This is a great old document from the CSIRO on composting. It is written for the home gardener but also has some great scientific information like the right carbon to nitrogen ratios(C/N ratio) for compost.
Composting – Making soil improver from rubbish
Rubbish is one product our society makes very well. We make mountains and oceans of it. We dump it in holes and in the sea, bury it and burn it. But when we run out of holes, when the sea can not take any more, and when we get sick of smoke in our eyes, what do we do then?
One answer given by those who are concerned about our soils and food production system is: “Compost it and return it to the soil”. They are, of course, referring to the many organic materials that we throw away or burn – lawn clippings, leaves, weeds, sawdust, paper, kitchen scraps, seaweed, etc. The compost heap can convert this bulky “rubbish” into a soil improver and fertiliser. This booklet is about the science and art of making compost, and has a bit of philosophy too.
To view this booklet below you will need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed from www.adobe.com
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.
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.
This short animation movie is made to alert people about some of the problems of producing and eating food using synthetic chemicals, genetically modified organisms(GMO), the cruelty and triple bottom line costs of producing meat. It shows what happens when we allow big corporation interests to control the food chain and therefore our health. Producing and buying local organic food from ethical suppliers can greatly improve these problems.
Some Helpful Solutions Below:
Try to eat more fruit and vegetables,and less meat. When you purchase meat try to look for hormone free, grass fed, antibiotic and organic alternatives.
Purchase organic produce whenever possible.
Purchase from local and independent sources whenever possible. Farmer markets are ideal.
Send this video to your friends and family so they can understand the benefits of local organic produce.
Knowone knows what is causing this problem in Europe and USA. Some of the possible causes are GMO crops, climate change, virus, mobile phone towers and many more. Albert Einstein once said if bees were to disappear mankind could only survive 4 years on earth. This is because 1/3 of the food we consume is reliant on bees. Until we are clear on the root cause/s of this problem the best solution is to support organic farmers and plant bee friendly flowers and trees.