Episode 228. A Number to Send Chills 

This is the World Organic News for the week ending 24th of  August 2020.

Jon Moore reporting!

Decarbonise the air, recarbonise the soil!

This week we’re going on a 30,000 foot overview. 

As some of you may know I’m currently back at Uni, studying for a Diploma in Sustainable Living. This is twenty five years after my Bachelor’s Degree where I double majored in archaeology. It’s been fun so far but.  Continue reading “Episode 228. A Number to Send Chills “

Episode 210. Redesigning The Food System

This is the World Organic News for the week ending 20th of  April 2020.

Jon Moore reporting!

Decarbonise the air, recarbonise the soil!

We have a great opportunity at this strange time in world affairs. In my own world, the complete lack of clients has led to great leaps forward in the garden space at work. One person with the time and the seeds can make a difference. As I’ve mentioned before, I am employed by a disability day program service and three residential units are in the same location. I’ve been able to supply them with silverbeet, tomatoes, cucumbers, pumpkins and winter squash. Continue reading “Episode 210. Redesigning The Food System”

168. The Revolution Takes Shape!

This is the World Organic News for the week ending the 13th of May 2019.

Jon Moore reporting!

Decarbonise the air, recarbonise the soil!

As you may recall I finished last week’s episode in a bit of a frustrated funk. We know we have to do, we have the techniques to do it but our political classes are still fighting battles from 15 years ago.

So this past week has been one of deep contemplation, discussion with peers and a moment of satori, a moment of enlightened clarity.
Let me explain. Looking at the “big” things that have changed parts of society in this millennium I came to a conclusion. Single use plastic bags from supermarkets being banned, incandescent bulbs being withdrawn from sale and the wonders of separating household waste for collection all have a few things in common.
They are virtuous. They do not make our lives easier and they make very little difference to GHG accumulations. That those plastic bags are called single use is a misnomer to begin with. We always used ours for more than just bringing home shopping. As we know by now plastic can be made from renewable sources that are biodegradable but we have to have the virtuous effects to make change worth while, apparently. Most people I have observed have just replaced thin, single use plastic bags with heavy duty plastic bags. I’ve also observed that many people still use these as they used to use the “single use” bags. So that the organisations pushing for the change can feel warm and fuzzy but the “on the ground” effects are negligible.
With the loss of incandescent bulbs we have lost a simple way to keep chicks warm in a brooder but that’s not a big market segment, I’ll concede. What we do have is lighting that’s inferior to what went before and a huge increase in the consumption of mercury and it’s release when these things are not disposed of “properly”.
It also turns out that much of the separated household waste ends up in the same tip or dump if that’s your word where you live. Clearly this is a resource going to waste. Waste in the Bill Mollison sense of a resource in the wrong place.
But what to do?
Our federal election next Saturday does not provide much hope. The left of centre parties are stuck in the decarbonise the air part of this show’s tagline but no one I could find was thinking about the soil.
Google searches revealed a few things. There is plenty of info, organisation and advocacy for regenerative techniques for agriculture. A plus in my mind. There is very little on how these things can be brought to bare on the greatest consumers of water, glyphosate, pesticides and fungicides: the suburban and urban regions of the world. And to make matters worse some 68% of humanity will be living in these areas by 2050 according to a UN report, link in the show notes.
At about the same time my other favourite Bill Mollison quote kept tapping on the inside of my skull:
Quote:
The greatest change we need to make is from consumption to production, even if on a small scale, in our own gardens. If only 10% of us do this, there is enough for everyone.
End Quote.
And other more annoying quote of who’s origin I have no idea also joined in:
Quote:
Be the change you want to see.”
End Quote.
So to that end, wheels were set in motion, ideas were brainstormed and any other metaphor you care to insert here. I have joined with my co-host from the Permaculture Plus podcast to create an online seminar/conference set for the 16th to the 21st of September. These will run annually but the inaugural event Living Soils 2019 will be focusing on permaculture zones one and two (Link in the show notes) and how we can create regenerative gardens.
We are contacting specialists to present at the event. Biodynamics, biochar, permaculture and if any of my obviously good looking and deeply thoughtful listeners have any suggestions, I’d be happy to hear them. email me at redocean112@gmail.com. There is a link in the show notes.
We are in the planning stage so more will be revealed as we lock things in. The effect changing ten percent of suburbia from consumption to production in a regenerative form is mind blowing. In the same way suburbia has become a renewable engine of massive proportions with the falling price of PV cells, I’m sure we can turn this same part of the land surface of the earth into a carbon sink powerhouse.
From window boxes to McMansions to smallholders and even huge agricultural affairs, people live in dwellings and this is where we need to start. From every front and back door we can roll out the regen revolution.
And unlike the virtuous ideas, this actually makes our lives and the climate situation better and you end up with food. Food that doesn’t need to be purchased from elsewhere. This actually saves you money, reduces food kilometerage, mileage if you’re on the old money, and is still a benefit for the biosphere.
So next week I’ll return to use usual form of the podcast with news from around the world but I’ll also add a “What’s Happening” section for the Living Soils 2019 online conference or whatever we end up calling it.
And on that no longer frustrated but actually hopeful note I’ll draw this episode to a conclusion.
The podcasting checklists are still available over at Jon Moore Podcasting Services
Thank you for listening and I’ll be back next week.

~~~~

LINKS
email: redocean112@gmail.com
PODCASTING CHECKLISTS CLICK HERE
Transcript HERE
Facebook Page:  World Organic News Facebook page.
WORLD ORGANIC NEWS No Dig Gardening Book: Click here
Permaculture Plus
http://permacultureplus.com.au/
Topical Talks
 
permaculture zones one and two
UN: 68 percent of world population will live in urban areas by 2050
https://m.phys.org/news/2018-05-percent-world-population-urban-areas.html

154. Agroecology in Senegal and New Hope From Old Ideas.

Agroecology in Senegal and New Hope From Old Ideas.
This is the World Organic News for the week ending the 4th of February 2019.
Jon Moore reporting!
Decarbonise the air, recarbonise the soil!
We begin this week with some good news out of Senegal. From the site News Ghana comes the piece entitled: President Sall announces that Senegal will adopt agroecology.
Quote:
The chairman of Enda Tiers-Monde’s international network, Marième Sow, is delighted. The call that civil society organizations have made since the 1970s has finally been heard. The appropriation of the principles of the agro-ecological transition had been their workhorse for decades. This emblematic figure of clean agriculture salutes the awareness of the authorities to move towards a model of agricultural production that does not degrade our forests or our soil, and that does not pollute our groundwater and surface water. Indeed, in his message to the nation of December 31, 2018, President Macky Sall announced a preparation of Senegal, Sahelian country, to the ecological transition through the “Pse Vert”.
End Quote
Reading further into the article and I would encourage you all to check this source, link in the show notes, the underlying problems in Senegal sound very much like the underlying problems wherever industrial agriculture has come to town. Polluted water, polluted soils, falling fertility and deforestation. As in many places, the voices calling in the wild for a better system have their roots back in the 1970s.
Enda Tiers-Monde is one such organisation. There’s a link in the show notes. The site is is French and google translate seems to have some difficulty translating but if your french is up to the job have a look. Mine is a far from up to the job.
From the piece again:
Quote:
In fact, agro-ecology borrows a lot from known agricultural techniques in Africa. That’s why, since the 70s, Enda Tiers-Monde campaigns for the popularization of agro-ecology. Experts believe that the sustainability of the agricultural production system depends to a large extent on this “alternative”. “The agro-ecological transition is to bring back to life the land, our forests, the microorganisms that are in the soil. On the basis of pesticide residues analysis in the soil, Enda Pronat has initiated farmers’ organizations to use other cultivation techniques, “says Sow, who praises the president’s vision of Republic to make the agro-ecological transition a strategic axis of the Pse. it’s about to bring back to life the land, our forests, the micro-organisms that are in the ground.
End Quote
This return to older ways is a theme. In the same way that John Seymour’s Complete Book of Self Sufficiency was a look back to the high farming tradition of the British Isles, I suspect much of the techniques promoted by Enda Tiers-Monde are in the same mould but from an African standpoint.
The problem we face is that these older methods are a step back along the evolution of farming that led to the industrial system we are suffering under today. With the popularity of the “Green Revolution” of the 1960s, many of the best and brightest in the agricultural field drank the Kool Aid and went into developing this form of agriculture.
We have counterexamples.
Seymour, of course, but also Jeavons, Fukuoka and Mollison. Aside from their interest in organic techniques, the other thing they all have in common is facial hair but I digress. These individuals, the  organisations they created and Enda Tiers-Monde have for many decades been preaching to the converted. It is only as the realities of both industrial agriculture and it carbon effects have become so obvious that the lobbying efforts of the corporations supporting industrial ag have faced real competition that the mainstream is starting to see another way.
I recall, I think, from the hour long film on Permaculture featuring Bill Mollison, “In Grave Danger of Falling Food”, Bill’s comment along the lines that stopping the destruction of old growth forests was important but more important was the rehabilitation of already damaged ecosystems. He was pleased to see so many, then, young people doing that work, unheralded, that he thought the future was in good hands.
We are at cross roads, probably we are beyond the cross roads and need to map our way back to the other paths we could have taken. The work of Enda Tiers-Monde in french speaking Africa, the outreach of the Fukuoka, Seymour, Jeavons and Mollison created organisations are making a difference.
An older model but one that has many adherents, especially, it seems, in the wine growing sector is biodynamics. This too is based upon keeping soil healthy and most other things will look after themselves. Episode 117 covered this system with Mark Rathbone from Save Our Soils explained how he uses this system to rehabilitate pasture by growing vegetables.
Now because of who the founder was, Rudolf Steiner there can be some, esoteric matters that do not always sit well with some people. Mark’s site and as he discussed during episode 117 is focused upon the rigorously tested, evidence based techniques. So do not be put off by the esoteric. After all much of Isaac Newton’s life was spent in alchemy trying to find the philosopher’s stone. What we find useful nowadays is his work on gravity and calculus. Take what works and leave the rest seems like a plan.
For a final word I’ll go back to the original post.
Quote:
“The success of the ecological transition depends on managing the management of our land assets. And, we must accept that this resource is used to satisfy both the agricultural needs and the restoration of vegetation cover. We must also control the governance of our water resources. We can not grant land to multinationals that are agro-business, using all kinds of chemical inputs and claiming to arrive at the agro-ecological transition.“
End Quote.
Wise advice.
And on that note I’ll draw this episode to a conclusion.
Remember: Decarbonise the air, recarbonise the soil!
So with all the above in mind and the fact we live in the twenty first century, I’m opening up applications for a Regenerative Agriculture Mastermind group. It will be limited to twelve people, we’ll meet weekly, online to discuss our successes, challenges and decisions. The wisdom of the crowd applied to this necessary field of endeavour. You can have a look at the intro page and click through to the application at worldorganicnews.com/mastermind-application There’s also a link in the show notes.
Of course the podcasting checklists are still available over at mrjonmoore.com
Thank you for listening and I’ll be back next week.

~~~~

LINKS
PODCASTING CHECKLISTS CLICK HERE
Transcript: Here
Facebook Page:  World Organic News Facebook page.
WORLD ORGANIC NEWS No Dig Gardening Book: Click here
Permaculture Plus
http://permacultureplus.com.au/
Topical Talks
President Sall announces that Senegal will adopt agroecology
https://wp.me/p4gyiO-2b5
Enda Tiers-Monde
http://endatiersmonde.org/instit/
Biodynamics
Seymour
Jeavons
Fukuoka
Mollison

Episode 153. Silvopasture Industrial Agriculture and Bill Mollison’s Response

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

Jon Moore reporting!

Decarbonise the air, recarbonise the soil!

A little housekeeping. Some of you have noticed the website is still down. I’m still in discussions with my host about appropriate levels of performance and hope it will be back up soon. In the meantime I’m posting things to the Facebook page if you’re interested. And now to the show.

From the site Civil Eats come a piece entitled: Silvopasture Can Mitigate Climate Change. Will U.S. Farmers Take it Seriously? A fair question!

Quote:

Steve Gabriel curls back a bit of flimsy net fencing and shakes a plastic bucket of alfalfa pellets. Immediately, a sweet-faced, short-fleeced mob of some 50 Katahdin sheep pull away from a line of young black locust trees on whose leaves they’ve been snacking and swarm around him. The sheep race after Gabriel as he strides across nibbled grass and out from the fencing, around a dirt path’s shallow curve, and into a shadier, overgrown pasture dotted with long standing black walnut and hawthorn trees.

End Quote Continue reading “Episode 153. Silvopasture Industrial Agriculture and Bill Mollison’s Response”

Supplemental Episode: Bill Mollison

I only knew Bill through his words. So I have decided to share some of these with you as my tribute to the quiet man who has already changed this world.

“The greatest change we need to make is from consumption to production, even if on a small scale, in our own gardens. If only 10% of us do this, there is enough for everyone. Hence the futility of revolutionaries who have no gardens, who depend on the very system they attack, and who produce words and bullets, not food and shelter.”

― Bill Mollison

“Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex,

the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.”

― Bill Mollison

“. . . every society that grows extensive lawns could produce all its food on the same area, using the same resources, and . . . world famine could be totally relieved if we devoted the same resources of lawn culture to food culture in poor areas. These facts are before us. Thus, we can look at lawns, like double garages and large guard dogs, [and Humvees and SUVs] as a badge of willful waste, conspicuous consumption, and lack of care for the earth or its people.

Most lawns are purely cosmetic in function. Thus, affluent societies have, all unnoticed, developed an agriculture which produces a polluted waste product, in the presence of famine and erosion elsewhere, and the threat of water shortages at home.

The lawn has become the curse of modern town landscapes as sugar cane is the curse of the lowland coastal tropics, and cattle the curse of the semi-arid and arid rangelands.

It is past time to tax lawns (or any wasteful consumption), and to devote that tax to third world relief. I would suggest a tax of $5 per square metre for both public and private lawns, updated annually, until all but useful lawns are eliminated.”

― Bill Mollison

“Stupidity is an attempt to iron out all differences, and not to use them or value them creatively.”

― Bill Mollison

“Sitting at our back doorsteps, all we need to live a good life lies about us. Sun, wind, people, buildings, stones, sea, birds and plants surround us. Cooperation with all these things brings harmony, opposition to them brings disaster and chaos.”

― Bill MollisonIntroduction to Permaculture

“Each such cycle is a unique event; diet, choice, selection, season, weather, digestion, decomposition and regeneration differ each time it happens. Thus, it is the number of such cycles, great and small, that decide the potential for diversity. We should feel ourselves privileged to be part of such eternal renewal. Just by living we have achieved immortality – as grass, grasshoppers, gulls, geese and other people. We are of the diversity we experience in every real sense.

If, as physical scientists assure us, we all contain a few molecules of Einstein, and if the atomic particles of our physical body reach to the outermost bounds of the universe, then we are all de facto components of all things. There is nowhere left for us to go if we are already everywhere, and this is, in truth, all we will ever have or need. If we love ourselves at all, we should respect all things equally, and not claim any superiority over what are, in effect, our other parts. Is the hand superior to the eye? The bishop to the goose? The son to the mother?”

― Bill Mollison

“Without trees, we cannot inhabit the earth.”

― Bill Mollison

“Animals are the messengers of the tree, and trees the gardens of animals. Life depends upon life. All forces, all elements, all life forms are the biomass of the tree.”

― Bill MollisonPermaculture: A Designers’ Manual

I have included a link to:

In Grave Danger of Falling Food – Bill Mollison

https://youtu.be/CjWaP0iQmWw

And so it is with a heavy heart I bring this supplemental episode to a close.