The Green Revolution
People are ready for personal responsibility. Like it or not ;-)
News from Iraq about the reversal of desertification ... Agricultural Oases to Tackle Desertification The agriculture ministry has started work on a project to create green oases in various parts of the country as a way to combat a increasing desertification due to water shortages, according to a report from AKnews. The oases will be planted with palm trees and cultivated for agricultural purpose with irritation from wells. The total cost of the projects will be 5 billion Iraqi dinars ($4 million). "The Ministry has started implementing 7 projects to create large agricultural oases each with an area of 200 to 800 dunums (50-200 hectares) of land" said director of desertification control in the ministry, Mohammed Ghazi al-Akhras. Five of the oases will be located in the desert areas of Anbar, Iraq's largest province. Nineveh and Basra provinces will have one oasis each. Large parts of Iraq that were once productive farmland have already turned into arid desert. The ministry says that between 40 and 50 per cent of what was agricultural land in the 1970s is now a barren wasteland. The ministry of agriculture has so far completed 28 oases all over Iraq. It has announced plans to plant some 20 million trees as a way to address the issue. Iraqi analysts claim that desertification has increased sharply in recent years as neighboring countries Turkey, Syria and Iran take more and more water. The Iraqi government has been highly critical of these actions which mean that during the summer months many rivers run dry shortly after they pass into Iraq. The collapse in the water levels of the rivers has been swift. In 2000, the flow speed of the Euphrates was 950 cubic meters per second, but by this year it had dropped to 230 cubic meters per second. Desertification also affects the cities. Sandstorms have become more frequent in recent years, sometimes bringing urban centers to stand-still and grounding planes. (Source: AKnews)
Over 6,000 pounds of food per year, on 1/10 acre located just 15 minutes from downtown Los Angeles. The Dervaes family grows over 400 species of plants, 4,300 pounds of vegetable food, 900 chicken and 1,000 duck eggs, 25 lbs of honey, plus seasonal fruits throughout the year. From 1/10th of an acre, four people manage to get over 90% of their daily food and the family reports earnings of $20,000 per year (AFTER they eat from what is produced). This is done without the use of the expensive & destructive synthetic chemicals associated with industrial mono-cropping, while simultaneously improving the fertility and overall condition of the land being used to grow this food on. Scaled up to an acre, that would equal $200,000 per year! To follow the Dervaes and their Urban Homesteading activites, you can find them at http://urbanhomestead.org
Permaculture is the philosophy and practice of sustainable living. This documentary presents the ideology's 14 principles. Agricultural systems are designed to mimic Mother Nature. Subsistence farmers from Lukindu Village, Uganda illustrate the film with traditional examples of gardening, conservation, and energy cycling techniques.
Looking out over the lifeless brown quilt of drought-stricken Midwest corn monoculture from the window of a Boeing 747, it was immediately apparent to me that permaculture farming practices would have prevented this ecological catastrophe. The hottest summer on record in the United States combined with aggressive commercial farming practices has created the potential for a biblical famine! More here.
Meanwhile, in the African bush, Steve Cran aka The Green Warrior works with local guys to help turn them away from war and towards sustainable self sufficiency, guns for spades. In this blog from March, Steve shares how the Green Warriors escape attacks from the local militia. I instruct Santos to remove every second post. While some of the Green Warriors are doing this I spot a platoon of local militia running along the fence-line, fanning out in formation. They look serious. I walk out into the playing field and wave. I tell the young Green Warrior women to wave too. They smile and wave. The soldiers look confused,. Some wave back. They break formation and trudge back to where they came from. I find out the next day a rumor had spread through the village. The warriors have come to raid the village, they are at the school. The militia is immediately mobilized. They fan out ready for an attack. They see a Muzungu and a bunch of girls waving. What ? The warriors don't have women! There are no Muzungu raiders! Whew! No raiders here, only Green Warriors, not warriors. At least we are known now as the Green Warriors. The villagers become interested.