Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Victoria's Green Matters - 16th August 2012

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:
 One of the most important things about living in a low-carbon economy will be the emphasis on localism. To cut down on carbon emissions we will need to produce as many items as possible as close to our towns and cities as possible.

An exciting example of how productive a small organic farm can be is at the foot of the Black Mountains in Wales and shows just how much can be achieved on 1½ acres. The farmer calls his system high biodiversity, low-carbon polyculture – working with nature, not trying to control it. A resilient system like this can survive peak oil and climate change.

Rotation of crops is very important. It helps to improve soil structure and fertility because each crop works the soil differently. It is vital to interfere with the soil as little as possible. A forest garden mimics natural woodland with different crops growing at different light levels within layers. Pests are dealt with by attracting predator insects and employing ducks to eat slugs.

Many fruits and vegetables are grown in this system – to the tune of £25,000 worth per year and most of it is sold within five miles of the farm.

We can start this now by buying our food from local producers as far as possible or, even better, growing our own. It may have become fashionable in recent years to bang on about growing your own food but it is the most satisfying experience to eat crops that you have grown yourself!

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