The End Of Food
LINK … AUDIO MP3
The 18th century British author Jonathan Swift wrote that under the enclosure movement in Britain, "sheep eat men". That’s because large landowners threw thousands of tenant farmers off their land to make way for raising sheep on an industrialized scale, in order to feed the textile mills of the new industrial age. Something of the same could be said of our current system of producing food. It was supposed to solve the problem of hunger in the world. The so-called "green revolution", with its massive use of herbicides and pesticides, did usher in the era of cheap, abundant food. But Paul Roberts says that era is coming to an end. In his book, The End of Food, Roberts says the technologies meant to end hunger don’t fit the conditions in the very countries they were supposed to feed. Small farmers are squeezed off the land, their families go hungry, and suicide sweeps their ranks. Rich countries are vulnerable, too. In a globalized food system, plant diseases could wipe out major food crops like wheat, fish stocks are crashing, and antibiotic resistance threatens both our meat animals–and ourselves. Roberts says the global industrialized food system is overextended, under threat of disruptions and unsustainable.
EDIT: The interview with Paul Roberts is about 10 minutes into the broadcast.
One of the most frightening and deadly events that has occurred with the rise of corporate fascism is the consolidation of the seed supply system into a few BIG corporations. You and I can this spring make a difference by purchasing heirloom open pollinated seed and growing a garden. I am still developing in my mind a practical guide for planting a garden. I am thinking it should be run like a group who is now standing on the ground in a circle sharing what is next. So now we would be discussing seed. January starting plants indoors. Maybe we will need a southern hemisphere thread for proper timing.
Siennablue I love the picture of the smiling dog! Is it your dog?
what does Heirloom mean with respect to seeds? is it simply non genetically modified?
Heirloom seeds produce crops that can be saved and used for seed again next year. Almost ALL of the seed that you buy in stores or from the big seed supply houses are HYBRID seed. They all have "terminator technology" that prevents the crops produced from them from being used as seed for the next growing season. The hybrid seed usually is genetically modified to improve the end product…. sweeter sweet corn, bigger, blight resistant tomatoes, etc. However, the producers of hybrid seed didn’t want a one time sale, they want you to have to come back and buy more seed year after year.
This IMHO is a huge potential problem with our food supply. If I’m not mistaken, hybrid seed manufacture is somehow dependent on petroleum. Can you imagine our country after TEOTWAWKI trying to make a comeback agriculturally and finding that there were no seeds to plant.
I watched a show early this year about a project where a group that had the same concerns was gatherning all the best heirloom seeds and storing them in a huge vault in, I believe, the antartic region. Heirloom seeds are available on the internet that are vaccuum packed. If kept in a cool place, like a refridgerator, they should last for years.
At least of right now, heirloom seeds are readily available and there’s very little price difference if you buy larger amounts from a supplier.
Go heirloom growers!
Maybe we will need a southern hemisphere thread for proper timing.
I keep watching for your new growing thread Ron.
And no that’s not my dog, just a cropped image of a picture someone sent me in an email.
This is my dog … Sienna, with her Blue eyes.
I thought hybred seed was cross bred for desirable traits and not all hybreds are sterile.
Yes, though to buying all heirloom seeds. But if you are going to save seed then you need to watch what you plant next to each other – watermelon, squash, pumpkins and cucs will all cross pollinate and the fruit next year won’t taste right (watermelon that tastes like squash – YUCK).
I also plant almost all seed from the fruit I buy and eat – much of what grows. Apples, pears and such do not grow "true" but many citrus fruits do. As do nuts. .and avacados?
End Game Player
[quote]For farmers, rows of wilting, dry crops are usually a cause for alarm. But to one group of researchers, they represent a potentially groundbreaking new breed of drought-tolerant crops.[/quote]
Doesn’t sound that promising to me. Maybe if we eat enough of it we can become drought-tolerant also.
I found a PDF from a post by damnthematrix on permaculture, and loaded a copy on the web if anyone wants to make a copy, it’s HERE
Also a catalog from Tomato Bob who specializes in heirloom seeds .. HERE