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    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeMay 30th 2013 edited
     
    For some reason they think we are running out of land to farm, so is this the solution.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01snbm2

    Or would we be better off not throwing a third of it away
  1.  
    I saw a program that said it was more like 50 percent wastage in the food industry here in Europe.
  2.  
    Of course we will run out of farm land, especially when 'they' have planted most of it with biomass to support the power stations:devil::devil:
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeMay 30th 2013
     
    Posted By: Peter_in_Hungarywhen 'they' have planted most of it with biomass to support the power stations
    or planted it with subsidised solar farms - CPRE 'alarmed'.
    • CommentAuthorShevek
    • CommentTimeMay 30th 2013
     
    I quite like the principle of shifting farming vertically (if it works) in order to turn large tracts of land back over to the wild. I doubt that's the idea though.
  3.  
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeMay 30th 2013
     
    If vertical means multi-level, where low plants nestle under taller ones under trees, then that's very Permaculture - however it barely works in UK, best for southerly climates where there's an abundance of daylight.

    If it means on balconies up the side of buildings, even more so - in UK plants each really need a clear vertical view of their own patch of sky, to get enough light.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeMay 30th 2013
     
    One example they gave was salad leaves in Chicago, hardly a lack of good farm land in the USA, but as they said, it soothed the middle class conscience about 'food miles'.

    Should we talk of 'Food Joules'.

    Global farming is pretty good generally, there are some terrible failing to do with distribution, but these are political not technical.
    • CommentAuthorShevek
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2013 edited
     
    <blockquote><cite>Posted By: SteamyTea</cite>Global farming is pretty good generally</blockquote>

    But no matter how well it's done there's no escaping the fact that it displaces enormous amounts of biodiversity.

    I come from New Zealand, which went from being almost completely covered in forest around 1000 AD to half that by 1800, to the small pockets of forested land now:
    http://thebloodsblog.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/wellington-056.jpg

    Flying over earth, especially at night, makes you wonder whether we're a blessing or a parasite.

    I remember reading Design Outlaws back in the 90s: http://www.designoutlaws.org/ There's an interesting section in there about dense/high super cities. Would be interesting to read again to see how much of it is still relevant.
    • CommentAuthorwindy lamb
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2013
     
    I don't think I'd be able to get the tractor in the lift !
    But it's all a load of nonsense really - if farming in Wales only just makes a profit then can't see how you'd pay for the vertical farm buildings in the first place. It's always cheaper for someone to cut down some virgin forest anyway - Supermarkets are happy to buy that produce.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2013
     
    How much of it is that we are using the wrong land to grow on?
    There is a 'national pride' issue about being self sufficient in food production, but is that hampering all-round better farming methods.

    Hard to decide if the dominant species on the planet is a parasite or not, I just think that humans are the dominant species and it will all sort itself out.
    But as we are at about 50% of the population now living in urban areas, there is less people in rural ones. But remember that urban areas were once forest, flood plains, hillsides, deserts and all the other 'wildernesses'.

    Just got GQT on and it is from Cornwall. But how about this for a question:

    Q. We burn a lot of old timber, how can I best use the ash in the garden?

    A. Wood ash is quite high in potash, so can be good for fruiting plants, or plants such as Clematis (especially in quite acid soil). Use it on the garden now rather than when it's very wet weather as the nutrients will leach away very quickly in the rain. It should be applied quite thickly and raked into the soil to prevent it from blowing away.

    To expand a bit she is burning old timber with nails in it, so probably treated, who want to tell her her?
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2013
     
    I dunno - 'old timber' prob still means from pre WW2 - when did routine timber treatment begin?
    • CommentAuthorskyewright
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2013
     
    Posted By: SteamyTea
    To expand a bit she is burning old timber with nails in it, so probably treated, who want to tell her her?

    Is Bob not on the panel today (we don't listen to it till Sunday evening)?
    IIRC when Bob answers that sort of question he usually makes the point about treated/painted timber not being suitable?
    • CommentAuthorShevek
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2013
     
    Posted By: SteamyTeaHard to decide if the dominant species on the planet is a parasite or not, I just think that humans are the dominant species and it will all sort itself out.

    Sorting itself out may well include spitting us out, or at least cutting us down to size. It could be that we're an evolutionary dead end, with delusions of grandeur. This could help explain the silence we appear to experience from space. The type of organisational intelligence required to travel/communicate across space may be the type that tends to kill itself off too. Although this argument is slightly undermined by the fact that we're already a noisy bunch who have sent objects out into space.
  4.  
    Posted By: bot de pailleI saw a program that said it was more like 50 percent wastage in the food industry here in Europe.


    I remember watching an excellent documentary film from the US a few years ago where the film maker joined others dumpster diving for food in the evenings after the supermarkets closed. The amount of good food that was thrown out was staggering, whole trays of eggs because one was cracked, loads of perfectly edible fruit and veg etc. etc.

    They had lots of figures on the amount of food that goes to waste every day but I have long since forgotten the details, well worth a watch if you come across it, I think it was on Netflix at the time I saw it.
  5.  
    The program I saw looked at the journey of food from farm grower, transport, super market through to consumer.

    the farmer threw away about 5-10 percent due to the product grown not being the right size etc

    transport wasted another 5-10 percent because refrigerators failed, ships held up at port etc

    Supermarkets throw away 10-20 percent because of minor defects that would not be accepted by consumers, nearing sell by dates etc

    and then of course us the consumers throw away vast amounts of food, another 10-20 percent wasted

    In all they totaled around 50 of waste of food wastage, but that was Europe. In America is probably a lot more, and in the developing world probably a lot less.
  6.  
    I remember last year seeing in one of the big sainsburys equivalent French supermarkets, signs that were proudly stating how they took produce off the shelf well before the sell by date, out of respect for the health and safety of consumers! The same super market that sold me a dud ink cartridge 2 years over its sell by date and then refused to refund because it was my fault for not checking it was out of date.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2013
     
    Don't you just love the French :bigsmile:

    I am sure with better distribution and less expectation for perceived quality we could easily feed that 'starving billion'.
    I am not a great one for charities (though I do have a favourite that I support), but would give to a food distribution one, does anyone know of any?
  7.  
    It's not vertical, but I came across this at the Science Museum in London, and it looks like it could be a practical solution to growing lots of food without too much of a negative impact on biodiversity.
  8.  
    <blockquote><cite>Posted By: fostertom</cite>If vertical means multi-level, where low plants nestle under taller ones under trees, then that's very Permaculture - however it barely works in UK, best for southerly climates where there's an abundance of daylight.

    If it means on balconies up the side of buildings, even more so - in UK plants each really need a clear vertical view of their own patch of sky, to get enough light.</blockquote>

    Don't really agree with this. We have been growing successful commercial crops under 75 percent shade netting now for approx 10 years. In theory this would mean in a block of flats the top 4 floors could be used for food production feeding the families below with the appropriate light shafts. Our food production technique has now developed into a pod ring culture system using recycled IBC containers.
    As for wood ash it is a key component of our recycled compost system increasing ph levels.
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2013
     
    Surely the headline figure,- 50% wasteage, or whatever; is a little misleading. I'm guessing if true, it only applies to fresh products, when you factor in processed food in one form or another, dried, frozen, canned, preserved, juiced, etc that 50% headline as a % of ALL foodstuffs drops significantly.
  9.  
    Posted By: owlmanSurely the headline figure,- 50% wasteage, or whatever; is a little misleading. I'm guessing if true, it only applies to fresh products, when you factor in processed food in one form or another, dried, frozen, canned, preserved, juiced, etc that 50% headline as a % of ALL foodstuffs drops significantly.

    I have often wondered what percentage of tomato ketchup is actually eaten. Most people seem to leave more behind on the plate than they actually eat.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2013
     
    Posted By: Chris P BaconI have often wondered what percentage of tomato ketchup is actually eaten.
    That is because they don't mix it with dripping and scoop it up with stale bread.:bigsmile:
    • CommentAuthorCerisy
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2013
     
    Stale bread - luxury!
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeJun 3rd 2013
     
    Posted By: renewablejohngrowing successful commercial crops under 75 percent shade netting
    I see - tell us, why do you do that?
  10.  
    We live on a hill top in Lancashire which is very wind swept. Having 75 percent shade netting in my polytunnel to protect the commercially grown bedding plants from sun burn I used the same net to protect my cabbage plants from cabbage white butterfly. What I did not expect was the increase in growth of the plants due to the added protection from wind and sun.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeJun 6th 2013 edited
     
    Posted By: renewablejohnWhat I did not expect was the increase in growth of the plants due to the added protection from wind and sun.
    Is that more to do with evaporation? C3 or C4 plants are different, so may depend on if you are growing things that should not grow there.
  11.  
    Once I had received good results I searched the Internet for similar results. To my surprise a great deal of research has been done on shade netting and crop enhancement particularly in Israel. Even the colour of the netting is important with different colours affecting plants in different ways.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeJun 6th 2013
     
    Do they give a mechanism as to why this is so?
  12.  
    Never really interested in why it works only the practical results ie yellow for growth and blue for dwarf. It's all well documented but I get bored with the science behind it as nobody really knows they just speculate. Like my peaches i know that the same variety of peach will be ready 2 months earlier in my polytunnel which uses shaded plastic as opposed to my clear glasshouse. Don't know the reason why but it means I have a succession of peaches rather than a glut.
   
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