Episode 191. Are You the 100th Monkey?

This is the World Organic News for the week ending 28th of October 2019.

Jon Moore reporting!

Decarbonise the air, recarbonise the soil!

This week the focus is building big things from small. Let me explain.

Following on from the hundred monkeys idea discussed in Episode 189, I’ve come to realise the need for as many people as possible to know how to grow some food. My thinking goes like this:

If it took 100 monkeys to shift the monkey paradigm from eating raw spuds to eating salty raw spuds that had been washed in sea water, then the more people I can influence into growing some food, the point will come when our cultural paradigm will shift from consumption to production. 

The plan is to have sufficient people growing before they may be forced into knowing how. Back in Episode 184 I explored how Cuba was able to quickly ramp up organic production when the Soviet Union collapsed and stopped buying Cuban sugar. The idea behind the 100th monkey is to have as many people ready, capable and actually growing some of their own food.

To that end I’m giving away the World Organic News No-dig Gardening Book for a while as a PDF. The link is in the show notes and the page is pinned to the front of the website worldorganicnews.com.

If anyone has any thoughts on how to ramp up our search the 100th monkey I’d love to hear from you at media@worldorganicnews.com.

The by-products from gardening are remarkable. In a piece from The Conversation entitled: Growing a garden can also bloom eco-resilient, cross-cultural, food-sovereign communities. And let’s face it resilience is a thing worth promoting. I see resilience as a thing of greater value than say happiness. I’ve been in social situations and heard other parents say: “I don’t care what the kids do when they grow up so long as they’re happy.” I find this so depressing. What they’re saying is I’d like my children to have the emotional depths of a Disney Princess. I counter with I want my to be capable of making tough decisions, resilient and decent people. Happiness comes and goes.

I would recommend this line of conversation whenever you want to be left alone too but that’s a whole other thing.

So resilience is a thing gardens can develop. From the article:


By starting small and working steadily, we were able to grow our garden and, along with that, our knowledge and our cross-cultural community. Many children were there daily, especially during weekends and in the summer, when schools were closed.

We used a participatory action style of research which involves the community, and published the results in the Local Environment journal. Based on our study, I believe cross-cultural land-based activities can make positive changes in an urban environment.

End Quote

Let me just de-academicise that. Start small, include people from all backgrounds without judgement, treat people as individuals and we can change urban environments with gardens. This particular garden is located in an area of food poverty, that is, locals have difficulty accessing fresh food, particularly fruits and vegetables.

In the eight years this garden has been up and running they’ve increased from 10 plots to 120. That’s impressive. The importance of food cannot be overrated. For those of us in developed countries, hunger is a thing we rarely, if ever, actually face. For marginalised members of our societies and throughout much of the developing world, it is a daily reality. Three meals a day is a luxury for too many people around the globe. We can, even if only in a small way, make a real difference in our gardens. I’d recommend you read the full article for which there is a link in the show notes.

When it comes to the tagline for this podcast: Decarbonise the air, recarbonise the soil! The more people we can encourage into gardening, obviously without the use of oil based herbicides, pesticides or fertilisers, the greater the positive effect we have on the climate situation. From reduced food miles, to drops in oil based inputs to carbon drawn out of the atmosphere. Billions of little steps will turn the situation around quickly and there are 7.6 billion or thereabouts, of us on the planet so we can get this sorted with or without the political and monied classes.

That seems a positive place to draw this episode to a conclusion.

Decarbonise the air, recarbonise the soil!

We are in the process of writing RegenEarth’s second season of podcasts and I’ll let you know when they are roaming free on the interwebs. In the meantime you might want to listen to our short season one and subscribe so you’re ready for when season 2 drops.

Thank you for listening and I’ll be back next week.



World Organic News

email: media@worldorganicnews.com


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Growing a garden can also bloom eco-resilient, cross-cultural, food-sovereign communities


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