Sunday, March 1, 2009

A Farm for the Future

Just watched this movie: A Farm for the Future. Discussion here. Explains how food production is highly oil dependent. Fertilizers, insecticides, farming fuel, transportation fuel - and the list goes on and on - all are made from oil. No oil, no industrial food. Even green eco-farms even though they use different fertilizers are nonetheless highly depend on oil and energy. After transport (cars, trucks, ships, airplanes) farming is the worldwide the biggest oil consumer. Somewhere else I have heard that food production uses 40% of the global oil consumption. Expert groups predict that we will have an energy famine. So, the immediate next step and a direct conclusion is that we will have a food famine unless we react and start rethinking and a transitioning our food production.

The author thinks that going back to horses or mules - like they have and are doing partially in Cuba - will not be a workable solution for many 1st world countries due to skills, number of and age of farmers, etc. Not plowing and grass choices might be significant factors to reducing oil consumption for cattle and sheep farming.

Several example forest farms were presented giving hope. Amazing stuff! An innovative permaculture "farm" (more like forest really) can feed up to 10 people per hectare. The key is in putting a wide variety of plants together and putting it into a small scale forest environment. It reduces manual labor and brings oil use close to zero. And it looked like paradise: green, lush, full of life.

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