (one from North Carolina, and the other from Nova Scotia). In his groundbreaking book, The Bio-Integrated Farm, Jadrnicek provides in-depth information on water flow management along with projects that use the free forces of nature—gravity, […] Read More

Reimagining Restoration as a Radical Act

Finding ways to manage “invasive” species as we’ve come to know them has sparked a vigorous debate within conservation and restoration communities, as well as farmers, gardeners, and permaculturalists.In her thought-provoking book Beyond the War on Invasive Species, author Tao Orion urges us to rethink and reimagine restoration as a way to break out of […] Read More

What Can Wisteria Do For Your Forest Garden?

Jerome Osentowski, founder of the Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute (CRMPI) in Basalt, Colorado, is one of North America’s most accomplished permaculture designers and author of the new groundbreaking book, The Forest Garden Greenhouse. Part case-study of CRMPI’s innovative greenhouses and part how-to primer, Osentowski’s book shows that bringing the forest garden indoors is possible, even on […] Read More

Tips on Perennial Crops with Eric Toensmeier

Eric Toensmeier is the award-winning author of Perennial Vegetables, Paradise Lot, and most recently The Carbon Farming Solution—a groundbreaking new book that treats agriculture as an important part of the climate change solution, rather than a global contributor to the problem. As part of our “Ask the Expert” series going on throughout the month of May to celebrate […] Read More

How to Design Swales for Optimum Water Flow

May has arrived! The birds are chirping, flowers are budding, and it’s time to officially celebrate Permaculture Month.Throughout the next few weeks, we are putting our pioneering permaculture authors to work for you in our “Ask the Experts” series. If you are looking to become a better permaculturalist, there’s still time to participate. Submit your questions here.Today’s topic is […] Read More
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