Written by Wally Richards. Week ending22 July 2017
A few years ago I read an interesting book written by a group North American Soil Scientists who visited Asia towards the end of the 1800's.
Their aim was to study the farming methods in Asia and in particular in China where it was known that intensive crops had being continually grown on the same land for hundreds of years.
They were very impressed with the soil fertility and the health of the produce the peasant farmers were able to obtain from their small blocks of leased land.
They learnt that a condition of the lease was that the land had to be returned to the landlord at the end of the lease period in as good fertility if not better than it had been at the beginning of the lease.
To obtain a high level of fertility all manner of natural things were used including human manure, the earth floor of their homes (changed every year).
In fact the collection of organic materials were small industries in themselves, night carts, earth floor businesses paying for these and then selling them to the farmers.
All round a very labour intensive business.
The soil scientists were amazed at the amount of work and the rich soils that resulted, where back home already there was soil deterioration which farmers were facing.
Later on I read of accounts in more recent times of the changes in China and in particular the overall health of the people which had deteriorated.
The reason was that the young Chinese instead of carrying on in the same manner that their forefathers had for hundreds of years, instead would leave home to go to the cities and work in the factories.
The aging parents left behind became too old to maintain the labour intensive natural farming they had traditionally done. Instead a new industry had come into being using man made fertilisers and superphoshate.
Initially the naturally rich soils accepted these small amounts of chemicals and produced even bigger crops than previously.
It was soon found that more fertiliser had to be used to obtain similar produce results as the health of the soil deteriorated.
More costs for fertliser each year, less produce and the overall health of the people declined.
I have seen the same happening here in New Zealand during my short life time of 70 odd years.
Recently I have met a new business associate named Rui Jiang living in NZ but from China who has supplied me with a very interesting natural product which we will write about and make available in the new season.
During my conversation with Rui I learnt a very interesting thing about what is currently happening in China.
According to Rui the Chinese Government has woken up to the health problems of their people and correctly put the cause down to the modern conventional farming using chemicals and destroying the natural fertility of the land.
Obviously they have recognised that the farming methods of thousands of years were far superior than the current chemical mentality and have made some positive moves to make changes.
Farmers wanting to grow naturally (Organic if you prefer) are given free natural materials and compost to restore the fertility of their land.
New industries are busy in different areas using what materials are available locally to make compost and products such as Bio Char.
The costs of this is offset by taxing conventional farmers that still use chemical fertiliser on their land.
A brilliant scheme which means that the destructive fertiliser companies will be run out of business through lack of demand and it will not take very long before the benefits to the health of the population will be noted.
The need for hospitals, doctors and pharmaceutical medications will sharply reduce, saving the tax payers millions of Yuan which means more money for other aspects such as education, welfare, infrastructure etc.
It is also interesting to note that Russia is also working on producing organically grown produce as they see that is a great opportunity for exports to other countries..
It would be great to see some common sense played out in the West and more so in NZ, making changes to the way we farm and how we grow food crops in NZ.
The likelihood of that happening are very low as lobby groups from farming, fertiliser companies, chemical companies, pharmaceutical and any other organisations that feed off the poor health of people will do all in their power to prevent those we elect to make any positive changes.
It always amazes me how those Govt departments that are supposed to work in the interests of the people they serve (you and me) rather than in the interests of big business.
Take for instance the very vital insects in our food production that do the pollination of flowers and crops.
One would think that the last thing we would want to do is see anything that may cause them harm allowed, because without bees a lot of people would starve to death.
A new study has shown that the chemical insecticides called neonicotinoids do harm honey bees as well as bumble bees and native bees.
Information is at http://www.blacklistednews.com/Globalism_%26amp%3B_Pesticides_Are_B...
The study itself was available to read at http://science.sciencemag.org/content/356/6345/1393.full
But now I find that you have to register and pay for what was free previously?
It would be good now that the EPA have been sent the studies; (I emailed them) that they will remove these chemicals from availability in NZ at least make them unavailable to the home garden market which would be a good start. They are sold as products such as Confidor.
When plants/crops are grown chemically they are more likely to be attacked by diseases and insect pests the simple reason for this is that they are not strong like naturally growing plants and are more attractive to problems.
Thus to overcome these problems a wide range of chemical solutions are applied which means these poisons are in the food we eat.
The NZFSA does tests on our food every so often and publishes the results; the reading of which can be very concerning but usually dismissed as being within tolerable levels.
Which has always intrigued me how can any poison have an ok level as it is a poison which is designed to kill or control pests and diseases?
I recently found the following web site which even though it applies to America the actually findings are also likely to be a bit similar in NZ as we are using many of the commercial chemicals here on the produce you buy. See http://whatsonmyfood.org/index.jsp
Problems ring me at 0800 466464 (Palmerston North 3570606)
Web site www.gardenews.co.nz
New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990. Part II of the Act covers a broad range of Civil and Political Rights. As part of the right to life and the security of the person, the Act guarantees everyone:
The right not to be deprived of life except in accordance with fundamental justice (Section 8)
The right not to be subjected to torture or to cruel, degrading, or disproportionately severe treatment or punishment (Section 9)
The right not to be subjected to medical or scientific experimentation without consent (Section 10)
The right to refuse to undergo any medical treatment (Section 11)
Furthermore, the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 guarantees everyone: Freedom of Thought, Conscience, and Religion.
This includes the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion, and belief, INCLUDING THE RIGHT TO ADOPT AND HOLD OPINIONS WITHOUT INTERFERENCE (Section 1)
Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.