Smallholdings: the future for organic food production!

A quick look at the beginnings of the Organic Movement gives a clue to price differential. Back in the day, the 1960s and 1970s, the only two forms of organic production were a return to the High Farming of the 19th century or current conventional chemical agriculture with the chemicals removed.

Taking the latter system first, removing the chemicals did nothing to remove the conditions which led to the need for pesticides and herbicides. That being the case the weeds and insects still arrived on cue to decimate crops. Those that survived were, in a supply/demand situation, worth more to consumers.

The return to High Farming in the second half of the twentieth century was not a viable option given the difference on relative wages between the 18th and 20th centuries. High Farming was a system of rotations across the landscape which integrated animals and plant crops. The manures from the animals were Continue reading “Smallholdings: the future for organic food production!”

Container Gardening To Start Feeding Your Family!

Hand picked basil.

A great first step into the world of self sufficiency is container gardening. The cost is relatively low, the returns amazing.

So where to begin?

Let’s start with the container. Small circular pots about 8cm (3 inch) in diameter are good.  Plastic, ceramic, manufactured for purpose, fruit tins or found objects all work. Begin where you are and use what you have at hand. Potting soil can be picked up cheaply. Soil dug from garden will work but it will give you drainage problems most times but you might be lucky and have suitable soil. It’s all an experiment so have fun.

Continue reading “Container Gardening To Start Feeding Your Family!”

Shop, shop, shop?

file_000-1“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

That quote sprang to mind as I photographed the above sign.  When we apply the above quote to our personal food consumption, are there any steps we could make? Or do we follow the order from the pic?

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Real Food and Well Meaning Nutrionalists

Food Star RatingsFor a while now we have been subjected to the wonders of the Health Star Rating System. The pic to the left showing four and half stars out of five for a chocolate flavoured liquid breakfast “meal”.

Four and half out of five? It must be good for me! Hmmm. The thing to remember with the Health Star Rating System is: it’s only applied to manufactured foods. The humble apple, tray of raspberries or even a steak won’t receive a rating. Are these foods inherently without health value? Of course not! Wholefoods, real foods, don’t qualify for the system. The implications of this are worrying.

Continue reading “Real Food and Well Meaning Nutrionalists”