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In this film, organic market gardeners Frank and Josje talk about why the supermarket system doesn’t work and how Community Supported Agriculture fits into a new story for food growing. CSA members help farmers to grow the best quality vegetables and to nurture healthy soils by committing to receive vegetable boxes every week for a season.

That way, the farmer can get on with growing great food and sending it direct to their customers, without having to accommodate the profit-geared demands of the supermarket chains, which drive conventional growers to produce less nutritious vegetables in ways that damage the soil. This is the future of food, a future in which both people and planet are healthier!

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  • Community Supported Agriculture is a system that enables farmers to plan their crops efficiently because their members commit to purchasing a weekly box each season.
  • The customer knows they’ll receive a box of freshly harvested nutritionally grown food each week, while the farmer knows in advance what seeds to sow, and there’s no issue of food waste.
  • The industrial supermarket system requires farmers to use chemical inputs to grow crops faster and to discard imperfect produce, creating a system overloaded with toxic waste and extreme food waste.
  • A mixed system between plants and animals is important to create an optimal situation where bought-in fertilisers and other inputs are not required.
  • A farmer’s job is to create the right kind of soil for healthy microorganisms, so that plants, trees, insects and animals can thrive in a biodiverse system.
  • “We are in a position to do it properly because of the CSA; our members allow us to create that diversity. That other, old system doesn’t create that diversity.”

If you’d like to learn more about Wairarapa Eco Farm, visit their website here

Walking through garden with wheelbarrow
Rows of vegetables on organic farm
Free range chickens

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  • Josje Neerincx says:

    Loving it! Well done Jordan, Jason and Antoinette.

  • Joel Mortimer says:

    Fukuoka had some nice ideas on caring for the topsoil, but replaced animals with the hand labour of many many underpaid workers. He also wrote a chapter on ‘Why commercial farming will always fail’. And it was also mostly to maintain a two-crop system of seasonal monoculture rice and barley. Its a bit of religion to take it all without questioning it.
    No till / no dig is a bit ideological. I like the idea too, but actually ‘minimum till’ is more realistic and beneficial. Tilling the land allows for the oxygen to get in to the topsoil and supercharges the processes underground. In a mature perennial system with grazing animals, you should never need to till. But annual plants grown in maturing forest farms would benefit from some mild tilling. A small amount of tilling during harvest was practiced by Aboriginal Australians when they harvested their tuber potatoes. The Yeoman’s plow is a plow which does not tear up the groundand wreck the topsoil, but rather it is more like cutting the soil with a knife to allow for ultimate water infiltration and oxygenation.
    The ideology that all tools are ‘unnatural’ and ‘wrong’ is a misguided one. We are a technological species since we evolved 100,000 years ago. Blind use of huge scale monoculture is a good example of unquestioned bad technological practices.
    Here are my picks for GOOD technologies and tools that we must start using now, for the future of agriculture.
    1. Nature (its 4.5 billion years in the making, its kinda top-of-the-line tech)
    * Note that most permaculture principles remind us of the un-intuituve strengths of nature that are missing from today’s agriculture (storing suns energy, maximising diversity, rethink waste, patterns, respond creatively to change, multiple functions)*
    2. Food forestry (managed young woodlands for human purposes)
    3. Holistic land management (using cows, pigs, birds to mimic the most productive ecosystems that were here for the last 20 million years)
    4. Keyline design (permanent earthworks to catch, slow down and reuse every drop of water that comes onto the land)
    5. Certain machines running on renewable energy to automate some energy intensive or arduous tasks (earthworks, harvesting, seeding)
    And yes the by-products of some of these systems are mature cows, pigs, chickens. In the best systems (check out New Forest Farm) the cows and pigs are happy 100% free roaming, eat much much more than just grass, and don’t have to sit all day in the shade in the summer. They are more like happy pets. But the reality is that everything dies one day, and its a waste not to eat them. I’m a vegetarian so I’m personally not interested in eating the animals. But I know that someone will, and that’s completely okay for them to include as a small part in a balanced and respectful diet. And there’s serious money for the healthiest happiest beef, which can be seen as a premium to continue funding the service of restoring ecosystems. Its the complete opposite of the horrific factory farms which give fearful and degrading living conditions. In my findings, we can’t mimic nature to create ecosystem-inspired farms without including grazing animals (unless of course we put in truly insane amounts of fossil energy). We are supposed to be mimicking the most productive ecosystems of the Holocene, which *used to* have huge grazing mammals which kept the whole system in balance (keystone species). We have now emerged as the keystone species, and its our job to manage photosynthesis and rainfall with zero fossil fuels and maximum biomimicry.
    I would say its best to question even the good ideologies, and only take the best parts of them. Even permaculture shouldnt be immune to criticism, although it stands up pretty well so far, it might evolve into something much better, yet unrecognisable compared to its current state.

  • Predrag1970 says:

    Eating animals. Just that.

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