Agave plants (the best known of which are blue agave, used to produce tequila), along with nitrogen-fixing, companion trees such as mesquite, huizache, desert ironwood, wattle and varieties of acacia that readily grow alongside agave, are among the most common and prolific, yet routinely denigrated or ignored plants in the world.
Now, a new, agave-based agroforestry and livestock feeding model developed in Guanajuato, Mexico, promises to revitalize campesino/small farmer livestock production while storing massive amounts of atmospheric carbon above and below ground.
Scaled up on millions of currently degraded and overgrazed rangelands, these agave-https://www.organicconsumers.orgagroforestry systems have the potential to not only improve soil and pasture health, but to help mitigate and potentially reverse global warming, aka climate change.
Thanksgiving dinner means only one thing for millions of us: turkey. Of the 100 million turkeys on farms around the U.S., 46 million of them will be eaten on Thanksgiving Day. Americans will consume another 22 million turkeys over the Christmas holidays, according to the National Turkey Federation.
When turkeys arrive at our supermarkets, plucked and cleaned, there’s nothing to alert us to the conditions endured by most of the birds that eventually land on our holiday tables. But the vast majority of the turkeys sold during the holidays come from industrial factory farms, where as many as 25,000 birds—pumped full of antibiotics and GMO corn—are crammed into a single barn.
So at a time of year when we are supposed to be thankful for the good things in life, spare a thought for that factory-farmed bird whose life is definitely nothing to be thankful for.
Local foods, along with organic and sustainably produced foods, have demonstrated that the market can drive change towards health and ecological sustainability. However, it’s equally clear that the pace of this change is too incremental to seriously impact climate change or foster broadly based—and desperately needed—economic revitalization in rural communities.
For that, we need major investment, along with policy changes that will support sustainable farming and regional food systems, while breaking the stranglehold of Big Ag monopolies that undermine farmers, rural communities and the ecosystem.
What kind of policy do we need and how can a Green New Deal make that happen?
Sir Albert Howard made a radical observation. When farmers returned all the agricultural wastes to their fields and grew cover crops to maintain the organic matter in the soil, the crops were healthier.
As Howard observed even more carefully, he saw that the animals that ate those crops were also healthier. And in his final burst of clarity, he saw that the people eating those crops and those animals were also healthier.
Howard recorded these observations in books such as “Soil And Health,” which became the foundational thinking of the organic farming movement.
Industrial agriculture, with its factory farms, GMO monculture crops and toxic chemicals, is one of the leading causes of global warming. You can help cool the planet by choosing organic foods, grown using sustainable, regenerative farming practices.