Our Introduction to Indoor Sustainable Agriculture class is going wonderfully this week, and it’s keeping the staff here very busy! I spent yesterday teaching vermiculture, pest management and harvesting techniques to a wonderful group of entrepreneurs. The day was done before I had time to post the headlines, so here they are today.
A good visual on how quickly we will deplete our natural resources. According to this BBC article, by 2030, the Arctic will be completely ice-free during the summer, and by 2050, one third of all land plant and animal species will be extinct due to climate change.
It’s the last chance to stop a great many things… “As many as 18 million people are being hit by a growing food emergency in the Sahel region of Africa, international donors and campaigners said on Monday, calling for urgent action to prevent mass hunger in the vast area south of the Sahara desert.”
A fantastic article on the seeds freed slaves saved and planted… “Ms. Hambrick-Jackson, 54, likes to recall what happened when she asked a group of second graders, “If you were going to free yourself and leave this plantation tonight, what would you bring with you to eat? One of them said, ‘a bag of potato chips,’ ” Ms. Hambrick-Jackson said. “And I said: ‘No, this was the year 1810. They weren’t invented yet.’ Then they started to say hamburgers and hot dogs. I said no, no, no.”
“We’re walking the line between a disaster and possibly a bumper yield,” says Dave Kestel, who farms 1,200 acres of corn and soybeans near Manhattan in Will County. “If it kept raining and we had a beautiful summer from here on out, we would have very good crop. If it stops raining, this crop will fall on its face because there are no reserves. The subsoil is dry.”
“With water increasingly scarce in the West, some other communities are allowing farmers to sell their allotment of it for whatever price they can find, in some cases thousands of dollars for the amount it takes to grow an acre of a crop. But this comes with a hitch. Working farms provide jobs and income to their many suppliers. There are 450 farmers in the Imperial Valley, but half the jobs held by the 174,000 residents are tied to agriculture.”
Cool! “Stone Age artists were painting red disks, handprints, clublike symbols and geometric patterns on European cave walls long before previously thought, in some cases more than 40,000 years ago, scientists reported on Thursday, after completing more reliable dating tests that raised a possibility that Neanderthals were the artists.”