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  • #ForNature - World Environment Day 2020

    #ForNature - World Environment Day 2020

    It's time #ForNature! It’s been for a while. This pandemic has opened our eyes more than ever to this reality; a reality where consumerism has impaired our well-being and that of our planet and its biodiversity.

    Agriculture has been on the forefront of the climate crisis.  It has been stated that greenhouse emissions due to conventional agriculture has been approximately 17% and an additional 7-14% due to changes in land use. Forests are the lungs of our planet and home to over 70% of bird species, amphibian species and mammal species. The bushfires of Australia and the wildfires of the Amazon forest have shown us its time to act now and the urgency for each of us to act, doing our part as Civil Society.

    It is ironic that growing food crops have in fact shifted toward this paradigm of causing damage to the natural environment.

    It is also not just about planting trees but it is about what you are planting and how it’s done. It is important that we are conscious of planting trees suited to the habitat; trees which would survive without artificial & chemical enhancers. The best solutions have always been to revert to the indigenous flora of the region.

    The threat posed by global warming is evident. We have witnessed this at our farms, facing extreme weathers of drought and flooding in the early years. These issues persisted although we moved from conventional to organic farming. Our soil and our crops at Greenfield Farm faired better, but we were still running into issues with unpredictable shifts in seasonality.

    Globally, the issues of mono cropping as a failed system are being spoken of.  The idea of solving world hunger by planting genetically modified seeds to reduce crop damage is being questioned. These crops are being artificially sustained by chemicals. Some chemical fertilizers and pesticides, such as Round Up, were originally developed as weapons of war. It is known that chemicals such as glyphosates are retained in our soil for over 50 years. These chemicals will keep the pests away and save the crop, but they also deplete the soil of all its nutrients, whilst depriving the arthropods of carrying on with their daily affairs.

    Worms play a significant role in maintaining soil health. When the bees and the birds are kept at bay how does our planet function? How does one survive in a world trending towards biodiversity depletion? This poses the question of what we eat and the role of food in our lives.

    Going back to the origins of the concept of food and eating, it is known that the ancient man foraged through forests in search of food to serve his need for survival. He lived in harmony with the natural environment. Moreover, he learnt to respect and work with his surroundings.  It was a give and take concept of sustenance. Eventually as populations grew and the idea of power, supremacy and empires came into being, so began the concepts of commercial agriculture. Large areas of forests were being cleared to feed man, the Supreme Being! This eventually evolved into today’s practices of large conglomerates immersing themselves in the business of commercial agriculture and mono cropping.

    When we, at #greenfieldfarmorganiclife, took interest in organic farming in 1990, most of our tea land in #Haputale, Sri Lanka, was largely mono cropped estates of tea. They were picturesque and beautiful indeed. This beauty of the plantation was surface concentrated. The soil was barren of life. Communities in these estates were self-sustained to an extent by growing the food they needed. Malnutrition and diseases were common issues to be addressed. We knew a lot had to be done.

    We worked hard on the soil, feeding it with organic compost and lots of water. Indigenous trees of the locality were planted to provide shade to retain moisture in the soil. Slowly, we observed life return, the worms were back. Phew! The aroma of this fertile soil was perfuming our gardens and calling out to others seeking a healthy natural habitat. The vegetation was looking lush. Flowers were blooming. Our pollinators were visiting us again. Nature was taking control.

     

    And so came to being our thriving organic forest garden paving the path towards a sustainable organic pantry.

    Our crops have developed deep roots that penetrate the soil to replenish themselves in times of drought. The shade trees ensure that water is retained in our soil; our soil is a storehouse of carbon, locking it in and reducing the effects of global warming.

    Our farms are edible forests. Crop resilience (their ability to survive without artificial chemicals, pesticides and chemical fertilizers) is not a spoken of concept but a reality here. The indigenous trees of the rainforests planted in these gardens survive without chemicals and foster every other living creature. The biodiversity is rich and the natural ecosystem is thriving at Greenfield Farm.  The socio economic benefits of this to the local community are immense. The change has shown us that we can combat climate crisis if each one of us works on consuming sustainably and ethically grown food.

    Nature, if cared for, never fails you. After all it has been kind enough to accommodate us and feed us this long. You give and you take. It has given to us in abundance. It is time for us to give back - #fornature; for our planet #OLplanet; by our people #OLpeople

     

    Today, we have taken a further step in committing towards creating awareness amongst our little people, the leaders of the future, to safeguard their home -Planet Earth. Who better than the kids to actively monitor and ensure their friends of nature are well looked after? Mother Nature gives and forgives.  Let us not take it for granted that someone else will do our part in saving the planet, our Mother. It’s time to foster sustainable eating habits and engage our children in doing the same. Shop wise. Shop ethical and sustainable food.


    We will keep you posted on our programs to protect biodiversity. Lets do this together.

    Much love x


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