Food and Social Change

Discussion in 'The big picture' started by WENewman, Mar 28, 2010.

  1. WENewman

    WENewman Junior Member

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    In the midst of a growing movement to radically change our political and economic structures, with even traditional conservatives and dedicated radicals agreeing on need for a new world "built within the shell of the old," how does permaculture and the localized food movement provide a means to change society and lessen the dependence on corporate controlled, globalized food economies? Is it possible to convert monoculturists into permaculturists? Even completely logical and persuasive arguments for the need of a sustainable agriculture probably wouldn't inspire a farmer to abandon his ideas and strategies for a profitable farm.

    Thoughts and ideas?
     
  2. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    G'day WENewman

    Welcome to the PRI Forum.

    Could you please cite your reference/s?

    Yes, it is possible:

    So how has permaculture influenced broadacre agriculture?

    Rod May, a successful organic farmer, says it is difficult to measure.

    "You see evidence of the permaculture movement out there in broadacre agriculture, behind the scenes a bit in regards to the whole farm planning phenomena for example, certainly the multi-functional use of trees and shrubs," he said.

    "I think that's probably the most visible edge of it that I've noted on the landscape. But I guess it's something that you need to look closely at to be able to discern and the integration of crops and animals and mixed farms and multi-functional production systems all bear the hallmarks of the permaculture movement."

    At nearby Blampied, Mr May runs a mixed farm producing livestock, wine and a mainstay of organic fresh vegetables grown using permaculture principals.

    "I think with permaculture on the surface, we can see the very obvious way that bio-physical systems can be integrated on the farm level and we've seen that here on our farm, but the other side of permaculture that's not so easily seen," he said.

    "I'm not sure if it was ever one of the intended ideas of permaculture with Mollison and David Holmgren, but that is the economic integration that we've seen with our farm.

    "In particular where we've got multiple products coming from different production systems and over the years there's been tremendous amount of insulation against variations in the market, and in that sense I think permaculture has got a very valuable lesson for farmers in the 21st Century."


    Source: ABC Landline - Permaculture co-founder steps into limelight

    Hooroo, Marko.
     
  3. permasculptor

    permasculptor Junior Member

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    I believe that Permaculture has the answers to the problems of agriculture and it will remain poignant as a set of guidelines to follow regardless of monetary economies.Sooner or later people will realise that they can not compete with nature.
     
  4. WENewman

    WENewman Junior Member

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    Could you please cite your reference/s?

    No references, The "new world in the shell of the old" is a phrase commonly used to describe how to create a sustainable economy. I think it's used in the discussion of paraecon https://www.zcommunications.org/topics/parecon

    I may be stretching that conservatives and radicals are "agreeing" on anything, but it's a comment on the growing discontent with corrupt, short-sighted institutions and politicians. US media and political commentary shows have been targeting this discontent, and most political conversations lead to a discussion on the need for fundamental changes.

    Next time I make a generalization like that I'll make sure I have a few sources.
     
  5. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    i think molleson said it all when he said that farmers need to live in the communities that they grow basic crops for, most of the modern fancier product people can gow themselves but he farmer should supply staples locally as fresh as with minimum food miles, the way farming is going it is doomed to fail as the food miles makes the product which is not fresh at point of sale too expensive adn lacks nutrients. and yes of course how do you incorporate farmers back into modern housing developments like they used to be ack in the 40's & 50's?? but planners need to change now or it will never happen. the current farmers is under peer preasure and preasure from the sciences to farm in these unsustainable habitat destroying ways.

    look at what the farmer gets paid for product and waht is charged at the counter, in the gap is food miles and shop profits along with a myriod of middle men, a community farmer would be getting more and we would be saving not only money but valuable habitat.

    len
     
  6. WENewman

    WENewman Junior Member

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    As a inhabitant of corn and soy country, i know most of the grains are used for animal feed and corn syrup. Farmers usually have a patch of sweetcorn for family and friends, but in my area there are no commercial organic farms that grow a variety of crops. The corn and soy yields are shipped to be processed, while the supermarket provides residents with their food needs. I can imagine this small farming community could easily provide for it's residents even if just a small portion of farmland was used for permaculture or organic farming, but farmers are entrenched in two crop, resource intensive practices, growing food for the global market. Hopefully my planned permaculture garden at the family farm can be used to educate and inspire a local food movement.
     
  7. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    Thats the ticket friend we need perhaps alot less activists and a lot more models of how it can be done.Showing that a good design and a sustainable food production works and works well and is a great way to live will convert more people than all the system blame IMO
     
  8. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    G'day Len

    Don't be so quick to blame 'the planners'. Here in Victoria (Australia), 'right to farm' legislation is enshrined in our legal system:

    35.07 FARMING ZONE

    Purpose

    To implement the State Planning Policy Framework and the Local Planning Policy Framework, including the Municipal Strategic Statement and local planning policies.

    To provide for the use of land for agriculture.

    To encourage the retention of productive agricultural land.

    To ensure that non-agricultural uses, particularly dwellings, do not adversely affect the use of land for agriculture.

    To encourage use and development of land based on comprehensive and sustainable land management practices and infrastructure provision.

    To protect and enhance natural resources and the biodiversity of the area.


    Source: Victorian Planning Provisions - Clause 35.07 Farming Zone

    At every opportunity, planners attempt to implement this legislation - in fact, they are required to do so by law.

    However, a very recent case here in my own municipality, shows just how futile our work often is:

    Council's rural plan upgraded

    City of Greater Bendigo Councillors have gone against their planning department's recommendation for housing on farming land.

    Councillors were divided on a planning application to allow a double-storey house [to be constructed] on 7.8 ha of [farming] land...

    The [planning officer's] report to council said there had been no evidence provided by the applicant that the land had no agricultural potential.

    "The zoning of the land is inappropriate for the proposal and given the oversupply of rural living land in the municipality it is deemed that such a proposal would be more appropriately located in a Rural Living Zone where an associated agricultural activity is not required."


    Source: Bendigo Advertiser, 27 March 2010, p. 26.

    Planners don't make the laws, Len, we just try to implement them. If you don't like the planning decisions made, like the one highlighted above, then I suggest you take it up with 'the government'.

    There is an old saying: "You get the government you vote for". Isn't it time we started to think about a new system of governance across our land, one that puts the value of ecological services before the value of the almighty dollar? I believe it is, and here is what I suggest we replace the old system with: Libertarian Municipalism.

    Hooroo, Marko.
     
  9. Moderator...

    LOL, thats apropriate, a spamer promoting a golf course in this thread - good way to stir up ecoharmamark ah guess .... ;)




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  10. Kardella

    Kardella Junior Member

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    Hello WENewman,

    I'm not sure that your comments are that far off the mark. A report published in 2008 (Agriculture at a Crossroads) with contributions from over 400 scientists and led by the chief scientist of the World Bank (not renowned for radicalism), concluded that we will need to shift away from our current industrial system of agriculture if we are going to be able cope with an increased population. The report recognised that the current system doesn't adequately value natural resources (somewhat of an understatement but at least it was recognised!!). In addition, farm scale studies have been conducted in South Africa that have established the potential for significant carbon sequestration using sustainable organic farming. We just need to improve our marketing skills!!!
     
  11. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    Dear WENewman

    Re: 'parecon' or 'participatory economics'; also known as 'socialism' (see, for example: Grinder & Albert (2010) Parecon & Participatory Society): Thanks, but no thanks.

    With the warmest of regards, Markus.
     

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