Biodiversity: Past and Future in Organic Farming

It was in the fertile crescent of Anatolia, a mere 10,000 years ago that the world changed forever. One of our hunter-gathering relatives noticed a few errant wheat seeds sprouting on the footpath where she had previously carried her bounty. She soon realized that saving a few seeds and purposely planting them would lead to regular forages of future wheat.

The dawn of agriculture began thus modestly one seed and species at a time. Agriculture and the taming of all-things-wild spread like a bushfire transforming human culture and the landscape. The very biodiversity of the planet was in peril as agriculture took hold and it’s taken us quite some time to look back. Continue reading

Why Getting Dirty Can Help Save the World

I owe soil an apology.2015 Year of Soil 2

For many years I only considered soil as dirt, mud, insignificant, yuck! If you were like me, the only time you thought about soil was when you were washing it off your boots after a hike in the woods or perhaps you cursed it as you removed weeds from your garden. I have walked all over soil, literally and philosophically. Now I know better, and I want to share why. Continue reading

Pay Dirt! Let’s Celebrate 2015 as International Year of the Soil!

2015 Year of Soil 2What is soil? It is not just the dirt under out feet, but a living, breathing organism that we depend on for our very survival. Soil is one of the main resources that sustain life on this planet along with water, air and sunshine. Healthy unadulterated soil is quite literally alive with insects, microorganisms, bacteria and humus, decaying organic matter. It is the resource we walk all over and don’t spend much time thinking about… unless of course you are an organic farmer. Now the United Nationals Food and Agriculture Organization and the USDA agree:  soil health and awareness is essential to the health of our eco-systems and the food security for the billions who must be fed. Continue reading

Turkish Tales – IFOAM World Congress

IFOAMMy early morning taksi (taxi) takes me across the bridge from Asia into Europe across the great Bosphorous River. My excitement is barely contained at the thought of a World Organic Congress! This is the IFOAM’S 18th Organic World Congress, convened every three years by the global organic community. Lucky for me, this year Istanbul is the host city, with its delicious backdrop of tastes and flavors!  Continue reading