Charles Darwin House
Attended the last day of this 3 day Bee Summit in Roger Street, London.
I met John Haverson a natural Bee Keeper who bought my title The Lost Science of Organic Cultivation after a few minutes of discussion as he believed in completely natural ways to fertilize the land. We spoke together with talked together for some time with
Chris Connolly – conference organiser
who offered me a slot to speak on the next conference.
NFU representative Chris Harefield
was interested in the Howard approach to solving the Neonicotenoid and other pesticide issues that are suspected to be helping in the decline of Bee populations. In America they import billions upon billions of bees every year to California in the effort to maintain crop pollination.
The fear is that if the ban on Neonicotinoids is held in place farmers will have to add other pesticides to their inputs to compensate. I went on to describe how If farmers went over to sacrificing a small proportion of their farm or fields as a natural fertiliser factory they could easily sidestep the need for all the current pesticides and herbicides that they use today. This natural compost/fertiliser has many benefits for the land and will be described in detail in our new operators manual for the HH-2 Fertility Making System. Chris Harefields comment was ‘but can we get farmers to take this up, so they can still be profitable?’
This demonstrates how far modern agriculture has gone off the natural path of farming and fertility making. Farmers cannot go on trying to make a profit from 100% of their land, this amounts to maximum output with no (natural) input. They will have to sacrifice some of their edge to edge policy for profit making on their farms.
The conservation borders around fields, which change in size as per EU directives, should not just be bare unproductive land as are the borders around our neighbour’s 100 acre field. These should be growing a mass of natural and diverse weed and plant species. These would then house the butterflies and feed pollinators of all varieties. It is not only bees that do the pollinating, yet on these unfurnished field borders there is no life – how can that be valuable to an organic farmer?
Emma Bryce – the Guardian
Met Emma and had an interesting talk about Mycorrhiza. She suggested how the purchase and introduction of it can increase agricultural output, while using less pesticide. I said that Rodale Institute USA, Jeff Moyer farm manager for 24 years, has confirmed to me that it takes two years to re-generate this fungi (this is the fungi in the Soil Food Web that transfer nutrients from soil to the roots of plants). I said that if you don’t plough and practise low till or zero till farming and apply my fungal compost, HH-4, a farmer does not need to purchase mycorrhiza. How to make Howard Fertility Making compost/fertilizer is something Rodale Institute have not worked out so far, even though Howard worked with Rodale many years ago!
one paragraph excerpt from this blog: Since some have quashed the link between meat and rising greenhouse gases before, one expects a similar knee-jerk response might arise in response to these findings. But to view the FAO’s hypothetical 30% estimate as a sound reason to continue consuming meat as we do would make a mockery of the results, especially since the FAO asserts that meat and milk consumption is going to rocket by 70% by 2050.
There are always conflicting statistics on such global issues as this. But this is a good one: if the world wants to consume meat at the rate that the Americans do we will be requiring 3 planets to do so.
The soils of the world simply can’t sustain this kind of trend. A link from Emma’s blog reveals: http://www.vegetarismus.ch/ and an excerpt from this link:
Use of Land
On the same amount of land needed to produce one kilo of meat, 200 kg of tomatoes or 160 kg of potatoes could be harvested in the same time span. In Switzerland, approximately 67% of agricultural land is used for keeping livestock and the production of animal feed. This corresponds with the worldwide average. In the USA, 230,000 km2 of land are taken up with the production of hay for farm animals, and only 16,000 km2 (= 7%) are used for growing plant foods for humans. The enormous amounts of land needed for meat production also damage the rainforests: 40% of all rainforest in Central America has been cleared or burned down within the last 40 years, mainly to gain land for grazing and the cultivation of fodder. 1.5 million tons of meat were imported into the EU in 2004. Over one third of this came from Brazil.