The End of Farming : Toward A New Kind of Farming


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I have read books about urban farming and read numerous blog posts and watched videos and listened to many podcasts, but I haven’t yet read or heard or seen a complete, succinct argument, backed up with facts and research about why we must, in the tradition of any urgent crisis, take up the cause, and leave the land, as farmers, and move the growing of our food to where the people are … to the cities.

At least that’s where the majority of us live, increasingly.

12,000 years of organized agriculture, learning to farm the land and we must learn one last great lesson of change, in our lifetime, Farming as practiced in many parts of the world is not sustainable and is actually harmful to the ecosystems we depend on for our very lives.

That’s what I intend to do with this book, “The End of Farming : Toward A New Kind of Farming”.

In reading, Dickson Despommier’s book The Vertical Farm. I learned so many things about the state of agriculture and it’s impact on our environment that I decided that I had to get involved.

I am currently working toward building a business inspired by Despommier’s ideas and feel empowered with a new purpose, to end the practice of farming as we know it. Or, at least, the most damaging elements.

  • Factory Farming practices which lead to the inhumane treatment of animal species on an unimaginable scale
  • Over-fishing of the Seas, Lakes and Rivers
  • Elimination of Agricultural Runoff into those same Seas, Lakes, Rivers, Underground reservoirs and Aquifers

I will be asking the help of others in the construction and research for the book, in the best traditions of open source software and the culture of collaboration developed in the world of open source software engineering.

I would refer you to The Vertical Farm for information, research and argument on what a vertical farm is and why we would want to build them. But for the sake of this discussion, let’s assume the following:

A) Farming as we now it must change. The water requirements, the run-off, the destruction of wild habitat around the world.
B) The “Population Bomb”. We are 7 Billion as of this writing and we love to party. We could be 9 Billion by 2050 and we can’t grow enough food for those we already have.
C) Cutting down more forests is NOT the answer. We need to re-plant those forests to heal our earth and re-think what a farm is and how it works and it’s distance from the greatest concentration of consumers, Cities. Hint: That distance should be zero !

We at, Earth Community Farms, have been thinking hard about who would be our greatest champions, our most invested partners with the greatest resources in knowledge and commitment in the quest to properly feed people and steward the land.

Who would want to build a Vertical Farm ?

Answer: Farmers.

When we talk about a revolution in farming, moving farming from the country to the cities, we can’t just flip a switch and make this happen overnight.

There will be successes and there will be failures.

There will be societies that embrace the idea of their food being grown indoors, perhaps under artificial lighting and those that don’t embrace the idea as fast.

This transition period will be measured in decades and centuries.

Also, we are committed to working with the people who understand growing food the best, Farmers. Many have said that the world has passed by the small family farm. BIG AG rules the world !!!

We don’t believe that.

We believe that small farmers can and will show the way to a more sustainable way of farming that improves the quality of the food they grow and eliminates all the negatives of the farming industry on the land and the surrounding water sheds and underground reservoirs and aquifers.

We believe farmers know and love the land and understand their role as stewards of the land, for a season, until it’s time for the next generation.

It makes sense that, on so many levels, that the leaders of such a transition would be those that are most invested in the business of farming and growing food.

And who might that be ? Farmers.

We call this project, “The 10% Farmer”.

This refers to our claim that the typical family farmer can farm 10% of their land increase their yields by 100% or more, eliminate weather as a factor, reduce their water use by 99%, eliminate the use of pesticides and herbicides and create a future for their farm and the generations to come.

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