A major review comparing organic and conventional farming has found organic crop yields are much higher than previously thought.
The analysis of 115 studies showed that organic crop yields were only 19.2% lower on average than conventional crops, a smaller difference than previous estimates.
Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, also found that certain practices could further shrink the productivity gap between organic and conventional farming.
Senior study author Prof Claire Kremen said: “With global food needs predicted to greatly increase in the next 50 years, it’s critical to look more closely at organic farming, because aside from the environmental effects of industrial agriculture, the ability of synthetic fertilisers to increase crop yields has been declining.”
The researchers pointed out that the available studies comparing farming methods were often biased in favour of conventional agriculture, so the estimate of the yield gap is likely overestimated.
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This is a short clip of Geoff Lawton in Australia walking you through his land briefly showing you the formation of a food forest, he steps through time showing several stages starting from chickens on grass land to ten years down the line into a forest.
I guess the idea of this is to show low tech solutions that can be used to create an abundance of food around your property. It’s a simple system really that works with animals and nature to ease the work load when preparing the ground while getting chicken eggs and meat. It’s designed around the way a natural forest system works but utilises the different layers more fully by incorporating a perennials system of fruits and nuts. Accompanying the edibles are things like nitrogen fixing (legumes) plants, trees and fungi that work in a symbiotic relationship with one another as well as nutrient mining plants like say comfrey. Overtime a period of time and with little human intervention the forest develops with relative harmony and this type of food farming can really help provide you with something to forage from all year round no mater how much time you spend in it.
Having the money to buy fruit trees and things can be expensive but if you can’t afford it you can always say buy or borrow from a friends Apple tree while buying some root stock for not much money and grafting loads of your own Apple trees, in time you’ll have enough to plant a small forest. You might pick cheap bare rooted fruit tree’s in discount stores that you can rescue, worth a punt if your low on cash I say. To save a bit more money see what you can start from seed and also save (harvest) seed when ever possible along the way.
Want to know more, watch the 30 minute video he’s calling “How to Survive the Coming Crises” at: http://www.geofflawton.com/fe/32461-surviving-the-coming-crises