Organic, pesticide-free, sustainable – we hear all these words, but what’s the real future hold? With ever increasing pressure on available land, we need new ideas on how and where can we grow the food to feed our world’s increasing population. So let’s take a look at a couple of the growing trends.
Permaculture (short for “Permanent Agriculture”) is a way of working with nature, rather than against it. For years, farmers have struggled to grow crops, fighting nature’s pests and diseases that limit their harvest, most often with man-made chemicals. In our 21st Century, it is now being seen that these artificial methods can cause more harm than good to the environment. So permaculture looks to work with nature to provide the solutions – after all, our planet needs to be healthy so we can be healthy!
It’s about observing the natural world and seeing how it already provides solutions – waste makes natural fertiliser for our crops, safe soils sustain plants for years and years, healthy eating livestock provide us with better meat, harvested rainwater can water our plants, and natural methods can control insect damage. If we understand better how nature works, then our natural world can provide all we need.
INNOVATIVE IDEAS ARE GOING TO TRANSFORM HOW WE GROW THE FOOD WE EAT THIS CENTURY.
We are talking about the future here, so it’s good to know there are some high-tech solutions around today looking at solving these issues. Vertical gardening is one of them, which helps with both the lack of space and good soil. You may have seen some modern buildings with plants on the roof or the walls, so food can also be grown in this way, even in the city centre.
Using vertical towers, many plants can be grown in the same space that just one would normally be planted in. They don’t need messy soil and can even grow indoors with enough light and water, provided they get the right nutrients – so it’s a perfect solution for our modern ‘concrete jungle’ environment. Combined with aquaponics (where natural fish waste is used as fertiliser for the plants), all sorts of vegetables can be grown in this modern way.
OK, so it’s not as ‘natural’ as planting in a field, but isn’t it more natural than growing with artificial chemicals so often added in farming today? As the saying goes, it’s food for thought.