Today I’m at the Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario annual conference in Belleville, ON taking part in seminars that explain concepts like no-till, organic, regenerative, and permaculture farming. They are arguably all the same thing.
The reason I’m here is because I think the future of agriculture lies in small independent farms who can muster the focus needed to provide a healthy alternative to the franken-produce produced by the industrial farming complex.
If you think there’s no relationship between the prevalence of cancer in modern society and agricultural practices, maybe its time to change your mind.
The global industrial food distribution complex is built on the simple reality that the ever-increasing population relies on more productivity from arable land to generate enough food for all.
But most people regard organic meat and produce as the exclusive indulgence of the wealthy 1 percent, and sustain themselves on a combination of fast food and conventional meat and produce.
With the recent finding by a court in Florida that, for example, the glyphosate that is the main ingredient in Monsanto’s round-up is, in fact, a carcinogen, the perception that big industry can be trusted to have our health interests at heart is revealed to be wishful thinking.
And so, the best way to be sure what’s in your food is to produce it yourself.
And starting next year, that’s what I’m going to do.
I’m investing in my own agricultural operation because I find the sustainability of the current industrial food distribution and production system impossible.
I think that the more we rely on produce and meat produced by industrial scale suppliers from far flung destinations like China and to a lesser extent, California, the more we put our collective survivability eggs into one basket.
Locally grown, organic produce on land that is managed to produce more healthy soil as opposed to erode the soil volume and integrity over time, is the key to survival in the long run.
I’m not talking two or five or ten years – I’m talking through centuries.
The rate at which industrial farming reduces land productivity to zero is increasingly a problem. Soil production needs to be part of the same cycle of production as food production. In fact, what we’re learning at this conference today is that they are, when properly managed, the same system.
This conference is tiny. There are maybe 500 people here…all farmers or aspiring farmers with a smattering of students who clearly share this same underlying value; that food production is not something to be outsourced to distant globalized industries whose mandate is the production of profit for shareholders exclusively.
That value system is what creates dust bowls and deadlands and deserts over time. It is a system that facilitates the predation on the poor by “investors” who rarely bother to soil their fingertips with anything more valuable than hand lotion.
So how does an investor participate in this revolutionary agricultural movement?
There are a range of ways.
Consider the example of Singing Frog Farms, whose goal is to produce $100,000 per crop acre and pay half of it out to their labour pool. All while practicing ecologically appropriate farming techniques that deliver organic produce and build the soil integrity and volumes of the land on which they grow, without the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides.
That sounds profitable, doesn’t it?
How do you buy shares in that?
Here’s an idea: find local organically producing farms in your area, and find out how to replace your mega-grocery store-bought produce with theirs. The return on investment is not measured in dollars, necessarily, but in the protection of your family’s health against toxins and other as-yet undetermined threats from industrial corporations who don’t care about you or what you eat.
I could go on, but my next seminar on no-till farming is about to begin….
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