This year, to date, I have visited fifteen countries and I have visits to at least fifteen more destinations scheduled before the year’s end. It feels as though the world has awoken and there is an urgency to update and improve an agricultural model that is no longer serving us. Sometimes during my diverse travels I encounter a consultant who simply stands out from the crowd. When this occurs, I like to share some insights from these special people. (more…)
Archive for the ‘Farming Techniques’ Category
The dictionary definition of the word “science” is “adherence to natural laws and principles”. Nature has all of the answers and we were supposed to learn from her, rather than think we can do better. A prime example of this “learning” potential relates to the role of anaerobic organisms in human, animal and plant health. For some reason there was little enquiry into Nature’s broader intention when considering the presence of multiple strains of lactobacillus on the surface of every leaf. (more…)
Much of what we have done in modern agriculture contradicts natural laws and principles. In our arrogance we have focused upon either changing nature or depreciating natural capital with an extractive, symptom-treating approach. There is a growing realisation that this is a bankrupt philosophy and now it is time to change. If we observe Nature, we see very rapidly that she abhors a vacuum. If land is cleared she will cover that bare soil as rapidly as possible. There will not be one weed, but a diversity of pioneer plant life that fills the gap. (more…)
David and Kim Hunt grow limes near Maryborough in Queensland. They are relative newcomers to this industry so they attended the four-day NTS Certificate in Sustainable Agriculture course to bring themselves up to speed with the most productive strategies for high-production, sustainable horticulture. They also decided to enlist the help of accomplished biological orchard consultant, Heinz Gugger, who farms stone fruit and persimmons, biologically, near Amamoor in South-East Queensland.
This package of empowerment through education and informed guidance has proven very productive. The orchard of 2100 trees was producing just 30 tonnes of limes when they purchased the property two years ago. The yield this past year had increased to 100 tonnes and the focus is now on improving quality rather than yield. (more…)
NTS Soluble Humate Granules™ have proven to be the flagship NTS product amongst our large and diverse product range. In over 40 countries they are our most successful Nutrition Farming® input. All we have to do is encourage a grower to trial the combination of soluble humates with their fertiliser and they will immediately see the benefits. We call it our “door opener”, because it never fails and invariably the grower returns to ask “what else have you got?”. (more…)
I often describe the home vegetable garden as the ultimate wellness tool because it can provide fresh, chemical-free, nutrient-dense food that is often not readily available elsewhere. It is a primary tool that allows the reclaiming of responsibility for our own health because we now control a major source of our food.
Minerals, microbes and humus are the drivers of healthy vegetable production, but there is another factor that can increase the medicinal value of our food. This factor is often overlooked in the nutrition equation, but it can make a real difference. The vast majority of commercial vegetable seedlings and seeds are now hybridised and, while this might increase profit for seed merchants, it is not necessarily a benefit for consumers.
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…)
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…)