Friday, April 28


Without it we don't eat. OK we don't eat soil, but make the leap if you will and consider where our food comes from. My dearly beloved partner, Kim, has often confessed that as a child she assumed food came from the shelves of a supermarket. Astounding but true, and true, no doubt, for a lot more people in so called developed nations.

How is it that we people's of the nations who claim the title of developed, have developed ourselves so far from reality? Food comes from the soil. Without soil we will go hungry. And we are effectivley flushing it down the e are losing it at a phenomenal rate.

It has been recently estimated that there is as little as a 50-year supply of topsoil remaining globally.
Yet, we all can be a part of the solution. While U.S. agricultural practices deplete the soil 18 to 80 times more rapidly than it is built up in nature, sustainable "GROW BIOINTENSIVE" mini-farming, when used properly, has the capacity to build the soil up to 60 times faster than in nature, while producing high yields with a fraction of the resources normally required. This diagram shows the amount of soil that is "consumed" to produce the food we eat, in the US, Developing Nations, China, and lastely it shows the soil that is built up using this grow biointensive method. (click on the graphic to see a larger readable version).

This miniaturization of agriculture is not new. Small-scale, sustainable agriculture has supported such widely dispersed civilizations as the Chinese 4,000 years ago, and the Mayans, South Americans, and Greeks 2,000 years ago.

Ecology Action has dedicated almost a quarter-century to rediscovering the scientific principles that underlie these traditional systems. The people in Biosphere II in Arizona have been using techniques based on those outlined by Ecology Action: they raised 80 percent of their food for two years within a "closed system."

Their experience demonstrates that a complete year's diet for one person can be raised on the equivalent of 3,403 square feet!
This is an improvement over traditional Chinese practices, which required 5,000 to 7,200 square feet. In contrast, it takes commercial agriculture 22,000 to 42,000 square feet to grow all the food for one person for one year, while bringing in large inputs from other areas.

At the same time, commercial agricultural practices are causing the loss of approximately six pounds of soil for each pound of food produced.
GROW BIOINTENSIVE mini-farming techniques make it possible to grow food using 99 percent less energy in all forms - human and mechanical, 66 percent to 88 percent less water, and 50 percent to 100 percent less fertilizer, compared to commercial agriculture.

They also produce two to six times more food and build the soil.

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