13 September 2007

Temple Gardens

A good friend of ours once said, "I know how you can become a millionaire by farming." (beat) "Start with three million dollars!" Never ones to shrink from a challenge we are going to rent our greenhouse to a local organic farmer. We will put a pellet stove out there to extend the growing season, and replace the old pump in the water pond that supplies the greenhouse. We plan to replace the plastic on the back half of the greenhouse with the more durable plastic panels, but for now they will start in the front section, which is maybe four to five hundred square feet. Our organic farm may be producing again soon.
Foods grown commercially are so laden with petrochemicals- between pesticides, fertilizers, and transportation that organically farmed food can take as little as 10% of the energy to produce. It is estimated that "the average American needs 20 to 25 acres of land to produce our food and assimilate all our wastes…" If the entire planet’s population had similar requirements we’d need four or five planets to meet the needs. If you divided up the productive land available worldwide it breaks down to about five acres each. Unfortunately, with populations at such an enormous and growing rate we cannot all eat organic foods. Did you know the average person eats ~235 pounds of meat a year and ~330 pounds of fruits and veggies? Over a thousand pounds of food annually.
A definite benefit to organic farming can be found in saving carbon emissions. If only 10,000 medium sized farms in the U.S. converted to organic production, they would store so much carbon in the soil that it would be equivalent to taking 1,174,400 cars off the road, or reducing car miles driven by 14.62 billion miles.
So, for better or worse, we launch our experiment. At least we will be saving emissions, and hopefully they can provide good quality organic food for people in this area, and with any luck we will get to have some of the fruits (or veggies) of their labor.

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