No matter where you look at the Oakwood Retreat Center, in the near distance sit enormous acreages of poisoned, depleted land forced to cough up season after season of GMO corn and soybean.
IMAGINE: these huge fields cut into small sections, each one worked intensively and organically, by hand, with say, 30 or 50 different crops to sell locally, rather than the usual monoculture that is not only GMO, but heavily sprayed with chemicals and used for ethanol, or animal feed in CAFO operations; the rest is packaged with artificial ingredients as human “food” transported over long distances by oil-drinking semis. Oh yes, and these monocrops are also highly unstable, subject to all sorts of diseases and blights that can unexpectedly sweep in on the wind.
IMAGINE: not one “farmer,” sitting enclosed in a glass cage, working levers and wheels, punching buttons, whiling away the hours with talk radio, disconnected from the ground he is planting (and poisoning), hunched over, saddled with debt from his purchase of the latest gigantic fancy farm equipment he transports from acreage to acreage, all with the same two crops, GMO corn, GMO soy.
IMAGINE instead, a legion of young farmers, aware of permacultural principles, and eager to begin permacultural practice. Here’s a website that will speak to all the young permies itching to create their own livelihood by digging their feet into the soil of their own land.
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According to Jean-Martin Fortier, it isn’t a farmer’s job to feed the world. And he finds it absurd that many U.S.-based food and agriculture companies tell farmers they should do so, “Feeding the world? People in Africa don’t need the U.S. to feed them.” What we need, the Canadian farmer argues, is small farms feeding their communities, and that task is difficult enough. READ MORE
At New Orleans’ Recirculating Farms Coalition (RFC), vegetables grow in an intricate system of recirculating aquaculture systems and raised garden beds. Founded in 2009, the nonprofit organization trains urban farmers in both soil-based farming and fish farming—a combination that provides food for the local community.
Now, thanks to a federal grant, RFC has received $500,000 to create a more robust free training program for budding urban farmers, specifically targeting its outreach and support to new farmers in some of the most low-income and underserved communities in New Orleans: Central City, Algiers, New Orleans East, the Seventh Ward, and the Ninth Ward. READ MORE