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Apparently, the younger generation is less interested in the environment and taking action to save nature. Therefore, Conservation International is broadcasting a set of videos under the title “Nature is Speaking” featuring actors who give voice to oceans, rain forests and other beauties.

Soil is one of my personal favorites and the message in the video is very poetic and touching. However, it doesn’t tell me why exactly the soils are disappearing and why it is important to take action, not only for future generations, but also for our own personal happiness!

It is complex. In previous posts I have written about soil as a non-renewable resource on the human scale. Soils contain nutrients that we, and other organisms, need to survive. Soils are disappearing at rapid rates. Often, it is thought that technological innovation provides solutions to such problems. Indeed, we can create artificial fertilizers and we use it extensively; this is industrial farming, and also small-scale gardening. To create these artificial means, we need energy, and most of what is used right now is non-renewable energy. The use of artificial fertilizers is also not good for the environment, as it disturbs ecological balance and contributes to soil degradation.

Most foods that are on the world market are produced through industrial farming, even though enough studies have shown that organic and small scale farming are the best way to future food security. It is a difficult problem.

I like the soil message, however, as long as the link between the conditions of the worlds soils, our daily lives, our personal choice for happiness is not clear, the message may not make the intended impact. GET UP and OUT and BE HAPPY! (and eat good food when you can)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dor4XvjA8Wo&index=4&list=PL5WqtuU6JrnXjsGO4WUpJuSVmlDcEgEYb

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New York Times, 300,000 Evacuated as Strong Cyclone Hits Eastern India, Oct 12, 2013

SUPPORT SMALL FARMING & FARMERS!

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http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0107541

 

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Screen shot 2014-09-27 at 9.05.11 PM

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Pharma-Ecology – The Occurrence and Fate of Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products in the Environment, Patrick K. Jjemba, 2008.

A Rising Tide of Contaminants, New York Times, Sept.25, 2014

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http://modernfarmer.com/2014/04/microbes-will-feed-world-real-farmers-grow-soil-crops/

https://www.waag.org/en/lab/open-wetlab

A Microscopic Issue of Unknown Consequences On Warmer Planet, Range of Soil Microbes May Change, New York Times, Sept 22, 2014

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New York Times, “For Trees Under Threat, Flight May be the Best Response, Sept. 18, 2014

http://www.mediamatic.net/376204/en/innovative-citizen-mushroom-workshop

http://philross.org/#projects/mycotecture/

 

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An older study, comparing production methods of different plastics:

http://www.news.pitt.edu/news/Landis_polymers_LCA

developments in recycling PLA

http://www.loopla.org/cradle/cradle.htm

Artificial fertilizers do their thing

http://www.fertilizer.org/GlobalFertilizerTradeMap

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Hoekstra, A.Y. and Chapagain, A.K. (2008) Globalization of water: Sharing the planet’s freshwater resources, Black­well Publishing, Oxford, UK.

http://www.waterfootprint.org/Reports/Hoekstra-2008-WaterfootprintFood.pdf

A foggy morning run. Under these atmospheric conditions suddenly you can see how everything is knitted together and sound waves traveling close to the ground enhance this connectedness.

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A very different scene than the one I visit later in the day at Mediamatic in Amsterdam. Bio-me is a three-day event functioning as a bio-cultural lab, in which artists, designers, engineers, scientists, farmers, chefs, and public explore and sample bio-based material.

http://www.mediamatic.net/search/374891/en

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New York Times, September 17, 2014 “Sit Less, Live Longer?”

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to access NYT articles, follow me on twitter, bottom of the page

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http://wfae.proscenia.net/library/articles/krause_niche.pdf

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http://www.smartbeeing.com/?page_id=8

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http://gatherjournal.com/

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Preserving Food Without Freezing or Canning, 1999, The Gardeners and Farmers of Terre Vivante

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http://www.fao.org/docrep/004/y1669e/y1669e0c.htm

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10806-012-9392-0

http://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/pressreleases/2014-01-15/dutch-beat-french-and-swiss-top-oxfams-new-global-food-table

http://sites.duke.edu/foodbarriersinnc2013/results/spatial-analysis/

 

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http://www.gelderlander.nl/regio/betuwe/noodkreet-einde-glastuinbouw-betuwe-zonder-hulp-overheid-1.4498783

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http://en.airbornemuseum.nl/

A book that also influenced my thinking on this topic:

Eric Wolf, Europe and the People without History, (1982)

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For my favorite research on pulsing visit:

http://budworkshop.co.uk/index.html

http://vortexoflife.org.uk/

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http://www.ucl.ac.uk/archaeology/people/staff/fuller/usercontent_profile/Fuller_Madella_2009_Bananas_in_S_E_Asia.pdf

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-03-10/with-chiquita-fyffes-merger-dole-will-no-longer-be-top-banana

http://www.mdgfund.org/sites/default/files/PS_STUDY_RDominican_Analysis%20of%20US%20Market%20for%20Organic%20and%20Fair-trade%20Bananas.pdf

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https://www.wageningenur.nl/upload_mm/9/6/8/3dea0961-4cc1-4745-bbc6-c52d1f138e4b_HennepinEuropa.pdf

 

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http://www.thepsychologist.org.uk/archive/archive_home.cfm?volumeID=23&editionID=192&ArticleID=1720

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for some recipes:

http://www.eattheweeds.com/cattails-a-survival-dinner/

for information of ditch bank diversity:

https://openaccess.leidenuniv.nl/bitstream/handle/1887/4336/Chapter%20%206.pdf?sequence=19

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http://zone2source.net/nl/home/

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At some points in your life your larger concern confluences with your personal situation. Metaphorically, I have lost ground beneath my feet, sure, I run everyday on different grounds around the globe to stay connected, and running induces feelings of lightness and freedom. In other words, it feels good to realize that you really don’t need much to stay healthy and happy and that minimizing your ecological footprint supports your larger concerns for sustaining human life on this planet. But rootlessness also begs questions.

Like some great men and women who gave up their material possessions to dedicate their lives to a social cause, I come from a privileged background. But, unlike those men and women, I lack their wisdom and focus; I have a hard time feeding my (scientific) beliefs. In this process of increasing lightness, there is also hope of attaining greater insight, especially if you can metaphorically match your situation to your cause. However, along with it is an increasing nagging question: is it just a process of emptying. Am I just becoming a depleted soul?

What is the route to replenishment for soils and souls?

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This afternoon I went with one of the millers to the farmer who cultivates the spelt. On his farm, spelt started as marginal crop, in an effort to create a unique local product, based on collaboration between farmer, mills, and bakeries. The spelt is good, the mills are doing their work, however, the bakeries may be the weak link, according to the miller. Spelt requires a different way of making bread; it contains less gluten, and needs experimenting. The consumer so far is enthusiastic and this may be due to the potential health benefits and the fact that ‘local’ sells. It is nice to know your farmer, your miller, and your baker and their dedication to the product.

For anyone who wishes to experiment making spelt bread, here is a recipe from Pompeii,

Watch the video at:

http://www.britishmuseum.org/whats_on/past_exhibitions/2013/pompeii_and_herculaneum/pompeii_live/live_event/bread_recipe.aspx

 

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I recommend:  The Cloud Collector’s Handbook, written by Gavin Pretor-Pinney, enjoyable in rural and urban settings.

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