Good opinion piece in the Irish Times from Talamh Beo’s Manchán Magan, explaining the benefits of Community Supported Agriculture: “This localised, diverse farming was how food was always produced until international seed and chemical fertiliser behemoths began luring farmers towards new soil-depleting practices, with the promise of increased profits – not admitting that it was at the expense of the health of the soil and the surrounding environment”.
Patrick Noble argues that only the wilds can “draw down carbon”, and that importing biomass (mulch) from elsewhere is "either narcissism, or simple anti-social behaviour – it diminishes a common good".
We propose that the Irish government incorporate tree-planting and soil-building measures into the next round of water framework directive works, in order to shift the focus from Irish agriculture as a net environmental problem to Irish agriculture as a world leader in ecologically sustainable methodologies and practices.
Martin Peck comments that "anything I write could not do justice to this report. I can only urge everyone to read it and to try to ensure that policy makers are made aware of it." It draws attention to interrelated aspects of the many externalities of agriculture and the food system, including soil erosion and greenhouse gas emissions.
Martin Peck was impressed with the Savory conference: "It was a privilege. People from all over the world talking and listening to each other essentially about survival and how we can reverse our destructive behaviour on our earth through regenerative agriculture in its many forms. It is possible."
Many Feasta members will already be familiar with the pioneering work of Allan Savory and the Savory Institute in regenerating degraded rangelands. Nick Bardsley and Martin Peck attended the Institute's recent conference and have each provided reports on it which you can read here (Martin's report will follow shortly).