Virtual workshop: Permaculture - the future of food production?

This workshop will discuss the principles behind permanent agriculture, and will explore whether it has the potential to feed the world in an environmentally sustainable way.

Virtual workshop: Permaculture - the future of food production?

About Virtual workshop: Permaculture - the future of food production?

This virtual talk takes place on 3rd December, ahead of #WorldSoilDay on 5th December.

Book tickets: Here

Today, the majority of the food we eat globally comes from short lived, annual crops. These include vegetables like carrots, onions, tomatoes, potatoes and many more.

However, the majority of what we grow in the Northern hemisphere, feeding several billions of human beings, are short lived crops belonging to the grass family (Poaceae). Maize, rice, barley, wheat, rye and oats are grown on vast swaths of land throughout Europe, Russia, Asia and North America. For much of the world’s population, one of these ‘grasses’ provides the majority of your daily calorific needs in the form of bread, pasta, breakfast cereal or rice dishes. If you eat farmed meat of any kind, those animals are also being fed these ‘grass grains’, likely in addition to soy, another annual crop. To meet humanities demands for cheap carbohydrates and intensively produced meat, we need to grow an extraordinary quantity of these grass crops in addition to soybeans. To do so means extensive environmental destruction through deforestation, extensive soil degradation and erosion, and pollution of the wider environment and waterways through global pesticide and fertiliser use.

Surely there must be an alternative?

Permaculture, or permanent agriculture, is an ancient practice perfected by the advanced civilizations of South and Central America. With the colonisation of the Americas by Europeans over the last 500 years or so, these peoples and their genius methods of food production, have all but been forgotten, until recently. This workshop will discuss the principles behind permanent agriculture, and we will explore whether it has the potential to feed the world in an environmentally sustainable way.

This workshop will be delivered by Stuart Ritchie, Educational Gardener at Castlebank Horticultural Centre in Lanark.

Header image credit (The Green Center - Chinese Permaculture)

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