Yesterday was the first of our Holistic Farm Management Course Support Group Meetings, held out at Gunning. We visited John Weatherstone’s place near Gunning. I’ve been there before, but each visit is more educational. Johns work planting trees and building soil is both an example and inspiration. This time I was able to have a good look at his Palonia Tree plantation, which is something that the Cook introduced us to a while back, and pick up a few white walnuts for planting this weekend.
Anybody interested in looking at Johns work can look here.
We had lunch following the visit and sat around talking about the various issues we were facing in regards to Holistic Management and looking towards the future.
On Wednesday I was lucky enough to get a seat at a lecture on Food Security at ANU. The lecture was titled - Real food security - and what’s wrong with current development. It was focused on how our foreign aid dollars for food security should spent on supporting small farmers not the commercialisation of farms in third world countries. The details are spelt out here –
Basic food security is an important step towards good governance and socio-economic development. Globally, food security is said to exist for some 4.7 billion persons with another two billion being food insecure. If global population stabilizes at 9 billion around 2050, food demand will probably rise to an equivalent of 12 billion of today’s persons due to such factors as affluence-induced food preferences and food wastage in urban supply chains. Unless food security is realistically defined as basic food for survival, it is not achievable without major changes in our worldviews.
By examining three philosophical perspectives - food as a commodity; food as a product of nature to be balanced with other products; and food as a human right, this paper explores the disconnect between the current worldview of ‘donors’ who allocate solutions to food insecurity to aid agencies, and the small third-world farmers who produce the food from farms of less than two hectares.
I was late getting home from Gunning last night and on the way home I was listening to the ABC Radio National. I think the program was big ideas and about what a panel thought Australia would be like in the year 2030. One of panellist’s spoke about how we now live in an economy, no longer do we live in a society or a community. This is a really sad statement – but when you look at what fills the news and the papers – it’s a true statement.
One thing that permaculture teaches you is that community is the key to survival, from community you get security, growth, education and social stimulus. The sooner we don’t have an economy the better off we’ll all be, the sooner we take responsibility for ourselves and stop relying on government the happier we’ll be.