Posted by & filed under GMOs, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

Michael Hart, a conventional livestock family farmer, has been farming in Cornwall for nearly thirty years and has actively campaigned on behalf of family farmers for over fifteen years, travelling extensively in Europe, India, Canada and the USA.

In this short documentary he investigates the reality of farming genetically modified crops in the USA ten years after their introduction. He travels across the US interviewing farmers and other specialists about their experiences of growing GM.

Posted by & filed under Food Forests, Food Plants - Perennial, Trees.

Dedicated to the memory of Peter Brew 1954-2010


Classic bunya bunya canopy profile at the Bunya Mountains National Park

Equinox gift from the subtropics

It feels like a classic autumn break after a horrible gardening season with alternating cool and scorching hot dry conditions, insect plagues and disease. We’ve had a series of nice rains bringing the first germinating winter clovers, grasses and lush annuals that most people call weeds. It will soon be chestnut harvest time (if we can net some trees against the sulphur crested cockatoos). Soon we will be eating roast chestnuts for breakfast; a small but significant implementation of the permaculture vision of tree crop staples providing a larger part of diet to reduce dependence on wheat, potatoes and other annual staple crops that dominate world food supply.

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Posted by & filed under GMOs, Health & Disease.

New research confirms that DNA fragments derived from meals, large enough to carry complete genes, can escape degradation and enter the human circulatory system, and so can RNA, raising serious concerns over new nucleic acids introduced into the human food chain via genetically modified organisms.

by Dr Mae-Wan Ho

A fully referenced version of this article is posted on ISIS members website and is otherwise available for download here.

Food RNA gets into blood and so does DNA

We have alerted readers to research showing how tiny RNA molecules in food eaten can circulate in the bloodstream and turn genes off in the body [1], raising concerns over the safety of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), which introduce many novel and synthetic nucleic acids into the human food chain ([2] How Food Affects Genes, SiS 53). New research shows that pieces of DNA large enough to code for complete genes can also escape degradation in the gut and enter the human circulatory system, and the presence of circulating RNA from food is much more extensive and widespread.

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Posted by & filed under Financial Management, Village Development.

by Rob Avis

I’ve been running Verge Permaculture for five years now, and before that worked as an engineer in the oil and gas industry. Starting a business was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I didn’t know if Verge was going to work out, if anyone would hire me or take my courses, or if I could really make a difference. Keeping these experiences in mind, I recently reached out to some of the best in the field to get their advice for those just starting out in permaculture, particularly around untapped opportunities and common barriers. We got responses from the following amazing people:


Adam Brock – The GrowHaus


Ben Falk – Whole Systems Design


Ethan Roland – Appleseed Permaculture


Geoff Lawton


Rhamis Kent


Richard Perkins – Ridgedale Permaculture

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Posted by & filed under Demonstration Sites, Education Centres.

Here’s a typical morning pick of diverse vegetables from the main crop at Zaytuna Farm — today it’s potato, amaranth, spinach, turnip, carrot, long red radish, snow peas, silver beet, sweet root, cassava, arrow root, rocket, Egyptian mustard, turmeric, lettuce, Ethiopian cabbage, daikon radish, beetroot, bok choy, yellow cherry tomato, sweet potato, zucchini and taro.

This is nutrient dense super-food — with zero food miles and zero food guilt.

You are what you eat and it’s even better if it is what you grow.

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Posted by & filed under Soil Erosion & Contamination.

There is no greater environmental problem than the loss of our soils.

In honor of the recent release of Kristin’s Ohlson’s book, The Soil Will Save Us: How Scientists, Farmers, and Foodies Are Healing the Soil to Save the Planet, this is an excellent opportunity to raise the level of advocacy for soil above all other issues. With man doing so many things to negatively impact the planet, it’s a wonder anyone can pay any attention to any one of them, let alone help make a change. Yet, it is the fractured outcry of we who protest that keeps us from being successful in our various causes.

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Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Conferences, Consumerism, Deforestation, Desertification, Economics, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, GMOs, Health & Disease, Presentations/Demonstrations, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

World famous author and activist Vandana Shiva gave an inspiring speech at the Food Otherwise conference in Wageningen, Netherlands, on 21 February 2014.

"Monopolies, centralization and monocultures go hand and hand and they are the instruments of power. We have to create instruments of democracy, diversity, resilience."

If you prefer, you can read the transcript of the speech here (PDF).

Posted by & filed under Insects.

It seems we are frantically seeking a reason and a solution to the infamous and mysterious Colony Collapse Disorder. Although the news makes you think that it’s a plague affecting all beekeepers, the reality shows otherwise. Organic beekeepers — you know, those who gently collaborate with bees — do not experience the same losses. Have you ever wondered why? Jacqueline Freeman gives you 12 empowering tools to offer the best to your bees. All in all, it is a matter of celebrating their beeness….

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Posted by & filed under GMOs, Health & Disease.


Duration: 45 minutes (jump to 03:40 to skip introductions)

Little more than a week ago my brother sent this presentation by Bruce Lipton regarding the new science of epigenetics. As a high school biology teacher who had questioned concepts like genetic determinism and junk DNA I found it fascinating. When my wife, the original sceptic, was spell-bound by Bruce I knew we were on to something.

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