adding superphosphate to compost

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by andrew curr, Nov 23, 2012.

  1. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    So.....does this mean everyone intends on making 6 figures, and if you don't, you should do whatever it takes to make 6 figures? Is that the only worthy goal in life? Does that mean that we get to do whatever it takes to make 6 figures, even if it puts poison in our food and kills the soil in the process?

    Organic farming in the US is BIG BUSINESS now, but it's on a huge scale. To make money in agriculture it has to be on a big scale, a really big scale. I don't know of any two-man operations that make a ton of money in any kind of farming, conventional or organic. It takes lots of land, lots of expensive equipment, lots of employees, lots of management skills and the foresighfulness of watching where the trends are in the future and anticipating those needs, getting them to market.

    I don't know if Permaculture will ever be the big business being certified organic is, but agriculture does not have to destroy the planet with pesticides and herbicides and synthetic fertilizers to be profitable.
     
  2. andrew curr

    andrew curr Moderator

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    :rofl:One reason you havnt won a war since indipendence is the amount of friendly fire u spray out and the colatteral damage it inflicts
    as matto has demonstrated The problem is the solution!
     
  3. Finchj

    Finchj Junior Member

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    The States have won plenty of wars since independence...

    but I'm not so sure what that has to do with the discussion.

    Big changes are on their way with climate change, biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse, and all the other just wonderful legacies (and continued damages) our species seems hellbent on continuing.

    So while it may be difficult or even neigh impossible to convince farmers who are engaged in large-scale industrial production to switch over to permaculture, I think we can be happy with the exuberant adoption of permaculture and agroecological methods in the developing world. After all, these are the countries that are experiencing the most rapid population growth and oftentimes the most uncertainty.

    These methodologies and design systems can provide immediate and long-term relief for many (if not most) of the issues facing the developing world.

    Personally I'm not going to lose too much more sleep over industrial farmers and their practices. I am going to care about how to spread this design system and related methodologies to those are willing to listen. As the disaster that is industrial, fossil-powered agriculture begins to show ever increasing signs of decline, we will the the ones with the working models, teachers & educators, support systems, and social networks- not them.
     
  4. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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    I don't know who Matto is, but if you are referring to comments made by the mouse such as...

    Then you should both be aware that I did with referring to the BBC movie & the Global Gardener which shows a SEVEN FIGURE enterprise; sadly it was utterly overlooked.
     
  5. mouseinthehouse

    mouseinthehouse Junior Member

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    @pakanohida: of course they are the excuses for doing the easy thing not the right thing. That is exactly my point!!!!!!
    Problem is, mainstream agribusiness doesn't believe it is doing the wrong thing or perhaps doesn't want to believe!! Easier to go with more of the same! Apologies that I missed your references, will look them up.

    @sweetpea: in this part of the world a big income property is managed by two people on a permanent basis with seasonal help for short term harvest season and a lot of expensive machinery. That is the norm here. I am just passing on what I have come to know and see over the last 44 years of living here in a regional farming community. Most of the people I know have not yet lost their love affair with all things that money can buy and the more the better.

    The amount of people on the planet that are rejecting a life based on endless, mindless consumption and embracing a simpler, more meaningful and sustainable lifestyle is increasing, I agree. But I think too many permaculturists believe that environmental constraints are going to force a paradigm shift on the masses in the near future. I don't believe this to be the case. I believe it will be a very long drawn out affair in which capitalism will eke things out to its utter limits to uphold the status quo. Mother Earth is going to take a lot more punishment for a very long time before we see the great shift everyone wants to see as the driver for change.
    In the meantime we go on practicing and implementing and teaching permaculture in the positive way displayed by the people on this forum and all like-minded others. .

    I guess it is difficult at times for me to stay positive when living in the type of community that I do. I do not know one other person here who is of the same belief system (other than my partner and son). Of course there are those who are into a bit of organic vegie gardening but to effectively denounce the farming system that supports our whole community would mean being shunned by those around me including my friends of 25 years+. I cannot take part in the community aspect of permaculture here because it doesn't exist, so we are forced to withdraw and just do our own thing.
    So forgive me if I am a little more pessimistic than some of you. :(
     
  6. andrew curr

    andrew curr Moderator

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    Matto is a permaculture journeyman,thus you should show a little respect!
    mouse all that bad stuff is going to change soon!
     
  7. mouseinthehouse

    mouseinthehouse Junior Member

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    Sooner the better Andrew! :)
     
  8. matto

    matto Junior Member

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    A permaculture journeyman... I like it! Cheers mate, but no respect necessary.

    Reminds me of some traditional German journeymen I met in Ecuador. Some cool cats relishing in wine and song and simple life's pleasures. I was there to help build a house campesino stylee, unfortunately it was before my change to permaculture, otherwise I'd probably still be there. It still tempts me to go back to these places as, like FinchJ said above, the take up of permaculture their is real and tangible, immediate actions on the ground. Inspiring!
     
  9. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    mouse, maybe we've got a couple of subjects going, here. :)

    About the two-man farm:

    I assume you are in Australia, but I'm not sure where, but do you mean the two-man farms there are making a ton of money because they use pesticides, herbicides and synthetic fertilizers? And nobody in Australia is growing with organic certifications and making a ton of money?

    About the 6 figures:

    The second issue, about needing 6 figures to have a life of stuff and consumption, are you saying that you feel compelled to make 6 figures in order to have enough stuff? Regardless of everyone else, is that your goal? I'm not saying it's good or bad, but is that what you want? And you want to do it with agriculture?

    -----------
    Andrew, I'm not exactly sure, but I'm guessing you are saying I'm spraying shrapnel around with my remarks. I don't mean to be. I'm just asking questions and having a discussion. I'm not angry, maybe they are just tough questions? I'm trying to use enough smiley faces :)
     
  10. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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    Utter derailment of the topic...:think: ...anti-troll measures taking effect.... :giggle: I am out of this thread! ./boing!:whew:
     
  11. andrew curr

    andrew curr Moderator

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    Over the last few years The most profitable organic certified farms have been sleep/lambs in the pastoral zone
    it is increasingly extractive (especially with the advent of middle eastern sheep breeds)[merinos have the decency to die when the going gets tough] or their owners are smart enough to sell them before then
    millions of acres are being turned to desert
    my advice is to visit the pastoral zone and check out the edible scrub before its gone
     
  12. mouseinthehouse

    mouseinthehouse Junior Member

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    @sweetpea: please re-read my posts I thought I made myself clear - evidently not. I am passing on an observation of what I see around me. It is not something I would ever aspire to. Yes, I live in Australia. Yes, I live in a community of large properties run usually by a couple with a workman, a couple of seasonal workers during harvest and multi-million dollar machinery and irrigation. Yes, they are making shit loads of money using herbicides, pesticides and fertilisers. How long this can continue is anybodys guess.

    Now since I have apparently trolled this thread into total de-railment and God forbid, bored someone, I will crawl back under my rock like a good girl.
     
  13. matto

    matto Junior Member

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    hi mouse...

    Are they really making mountains of cash? or have they paid for their farm from the boom years and happily treading water for now... I know at 1-2000 acres a farmer could easily spend $800000+ a year on fertilisers and thats before all the other costs that go into running a farm.

    I think farmers are the worlds biggest gamblers, it comes with the environment.. pun intended. So maintaining a line of credit wouldn't be too hard for them in the hope of a good season.

    Or maybe they are just flat out rolling in it... but it seems to go against what I keep hearing. Sure they have a massive asset in their farms, but money in the bank?
     
  14. andrew curr

    andrew curr Moderator

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    we did some benchmarking localy here a few years ago with the dpt of ag
    2 findings i remember
    the most profitable farmers inherit the most basalt
    round here with mainly grazing farmers make more money in a drought year (mainly because they feed their stock better)
    i do understand what you mean when you have to engage socially with people whos dinner conversation involves how to pioson crows /ducks ect with some sort of amicide
     
  15. mouseinthehouse

    mouseinthehouse Junior Member

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    Hi matto,
    Most inherited a property without debt from the parents and embraced 'diversification' (from just sheep and a oat or barley crop) brought about by necessity after wool fell through. Although people who were proficient at raising sheep made a lot of money during the boom wool years. Whilst spending is now huge on inputs, the pay off here is usually very good. The seasons are dependable and anyone who is fiddling about on a few hundred acres without the ability to spend or borrow money to invest in water, machinery etc. falls by the wayside or just keeps struggling along.
    Money in the bank? All I know is they have a lot of disposable income which our town totally depends on.

    @andrew curr: yes depressing indeed, which is probably why my social life is non-existent! :D
     
  16. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    mouse, I guess I am hearing anger and conjecture in your posts. Do you know the huge expenses of farming a lot of land? without looking at these farmers' books and knowing how much in debt they are, whether they are buying tons of stuff and machinery doesn't necessarily mean they are making "shit loads" of money. it just means a bank somewhere is letting them make payments on business expenses. How do we know, looking in from the outside, how someone's life and business is really going? It's all conjecture.

    So they aren't just two or three people doing hundreds of acres, seasonal workers are crucial to the whole operation. and, yes, it's cheaper in labor costs and amendment costs to do it with pesticides, herbicides and synthetic fertilizers. That's why it's so prevalent everywhere. Killing all the bugs guarantees everything you grow is sellable. But it's killing the planet, it's killing the people, it's killing the creatures/pollinators, etc. it's not going to stop anytime soon.


    From my own experience in having a Permaculture farm that produces food to sell to the public it takes a decade, at least, to get a farm up and running, especially when it involves getting fruits and fruit trees matured and producing, not to mention using organic and permaculture methods. Buying machinery, fencing, greenhouses, mowers, tractors, ATvs, waterlines, water tanks, water pumps, sheds, shelving, tools, oil, gas, thousands of dollars of gravel for driveways year after year after year, trucks, insurance, maintenance. Boots, I wear the soles off of $200 boots every year. They are the only thing that keep my feet from hurting and my ankle and knee joints in any kind of hopeful condition that I can go on into the future doing this without pain. The list is endless.

    In that time Mother Nature whoops you upside the head over and over again. I'm out there in rain, wind, blazing heat. I don't take summer vacation because that's when it's all happening. The rest of the time I am breaking or maintaining equipment. I have to remove trees that have crashed through shed roofs, I have to put back 30 meters of transplants the raccoon dug out the night before, over and over again until I get him stopped.

    All the maintenance is on me, all the expenses are on me, all the problems that happen I have to figure out how to fix them, even if i've never done it before. I have to anticipate everything, i have to haul everything, I have to shovel everything, i have to chase after every bug, I have to pick everything, I have to wash everything, i have to weigh and package everything. I have to refrigerate it, and load boxes and buckets of it, i have to make it all cute and pretty so people will want my tomatoes over every else's. i have to put in 8-10 hours every day on the side of a hill no matter what the weather is like.

    You think those farmers are sitting on their asses doing nothing for money? You think it's all been handed to them? You think it's easy? There are no weekends off, there are no holidays, there are no perks. If people really are making shit loads of money, they've worked their asses off to do it, they've sacrificed, they planned ahead, they hired people to help them achieve it. By the way, I don't make shit loads of money farming. I have two jobs, because farming isn't enough. I keep hoping that it can eventually be the only job.

    I don't agree that their pesticide/herbicide methods are good, but it's not a crime to run a successful business and make money.
     
  17. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    The way I see it...

    There possibly could be a place for very limited, targeted, and subtle use of things like super. It would require a deep understanding of soil chemistry and soil biology (unlike many modern farmers who seem to have only a rudimentary grasp at best). Just as the judicious use of many other modern technologies could be appropriate if they were not abused. Unfortunately, it is always the abusers that ruin it for everyone. I think there is an acceptable tolerance level for some things if the benefits are truly impressive. This clearly is not what is happening. So I think the best course is to avoid it, or at least avoid encouraging the practice by others.

    There are so many things going on in this thread now and there seems to be some agro, but I can't tell why - everyone is basically on the same page aren't they?

    We all want stupid modern farming to go, we all want truly sustainably farming to thrive, we all want people to live in harmony and abundance. Just be the change YOU wish to see in the world and the rest of the stuff will have to take care of itself.

    One of the things we permies really need to do is to take the emotion and reaction out of it, stop preaching and trying to convert. This has never worked and never will. We have to show people what it looks like, what it looks like now, and what it could look like in the future.

    I'm growing weary of this in-fighting.
     
  18. mouseinthehouse

    mouseinthehouse Junior Member

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    Sorry sweetpea obviously the two of us have a full blown communication problem :( From what you have written you are not getting my feelings or the thrust of what I am getting at, at all. I thought I was making that clear in my posts but perhaps not. :(
    I was born in this farming community 44 years ago, have lived here all my life, my father owned property for many years and the majority of people who are my friends and customers are farmers so I am confident that I have a fairly good handle on the situation here rather than just conjecture. Farming is a very different beast in differing parts of the world. If I came across as insinuating that farmers don't work hard that is not what I meant in any way. I am also not angry and that wasn't the feel I had when writing the posts.
    I think I will have to be a lot more circumspect in trying to put my thoughts out on the forum as they are being misunderstood. I don't have the eloquence of Unmutual or Grahame and without the benefit of face to face body language I must be coming across in a manner that I do not intend to. Sorry for the misunderstanding.
     
  19. anapaine

    anapaine New Member

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    Adding Super phosphate to compost helps plant to grow, but dont use it in excess amount. If you dont want to use super phosphate, you can use organic fertilizer.
     

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