Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Can the UK feed itself on ecological agriculture?

No-one really knows. That's why the Ecological Land Cooperative is commissioning research to find out, so that campaigners can have crisp, rigorously produced facts to hand when they go for it.

They're crowd fundraising for it and I've just chipped in. You could too! Go on. What else have you done this week to help transform our little island? I haven't done much, this particular week :) You've probably done much more. Chip in nevertheless! As little as £10 would really help I'm told:

The ELC's MD, Zoe Wangler (a gem of a lady), writes:

Our first piece of research Small is Successful: Creating Sustainable Livelihoods on Ten Acres or Less was done on just £1,300 and yet was selected for the Research Council UK’s report Big Ideas for the Future: UK research that will have a profound effect on our future. Our report was endorsed by organisations representing thousands of members such as the Soil Association and Sustain.  I know that with £5,600 we will produce something of even better quality and relevance.

Open Hardware Technology

It's easy to think about a household or community being self-sufficient in food, and perhaps some aspects of clothing and building - but what about hardware?

is this the answer?

Though I'm not sure we need tractors. I helped out with the annual garlic pull (lots of nice people + 1 field of garlie + 1 day = a barn full of garlic that will supply the farmers market for a year) at CSA farm Earthly Mirth in New York a few weeks ago.

Here are the tractors they used:

thanks Ryan for the picture

Honestly, this picture doesn't really capture how awe-inspiring Sara and her horses were, and the implications of her use of them.

It was easy to find horse-farming machinery - different things to attach to the horses to do different aspects of farming - because of the significant mormon and amonite farming communities nearby, all of whom use horse-drawn farming techniques, I am told.

Sara had a really beautiful relationship with the horses - she was a kind of a horse whisperer I guess. Which is simply to mean that she found a way to connect with the animals in a way that was not about domination but connection and cooperation.

It was Cool.