Tagged ‘ecological farming’

The Future Is the Farmer

At a farmer’s fair in Krakow, South Poland, in early May, I spoke to a Romanian peasant. He was demonstrating clay pot making using a foot treadle to spin the plate upon which the pots were being formed by his deft hands.

I remarked how attractive I found this technology due to its lack of reliance upon any electrical power source. He nodded, saying “No other power required.” The conversation swung to the need to remain independent; independent of state and industry controlled sources of power. Because being dependent upon centralised power, be it energetic or political, means always owing something to someone or something; whereas to be free of such a burden enables one to form strategic relations where one pleases. This form of sharing creates a natural form of interdependence with fellow humans, rather than dependence on governments and corporations. He nodded again.

A colourful troupe of Gorale (Polish mountain farmers) were stamping their feet to the rousing notes of a merry fiddle while weaving a circular pattern through and amongst each other, shouting out in occasional bravura. My Romanian friend was looking-on, his non-treadle foot tapping out the folk song’s rhythms. After a little he turned towards me and said “The farmer is the future.” (more…)

Manifesto for 21st Century Food and Farming

“Farming for the People with the People”

The global food economy, served and shaped via state and corporate control of the food chain, has resulted in unquantifiable levels of pollution, destruction and exploitation in every dimension of agriculture, from soil to seed, to plant, to animal and to man. In other words: our existence.

As we approach the second decade of the 21st century, it is becoming abundantly clear that an entirely new vision, understanding and implementation is required in order for agriculture to truly serve its original purpose of feeding humanity (all peoples) with good quality, affordable and mostly local foods in ways that do not harm the environment. (more…)

Organic farming has sold out and lost its way

Julian Rose

This article is taken from www.theecologist.org

The dreams of the early organic pioneers have been subsumed into a rush for global supply chains, strict regulations and fast-selling brands

Back in 1975, when I first started converting my farm to organic agriculture, there were no standards for production and no rule book. Just a few people committed to weaning their land off agrichemicals, improving soil fertility and supporting good animal health through regular crop rotations and through the sensible applications of farm yard manure. It was about taking a caring attitude to the overall welfare of our farms and trying to engender a wide bio-diversity of species within the farmland habitat. (more…)

22 April 2008, Houses of Parliament, London

SAVING THE SEEDS OF HOPE – BANNING THE SEEDS OF DESPAIR

I thank you for the opportunity of speaking on this special occasion.

There could hardly be a more important issue confronting not just farmers, but the whole of society, than the subject of this meeting: how to grow adequate food and produce adequate energy without the aid of rapidly diminishing and highly polluting fossil fuels. And the reason why it is so important is because: this is not a concern for the future – it is the reality at this very moment. The transition from a 250 year old fossil fuel powered society to a genuinely sustainable renewable energy fuelled society is to be achieved in less than 25 years – if we are to avoid an ultimate meltdown of most of what sustains our present planetary ecology. That is not my prognosis but the increasingly broadcast view of the majority of professional climatologists from all around the world. (more…)

Beyond Market Forces

Agriculture As Though the Earth Mattered

Julian Rose, June 2007

Almost everything that has gone wrong with food, farming and our environment over the past three or four decades, has done so because of an unswerving allegiance to market forces and what is described as ‘The Free Market’.

Agriculture, as the origin of the word conveys, is ‘a culture of the field’ and is not an industry and therefore should never have been subjected to the competitive and often aggressive cut and thrust of commerce. Once under the influence of the market economy, it became transformed into an industry in which ever greater productivity at ever lower costs became the all pervading mantra. (more…)