Thursday, March 26, 2009

Agriculture as war

A thought provoking article from Dr Vandana Shiva Industrial agriculture has become a war against ecosystems. It is based on the instruments of war and the logic of war, and it has warlike consequences. The chemicals on which industrial agriculture is based were originally designed for chemical warfare. That is why they turned Bhopal into a warzone. That is why they convert our farms into warzones.
Agriculture based on diversity, decentralization and improving small farm productivity through ecological methods is a women-centred, nature friendly agriculture. In this women-centered agriculture, knowledge is shared, other species and plants are kin, not `property', and sustainability is based on renewal and regeneration of biodiversity and species richness on farms to provide internal inputs. In our paradigms, there is no place for monocultures of genetically engineered crops and IPR monopolies on seeds. Monocultures and monopolies symbolize a masculinization of agriculture. The war mentality underlying military-industrial agriculture is evident from the names given to herbicides which destroy the economic basis of the survival o the poorest women in the rural areas of the Third World. Monsanto's herbicides are called `Round up', `Machete', `Lasso' American Home Products which has merged with Monsanto calls its herbicides `Pentagon', `Prowl', `Lightening', `Assert', `Avenge'. This is the language of war, not sustainability. Sustainability is based on peace with the earth.



For the last couple of months I have been reading voraciously about food , organic , backyard , the ills of industrial monocultures , Fukuoka , Geoff Lawton , the broken nutrient cycles , Monsanto , the Future of food , Permaculture , Bill Mollison, Emilia Hazelip and more . It is quite clear that my mind is made up , industrial production of food is bad for me and my family and the environment . So time to take the plunge seriously into growing my own food or part of it and at the same time utilize wastes that we create in a manner that is not only non destructive but also adds to the immediate environment . Not that this is the first time I am trying to do so , I have at least two seasons of growing but not producing anything with my blessed black thumb but I believe I have reached a point where I have enough know how to do it better . We will be using greywater from our bath , composting all our kitchen and yard wastes and using a lot of mulch .

Labels: , , , , ,

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Greywater system

Today we finalised the greywater system that we are going to install . It is a very basic setup , greywater from the bath and the washing machine goes in a subterranean tank with a submersible pump which pumps it up to the terrace . The contractor is going to do the job of pumping up the terrace and I will make the rest of the filtration system which is essentially going to be a trench with gravel . The water will be released into a subsurface drip system . Schematically it is going to be like this .
If the water pump is 0.5 kw and takes even as much as half an hour everyday to pump up the water , the monthly consumption of electricity will be 15 Kwh which at 0.50 shekels/Kwh works out to 7.50 shekels a month or less than 2$ a month . The water saved will definitely offset the cost of running the pump .

Labels: , , ,