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Food & agriculture - Oct 22

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The Garden of Eatin': A Short History of America's Garden
(YouTube)
Eliot Morrison, Kitchen Gardeners International
This animated video is part of the "Eat the View" campaign to turn part of the White House's 18 acre lawn back into an edible landscape. The video tells the story of the "America's Garden" from 1800 when President John Adams planted the first "first vegetables" to feed his own family to the present day.

It ends by peeking optimistically into the future when the next President, seeing how our world is changing, announces plans to replant America's garden, inspiring countless citizens to grow some of their own delicious, healthy, and environmentally responsible food.

The "Eat the View" campaign is powered by real people like you. If you haven't yet signed our petition, please do so here:
http://www.eattheview.org/petition

The video was produced by the nonprofit group Kitchen Gardeners International (http://www.KitchenGardeners.org) which is leading the "Eat the View" campaign. The animation is the creative genius of Eliot Morrison of http://www.yiggs.com.
(12 September 2008)
Interesting historical facts about the White House garden ... how it changed over time,

Related YouTube: This Lawn is Your Lawn
This video is part of Kitchen Gardeners International's "Eat the View" campaign to convert part of the White House lawn into an edible landscape. It features KGI founder, Roger Doiron, digging a new garden on his "white house" lawn.



Sulfur critical for phosphorus fertilizer

Bob Shaw, The Oil Drum
In response to a post by Web Hubble Telescope about peak oil and peak phosphorus: Why We Can't Pump Faster

Hello WHT,

Thxs for your hard work on phosphates. I don't know if this will help on any future analysis, but remember the guanos are activated phosphorus[P]--beneficiated by the birds and bats; thus equivalent to modern superphosphate from processed ores:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superphosphate

We are now reliant upon raw ores PLUS THE BENEFICIATION PROCESS. The key to this is Sulfur-->sulfuric acid-->phosphoric acid-->high potency, high NPK-ratio finished products.

Much more energy is now required than for guano. Lawes knew about this chem-process a long time ago, but couldn't find the energy to power a large scale operation--thus the ships had to sail around the world for guano, instead of the short hop to Morocco.

Thus, as sour crude and sour natgas depletes, IMO, it will have a great impact on I-NPK flowrates, with the greatest effect upon activated-P flowrates [as that is where most sulfur is directed].

Some people will say we will never run out of sulfur to mine. I counter with the USGS argument that mining raw sulfur is much more energy intensive plus environmentally destructive than refining it from FFs [56-page PDF Warning]:

http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2002/of02-298/of02-298.pdf
-------------------
[Page 15] Recovered Sulfur

In the context of this report, recovered sulfur is defined as the elemental sulfur recovered for environmental reasons during the processing of natural gas and petroleum refining. The U.S. Bureau of Mines first reported recovered sulfur production data for the United States in 1938; prior to that time, unspecified quantities of sulfur were produced, especially during treatment of natural gas, but disposed of as waste. Sulfur recovery has grown in importance over the years to become the leading source of sulfur in the United States starting in 1982 and the only source of elemental sulfur with the closure of the last domestic sulfur mine in August 2000.
---------------------
As FFs deplete, I suspect the shrinking energy and sulfur will impact the P-flowrate, but I have no idea how to math extrapolate this out.

Hopefully, you can find time to give this a go....Thxs in advance.

Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?
(21 October 2008)
Bob Shaw ("totoneila") has been beating the fertilizer drum at TOD for a long time. Unfortunately his posts in the Discussion are hard to search for, and his insights are lost to the rest of us. -BA




Organic farming 'could feed Africa'

Daniel Howden, The Independent
Organic farming offers Africa the best chance of breaking the cycle of poverty and malnutrition it has been locked in for decades, according to a major study from the United Nations to be presented today.

New evidence suggests that organic practices – derided by some as a Western lifestyle fad – are delivering sharp increases in yields, improvements in the soil and a boost in the income of Africa's small farmers who remain among the poorest people on earth. The head of the UN's Environment Programme, Achim Steiner, said the report "indicates that the potential contribution of organic farming to feeding the world maybe far higher than many had supposed"...

...It has been conventional wisdom among African governments that modern, mechanised agriculture was needed to close the gap but efforts in this direction have had little impact on food poverty and done nothing to create a sustainable approach. Now, the global food crisis has led to renewed calls for a massive modernisation of agriculture on the hungriest continent on the planet, with calls to push ahead with genetically modified crops and large industrial farms to avoid potentially disastrous starvation...

...The research conducted by the UN Environment Programme suggests that organic, small-scale farming can deliver the increased yields which were thought to be the preserve of industrial farming, without the environmental and social damage which that form of agriculture brings with it.
(22 October 2008)

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