Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Feeding The Masses

I got into an argument with a blogger, who, using one study, attempted to extrapolate that all organic food was contaminated.  Then, apparently not feeling conflicted at all, listed all the restrictions on using manure in the organic standards that dictated the manure to be composted before being added to the field and felt he'd done himself proud.  
Perennial Wheat - less impact on the environment
than conventional - annual - wheat.

I wrote him back and was declared to be a man who avoided truth and dealt in hearsay.  I don't want to revisit the whole thing, but let's say I spent more words with him than I should have because he obviously had some sort of deal that made his bias unreproachable. Like he was getting paid to fight organic farming. 

To me, it is handily apparent that any other kind of farming should not even be called "farming."  And we don't have a lot of time to figure this out.  

Take these separate facts together, for instance: 

Conventional farming allows thousands of tons of topsoil to be eroded from our farms - some of the best farmland in the world - and sent down to the Gulf of Mexico every year! There is not an unlimited supply of this topsoil.
Conventional farming poisons much of the environment where it is practiced with nitrates showing up in drinking water and other pollutants in the soil. These pollutants are as bad or worse than the pollutants from other sources and kill reptiles, birds and fish.
Workers in conventional farming are exposed to known human carcinogens on a regular basis without any regard for their health. The World Health Organization lists glyphosate as "possible human carcinogen" while the State of California announced it intends to list it as a human carcinogen without the "possible" attached. The only thing preventing that from happening now is a lawsuit by Monsanto to stop it completely.  Profits are more important than people, once again. (Look at their record!)

Those three things alone, in a sane society, should be enough to shut down our conventional agriculture in a heart beat.  Conventional farming is also subsidized by our Federal government because by and large it is not sustainable on its own.  Organic food costs more because those farmers are not subsidized.  And yet, hundreds of folks flock to farmers' markets every week to purchase the fruits and vegetables that won't give them cancer.  Americans, as a whole, spend less on food than any other first world country.  Of course, our cheap food gets us into health troubles galore and if we were to figure that into the equation, what is more expensive than cheap food?  

The Learning Garden teaches folks to grow some food.  Maybe you can't grow all of what you need, but grow some of it, and participate in the process of feeding yourself and your family.  We give you the knowledge and then your food is no longer cheap, but closer to free.  It's amazing what you can grow with just a pinch of seeds.  If one joins the Seed Library of Los Angeles - your seeds will be free!  (After a life time fee of $10!)

You can see by the list on conventional agriculture above, that the practices of conventional farming are not sustainable.  You cannot poison a pest away without ruining your ecosystem.  Conventional farming is only about 70 years old.  Non-conventional farming is several million years old.  One is a great experiment and guess what?  It's not organic farming, which is tried and true. With our more modern understanding of the soil and the way true fertility is achieved, we are in a position to have a food production that heals the damage done by industrial ag, replenishes our top soil, and heals the ecosystem. And doesn't kill off farmers and farm workers!  

At The Learning Garden we have gardened for ten plus years and now we have learned that the way we garden sequesters carbon from the atmosphere into the soil.  We have known all along that our way impacted the environment in more positive ways. We have known that our use of common waste (the compost from the City of LA and chipped wood from tree services) and our own compost, has made good soil that grows healthy plants. We knew that not using fertilizer made for slower growing plants which made them less susceptible to insects allowing us to not use any pesticides.  

We've proven that this organic model works here.  

We just wanted good food and look at all the good we did by accident!