Posted in Animals, Buddha, Current Affairs, E.U., Food, GM Food, Growing Food, History, Inspiration, Monsanto, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Smallholding, Thoughts

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

 

Posted in Culture, Ecology, Frugal Living, Herbs, History, Permaculture, Smallholding, Uncategorized, Woodland

Permaculture Zero…My Two Favourite Words! Bealtaine Smallholding West Ireland.

Willow arches, all around Bealtaine, have greened up and may need their first trim of the year…about two trims a summer are enough to keep the shape!Comfrey…this has been planted all over the smallholding. It grows wild in damp, shady places, near streams and rivers. Historically this powerful plant has been used to knitting broken bones back together, hence the names: Boneset, Knitbone and Bruisewort. Interestingly enough, research has discovered that Comfrey contains Allantoin, which actively promotes the growth of new cells! Leaves of the plant are applied to bruises, sprains and broken bones.The rose on the veranda is growing in two tyres filled with home made compost and topped up each spring.Roses about to bloom on the veranda…but we desperately need rain…west Ireland is suffering drought conditions at present!Steps from the vegetable and fruit intensive gardens down into the woodland. These were made from recycled timber boards, hammered into place, then backfilled with compacted ash from the stove. Cost:Zero…love that word!