Category Archives: #organicfood

W.O.N. Book review: The End of Plenty — Joel K. Bourne Jr

Author, journalist and agronomist Joel K. Bourne Jr refuses to mince words in his eye-opening book “The End of Plenty: The Race to Feed a Crowded World” (Scribe 2015). He argues coherently that the world is running out of food and that we must meet this challenge to avoid the accompanying social and environmental disaster such a policy failure will bring.

Part warning and part survival manual, the book begins by examining the reasons behind the 1943 Bengal famine. In doing so the author revisits the controversial views of the Reverend T. R. Malthus on population and demographics; a recurring reference throughout the book. By showing how we are “locked in a never-ending two-step” between our population growth and what we can produce to sustain us, Mr Bourne discusses Malthusian views in a more mature light, emphasising the Reverend’s espousal of “balance” of population vs sustenance.

This intricately researched book has Mr Bourne travelling the world to point out the increasing deficiencies of the planet’s food supply. He goes to the Punjab, Ukraine and Egypt to demonstrate how yields gains from the Green Revolution of the 1960s and 70s have failed to keep up with population growth, expected to be around 10 billion for the world by 2050. While obviously a great admirer of the work of Norman Borlaug (the “Father of the Green Revolution”), the author isn’t afraid to document the health horrors of excessive pesticide use that has accompanied the revolution.

However while underlining the dreadful consequences of failure to feed the world, this remains an optimistic book. Mr Bourne advocates education, equal rights for women, organic farming and access to capital and land as just some of the changes needed to avert catastrophe. One of the key strengths of the book is the way the author blends differing views at various points of the book, showing that there are a number of ways to improve food productivity.

However he pulls no punches, berating the Western-style diet, advocating behavioural change, pointing out that our excessive reliance on meat has put enormous pressure on the world’s food productivity. The book is full of extraordinary food consumption facts to back up these claims. One is that, of the 50,000 edible plants on the planet, 80-90 percent of our food comes from three crops: wheat, rice and maize. This either directly, or indirectly through the meat we eat.

At once disturbing and hopeful this is a magnificent, almost utopian, book advocating equal rights for women, natural farming, voluntary family planning and access to funding and land as the keys to staving off the nightmare of excessive food shortages. As relevant to the household as it is to students of food production, NGOs and farmers, The End of Plenty is a fascinating call to action to save our planet.

Rich Bowden is owner of Rich Bowden Writing and specialises in writing about food, renewable energy, small business and organic products. He loves a coffee and a yarn, preferably at the same time!

Episode 17: Jon Moore of the World Organic News

http://traffic.libsyn.com/organicgardenerpodcast/JonMoore.mp3

Jon Moore of Organic World News

Jon Moore brings us his expertise and knowledge of the amazing “no-dig” process of natural gardening. You won’t want to miss this episode about the one straw revolution! Jon also hosts the Organic World News website where he compiles the most current and relevant information on organic agriculture being published at this time. His site is full of valuable gardening knowledge and know how! The search box is amazing! Check it out today!

Jon Moore is the creator of the World Organic News Website 

Tell me about your first gardening experience?

10 or 11 years old and planted wheat

What does organic gardening/earth friendly mean to you?

Following nature, no digging, leaving no soil uncovered and learning to live with weeds.

Who or what inspired you to start using organic techniques?

John Seymour – Grandfather of Organic Gardening in UK Complete book of self sufficiency

How did you learn how to garden organically?

Started with Seymour’s techniques but then found The One Straw Revolution by Masanobu Fukuoka

Tell us about something that grew well this year.

Sweet corn

Is there something you would do different next year or want to try/new?

Tends to stick to larger seeds, blue potatoes, mizuna – Japanese lettuce

Tell me about something that didn’t work so well this season.

Lettuce had an early summer and it was about 105˚F/40˚C for weeks

Something that you find is easy to grow and is generally successful every-time.

Beans/broad beans/scarlet runner beans

Something you’d steer new gardeners away from that you find is typically challenging to grow in your climate

Broccoli

A favorite tool that you like to use? If you had to move and could only take one tool with you what would it be.

A pair of secateurs & sickle

Eating or harvesting vegetables or fruit on time? 

Pick outside leaves

Do you have any special techniques for cooking weird or unusual foods?

Fanny Farmer Cookbook

A favorite recipe you like to cook?

salad

A favorite internet resource?

World Organic News

Journey to Forever.org

A favorite reading material-book, mag, blog/website etc you can 

Complete Book of Self Sufficiency by John Seymour

If you have a business to you have any advice for our listeners about how to sell extra produce or get started in the industry?

Wanted to find things all together in one place

Final question- if there was one change you would like to see to create a greener world what would it be? For example is there a charity or organization your passionate about or a project you would like to see put into action. What do you feel is the most crucial issue facing our planet in regards to the earth either in your local area or on a national or global scale?

Turn all golf courses to gardens.

Do u have an inspiration tip or quote to help motivate our listeners to reach into that dirt and start their own garden?

Don’t dig!

via Episode 17: Jon Moore of the World Organic News | Mike’s Green Garden.

The Change Underground System

 

 

 

Just released on Amazon!!!

A bargain at $0.99!

The Change Underground System: Click here.

A hands on “how to” guide to no-dig gardening!

 

Forget the greenhouse! This yellow and PURPLE house could solve food shortages by boosting plant growth with LED lights

  • Next-generation greenhouses use specific wavelengths of light to boost the growth, taste and even shelf life
  • Experts discovered that plants do not require the full spectrum of colours contained in ordinary daylight to grow, and have created a tailormade colour palette required to enhance the whole process of food production 
  • LEDs have added advantage of giving off little heat, enabling the plants to be stacked in racks for added production

British scientists have developed sunlight-free greenhouses that could help boost food production in towns and cities.

The next-generation houses use specific wavelengths of light to boost the growth, taste and even the shelf life of fruits and vegetables.

Experts discovered that plants do not require the full spectrum of colours contained in ordinary daylight to grow and have created a tailormade colour palette of red and blue light that is required to enhance the whole process of food production.

Psychedelic: The new greenhouses use specific wavelengths of light to boost the growth, taste and even the shelf life of fruits and vegetables. The purple light is a specially calculated mixture of red and blue LEDS that makes plants thrive

Psychedelic: The new greenhouses use specific wavelengths of light to boost the growth, taste and even the shelf life of fruits and vegetables. The purple light is a specially calculated mixture of red and blue LEDS that makes plants thrive

Biologists at the Stockbridge Technology Centre (STC) found that plants exposed to a carefully calculated cocktail of red and blue light thrived at their state-of-the-art 10,000 square feet (929 square metre) research facility near Selby in North Yorkshire.

They discovered they are in control of the growing habits of plants and are able to increase yield and even boost flavour, using coloured bulbs.

LEDs also have the added advantage of giving off little heat, enabling the plants to be stacked in racks for added production.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2966552/Forget-greenhouse-yellow-PURPLE-house-solve-food-shortages-boosting-plant-growth-LED-lights.html#ixzz3TGoZ2jP4
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

 

via Yellow and PURPLE greenhouse could boost plant growth with LED lights | Daily Mail