It's not Just Joel Salatin anymore

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Not trying to overwhelm you but, "The World Without Us" by Alan Weisman, <(Amazon.com product link shortened) _1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid83966354&sr=1-1> is another real "page turner".
.................................................. This URL deals with weight loss and increasing POP'S stored in fat entering the blood stream.
Sort of reminds me of dammed if you do dammed if you don't.
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-20015668-10391704.html
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Bill S. Jersey USA zone 5 shade garden

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Q0JfdP36kI

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http://mutage.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2010/07/08/mutage.geq035.a bstract
Low-dose persistent organic pollutants increased telomere length in peripheral leukocytes of healthy Koreans
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Billy wrote:

because it has higher margins and has now been consolidated enough that it can even be big business.
if you don't remember the parts of TOD that were talking about organic farming, i'm quite sure that it was less than flattering for that type of mass production too for the chickens (access to the outside doesn't mean they actually go out there anyways because they don't live all that long) and for the vegetables and the milk.
i won't argue that it's worse though that is for sure. :)

if your point was valid they already had such systems going and have been abandoning them (going to western methods of production and consumption -- ruining their health in the process too). even the touted French are losing their resistance to fast food and they've gone back to brutality instead of keeping their ideal of egalitarianism alive (exporting the Rom).

so instead of having one business transporting goods (their job and focus is transporting goods in competition with other transportation companies i.e. they have to be efficient at moving things or they will be outcompeted) we now have multiple consumers (many who don't do things very efficiently at all) replacing them. i think that's a net loss in CO2 emissions/energy and time expended.

would you pay $25 per chicken?

*nods* once you figure in the distances that almost anything modern is transported (in the USoA of course since that is where the book is set) there is no minor footprint for almost anything. even the electricity can come from half the continent away (see the recent National Geographic article on the grid, it was quite informative).
so to get back to sustainable and local production then you've also got to examine the means of distribution. in the more densely populated regions it's more likely to revert to neighborhood farms supplying some of the foods needed, but once you get away from either of the coasts it gets pretty wide open in many places and the energy needed to get from point to point increases. you cannot have a CSA type operation going in prairie rangeland or the scrublands of the west that has people required to come get their stuff. it just won't work (efficiency wise you'd be burning more energy than gaining it from the food). so unless you're going to get more people to accept meat from cattle that is both range raised and then driven (as of old, not via trucks like now) to market that's pretty unlikely. and not many people find tough grass fed meat palatable...

come tell them. :)
no comment about ditch burning?

we really don't know if they had troubles with plagues prehistorically. seems like they had trouble with a shifting climate (the drought in the west) and perhaps agriculturally they didn't do well longer term with irrigation, but i'm not sure if anyone has actually studied the soil quality of those areas (erosion and time has probably made such studies fairly impossible but perhaps i'm wrong on that point).
a counterargument is that their agricultural and cultural practices left them susceptible to virulent diseases.

i'll add it to the list. :) (along with the others mentioned if i've not already)

true, we are losing it in some locations.

i took the book back to the library, i think one mention was around p 33. the other was later (not exactly sure where but i do recall it not being the same rate as Salatin's rate).

i have, didn't find anything about US or Britain tests. will look again next time i'm online.

sorry, not youtubable here. can you summarise them in words?

i think i've seen that one before. i'll add it to the list too.

oh, i can believe it...

i see no long term societal change in attitudes towards agricultural workers (it's reflected in the current migrant worker policies (or more accurately lack thereof of anything useful, fair or effective)).
when i start to see actual signs of respect for the environment returning in the general population i'll be greatly relieved. at present it's not there...

already on the list.

it doesn't matter if we reduce the use of such things as long as the rest of the world doesn't also change their overall practices, but also we have to change the medical profession which is abusing antibiotics... in other words, it's probably not going to happen fast enough to avoid some kind of major outbreak.
the current trouble with bacterial infections coming back from overseas medical tourism is just a small tip of that bacterial iceberg. non-medical tourism alone is going to keep mixing things up no matter what is done... i don't see an end to tourism, do you?

some are ok, but i've tended to go for about 65% max if eaten plain. i use higher for making chocolates sometimes.

what does your brain consume? last i knew it needed carbohydrates to function...

i love nuts (because i are one? 8-) ), and could eat them instead of meat any time.

Pollan seems to think it's been co-opted by the food industry. TOD was not very positive about organic farming once it was stepped up to any kind of large scale.
i'm hoping such criticisms can be heard and addressed...

TOD, and National Geographic both have mentioned that too.

also seem to be for places where moisture is limited (see the deserts bloom after a good bout of spring rains).

yep, almost any place that has some amount of annual rainfall it seems that the biosphere shifts upwards and the soil is effectively limited in how much it gets (some accumulation but not as much as grassland gets if the rainfall is enough to support that).

then you have to transport them back and forth to the farms each day which does not address the energy of transportation that has to come from somewhere.
i don't think that's being realistic... the side issue is a major issue that is why we are using such a large amount of fossil fuels to begin with (personal transportation) and why there is so much land devoted to roadways/ditches and parking lots...

not based upon how many i see knocked up rather early...

summarise please. i don't youtube...
songbird
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Traditionally, it runs on ketones, but it can run on glucose. Inuits ate only meat. We are omnivores within limits.
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songbird wrote:

It is an exageration that diabetes is caused directly by sugar and other high carb foods. It is not an exageration that when a tribe that traditionally ate a low carb or slow carb diet is put on the high carb or fast carb western diet more than 80% develop diabetes. The causation is slow, somewhat indirect, and has a genetic component in societies that have had a lot of generations to filter out that tendency to diabetes. In other words my version is - High carb foods are only poison if you or anyone in your family has ever been fat or diabetic.

It is widely stated that the brian needs glucose and thus dietary carbs to function. Widely stated does not equal true.
Consider that even on an extended fast the blood sugar level does not fall towards zero. It remains stable for any non-diabetic. Fat and/or protein are burned and glucose is created in the process even with no diet of any sort. Add protein and fat as the diet, Inuit style complete with considering raw seal eyes a delicacy, and the blood glucose level remains stable.
That's in addition to the fact that the brain runs just fine on ketones from burning fat.
I conclude that gardeners should go veggies and fruits not grains. Leave the grains to the ranchers and large scale farmers. Come to think of it I never have grown my own barley. ;^)
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Thank you, Doug.
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No, it is the insulin peaks in the blood caused by the historically large amounts of carbohydrates that we presently consume, especially highly refined carbs (white flour, white rice, sucrose). The insulin controls metabolization of sugar, and fat storage, which in turn may lead to obesity, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and insulin resistant type 2 diabetes. "May lead" because if you do a lot of physical work, you will probably be protected from the worst effects of insulin.

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I'll follow up with # 05 when I have time.
#3 harvesting winter grass for cattle is the largest expenditure of fossil fuel on this farm. WInter grazing at a neighboring farm is possible because of the mix of grasses, which make the grasses strong enough not to get dug up by cow hooves. Grasses don't require fossil fuel. Grasses inspired by woodland grass that grew naturally, without encouragement. Woodland grass grew on soil with biological diversity. Plowing killed soil organisms. Fossil fuel allows more plowing, and provides chemferts. Fossil fuel is used to grow crops in soil that is essentially dead. When fossil fuel runs out, we will need living soil. Cattle require a lot of land, and for Britain to become self sufficient, people will need to eat less meat, and farmers will need to raise other crops as well. Introduction of permaculture and permaculture expert Patrick Whitefield. Three ways of farming, drugery, fossil fuel, and design.
#4 Woodland are the most efficient growing system for the British climate. Farming based on natural ecology. "What we got to do is take the principals of this (the forest), and think how far we can bend them towards something more edible." - Patrick Whitefield The demonstration farm is a collection of small clearings in a massive woodland. Chris & Lynn DIxon produce all the fruit, vegetables, meat, and the fuel they need to cook them, in return for a few days work per week. When they started, 20 years before, the farm was degraded, marginal, pasture land. The first thing that they did was let the land return to its natural state, a chaotic woodland, but in its present state, the chaos is very highly structured. The gorse fixes nitrogen, the bracken collecting pot ash, and by encouraging the birds, they are encouraging the phosphate cycle through the system. Thus no need for sacks of fossil fuel fertilizers, it's all provided by nature. Carkey Campbell (sp?)ducks provide insect protection. All the plants provides some service. Willow Leyland Ash (tree) branches are fed to horses, cattle, and sheep. Using the full height of trees and hedges, you can squeeze higher yields out of the same piece of land. The leaf liter supplies nitrogen to other plants.
<http://www.shade-growing.com/permaculture/a-farm-for-the-future-transcri pt>
<http://transitionculture.org/2009/02/23/a-farm-for-the-future-essential - viewing/>
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A Farm for a Future
#3 harvesting winter grass for cattle is the largest expenditure of fossil fuel on this farm. Winter grazing at a neighboring farm is possible because of the mix of grasses, which make the grasses strong enough not to get dug up by cow hooves. Grasses don't require fossil fuel. Grasses inspired by woodland grass that grew naturally, without encouragement. Woodland grass grew on soil with biological diversity. Plowing killed soil organisms. Fossil fuel allows more plowing, and provides chemferts. Fossil fuel is used to grow crops in soil that is essentially dead. When fossil fuel runs out, we will need living soil. Cattle require a lot of land, and for Britain to become self sufficient, people will need to eat less meat, and farmers will need to raise other crops as well. Introduction of permaculture and permaculture expert Patrick Whitefield. Three ways of farming, drugery, fossil fuel, and design.
#4 Woodland are the most efficient growing system for the British climate. Farming based on natural ecology. "What we got to do is take the principals of this (the forest), and think how far we can bend them towards something more edible." - Patrick Whitefield
The demonstration farm is a collection of small clearings in a massive woodland. Chris & Lynn Dixon produce all the fruit, vegetables, meat, and the fuel they need to cook them, in return for a few days work per week. When they started, 20 years before, the farm was degraded, marginal, pasture land. The first thing that they did was let the land return to its natural state, a chaotic woodland, but in its present state, the chaos is very highly structured.
The gorse fixes nitrogen, the bracken collecting pot ash, and by encouraging the birds, they are encouraging the phosphate cycle through the system. Thus no need for sacks of fossil fuel fertilizers, it's all provided by nature. Carkey(sp?) Campbell ducks provide insect protection.
All the plants provides some service. Willow Leyland Ash (tree) branches are fed to horses, cattle, and sheep. Using the full height of trees and hedges, you can squeeze higher yields out of the same piece of land. Plants not producing crops are recycling nutrient. Cannon(?) Alder supplies nitrogen through its leaf litter ;O), and root system,
#5 and beneficial fungi link up everything under the ground, and move nutrients around from areas of high concentration to areas of low concentration. All the plants are there for a reason, or multiple reasons. Plants that attract beneficial insects do away with the need for pesticides. The garden requires, over the year, a day a week of work, but a lot of that is harvesting. Maintenance is 10 days/year. Yields from a forest garden (a low energy, low maintenance system) should be able to feed 10 people/acre, which is double the amount of people that contemporary farming can feed. What you can't grow is cereal crops, which can be replaced by nut crops, which are more sustainable. Orchards require less energy than a field of wheat. Nutrient composition of chestnuts is similar to that of rice.
Gardening with hand tools is more productive and energy efficient than farming. It's the attention to detail that an experienced gardener can give to a small plot that makes it so productive. They can provide up to 5 times more food per sq. meter, than a large farm.
Modern farming and distribution methods are unlikely to survive the increasing costs of petroleum. The modern demographic change of the 21st Century will be re-ruralization. Proportion of people involved in food production will increase. ----- The above remarks come from Martin Crawford, Patrick Whitefield, and Chris Dixon. See site below.
<http://transitionculture.org/2009/02/23/a-farm-for-the-future-essential - viewing/>
<http://www.shade-growing.com/permaculture/a-farm-for-the-future-transcri pt>
<http://www.theoildrum.com/node/5241
Songbird, drop me a line at snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com
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songbird wrote:

Tropical rainforest is often on leached soil where most of the nutrients are actually in the trees. Saying that this environment doesn't accumulated soil and therefore no forest will do so does not necessarily follow. Particularly where temperate forests were cleared for crop land you can certainly increase the amount of carbon stored by converting them to pasture or back to forest. But your point about reaching a maximum and then not storing any more is correct. Evan so I don't think carbon sequestration is anything more than a side show when it comes to managing climate change.

You are right that it is not a panacea but wrong in saying we cannot build soil or sequester carbon by altering land use.
David
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It worked for the buffalo and those that tended them.

Citation, please.

All fixes are temporary, and all analogies fall apart somewhere. Still, it is something that we could do right now, and have an impact on environmental, and human health.

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Note that we were talking about changes to land use not sequestering carbon in less decomposable forms. I was told the amount that can be stored has limits in a course by Dr Judi Earl who put me on to Dr Christine Jones. The latter is the local guru on agricultural carbon sequestration. The reason given is that as decomposable carbon builds up the microbes that break it down also build up until the rate they are breaking down reaches the rate of build-up, in other words an equilibrium is reached. The position of the equilibrium depends on the land use and methods but you will still get one sooner or later. This is ignoring the carbon stored above ground in forests etc but you can see that it also has a maximum value depending on what is grown.
Here is one quote:
"The capacity of soil to store decomposable organic carbon by physical protection within micro-aggregates or other organomineral complexes seems to be finite. Once these complexes are saturated any added decomposable organic carbon cannot be protected from decomposition. Even if this capacity has been severely depleted it can be resaturated rapidly (e.g. within 30 years by growing pasture)."
Which is from here:
http://www.amazingcarbon.com/PDF/Leigh%20Sullivan%20-%20SULLIVAN_ARMIDALE.pdf
This site
http://www.amazingcarbon.com
has a huge amount of material on this topic. I haven't read it all. If you also google on:
carbon sequestration "christine jones" site:.au
you will get much more. She is of the view that paying farmers to do sequestration is a solution to climate change. I think we must try many solutions because until you try you don't know for sure what the effect will be and also there are political, economic and social limits on the extent that any given solution can be adopted thus we are likely to need a multi-pronged approach to succeed.
Also I would not want to push only sequestration solutions because the fossil fuel industry will try to seize on any method of dealing with climate change (eg "clean coal") as long as it allows them to keep on burning and that is very undesirable for many reasons apart from the increase in atmospheric CO2.
David
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David Hare-Scott wrote:

right, why is that though? you'd figure that if it was truely good for the ecosystem to have deep soil that it would have figured that out by now (millions of years of selective pressure).

again true, but only to a point and i think there is a need now to go beyond what can be accompished this way.

i'd change my statement to "not storing much more" because i do think that periodic fires do store some more. just not that much at a time.

yeah, i mispoke somewhat there, but what i meant was that the need for carbon storage is now more than what is going to be achieved using either of those two methods. building soil would help out all around, i won't argue against that.
my wondering about topsoil is that if it is so good for overall life then you'd think that by this time (after millions of years) it would be selected for and there would be much more of it than there is instead of what we do find. so my curiousity is engaged on the topic of the disappearing topsoil.
so much topsoil is lost to erosion and biological processes that it ends up in the ocean and then turned into coal and oil but the timescale for that process is geological (not historical). the balance needed is the use of the energy to match what the ocean is capable of storing. we're way past that (i'm not sure what that amount is), but we'd know we've gotten there if the ppm of CO2 stablizes and then starts falling and the ocean acidity does the same.
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Think of modern agriculture or logging etc as nothing more than strip mining. Cheap and easy but short term.
http://www.wsu.edu/gened/learn-modules/top_agrev/2-soil/soil1.html
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globalvoicesonline.org
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songbird wrote:

Different ecosystems work in different ways. In the case of tropical forests the very high rainfall leaches the soil and the biota has adapted to that reality.

Yes
Two reasons. One: that there are environments where building and maintaining topsoil is too hard (eg tropical rainforest) so the adaptive pathway has gone in other directions. Two: humans have been making topsoil disappear since we started agriculture. We now live in an age where so much is transmitted culturally instead of genetically you could call it the post-Darwinian era. This is gross simplification of course because natural selection still takes place as it always has but now many factors interfere with it.
<ascends soapbox> Typically our cultures cannot deal with issues like topsoil because they take generations to see change. When motivation is dominated by the desire to eat today, to make a profit next month and to be elected again in 3 years time how can you spare any thought for problems that have taken thousands of years to develop and will take hundreds to fix?
The way things are heading nothing will be done on a large scale until over population, over consumption, resource limits and climate change form the perfect storm. People will then cry out to leaders saying "why didn't you do anything about it?" The majority of leaders will say "elect me again and I will fix it next year", the few honest ones will say "because you didn't want me to" and they will be the first trampled by the hungry mob. <descends soapbox>
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Wot? A soapbox without anybody standing on it? <ascends soapbox, rant on>
Since too many politicians are involved in making money, rather than politicking, it will have to be left to us sheep to change direction, if we can. Organic produce increases its rate of sales. year after year, not just in the U.S. but around the world. Since 1990, the market for organic products has grown at a rapid pace, to reach $46 billion in 2007. This demand has driven a similar increase in organically managed farmland. Approximately 32.2 million hectares worldwide are now farmed organically, representing approximately 0.8 percent of total world farmland.
Then there are organic gardeners. Organic Gardening Magazine's rate base will increase more than 5% to 275,00 from 260,000, the third increase for the magazine in four years and an overall jump of 28% from 2007. Organic Gardening's relaunch is in response to a changing mindset among Americans who are choosing to lead healthier, more environmentally conscious lifestyles.
Nutritious food, free of unnatural chemicals, has a strong appeal, and we as organic gardeners are its lobbyists. The world needs to return to a sustainable model, and it is up to us, at least for the time being, to engage in conversations about organic gardening, write letters to the Editor of our local papers, and even write to our Congress people to uphold organic standards, and to make subsidies, at least in part, dependent on stewardship of the land.
Natural ecosystems and organic farmers are the only creators of topsoil today.
<rant off, descends soapbox>
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Billy wrote:

While true in general I wonder if there are exceptions here and there that are of interest.
There's a wildlife preserve in the Netherlands that forms a natural European grassland with herds of wild undulates and some natural predators. The idea is humans tend to view forest as the natural state of Europe without humans but how did the herding grass eaters like cows and horses evolve in a forest? It's a grassland that's not really natural but more of a deliberate immitation of natural.
Much of the previous discussion has been about ways to conduct small farming to build topsoil, but only in a specific geography. At first I easily imagined morphing the concepts regionally to acheive making topsoil in other regions with adapted methods.
Now I have started to wonder how herd management might be conducted so it grows topsoil instead of depleting it. Buffalo herds were a part of the North American grasslands and soil building in grasslands was discussed. Current herding methods deplete soil - How to change that so they build soil?
I recall the soil being pretty good in the small farm oriented dairyland where most of my relatives lived when I was a kid. Small herds of dairy cattle, crop rotation including legumes, some farms growing feed for the farms with the bigger herds. I wonder how such a model can be mapped to beef herding. What comes to my mind is - grass fed beef rather than lot fed beef, mixed with a smaller heard strategy where the feed is closer to local than it is with modern large beef cattle herds.
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Cover crop history.
http://www.google.com/search?q=cover%20crop%20history%20graphic&ie=utf-8 & oe=utf-8#q=cover+crop+history+graphic&hl=en&tbs=tl:1&tbo=u&ei=8V99TIaiJ8G 88gb1lKCcBg&sa=X&oi=timeline_result&ct=title&resnum&ved EIQ5wIwCg&fp }b4f7af4a13aa89
or http://tinyurl.com/2aeov7u
Looks like we may be getting smarter now if only the department of defence owned up to being the department of war.
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I'll look at this soon, when I have more time.

"While President Obama is claiming the war is ending, the US still maintains a large presence in Iraq. Fifty thousand US troops remain in Iraq to help with training and logistics. In addition, the US is keeping 4,500 special operations forces in Iraq to carry out counterterrroism operations. Tens of thousands of private contractors will also remain in the country."
"White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs has said President Obama may also talk tonight about how the the US is expanding the war against al-Qaeda by carrying out strikes in Africa and other areas beyond the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq."
Robert Gibbs: "I think you have seen a commitment to taking our fight directly to the leadership throughout the world, all over the world, in different places, be it in and around Africa, be it in Southeast Asia. I think the President made a commitment to increase the tempo of that fight, and thats exactly what hes done." <http://www.democracynow.org/2010/8/31/headlines#1
So while the Iraqi War winds down, we will be ramping up the Obama/Bush wars in Africa and in Southeast Asia. Even if they have democratically elected governments.
I would have sworn that "peace" looked different than this.
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Actually this thread started with the observation that, besides Salatin, others have created intensive food producing systems. "In Bangladesh a new chicken coop produces not just eggs and meat, but waste that feeds a fishpond, which in turn produces thousands of kilograms of protein annually, and a healthy crop of water hyacinths that are fed to a small herd of cows, whose dung in turn fires a biogas cooking system. In Malawi, tiny fishponds that recycle waste from the rest of a farm yield on average about 1,500 kilograms offish. In Madagascar, rice farmers working with European experts have figured out ways to increase yields. They transplant seedlings weeks earlier than is customary, space the plants farther apart, and keep the paddies unflooded during most of the growing season. That means they have to weed more, but it also increases yields fourfold to sixfold. An estimated 20,000 farmers have adopted the full system. In Craftsbury, Vt., Pete Johnson has helped pioneer year-round farming. Johnson has built solar greenhouses and figured out how to move them on tracks. He now can cover and uncover different fields and grow greens 10 months of the year without any fossil fuels, allowing him to run his community-supported agriculture farm continuously.
Then it morphed into CO2 and topsoil.

An assertion was made by Peter Bane <http://www.permacultureactivist.net/design/Designconsult.html that using Joel Salatin's methods and converting existing farmland to permanent pasture would allow the U.S. to more than sequester the CO2 that we produce.

Salatins method employes the synergistic effects of steers and chickens caring for a pasture, and he is reputed to generate an inch of topsoil/year.

That is the ideal. Healthier for the animals and human beings. 70% of antibiotics are used in agriculture, so I'm sure you can guess where antibiotic bacteria come from. Plus, using the steers and chickens in combo, no fossil fuel is used in fertilizing the pastures. The chickens eat the bug, thus there is less fossil fuel based pesticides used, if any.
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