Archive for February, 2010

An Holistic Approach to Drought Mitigation

Monday, February 15th, 2010

DroughtRecent climatic conditions have led researchers on a quest for products with drought-mitigation potential. Studies have focussed on solutions involving anti-transpirants, water crystals, evaporation reducing products, wetting agents, and even genetically modified water-efficient crops. In reality, long-term drought mitigation, particularly in the case of commercial farming, lies not in a one-step solution but ultimately in an holistic approach. The first step in this approach is soil testing which gives an overview of the organic matter levels and nutrient profile of any given soil. (more…)

Chia – Anatomy of a Superfood

Friday, February 12th, 2010

Chia SeedsHippocrates, the father of modern medicine, suggested that our food should be our medicine and our medicine our food. The profundity of that statement is now quantified on a regular basis as science unravels the mind-boggling array of protective biochemicals found in fresh food. It is not just the new understanding of the medicinal value of food that supports the founder’s proclamations. A host of other nutritional findings have revealed that there really is no substitute for whole foods. We have isolated key protective players like beta carotene, alpha tocopherol, lycopene and folic acid and turned them into popular supplements, to compensate for what is missing in the food. However, recent research has revealed that the supplements simply don’t perform like the real thing (more…)

How Superior Is Natural Chelation?

Friday, February 12th, 2010

CucumberWe are often asked why it is necessary to invest in chelated products rather than simple sulphate-based trace elements so we finally decide to invest some research funds in a comparison. We decided to use manganese as an example as this is a deficiency we see so often when analysing dairy pasture. It is also a common deficiency in many horticultural crops, particularly strawberries, where several of the more recent hybrids seem to struggle with manganese uptake. (more…)

Impressive Results in NZ

Friday, February 12th, 2010

Sheep in New ZealandTheory is fine but results are the bottom line so I have focused upon the achievements of a variety of biological farmers in this issue. I have just returned from a ten day visit to New Zealand where we conducted our 4 day Certificate in Sustainable Agriculture, a one day Human Health seminar and I spoke at a new Festival celebrating all things organic. All of the events were well attended and there was tremendous enthusiasm everywhere, in spite of the fact that NZ has been much harder hit by the recession than Australia. (more…)

Dairy Farmers Discover a New Way…

Friday, February 12th, 2010

Dairy CowIt is amazing the positive impact one group can have on an industry. Recently we have seen a flood of interest from the Tasmanian and Victorian dairy industries. In fact we have recently conducted two, well subscribed, four day Certificate Courses, specifically for the dairy industry and a third one is planned in the New Year. Why have these large-scale professionals suddenly recognised the potential of the biological approach in the face of an industry meltdown which is usually the least conducive environment for change. (more…)

Moving Malaysia

Friday, February 12th, 2010

Biological Farming hits Malaysia I recently spent a week consulting and lecturing in Malaysia on behalf of our new distributors in that region, a company called PanelTek. Michael Cheong, the CEO of this company is a fine example of why retirement is such a ridiculous concept if you are passionate in what you do. I shudder to think of the masses of wasted brains frittering away their lives on a bowling green when they should be at a productive and creative peak in terms of a worthwhile contribution to society. Anyway, enough of my outrage. Michael, a dynamo in his eighties, has decided to be a (more…)

Success on Norfolk Island

Friday, February 12th, 2010

Norfolk IslandWe recently completed our first 4 day Certificate course on Norfolk Island and we hope that it will become an annual event. Norfolk is becoming a showpiece for biological agriculture, so the fifth day, where we build in a field trip to see the priciples in practice, was really something special. The course participants included equal numbers of locals and Australians and there were also people from the US and Africa.“The Big Night Out”, a feature of the course intended as an early bonding opportunity, involved a delicious 3 course meal and local wines. (more…)

7 Reasons To Purchase a Soil pH/Moisture Meter

Friday, February 12th, 2010

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Ten Reasons to Own A Refractometer

Friday, February 12th, 2010

refractometer for biological farmingA refractometer is an invaluable pocket tool which measures dissolved solids in plant sap. Leaf tissue is balled up and rolled between the hands until green pigment is released. It is then placed inside the well of a garlic crusher and juice (plant sap)is expressed. A few drops of sap are placed on the screen of this device and it is held up to the light like a small, sawn-off telescope.The reading is called brix and is measured in degrees. A good brix level is above 12 degrees for most crops, although this “ideal” drops down to 8 degrees for root crops. (more…)

The Bugs That Can Save The World

Friday, February 5th, 2010

microbes for sustainable agricultureI have been researching a new presentation for my Radiance Health Festival between Christmas and New Year. It is called “Healthy Soils, Hardy People, Happy Planet” and it covers the inextricable intertwining of our food producing soils, personal health, community health and the environment. There is, of course, a heavy emphasis upon Climate Change and the profound implications of this coming crisis. Yesterday, while reading the work of British scientist, James Lovelock, and the research of James Hansen from NASA, I burst into tears at the enormity of their predictions. (more…)