- Posted: 10:24 PM
- Author: Keith Johnson
- Filed under: antibiotic resistant bacteria, Business, factory farms, Food, GMOs, industrial ag, industrial meat, meat, MRSA, Politics
Flies and cockroaches carry antibiotic-resistant bacteria from factory farms, study finds
- Posted: 7:31 PM
- Author: Keith Johnson
- Filed under: Joel Salatin, Keith Johnson, Polyface Farm, video
- Posted: 4:03 AM
- Author: Keith Johnson
- Filed under: Keith Johnson, nutrient density, Nutrient-Dense Manifesto
A complete version of this document can be found at
Take Action for Soil, Health, Food Quality and the Future of Farming
VISION: A New Green Revolution
- To restore human health by renewing the minerals and life in soils to optimize the nutrient quality of food.
- To support farmers to apply biological principles of 21st century agriculture in effective soil stewardship.
- To create Standards, Certification and Marketing to deliver authentic Nutrient-Dense foods to consumers.
- WHEREAS six of the ten leading causes of death are due to food quality and diet;
- WHEREAS the nutrient content of foods is 15 to 75% less than 50 years ago when the USDA began publishing data;
- WHEREAS food today has low nutrient density due to poor nutritional practices of farmers who grow that food;
- WHEREAS most farmland is deficient in minerals, trace elements, other essential nutrients, and soil microbiology;
- WHEREAS 20th Century farmers used large amounts of refined fertilizers with only a few nutrients, and neglected the many other nutrients that are essential to health at parts per million, parts per billion, or even less;
- WHEREAS no quality standard exists in the marketplace to identify foods with superior nutrition;
- WHEREAS “certified organic” food does not offer any assurance of higher nutrient density or flavor;
- WHEREAS we have technology to grow more nutritious, better tasting crops without toxins and greenhouse gases;
- WHEREAS tens of thousands of acres of Nutrient-Dense foods are already growing in America;
- WHEREAS still are using 20th Century thinking to address our 21st Century challenges;
- Advocate the interconnections of soil fertility, food quality and human health
- Teach growers the biological methods and materials of 21st Century agriculture
- Improve the mineral balance of our soils
- Optimize the nutrient content of our foods
- Increase production of Nutrient-Dense foods
- Publish Standards & Practices for Nutrient-Dense production
- Marketplace certification of Nutrient-Dense food & producers
- Expand marketing & promotion for Nutrient-Dense food
- Educate consumers about Nutrient-Dense quality Standards
- Research to document the values of Nutrient Dense Foods
- Form a national Nutrient-Dense organization
- Hold a national Nutrient-Dense conference
- Soil Stewardship: living community of the soil food web
- Biological Agriculture: from chemical to ecological paradigm
- Carbon-Negative Food: sequester CO2 from the atmosphere
- Community-Supportive: Locally Integrated Food & Energy
- Member Involvement: initiative from the ground up
- Community Building: personal & professional relationships
- Mutual Empowerment: grassroots change by we, the people
- Transparency: open communication & full disclosure
- Openness: information exchange & public online database
- Posted: 8:00 PM
- Author: Keith Johnson
- Filed under: Monsanto, peak phosphorus, rock phosphate, Roundup
Phosphate processing plant in
Soda Springs, USA, operated by Monsanto.
Source: The Center for Land Use Interpretation
Idaho black rock phosphate, and phosphorus in general, is a finite and limited primary plant nutrient. Monsanto, instead of leaving it alone so it can be conserved and made available for use by generations of America's sustainable and organic farmers, turns it into the herbicide Roundup.
Next to clean water, phosphorus will be one the inexorable limits to human occupancy on this planet” wrote Bill Mollison in Permaculture: A Designers’ Manual more than 20 years ago .
Peak Phosphorus barely registers alongside it’s more gregarious, attention-getting bigger brother, Peak Oil. Yet, the implications are even more dramatic. While both peaks are associated with massive food shortages, unmitigated Peak Phosphorus would easily win the award for best disaster.
… a global production peak of phosphate rock is estimated to occur around 2033. While this may seem in the distant future, there are currently no alternatives on the market today that could replace phosphate rock on any significant scale. New infrastructure and institutional arrangements required could take decades to develop.
While all the world’s farmers require access to phosphorus fertilizers, the major phosphate rock reserves are under the control of a small number of countries including China, Morocco and the US. China recently imposed a 135% export tariff on phosphate rock essentially preventing any from leaving the country. Reserves in the U.S. are calculated to be depleted within 30 years. Morocco currently occupies Western Sahara and its massive phosphate rock reserves, contrary to UN resolutions. – Western Sahara Resource Watch
From the Times Online:
Researchers in Australia, Europe and the United States have given warning that the element, which is essential to all living things, is at the heart of modern farming and has no synthetic alternative, is being mined, used and wasted as never before.
Massive inefficiencies in the “farm-to-fork” processing of food and the soaring appetite for meat and dairy produce across Asia is stoking demand for phosphorus faster and further than anyone had predicted. “Peak phosphorus”, say scientists, could hit the world in just 30 years. Crop-based biofuels, whose production methods and usage suck phosphorus out of the agricultural system in unprecedented volumes, have, researchers in Brazil say, made the problem many times worse. Already, India is running low on matches as factories run short of phosphorus; the Brazilian Government has spoken of a need to nationalise privately held mines that supply the fertiliser industry and Swedish scientists are busily redesigning toilets to separate and collect urine in an attempt to conserve the precious element.
Dana Cordell, a senior researcher at the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology in Sydney, said: “Quite simply, without phosphorus we cannot produce food. At current rates, reserves will be depleted in the next 50 to 100 years.
Human excreta (urine and feces) are renewable and readily available sources of phosphorus.
Urine is essentially sterile and contains plant-available nutrients (P,N,K) in the correct ratio. Treatment and reuse is very simple and the World Health Organization has published 'guidelines for the safe use of wastewater, excreta and greywater.
More that 50% of the worlds’ population are now living in urban centers, and in the next 50 years 90% of the new population are expected to reside in urban slums. Urine is the largest single source of P emerging from human settlements.
According to some studies in Sweden and Zimbabwe, the nutrients in one person's urine are sufficient to produce 50-100% of the food requirements for another person. Combined with other organic sources like manure and food waste, the phosphorus value in urine and feces can essentially replace the demand for phosphate rock. In 2000, the global population produced 3 million tonnes of phosphorus from urine and feces alone.
- Posted: 6:23 PM
- Author: Keith Johnson
- Filed under: blog posts, Keith Johnson, permaculture, Regenerative Design News
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Starting warm season vegetables such as tomatoes and peppers from seed is easy. And though there is a little time involved, the savings will be enormous. Here in the Mid Atlantic area we are perhaps two weeks late on starting the seed, but this should be of little concern for the tomatoes will catch up, and the peppers loath cold nights in May. We are planning on planting in late May so this will be just right. Growing plants from seed enables a certainty of variety; gives you, the gardener, a greater range of choices, and provides less chance of disease, insects and weeds.
The tomato seeds need to be kept warm and should begin to germinate in 10 days or so. The peppers depending on whether they are sweet or hot may take up to 14 days or more. We use a peat based seed mix for the tomatoes and sometime the little expandable peat pots. For the peppers we split the difference and fill the bottom of our seeding containers with a seed-peat mix and the top inch or so with cactus soil. The soil is sandy where the peppers grow wild, so this just seems to make sense. Bottom heat is good; lack of heat will lengthen germination times.
And speaking of being late, the onions are in, but the potatoes still wait for this afternoon’s gardening. Last year we tried to go organic and of course lost our potatoes mid season to the dreaded Colorado potato beetle. This year we shall try lightly dusting the leaves with pulverized lime and see if we can ward off the voracious appetite of the pest. The radishes are up, and I suspect the beets are too, so its time to plant another row or two for later harvest.
All of this while I await the tractor repair man; I thought that after four years of starting spring with flat tires I had overcome this nuisance…but no..took the tractor forth..drove it 500 meters from the barn and…voila…a new
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