February 21st, 2020


Farming in the North

Climate change may make northerly areas suitable for farming.  Well, sort of. They seem to have overlooked the fact that most of that territory has rather thin and poor soil, also frequently full of rocks.  We could  turn it into fertile farmland, but that would require composting lots of scraps to make humus.  Most people can't even be arsed to do that on current farmland anymore.  So don't imagine that it's going to come anywhere near what we're losing. 

Then again, they also didn't consider anything beyond field crops.  Land that does badly for those can do brilliantly for food forests.

Soil-friendly Eating

 ... aligns with healthy eatingThis is not an accident.  It's how a healthy biosphere sustains itself.

Also, they overlooked a critical fact: we eat herbivores, and they shit fertilizer.  The problem with modern meat production is the factory approach to cramming together large numbers of foreign herbivores instead of eating what grows locally.  Bison used to cover  much of Turtle Island.  In comparison, beef cattle are small and flimsy.  You want soil-friendly eating, buy meat from native species.  

Soil Erosion

... is a threat to agriculture.

Happily, this is one problem we can totally solve.  Humans can make soil MUCH faster than nature typically does.  A lazy human can pile greens and browns, walk away, and 6-12 months later there will be fresh hummus there.  A diligent human can shove the same stuff in a spinner and produce a cubic yard of humus in two weeks.

To function on a large scale, one simply collects the stall contents of livestock for composting or spreading directly on fields in the fall.  Conveniently it comes out the right proportion of ingredients.  Another good option is to plant a cover crop, let grazers out to eat it, and they will naturally spread fertilizer.  Till, wait for breakdown, and go on with your planting.

Also worth mentioning, we have multiple modes of growing food that don't wipe out topsoil.  Some like hugelkultur even make it while growing food.  With a food forest you don't even till the soil.

Farmers are upset about soil loss?  Go make some more, you lazy bastards!

Australian Bushfires

In the aftermath, support is desperately needed to aid recovery.  They are scrambling to fend off invasive species.  Government money is slow to reach places in need, especially privately held sanctuaries.  So in addition to the general suggestions for support, I recommend that interested donors try to track down any of those private sanctuaries in the fire zones and donate directly to them.