Friday, September 01, 2017

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Growing Food for The Present and Future


Quote of the day: 

There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace. -Aldo Leopold




National Geographic/Greenhouses surrounding a Dutch farmer's home
Credit: National Geographic/Greenhouses surrounding a Dutch farmer's home

As the world population grows and grows the need for food production and self sustainability increases. A task not without problems especially with natural factors to think about such as adverse weather conditions and factors beyond our control such as war and conflict.

The food industry is diverse, a global collective of businesses supplying food consumed by the world population. There is a National Geographic article that makes for good reading. It talks about sustainable farming and how one country is at the forefront of agricultural technology. You see around 20 years ago the Netherlands made a national commitment to farming in sustainable ways with the theme "Twice as much food using half as many resources".

Fast forward to today and Dutch poultry and livestock producers have cut their use of antibiotics, reduced dependence on water for key crops, and almost eliminated the use of chemical pesticides on plants in greenhouses. The Netherlands is the world's second largest exporter of food as measured by value, only behind the US. All these from a small densely populated country but with more than half the nation's land area used for horiculture and agriculture utilizing large greenhouse complexes with climate controlled farms -thereby becoming a global leader in exports of tomato -a fair weather fruit.

And it doesn't stop there, the Dutch are also leading in exporting potatoes and onions, and the second largest exporter of vegetables overall in terms of value. Dutch farms are also developing various technologies, including one to maximize poultry production. This small country of over 17 million people fully understand the need for sustainable agriculture as a driving force for future growth.

We live in a world where both food waste and hunger co-exist. No country should have people who go to bed hungry each night. But that is the case all around the world and even more so in poorer countries faced with war and famine. According to Oxfam 'Hunger isn’t about too many people and too little food. It’s about power, and its roots lie in inequalities in access to resources and opportunities.' I believe we all can try our hands at growing our own vegetables albeit on a rather small scale depending on the resource at hand. Either using containers, a garden, or a small farm. Where space is limited containers or pots make sense. In some areas community gardens encourage people to use allotments for planting thereby contributing to the biodiversity of the area. It is becoming the norm for some companies to have green spaces, or rooftop gardens, others offer little allotments to their employees to grow vegetables and such, bringing the outdoors inside so to speak.


Peace. Love. Light* 


Current Listen: Louis Prima.- Buona Sera

43 comments:

  1. Love the Dutch farms photo, must be spectacular from above with the grow/heat lamps glowing in the dark. Great use of space besides the other perks!

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    1. It draws you in, that photo, and yes imagine the lights at night glowing brightly. The Dutch are on to something no doubt. Greetings to you.

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  2. I agree -no one should go to bed hungry.

    Louis Prima is a great listening choice!

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    1. Yes indeed, we've come too far in advancement but still haven't figured that part out. Louis Prima is definitely nice to listen to. Thanks for visiting.

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  3. Yep, so much waste and so many go to bed hungry that don't need too. Sounds like Dutch has it done right.

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    1. Yep, they sure are ahead of the pack in terms of self sustainability. Good stuff no doubt. Greetings.

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  4. The Dutch had a vision, and it is working. Other countries should follow their example. We, as individuals, should do our part, growing our own vegetables. I grow herbs!!

    The rooftop gardens are growing in popularity here as well.

    "Toronto is the first City in North America to have a bylaw to require and govern the construction of green roofs on new development. It was adopted by Toronto City Council in May 2009, under the authority of Section 108 of the City of Toronto Act.

    The Bylaw applies to new building permit applications for residential, commercial and institutional development made after January 31, 2010 and will apply to new industrial development as of April 30, 2012."

    Be well!
    : )

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    1. Having a vision is a wonderful thing, and accomplishing it even more so. Our part in the world is to leave it a better place. I like the fact that Toronto has taken a huge leap and lead regarding green spaces. Nicely done, and thank you for this information.
      Greetings to you.

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  5. This is something Alex and I are working towards too. At least the gardening efforts. Since we're renting now, I can't really do much except in containers and this was my first year at that, and it went pretty well. When we have our property we'll definitely be expanding the garden and building greenhouses so we can grow food all year long. As for meat though...no matter how much we want to be self-sufficient, we just don't have it in us to butcher our own animals. We even have trouble eating the fish we catch. But we will probably have chickens or ducks for egg production, goats for milk production (for my cheese!!!) :)...and hopefully be able to find some local farmers for meat.

    The quality of food at the grocery stores now is dismal, full of chemicals and just tasteless for the most part. Growing and making our own food isn't just for saving money in the long run, it's for enjoyment at this point too!

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    1. It's interesting to note that you are already doing your own little gardening with plans for expansion in due time. Great indeed, and yes the part about butchering animals takes a lot of will. Your self sufficiency goals are truly interesting, and I can only wish you the very best with that. Greetings.

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  6. That photo depicts your subject in an awesome way.

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    1. Thank you kind sir, I thought it showed a clear picture of what the post is about. Greetings to you.

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  7. A worthy subject....a great post. Subject is always right up my alley as I love growing most of my food. This years harvest is not ended and already I am planning next year's gardens, with this year's mistakes in mind. LOL
    Interesting about the Dutch and most people only think of them with tulip bulbs.

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  8. This is a wonderful idea that could so easily be done everywhere. I also love how locally the schools are planting gardens so the children learn where their food comes from and they see it in the cafeteria and it makes them proud and in fact eat better food for them. We need so much more of this. Thank you for this lovely story. I am going to pass this on if you don't mind.

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  9. I am fortunate enough to live in a part of the country where most of the people are self sufficient with their farms and ranches. This is such an interesting post. I had no idea the Netherlands was such a large exporter of foods. That's amazing. - I totally agree that no one should go to bed hungry or even go without meals for that matter and yet they do. Here in the states the restaurants, bakeries and grocery stores aren't allowed to give any of their "day old" foods to the food banks. It's ridiculous. When we buy bread from the store it's already a day old and we've all eaten left overs the next day but none can be given and it all has to be tossed. It's pretty frustrating being restricted from helping those who need it the most.

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  10. I see that many greenhouses and think, I hope they don't have many hailstorms there.

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  11. Growing one's own food, even in containers, is an important contribution to solving the food shortage problem. I love and enjoy our vegetable patch.

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  12. Fascinating. Too bad that a lot of the factory farmers here in the US are stuck with their corporate overlords and can't implement some of these strategies. I'm afraid until there's a crisis, they won't be able to make any sorts of changes.

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  13. So many ways to grow food and they are constantly looking for new and more efficient ways to do so.

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  14. I'm absolutely amazed at all the greenhouses in that photo. Incredible!

    Everyone needs to know where their food comes from.

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  15. I would like to garden in wooden boxes that are up and off the ground (the soil in my neighborhood is too sandy and it's too wet for a regular garden), but I will end up feeding the rats that the feral cats don't bother to kill because too many people feed them. They aren't allowing the natural life cycle to occur.

    Love,
    Janie

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  16. Wow! That's a pretty amazing farm! I definitely agree that no one should ever be hungry, and whatever we can do to make that go away is fantastic. Great post! Hugs...RO

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  17. Good post to raise awareness of the food problem.

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  18. Wow, that is some farm! It's easy to become complacent and forget about problems like these. Thanks for the awareness jolt.

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  19. Wonderful post. I live in the USA / Pacific Northwest. Many people in my community (Eugene, Oregon) grow their own veggies and have numerous berry bushes & fruit trees - especially in their front yards. People are generally respectful and do not harvest what is on their neighbors property. Those who have an abundance of food generously place the surplus in containers with a "Free - Help Yourself" sign attached. Our city also provides space for community gardens / allotments as do most cities, I imagine. This salute to self-sufficiency reminds me of my mother's stories of WW2 "victory" gardens...

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  20. ...sustainability is the key!

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  21. Oh what a wonderful and realistic post and didn't know the info about the Dutch ~ neat photo ~ thanks, love and light to you ~ ^_^

    (A ShutterBug Explores)

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  22. Thank you so much for this ray of hope. I'm with school of thought who think population is our biggest challenge. (food is but one element)

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  23. Thanks for the information, Mr. B. and today I learned something I did not know before and thanks for the education. The Dutch seem to be doing things right.

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  24. I do own a farm, and the possibilities to be self sustainable are endless, Mr. B ... but so is the work ... smiles ... Love, cat.

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  25. Now if everyone would get on board with sustainable farming, we'd be all set. You are right, hunger could be solved if we didn't have so much greed going on in this world :(

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  26. Thank you for sharing this informative story. I did not know this about the Dutch and commend them.

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  27. Looks interesting! Thanks for sharing! Have a nice weekend)

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  28. Hi Blogoratti - I hadn't realised the Netherlands were quite so organised... but can believe it. I see the underground spaces in London are being used to grow 'light veggie' - ie salads ... I note some of the charitable gardens in London and other cities do much for peoples who perhaps have needs ... Then there's the growing walls ... and Paignton Zoo grows its own plants for the animals ... as too other zoos in the south west ...

    I'd love to have a garden - but seem to have been not so clever in the places I elect to live in. One day ... cheers Hilary

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  29. Fantastic post! Happy weekend. :)

    STYLEFORMANKIND.COM
    Latest Post: Light Filled Swedish Home

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  30. I'm with you, there's nothing better than 'exfoliating' the hands and feet whilst breathing fresh air and soaking in Vit D plus you still get to eat the rewards... Farming's changed since the olden days of open fields, scarecrows and waiting for rain. Have a wonderful weekend, Blogoratti

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  31. This was all new information to me. I was thrilled to read they have made such progress. I think we in the states should study their techniques and put them to good use. We grow crops that require lots of land and water, like wheat, sorghum, and corn. We also grow cattle, pigs, chickens, and horses (not to eat, of course, but they require land). These animals are not renewable resources, unless we keep some back for breeding purposes. Our entire way of life is so different, yet we still have the same problems. Too much power in some areas of our country, and not enough food, water, and other resources in other parts. Great post!

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  32. Plenty of food at present, IF it could get to where it's needed. But there will come a time when there won't be enough under any circumstances

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  33. We grow all our own vegetables and quite a bit of fruit as well. We do buy meat but if we were vegetarians we could basically live off the land. Most people who live in France in the country seem to grow their own vegetables and many keep chicken and sheep as well for the table.
    We have been lucky everywhere we have lived we have had space for a garden to a certain degree having never lived in a really built up area.
    Have a good weekend Diane

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  34. Many thanks for such an informative post, "B"...I have really learned a lot here today...and I really admire the Dutch and commend them.
    I have long been living with the fear of what will happen when the inevitable happens - there just isn't enough food to go around.
    It is already happening in many parts of the World, but I guess in a lot of cases that is partly down to the corrupt governments preventing aid from reaching those who are truly in need...and that is heart-breaking.
    Perhaps we all need to begin growing as much of our own food as we possibly can...in earnest...:/

    Have a Great Weekend! :))

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  35. Super interesting post B, if only the world would learn from progressive thinkers. I agree that far too much food gets wasted in our decadent society. The gap between those that have and those who have not is widening every day.

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  36. There are so many children and families not eating a meal tonight. It breaks my heart. Your compassion shows in the last verse, and is special, indeed.

    ~Sheri

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