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Against Agrobusiness

Agrobusiness has devastating effects on the environment and the lives of millions of people. They have convinced farmers in the last century that they cannot do farming without using petrochemicals, pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides. As a side effect of all this “ciding“, apart from eventual suicide, we destroy the environment and the agricultural lands degrade, i.e. lose their productivity and value. Because of all these wrong practices we have wiped out 1/3 of all insects, polluted the land, the water and the air.

People tell me that I cannot sell my produce because everyone has produce in the village, and that businesses are not interested in small-scale farming, so I must let my vegetables to rot or give it away for free, yet people in the cities consume products from far away lands, other countries, or even overseas, mainly for things that could grow just as well on their own soil. This reliance on imports is coincidental with globalization. Globalization allows transnational companies to dwarf small farmers, and gradually take their livelihoods away from them, accumulating it in their own hands and turning small scale farming into monstrous industrial large-scale farming.

Although touted by Adam Smith as producing the best results because of the “invisible hand”; equilibrium of demand and supply etc. you must understand that under capitalism, the profit motive and self-interest actually result in businessmen, who are beyond the jurisdictions of national laws, to care only for increasing their profits with no regard whatsoever for the environment or the lives of their employees, giving them only the bare minimums to keep them alive and working. That is, self-interest does exactly what it says; no care for the community, and all for the aggrandizement of one’s selfish interest.

Nixon removed the connection of the dollar to gold, and Reagan deregulated the economy. Liberal economists claim that the government is too sluggish and government interference only makes things worse. This thinking goes to support the obfuscation of markets (to borrow a term from Frank Pasquale) that we live in today. and since then just as in the TV show ‘La Casa De Papel’, they have been printing money and causing debt and inflation which is one of the main underlying causes of wars.
While they open off-shore accounts, and launder their money in a myriad of ways, avoid taxes, invest their money in real-estates to conceal them, do options trading, forex, get interest on the capitals they have, etc., the people and the environment suffer from their avarice. Movies such as Big Short, Inside Job, Wolf of the Wall Street, Le Capital show some aspects of these stories and I strongly recommend you to watch them. If you have any suggestions, please make sure to drop me a line.

In this blog

  • You will find my journey through organic farming, as I will research and publish my findings here.
  • I will write about topics of interest to me, which I hope will help me and you to connect the dots and see the larger picture as well as obtain actionable suggestions that you can put to use in your life.
  • You will find a lot of concern for the environment and sustainability.
  • As I learn about nature, I will be sharing them with you, in a manner that is easy to comprehend. Entomology, botany, organic farming methods and more.

My mission is nothing less than trying to change some of the wrongheaded paradigms that push humanity and life on earth towards annihilation.

  • I would like like-minded people who care about our world to drop me a line, and join our efforts to make the world a better place.
  • I would like to learn more about nature and organic farming and convey that knowledge to you.

Community Supported Agriculture

CSA is the idea that risks are shared between the farmer and the consumer, and the consumers support the farmers whose farming practices are beneficial to them, and to the environment. They get a boxful of fresh produce about each week in return for their subscription which allows the farmers to get their fair share of the profits instead of adapting harmful practices of monoculture to sell large scale to middle-man or intermediaries who take the biggest share of the profits. You can get a subscription to get a pleasant-surprise box of high-quality fresh produce on a weekly basis.

Fighting the Colorado Potato Beetles

My conviction is that the reason why these bugs are such a nuisance and a problem is the use pesticides instead of trying to control them organically. Pesticides kill 10 percent of the bad insects but it kills 90 percent of the good ones who hunt the good insects and as a result you are killing 9 of the good folks and 1 of the bad folks, thus causing the populations to decrease and make the situation worse for the times ahead.
I haven’t put my research into practice yet, so I say that this is my conviction. When I try it next year, I will update this post.
What I think you should do is design your land in such a way that it harbors beneficial insects, and also birds. This is really important if you want to get rid of pests. I will list the things I have learned about how to fight the Colorado Beetle, and you can tell me what you think about it in the comments.

1. Interplanting:
Interplanting potatoes with garlic, onion, mint, tansy(tanacetum), sage(salvia oficinalis), catnip(nepeta cataria), will confuse the potato beetle.

2. Keep the size small! The larger the field, the less diversity there is. You should mimic nature and nature loves diversity. Monoculture is not a good practice at all, and it causes problems such as these potato beetles.
Put your potato crops in multiple places instead of just one. This way you can cover them easily during insect migrations with row covers, and it will be much harder for nearby potato beetles to come to your land. Also, you will have more chance to try what works better. If there are big potato fields near you, it will be easier for them to find your potato plot. Keep it small and unnoticeable. Camouflage your potatoes’ smell. Cover them up. Bring in the predators. Make it undesirable.
2. Mulching will keep your potatoes roots cool, and also invite large foliage ground beetles (carabidae) which will prey on the unwanted stuff. It also fertilizes the soil. Mulching then, is a very important practice. Also, stop bothering the soil to make hills to protect the potatoes. “No-tilling” method is both better and easier.

  • cutworms
  • Leafhoppers
  • potato psyllid
  • nymphs of whitefly

3. Crop rotation: The beetles hide under the ground to overwinter. If you don’t want them to come out and start feeding, change the location of your crops. This will make it harder for them the next season.
4. Remove the eggs and beetles manually. I am yet to find a fast method for doing this. But if you let them infest your potato field, you will have to resort to pesticides. That’s one of the reasons to keep your potato operations small. Grow many different things instead of growing a lot of potatoes. Monoculture out, polyculture in.
Other pests of the potato crops include: cutworms, leafhoppers, potato psyllid, and nymphs of whitefly. I have not noticed damage from these yet to my crops, so I don’t know how severe it may be. But the most annoying pest seems to be the colorado beetle. Ladybugs, lacewings and others eat the eggs

5. Trap cropping: Another thing you can do is to cover most of your potato crops and leave some of them on the outside (still camouflaged, you don’t want to attract them) so that even if they find your potatoes they will be drawn to the easier targets, and you can exterminate them there and then. It will be easier for you to control them without having to check every crop one by one. This technique that I have come up with should save you a sea of troubles.
I will put all of these things to use the next year hopefully, and update you on the results. This year, we had a terrible potato beetle invasion, and no matter how scrupulously I went about picking them up and killing them along with their eggs (murderous business) I was not able to stop them.
That’s it for now. If you have any ideas, or comments, please leave them below and I will make sure to write back. Thanks for reading. Stay natural!

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus your own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.

I have decided to narrate books, and become a voice actor.

I have been listening to Librivox audiobooks and others for many years now, and it recently dawned on me that I should contribute some audiobooks as a sign of my gratitude. However, as I was going through videos on youtube about how to make a good recording of an audiobook, I have actually taken this idea a step further, and decided to take up a career in voice acting, which would be yet another profession I would be engaging in.

Here, you will be able to find the links to all the audiobooks I will have recorded.

Why narrate audiobooks?

  • I have found audiobooks to be a great tool for education in our modern life where we spend a lot of time doing dull or repetitive tasks that do not require mental effort, and I find it very useful to employ my mind during such activities by listening to audiobooks. This allows me to save time and learn even when I am doing something that is rather boring and menial for me.
  • It helps people who are living a busy lifestyle, as well as those who are disabled. Audiobooks can be listened to on a commute to work, while washing up the dishes, or cleaning the house, or when walking. There are so many uses for audiobooks, and it also helps the disabled people to access information and gain knowledge.

Some titles I will be working on are:

  • Books of Arnold Toynbee
  • Books of John Dewey

If you have any other books that have not yet been recorded for Librivox you can drop me a line, and I will get back to you about it!