Episode 204. First Principles Continued: Mindset

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

Jon Moore reporting!

Decarbonise the air, recarbonise the soil!

The growing of soil, the apparent apathy towards action on climate change in some parts of the world and the need to do something, now has me in a reflective state today. 

Mindset is critical to the process of removing weeds from the land you are caring for. It takes time, it takes the correct actions too but essentially it’s a matter of mindset. Yes I have weeds to deal with, no I probably won’t solve the problem overnight, in a week or even a season but I will work with the ecology of the weed to remove that weed. It all sounds a bit jedi but it really works. Holding onto the plan based upon the lifecycle of the weed when everyone else in the district is splashing about with the glyphosate takes some courage of your convictions. Continue reading “Episode 204. First Principles Continued: Mindset”

Episode 201. First Principles Continued: Manures

This is the World Organic News for the week ending 3rd of  February 2020.

Jon Moore reporting!

Decarbonise the air, recarbonise the soil!

This week we are delving into the font of fertility: Manures.

The lifeblood  of organic production, manures keep your fertility ticking along. Fertility determines your production. Choosing which one to use can be fraught with complications. Continue reading “Episode 201. First Principles Continued: Manures”

Episode 199. First Principles Continued: Seeds

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

Jon Moore reporting!

Decarbonise the air, recarbonise the soil!

This week we continue our journey down the first principles rabbit whole with a look at seeds.

Seeds are a many splendored thing! From the dust like powder of Tiff seeds all the way up to monster broad bean seeds, they all have one thing in common: They are life in suspended animation.

Our task as gardeners is to release that life into its most favoured conditions.

Thankfully, most seeds have similar needs and this makes our tasks somewhat simple. 

Before we get to actually sowing, and that’s different module, let’s look at our options. Continue reading “Episode 199. First Principles Continued: Seeds”

Episode 193. Fires, Snow and a Little Sheep Husbandry

This is the World Organic News for the week ending 11th of November 2019.

Jon Moore reporting!

Decarbonise the air, recarbonise the soil!

Well it’s come to that time of the year again. Each year it arrives earlier. I’m talking about the fire season in Australia. The season starts with fires in Queensland and New South Wales, usually, and heads south and west as the summer rolls on. Continue reading “Episode 193. Fires, Snow and a Little Sheep Husbandry”

Episode 189. Small Farms and Why They Matter!

This is the World Organic News for the week ending the 14th of October 2019.

Jon Moore reporting!

Decarbonise the air, recarbonise the soil!

Following on from last month’s Online Conference I ran in conjunction with my co-hoist from Permaculture Plus, Rich Bowden, I have been struggling to find my mojo. The answers to our climate questions are available. They’ve been there for at least thirty years and yet we have people arguing against the very notion of Climate Change.  Continue reading “Episode 189. Small Farms and Why They Matter!”

Episode 188. Grasslands and Attacks on Agroecology

This is the World Organic News for the week ending the 30th of September 2019.

Jon Moore reporting!

Decarbonise the air, recarbonise the soil!

Grasslands are a somewhat ignored sector of the environment. This is not surprising, especially in the English speaking world. Not until European colonisation did English speakers come into contact with large areas of grassland so the previous understanding of grazing country underpins our understanding of these niches.  Continue reading “Episode 188. Grasslands and Attacks on Agroecology”

Episode 187. Ploughing, Chemicals and Monoculture

This is the World Organic News for the week ending the 23rd of September 2019.

Jon Moore reporting!

Decarbonise the air, recarbonise the soil!

A couple of Sundays ago I heard a podcast from the ABC here in Australia entitled: Land use, climate change and the role of soil.

Quote:

Rear Vision looks at how we come to farm the way we do and how that fits into the climate change story.

This is not a program about organic farming but it is a program about soil.

End Quote 

I think it’s time we moved beyond organic anyway. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, most organic certification systems rely upon systems that do everything chemical farming does but without the chemicals. The same or more use of diesel and days of hand weeding. There is a better way. Many of them.

The show looks at three areas needing attention in Australian and world, now, probably 20 years go but definitely now. 

  • Cultivation
    • We know but so many don’t
    • Destroying mycillia
    • Destroying bacteria
    • Mud bricks
    • And, of course, loss of soil carbon
      • Which means more CO2 in the atmosphere
  • Chemical additives
    • Poisons the soil microbiome
      • As they die they provide food for plants
      • Once dead, more chemicals needed
    • The faustian pact: more production for 1% of topsoil loss
      • So we have between 40 and 100 harvests left, 60 is the most common figure quoted
    • Embedded carbon in the production system
      • From production to transport
      • Korean Natural Farming/Zero Budget Natural Farming
        • Using what’s available where you are
    • The debt spiral.
  • Monoculture
    • This is somewhat obvious with a little thought.
      • Biomimicry
        • The Steppe
        • The Prairies
        • The Rangelands of South Africa, Australia, South America
      • “Efficiency”
        • Henry Ford approach
        • Boredom
      • Counter intuitive systems stability 
        • Mechanical = minimum number of moving parts
        • Biological = more layers/interconnections
        • Set the systems in motion, monitor!
  • What I’m putting in place
    • No-dig
    • No chemicals
      • Making compost
      • Growing a worm farm
    • Monoculture
      • This is where things get interesting
        • Ten beds
        • 27 seed varieties flowers/vegetables
        • Set a non regular grid pattern based upon 10x10cm squares
        • Companion planting
      • One bed per week over ten weeks
        • Succession planting
        • Seeing what works
        • Seeing what doesn’t
        • Recording results
    • This is my current response to the no monoculture principle.
      • If anyone has other ideas, I’d love to hear them.

The Online Conference Living Soil ~ Backyard Regen hosted by World Organic News and Permaculture Plus finished up last Wednesday, 16 September. It seems a great time was had by all. The knowledge our presenters delivered was powerful. I’m thinking of making the individual night’s sessions available, if you’re interested in that let me know at media@worldorganicnews.com

That’s about it for this week.

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

~~~~

LINKS

email: media@worldorganicnews.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

Rear Vision: Land use, climate change and the role of soil

https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/rearvision/land-use,-climate-change-and-the-role-of-soil/11507270

Episode 180. A Huge Systems Change, Be Ready!

This is the World Organic News for the week ending the 5th of August 2019.

Jon Moore reporting!

Decarbonise the air, recarbonise the soil!

I posted a link on the Facebook page much earlier today about the rate of ice melt on Greenland. I then saw footage of the event on the news. Now instead of this tipping me into a depressive funk, it energised me and I hope to bring you all along with me in this enthusiasm!

We have, I’m sure, heard of the tipping point. That set of conditions where all the measurements, data and lived experience results in a change to the “new” normal.

We’ve all been through this in life, or we will. A moment of satori, a blinding flash of inspiration and our lives will never be the same again. Me before and after my first parachute jump is one such example. Back when I did this we weren’t strapped to an experienced jumper, we went on static lines that open the chute for us. I have no words for the change that occurred in those two minutes from aeroplane to ground but I was a different person.

Stay with me, we’ll get to the soil and air soon.

The melting Greenland glaciers on the TV put me in mind of the tipping point, the moments of change and podcast I heard a month or so ago. 

The episode was on systems change. The key takeaway was that everything changes all at once.

“Everything Changes All At Once” 

If we think back to the financial crisis of 2007, things changed so quickly that we entered a new world almost overnight.

  • A new normal had arrived.
  • The fall of the Soviet Union was a similar event
  • As was the birth of the Soviet Union 
  • This was related to WWI
  • To be fair, WWI was a longer systems change but change things did.

To the point:

  • Things change, all the time
  • Major changes, as we live them happen quickly
  • In retrospect they seem obvious
    • Compromised financial instruments
    • Internal tensions in the Soviets
    • A moribund Tsarist regime and so on.

We are at or near a similar set of circumstances:

  • Rising obesity levels with the ubiquitous American diet
  • Collapsing bee numbers
  • Soil losses every year
  • Monsanto actually being sued
  • Year long fire seasons
  • Melting glaciers
  • Bits falling off the antarctic ice sheet
  • Five month long floods in the US
  • Fires in Siberia
  • Pacific Island states drowning as sea levels rise.

I could go on.

What’s to be done?

  • Let’s assume the paradigm is already shifting
  • Are we able to work in a biomimicry system?
  • Can we grow our own food?

I’ll just step away from the narrative for a moment to say I’m not a doomsday prepper. Most of the ones I’ve seen on the telie don’t inspire much confidence.

But what we actually need to do is seize the levers we can. 

  • Solar PV at the household level probably combined with a battery of some sort
  • Planting for pollinators
  • Growing at least some of food
    • Now I know this food thing seems hard for non-gardeners but it really isn’t
    • No dig/no till beds, accumulating organic matter with a passion and open pollinated seeds are it basically and you can grow a substantial 
  • Community gardens are also a great way to learn skills and meet people.
  • The key living in the changed system is a network of support
    • So not just food growers but cooks, chefs, preservers.
  • If we do this, remember Bill Mollison reconneded we just needed ten percent of us to move from consumption to production to fix most of the world’s problems, so if we do this or rather when we’ll be turning every piece of land from a fossil fuel consuming vacuum and waste production area into a food producing, biodiversity promoting carbon sink.
  • We can fix this. Things will never be the same as they were but they weren’t going to be anyway.
  • Grasp the change, direct it lovingly and bring others with us.

All we have to do is:

Decarbonise the air, recarbonise the soil!

And if you’re interested in joining others to make this change happen, it’s the focus of our online conference: RegenEarth 2019: Living Soils. This year’s theme is backyard Regen. Over 300 years of accumulated knowledge and experiences over three night’s presentation all for just $67 AUD. There are links in the show notes.

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

~~~~

LINKS

The RegenEarth 2019 Online Conference ~ Living Soil

email: regen@regenearth.net

Facebook Page:  World Organic News Facebook page.

WORLD ORGANIC NEWS No Dig Gardening Book: Click here

Permaculture Plus

Topical Talks