The Future of Farming
To understand the future of farming, we have to
first examine the history of farming. Let’s face it: change does not
come out of thin air.
In fact, I heard on the Learning Channel (no
less) that prior to our settling down to create an “agricultural
society” rather than hunting and gathering society, the human
animal had never eaten wheat.
This is absurd. Some guy didn’t awaken one day
saying, “Gee, I’d sure like some toast for breakfast. I’d better get
out and discover wheat!”
That’s tantamount to thinking that during the
Second Continental Congress, Ben Franklin jumped up saying, “Hey,
I’ve got an idea! Let’s invite over a bunch of immigrants and make
Things don’t just pop out of thin air.
Everything we started growing
some 12,000 years ago was something we’d found prior to that, but
now wanted to cultivate.
This was the first major change
in our diets. The second major change came with bottling/canning.
Processing started long before the industrial revolution. The
aristocracy of England ate “white” bread while the masses ate whole
wheat. Today, the poor eat white bread and the better off eat whole
wheat. (I’ve never understood why the less processed breads were
more expensive than the over-processed breads…but that’s the “free
market” for you.)
Then suddenly we had
refrigeration. Food could travel farther. After WWII we had left
over bombs and the nitrogen was used to fertilize fields. “Better
Living Through Chemistry” became the slogan and we introduced more
pesticides, herbicides and artificial chemicals into our food
More and more processing of our foods came about
and trans fats were introduced into the food supply, only to be
followed by substituting High Fructose Corn Syrup for sugar because
it was abundant and cheaper. Over the years more processed foods
increased, chemically laden foods increased, and now genetically
altered foods are on the rise. These last changes all came about
because of the advent of agri-business.
Under President Nixon, Earl Butz was appointed
the Secretary of Agriculture. He was the first to propose that
farming was big business. His famous quotation was, “Get big or get
Since then, with the rise of Agribusiness, thousands of family farms have fallen
only to be scooped up by big business interests which are subsidized by YOUR
The small farmers are a dying breed. They're
losing their farms and their livelihoods and they do not get subsidies.
Our government subsides mainly wheat, corn, soy, and cotton. These
are the big four. Those of you paying attention know that
corn, and soy are the most problematic crops in the world. Many
people are sensitive to wheat and gluten, corn is overeaten in our
society contributing to our obesity problem, and soy is really one
problematic food that should not be eaten unless first fermented and
even then in small amounts. Soy is so problematic that the people at
the Weston Price Foundation
have produced an entire page they call
Now that the government has okay’d GMOs (there
was no testing, the FDA simply called GMOs GRAS( Generally Regarded
As Safe), they are
slowly spreading into all food because bees and butterflies can’t
tell a GMO from a non-GMO. Organic foods can get cross-pollinated
with GMOs. And if you go to Monsanto's site, they will tell you that
they do not sue nor do they plan to sue any farmers whose crops get
cross-pollinated with their GMO crops, but the truth is, the
supreme court has given Monsanto the green light to sue their
How and why the FDA (your government) handed
Monsanto everything they wanted is the subject of the documentary:
The World According to
Speaking of Videos
We've posted over the years many interesting
videos, but the ones that deal with our food supply are always the
most important. Factory farming has contributed to obesity, disease,
and death. But boy is it profitable. Some of the videos we've posted
in the past are below, and a couple new ones. They're all worth
watching either from your computer, or you can tag them and watch
them later on your ROKU.
(a take-off on The Matrix)
Kraft Foods Denies GM Wheat
but ADMITS GMO in Products
Genetically Krafted (2002)
Be sure to pay attention to the related videos posted on YouTube.
You can easily get an education in food production if you spend
enough time there.
A Footnote In History
Excuse the digression, but when farming first
started, when we first settled into agrarian societies, because we
did not know anything about caring for the land or that we had to
replace nutrients into the soils to keep the land productive, much
of our early farming history consisted of using up the land and
moving on to find more farmable land.
We've come to that point again, only this time
we're much more knowledgeable about what the land needs but we think
we know better. Agribusiness believes nitrogen is nitrogen, thus any
nitrogen will do. We've stripped out land of minerals. These are not
being replaced. And since we can grow cops genetically modified to
be resistant to herbicides and pesticides, the amounts of these
chemicals we spray on our fields is staggering. We are poisoning the
land and soon we'll have to move on to find more farming land. Only
the problem is, we're running out of farm land. We're living almost as
if there's a Planet B we can move to and satisfy our needs.
Our land is toxic thus the food we produce is
toxic. Only small
famers (sustainable farmers) are left to supply us with non toxic, whole foods, and they are
I find this interesting because, en masse,
we’ve taken up ONE form of farming (which is big business) while we
forgotten hundreds of farming methods that have been used
successfully in our past. I learned from a farmer that
dirt can be spread right over weeds that have been knocked down and
crops planted in the dirt on top.
There are literally hundreds of farming
techniques developed successfully over the centuries that are being
lost to agribusiness.
So, where do we go from here? How can we, the
little guy, keep our food from becoming toxic?
First, allow me to introduce you to a vertical
Vertical farming has two definitions. One is corporate
farming (agribusiness) building farms inside skyscrapers along with the overuse
of chemicals. The second definition is much more human friendly, and that is
using the space you have to grow upwards, producing a substantial crop within
very little space.
The above photo came with the following blurb:
Grow up! Rethink the space around you.
Hats off to The GreenHouse vertical farm! In a 48'x48' greenhouse,
the farm grows 135,000 plants a year in Tower Gardens, using 5% of
the water used by outdoor farming. The farm supplies Walt Disney
World resorts, along with Emeril’s Orlando, Ritz Carlton, Marriott
World Center & the Hilton with fresh greens and herbs year round.
"We also have incredibly small losses, and the consistency of
growing allows us to be able to deliver the same quantities weekly
to our restaurants, making us a lot more reliable than “traditional”
farms."... Katherine Grandey, Co-Founder & Owner of The GreenHouse.
In colder climates, perhaps a Walpini is called for if you want to
grow year round.
You can see from the photo on the right that it
is built into the ground, affording it quite a bit of insulation
from the elements.
I visited one built in a fellow's back yard in
Minneapolis. He knocked out a door through his basement into the
Walpini and heats the space in the winter from a heater vent blowing
out from his basement.
Of course you still have the option of building
an above ground greenhouse, though energy costs are much higher,
unless you install some kind of alternative energy source.
At the University of Minnesota Agriculture
Department they experimented with High Tunnels, which look something
like a greenhouse except they are open at both ends. You can't use
them in the
but they do extend the growing season (which is much shorter in the
northern climates) a few months.
Even if you don't want to build, this doesn't mean you can do some
gardening on your property. Many people have opted out of growing
grass in order to grow food. Every bit of spare space can produce
vegetables. Even that bit of land between the sidewalk and the curb
can be used.
And you can always grow a few things vertically
such as salads, greens, and herbs.
In Geneva, Switzerland, there are neighborhoods in which each yard
is a vegetable garden and neighbors consult and plan what each will
grow so they can trade.
Let's face it, corporations are not going away,
and since the clowns on the supreme court have given corporations
personhood (though they can't go to jail and you pay more taxes),
they're going to be around and influencing the government for years
to come. There is no corporation that has your desires as their best
interests. When you hear someone say the term "trial lawyers" with
distaste, that person wants corporations to run roughshod over you
and not have to pay a dime for destroying your life or killing
members of your family. Agribusiness is not in the business of
making food; it's in the business of making profits. If it happens
to poison a few people along the way, well, that's just part of the
cost of doing business.
So, in the future, expect to see more and more
people growing their own foods in an effort not to be poisoned by
80% of their supermarkets that sell crap but call it food.
This is truly a revolutionary idea whose time has