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Beyond agriculture – the myths and the alternatives

Agriculture was the great leap forward for humanity, or so we’ve been told. but is it true? Toby Hemenway, in this compelling talk Redesigning Civilisation – with Permaculture, lays out a different picture and dispels the myths of agriculture as the great liberator from a life we are told was brutish and short.

At this point I feel compelled to assure you, this is not a casual criticism of agriculture or farmers. I have been one and I hold a deep respect for that culture, so if you are reading this article and have a background in rural activities, thank you for reading this far, and I welcome you to take this journey of discovery with me.

The essence of agriculture, which the origin of the word points to, is the cutting of trees to make way for open fields – to then grow large areas of a small number crops, or grass for animals. Given this suggestion the term sustainable agriculture, must surely be an oxymoron, as there are few if any areas of the earth where agriculture has been practiced for long periods of time, which do not show signs of degradation and loss of soil, water and human health. The origins of this open field approach can be traced back to thefertile crescent‘ in the Middle East - where years of grain agriculture has turned the land to desert and the soil to salt-laden sand.

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Next Glen Eden Urban Plan meet tonight...

Kia ora Koutou, the 2nd public meeting/workshop for Glen Edens urban plan is being held tonight (Thursday 4th July) at the Waitakere Ranges Local Board Office.   If anyone wants to meet before hand to consolidate more ideas before the workshop please let me know 818 8004, 022 544 4405.

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Timaru Screening of Our Green Roadie

Location / Venue: 
Movie Max, Timaru
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Martinborough screening of Our Green Roadie

Location / Venue: 
Circus Cinema, Martinborough
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Dunedin screening of Our Green Roadie

Location / Venue: 
Red Lecture theatre, Dunedin
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Birkenhead Screening of Our Green Roadie

Location / Venue: 
Birkenhead Library

Mt Victoria July meeting - Matthew King of Green Earth Development talks on composting toilets

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Location / Venue: 
New Crossways, Roxburgh St, Mt Victoria, Wellington

Taunton Terrace Community Garden

We are in the planning stages of the building of a community garden in Taunton Terrace, Blockhouse Bay, Auckland.

Working group organiser is Olwyn at growyourhealth@xtra.co.nz

We would welcome more interested local people to join our group for even more inspiration and enthusiasm.

GETT meeting Minutes for June 2013

Glen Eden Transition Town Meeting Minutes 17.6.13

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The Guyton’s Food Forest (Riverton – NZ)

I picked up the phone last Sunday evening and had a most invigorating conversation with Robyn Guyton. After introducing myself, I asked her a couple of questions about the project she and Robert have been working on for over 15 years.

While humble and soft spoken, she was so forthcoming about the different aspects of their work, that I am sure I missed a few things, as I scribbled furiously, so it's just as well there have been a few articles about them that I can refer you to:

Letters from New Zealand - on the Permaculture Research Institute website

Food forest puts Riverton couple on the map - Southland Times

Food Forest NZ - on Ooooby And this wonderful recent video features Robert walking through and explaining different aspects of the forest.

But there was so much more I wanted to know. I am of the opinion that growing food using the diverse range of perennial plants we have available to us offers solutions to many of today's challenges.

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