The Future of the World ... Is Nuts
Assuming you are one of those wild optimists who think the world HAS a future, you must admit it has its problems. Continuing population growth, continuing erosion of the global environment caused by that growth... the pessimists are gaining on us.
And, Agriculture is sacred.
We don't usually perceive it that way, but think about it;
Yea, verily, I say unto you, Thou Shalt Not Endanger The Food Supply.
We can argue endlessly about whether this or that actually does endanger the food supply, but the hidden underlying assumption is always there; NO ONE, NO ONE, NO ONE shall be allowed to harm the food supply for the world; for us humans.
The sanctity of Agriculture is unexamined, it is so basic.
But one of the unexamined truths we are dealing with here is that Agriculture, as practiced today, is now the single most destructive technology on the planet.
What could possibly be more destructive than turning over the top 6 inches of the soil? Twice a year. Every year. Always the best land first. And more every year. (Yes, farming is an ancient and entirely honorable profession- but no one knows better than farmers that Agriculture today is in deep trouble.)
It kills everything (except the crop), which is the point, of course; and also leaves the loose soil free to blow away in the wind, or wash away in the rain- which it does. It corrodes the water supply, in a dozen ways, including direct runoff of chemicals. Etc. Etc.
Besides which, farmers are going broke even faster than usual.
Yes, but, there is no REAL alternative, is there?
In fact, now there is. We're it. Still in the early stages, and still under development, true; but REAL FARMERS are already planting according to the new "woody agriculture" possibilities... now, today.
Nuts? Sure. ANYTHING you can do with soybeans, or corn, we can do with these NEW hybrid crops. Anything. Plus more.
Without losing basic productivity. While making an honest living. And with genuinely enormous environmental benefits.
"Woody agriculture" refers to the intensive production of agricultural staple commodities from highly domesticated woody perennial plants. It differs from "agroforestry" in that no annual crops are grown, and thus little or no tillage is performed. Permanent stands of the woody crop are established, seeds harvested annually, and once every 5-10 years the wood is harvested for biomass; whereupon the plants regenerate from the roots and resume production of the food crop one year after coppicing.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.
Sign up for regular Resilience bulletins direct to your email.
This is a community site and the discussion is moderated. The rules in brief: no personal abuse and no climate denial. Complete Guidelines.