How is That Agriculture?

Veranda at Bealtaine Cottage

Food is now grown under mass monoculture systems of what is called Agriculture.

This is the madness of monoculture…

The Earth’s soil is depleting rapidly, at more than 13% the rate it can be replaced.

Massive amounts of chemicals and sprays are need to keep food growing.

How is that agriculture?

Veranda at Bealtaine CottageMonoculture is now being extended into the very seeds we use to grow food.

We have lost 75% of the world’s crop varieties over the last century!

Monsanto want to reduce that even more!

How is that agriculture?

Potting up in the polytunnelOver recent years, we’ve had hundreds  of millions of tons of herbicides, pesticides, pollutants and chemicals dumped onto crops, polluting our soil and waterways.

How is that agriculture?

Hanging basket at Bealtaine CottageMore than one million chickens are kept at any one time in intensive warehouse conditions.

Pig farms can house several thousands of pigs at a time.

How is that agriculture?

Buddha at the back doorIn many of these pits of despair the animals never see sunlight or touch earth.

Is 20,000 pigs in a warehouse now called Pig-Farming??

How is that agriculture?

The Nursery at Bealtaine CottageThe quality of life for those animals in factory farming is so horrid, that many people cannot bear to look.

How is that agriculture?

The plant and tree nursery and Missy

“Beginning in the fifties and sixties, the flood tide of cheap corn made it profitable to fatten cattle on feed-lots instead of on grass, and to raise chickens in giant factories rather than in farmyards. 

Iowa livestock farmers couldn’t compete with the factory- farmed animals their own cheap corn had helped spawn, so the chickens and cattle disappeared from the farm and with them the pastures and hay fields and fences. 

In their place the farmers  planted more of the one crop they could grow more of than anything else:  corn. 

And whenever the price of corn slipped they planted a little more of it, to cover expenses and stay even. 

By the 1980s the diversified family farm was history in Iowa, and corn was king.”

~Michael Pollan



  1. It’s a government / big business thing. Anytime people are accepting funds whether they produce or not, rational business practices are out the window. I am curious if your country has like practices or are we unique in that?

  2. One only has to collect maple syrup sap once, to see just what Mother Nature can provide us with. What if all the maple trees were clear cut for more urban uses. Just one more example of “mans progression”

  3. There are many across the world that are doing it as you do. But still the masses are blind to everything but the next cheap meal or pile of junk. It seems sad that we must have both to appreciate the one most fully.

  4. The farmers are told what to grow or no subsidy, it is all just outdated food and agriculture policy from 40 years ago, farmers don’t like it but it seems they feel helpless to change anything. But the grassroots of a new food movement is growing and thriving, it will bring change, I am hopeful! The movie King Corn is an interesting look at just how stupid American agricultural policy is.

  5. Thanks Colette nice to see you are celebrating Lughnasa, I know when to lift my spuds now. As Jackson Browne said “we are gathering the tools to make the journey back to nature.” the deluge is coming that’s for sure. Learning the skills that we will need and passing them on, saving the seeds etc. these are the tasks for the ones who can see it coming. You have built up a good store of knowledge from real experience which is great. Go n-eiri an t-ádh leat.

    • And at a time when the climate crisis has become a business opportunity for polluters! Monoculture is extracting and mining and leaving us with raped Earth. It’s time for those who care to step up to the front line!

  6. I agree with all you say and love your photos – esp. all the anarchic little details, saved objects, and esp. cats. One suggestion for easier reading would be not to centre the text. Don’t know if others find centred more difficult to read, but my old peepers sure do.

  7. I have a friend who grew up in Wisconsin on a dairy farm in the 1960s/70s. She said as her parents grew older, the cow’s milk became less profitable. Now when she goes home to visit, all the cows are gone and the fields are rented out to other farms who plant corn. She says its OPPRESSIVE all these fields of giant corn towering over you everywhere!

  8. Thanks for more words of wisdom. I live in an area where there are many small farms producing much food. Still there is only a weeks supply of food in the grocery stores if some disaster should come our way. We are learning that we cannot rely on the grocery stores for all our food and must be more in control of where are food comes from. Our politicians still think we are the bread basket of the world but we are not and can’t even feed ourselves. We need your beacon of light Colette. Blessings to you

  9. The irony is that the human race thinks itself to be the most intelligent species on the planet. The fact that we can vocalise our thoughts and can use our hands so adeptly, certainly makes us the most capable species, but intelligence, I think not.

    • The real intelligence lies deep within Mother Earth. To watch her at work is to be transfixed and bowed in sheer awe. That is why I practice Permaculture, copying the Mother.

Your comments are welcome!