Are we turning into Greensumers?

Greensumption is the green washing of products to make them more appealing to the eco customer. Companies are now exploiting this green wave with products that are not really green as there are hidden unsustainable problems. One example is importing organic food from the other side of the world. General consumption needs to be reduced for there to be a real effect not just buying corporate green products.

Can Organic Farming Feed the World?

What is organic farming? Organic farming can be described as an approach to agriculture where the main aims are to create holistic, nutritional, humane, environmentally and economically sustainable agricultural production systems. Maximum reliance is placed on farm renewable resources and the management of self regulating biological systems and interactions in order to provide exceptional levels of crop, livestock and human nutrition. Protection from pests/diseases, and an acceptable return to the human and other resources employed. Reliance on external inputs whether from chemical or organic is reduced as much as possible. In many European nations, organic agriculture is known as ecological agriculture. This reflects this reliance on ecosystem management rather than external inputs.

The objective of sustainability lies at the heart of organic farming. It is one of the major factors determining the acceptability or otherwise of specific production practices. The term ‘sustainable’ is used in its general sense to encompass not just conservation of non-renewable resources(soil, water, energy, minerals) but also issues of environmental, social and economic sustainability. The term ‘organic’ is best described as referring to the concept of the farm as an whole organism in which all the component parts – the soil minerals, insects, organic matter, microorganisms, plants, animals and man interact to create a workable and stable whole.

The key characteristics of organic farming are:

  • Protecting the long term fertility of soils by increasing organic matter levels, encouraging soil microbe activity.
  • Providing crop nutrients indirectly using relatively insoluble(natural) nutrient sources which are made available to the plant by soil microorganisms.
  • Nitrogen is provided through the use of legumes and biological nitrogen fixation. I is also provided by recycling of organic materials incorporating crop residues and livestock manure.
  • Weed, disease and pest control relying primarily on crop rotations, organic manuring, plant health, natural predators, bio-diversity, resistant varieties(conventional plant breeding) and only natural biological and chemical intervention.
  • The management of livestock involved considering behavioural needs and animal welfare issues with respect to health, nutrition, housing, breeding and rearing.
  • Careful attention to the impact of the farming system on the larger environment and the conservation of native wildlife and natural habitats also need to be considered.

THE TWO-UP TOUR WORKSHOP MANUAL by Gary Zimmer

This is Gary Zimmer’s part of the two up tour he did with Graeme Sait a few year back. There is some really good practical information for sustainable farming contained in this manual. We all hope Gary can do another tour of Australia someday.

To view this manual click on the link below or right click and choose “save as” to save a copy to your computer.

THE TWO-UP TOUR WORKSHOP MANUAL by Gary Zimmer

The Story of Stuff

Where do all the things we purchase originate from and why are they so cheap?  The Story of Stuff explains the process from mining of the raw materials to use and disposal.  In this process the people/environment in each step are often forgotten and are not normally factored into the true cost.  These hidden costs are not normally accounted for until many years down the track when we have health/social or environmental problems.

This 20 minute video looks at the other side of production and product consumption.  We need to get together and look at ways of solving this problem and hopefuly after viewing this video it will change the way you view stuff forever.

You need to have flashplayer enabled to watch this Google video

Straus Family Creamery Organic Philosopy

Straus Family Creamery has been focused on sustainable business practices since its early beginnings in 1994. With a family history dating back to 1941, the family has always been a strong advocate of farmland preservation. Family farms are the backbone of the food supply, and organic farming is the most productive and least damaging of all techniques.

Sustainable Agriculture: Curing America’s Eating Disorder

The alternative to the longstanding American food policy of “cheap and lots” is to eat locally, eat seasonally and eat organic. Filmmaker Bonnie Bucqueroux and her dog Schmoopsie look at the sustainable agriculture movement, including a visit to Michigan State University’s Student Organic Farm, where Dr. John Biernbaum discusses the options people have to grow their own food or to buy from local growers.