[permaculture] Traditional Farming and Urban Agriculture

Lawrence F. London, Jr. venaurafarm at bellsouth.net
Wed Oct 20 13:36:16 EDT 2010

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [SANET-MG] Urban Ag
Date: Wed, 20 Oct 2010 03:38:39 -0500
From: Jim Worstell <jim at DELTANETWORK.ORG>

If you agree, then why are you so optimistic about urban agriculture in
the US?  I guess its possible that a wave of new immigrants could be
encouraged to homestead (similar to the Germans who swept into my Grand
Prairie 120 years ago) in the open areas of Detroit and other cities.

The Germans who settled here came from small villages with a strong work
ethic and respect for the wisdom of their elders.  Here they were
greeted with the freedom and necessity to innovate.  The result was
transformation of swampy prairie into an amazing rice production
system.  But is it sustainable?

*A farm which is economically and environmentally sustainable is only
temporarily sustainable.*  A masterful farmer can have all that under
control, but unless she has children or apprentices who share her
abilities, attitudes and friendship, her system will die with her.
Unless you lick the social component, you'll never have sustainability.
The social component drives everything.

Throughout the world, villages have hummed along creating soil and
lasting for thousands of years.  Nearly all gradually incorporate
innovations--but only after thorough discussion by the village elders.

Yet thousands of once vibrant cities lie buried in the sands of central
Asia.  Did the social component fail?  Just as it has in Detroit and so
many other American cities?

I love the discussion of terra preta, but even more interesting is the
collapse of the civilization which created vast stretches of terra preta
in the Amazon.

Jim Worstell
Skype: jimworstell
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On 10/19/2010 10:24PM

> Lots of  urban Americans need a paycheck, but turn down any job where
> they can't  sit at a desk and surf the web most of the time.
> Lots of skilled jobs in  the cities can't find qualified applicants.
> Of course its not limited to  urbanites. Most graduate student slots in
> agriculture go to non US  citizens.
> Try hiring a post-doc in ag and see how many US citizens  apply.
> Now in Ukraine and Moldova you can find people are still willing  to work
> and know how to do more than click a mouse.
> Jim  Worstell
> www.deltanetwork.org

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