Frank is joined by Mary Stein, co-organizer of the biannual Farm to Cafeteria Conference, which will take place on April 15-18 in Austin, Texas. Topics of conversation include the shift from industrial to local food in the cafeteria, health and educational benefits for school children, obstacles to adoption, case studies, impacts on local economies, and some conference highlights.
This episode begins with a brief discussion of the status of this podcast and its host. Frank then launches into a discussion of the global land grab taking place in Africa and elsewhere as Holmgren’s brown tech scenario comes to fruition in the form of industrial, commodity-export agriculture expanding its reach into technologically underdeveloped nations. This reality is framed in the context of recent research showing that food yield increases have plateaued, which may indicate peak food has arrived. The discussion concludes with a brief foray into the concept of agrocollapse and its implications for the sustainable food movement.
Food, Fuel, and the Global Land Grab
Dramatic decline in industrial agriculture could herald ‘peak food’
What is the Agrocollapse? (via Agroinnovations Blog)
Dimishing Returns (via Wikipedia)
Part II of the Agroinnovations interview with soil microbiologist Dr. Elaine Ingham. Dr. Ingham discusses the impact of natural disasters on soil microbiology, testing laboratories for soil microbes, aerobic composting techniques, and methods for managing soil microbiology using compost tea. Visit Dr. Ingham’s Soil Food Web Inc. website.
After a 2 year hiatus, the Agroinnovations Podcast is back. First order of business is to get a backlog of interviews from the archives out into the world. Today’s interview features Dr. Elaine Ingham from the company Soil Food Web Inc. Dr. Ingham gives listeners an overview survey of soil microbiology. The scope, scale, and dynamics of the soil food web are discussed. Part One of Two. Interview is from June 2011.
Frank is joined by Cliff Davis of Spiral Ridge Permaculture. Cliff begins by breaking down the natural history, forest composition, soil types, and topography of his permaculture farm in central Tennessee. The topic then shifts to permacultural strategies for success in this challenging environment, and concludes with a discussion of the political challenges of a establishing a permanent culture in a damaged society.
Frank dedicates this episode to the listeners of the podcast for their patience and encouragement over a six month period in which the site agroinnovations.com was broken and no new material was forthcoming. He discusses changes in his personal life that made new installments difficult, and then goes on to discuss the new, streamlined Agroinnovations.com site. He continues with more news on Monsanto’s war against the biosphere, and concludes with a preview of what’s to come in subsequent episodes.
Links mentioned in the show:
- French activists occupy Monsanto | Occupy Monsanto
- Organic farmers’ suit against Monsanto goes to hearing | Grain News
- Monsanto Attempts to Lockout Socially Responsible Shareholder at Annual Meeting
- Whole Foods Market Caves to Monsanto | Center for Media and Democracy
- More Law Suites for Monsanto (Agroinnovations.com)
- Indian Government Sues Monsanto (Agroinnovations.com)
This episode of the Agroinnovations Podcast salutes everybody’s favorite biotechnology company Monsanto by wishing them a Merry Christmas. We begin by noting some of the successes of governments in resisting transgenetic engineering, and continue with a discussion of three key vulnerabilities of the biotech giants; these weaknesses are summarized as labeling policy, agronomic failure, and financial instability. Each is discussed in turn, with concrete examples and formulas for continuing the information war against Monsanto.
Useful links below:
- Don Huber on the Land Stewardship Project’s Ear to the Ground podcast. Look for episodes 98-102.
- GMO Crops Continually Banned Around the World in Display of Health Freedom
- Pardon? Monsanto GMO Ban Overturned in France
- EXCLUSIVE: Under Industry Pressure, USDA Works to Speed Approval of Monsanto’s Genetically Engineered Crops
- Monsanto Defeated by Roundup Resistant Weeds
- Monsanto Corn May Be Failing to Kill Bugs, EPA Says (Bloomberg)
- Genetically Modified Seeds Sow Hysteria And A Sweet Monsanto Trade
Articles with additional information not mentioned in the podcast:
- Monsanto Admittedly Influences Colorado GMO Ban, Launches Phony ‘GMO Co-Existence’ Protests (usapartisan.com)
- Monsanto’s GM Corn Linked To Organ Failure (topalternativenews.com)
- USDA Approves Monsanto’s Drought Tolerant Corn (treehugger.com)
We are joined by Hugh Courtney of the Josephine Porter Institute for Applied Biodynamics. We discuss the life and ideas of Rudolph Steiner, the life and practice of Josephine Porter, biodynamic preparations and how they are made, the application of these preparations on the land, results one can expect to see, and ways to preserve biodynamic techniques.
Frank Aragona is joined by Janaia Donaldson, host and producer of Peak Moment Television. Topics of discussion include the production of Peak Moment TV, geodesic domes in Colorado, the strengths and weaknesses of the relocalization movement, Peak Oil as a marginal idea in American society, relocalization as an apolitical phenomenon, and the future of Peak Moment TV.
Peak Moment TV (website)
Peak Moment TV (YouTube)
Frank is joined by Sallie Calhoun, Owner/Executive Director of the Paicines Ranch. Sallie is also the Chairman of the Board of Directors at Holistic Management International, and is a passionate practitioner of and advocate for Holistic Management. Please visit their website at www.holisticmanagement.org.
Topics of discussion include the ecology and wildlife of central California, the invasion of exotic annual grasses to the detriment of native perennials, oak regeneration in California, perceptions and realities of wild pigs, and the need for greater human capital on the North American land base.
The Paicines Ranch (website)