I have long felt a sense of outrage that mining companies can invade farmland to tap coal seam gas regardless of the wishes or concerns of the landowner. Accessing this gas usually involves a process called fracking (hydraulic fracturing), where a chemical cocktail combined with sand and water is applied under very high pressure to shale rock, to create new channels to release their petro-chemical components. There are over twenty chemicals involved in the fracking cocktail, some of which have not been identified by the patent holder and some of which are known to be hazardous. (more…)
Archive for the ‘Biological Agriculture’ Category
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Proteins are intimately involved in plant structure, enzymes and nutrient transfer and they are usually produced by the plant from nitrogen. This in an energy intensive process that is dependent upon a good balance of microbes and minerals. In this context, it is much more efficient if the 20 amino acids involved can be directly delivered rather than manufactured. Any energy sparing strategy is always beneficial but direct delivery of amino acids also serves to bypass the limitations of poor soil health. In short, soil problems are less limiting when you provide aminos for your crop. (more…)
The first leg of my recently completed seminar tour of North America involved my first visit to Canada. We visited Toronto to deliver our Four Day Certificate in Sustainable Agriculture followed by a field day designed to demonstrate biological principles in action. Attendees included large scale cash croppers, Mennonite farmers, permaculturists, consultants and agronomists. The questions flowed like wine and Joel Williams (my co-presenter) and I found it more difficult than usual to stick to the schedule. The Canadians, however, proved to be a warm, intelligent bunch and we thoroughly enjoyed the sharing. (more…)
There is one mechanism in your soil that has more impact on production, sustainability and profitability than any other. If you get it right you will have better soil structure, higher production, enhanced crop quality and reduced need for expensive, chemical intervention. “What is this magic bullet?”, I hear you say “and how can I access it?”, well this one doesn’t come from a bag or bottle. I am talking about the most important process in agriculture – it is called gas exchange. (more…)
A few weeks back, while having my hair cut at a local salon, I was asked about my profession. I said that I taught farmers around the world how to grow with less need for chemicals. I explained that I was constantly researching the links between soil health and human health, with an emphasis upon the importance of nutrient-dense food. The hairdresser responded, “what has the soil got to do with food?” Oh my goodness! Where do I start? (more…)
One news item from several weeks ago went largely unnoticed. This was the news that QLD fruit destined for Victoria, no longer needed to be dipped in insecticide to ensure that it was free of Queensland Fruit Fly. This is good news for southern consumers because the chemical, dimethoate, is not something you would choose to feed your family. In fact, it has been recently banned as a cover spray in many crops. However, the message that was not conveyed too loudly, is the fact that this destructive pest is now firmly ensconced in much of NSW and Victoria. It is timely to consider alternative control options (more…)
During the last week of August, I visited Vietnam for negotiations with a large agricultural company in that country. They had trialled some NTS products with very good results and they were interested in becoming our exclusive distributors in that region. It was my first visit to a country which has historically suffered more than most, from a variety of foreign oppressors. Our hosts were both gracious and generous as we toured the country to view some of their multiple enterprises. As the week progressed, it soon became obvious that we were dealing with something quite extraordinary. (more…)
I was recently asked to do a presentation for the Australian version of TED.com. These talks represent an opportunity to share important ideas with the world. Last year TED talks achieved over one billion views, so it can be a remarkable tool to sponsor change.
I chose to speak about an issue of unparalleled importance at this point in time – the role of farmers in literally saving the planet. The presentation called ‘Humus Saves The World‘, offers a range of proactive strategies that allows everyone the opportunity to replace apathy with action in this most important of issues.
This week the planet reached a milestone where carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached 400ppm for the first time in 3 million years. This talk is a desperate call to action and I am hopeful that you might decide to share this message with as many people as possible within your network. This is important because if the video receives enough views, it will attract the attention of those that make the decisions about expanding the coverage to the main TED website. If you can find the small amount of time to watch this presentation, I am sure you will agree that the message is so urgent, that it needs to get out there. Sharing this it will help. Thank you.
Here’s the link: http://youtu.be/8Q1VnwcpW7E
Following my recent address to a crowd of climate change activists on the steps of City Hall in LA, I was flooded with urgent enquiries about the spelling of a word I had used several times during my presentation. I immediately assumed that word was “mycorrhizal”, as this truly is a spelling bee special. To my amazement, the mystery word was “humus” and I was shocked to realise that my uncommon passion for this wonderful substance was just that. It was horrifying to realise how disconnected from the source of our food many of us have become. I was dumbstruck to think that the very life blood of our planet could remain anonymous. (more…)
Trace minerals were once genuinely considered as “minor” minerals because their measurable presence in the plant was so minute. However, these minerals are now recognised as spark plugs that trigger numerous plant processes and their absence can be as costly as the lack of any of the major minerals. We have conducted thousands of tissue tests from around the globe and trace mineral deficiencies are universal. A high analysis blend of all seven chelated trace minerals has a huge role to play in all growing enterprises. (more…)