Posted by sustainable_hort on November 22, 2011
It was May when I last posted anything. Doubling our farm, taking over as manager of our local farmers market, and unexpected contract work meant no time to write. I am sure you assumed this site died a quiet death like most sites. Ambition usually blinds bloggers to the reality of maintaining a site with original, fresh content. It is partly that…but; I wish it were only that.
Sadly, it is not. When I started this blog, the intent was to focus mainly on the nursery industry and the sustainable model I saw as a future option for growers. But, it is an industry going through radical change, and not a good one. I am working on a draft for an article discussing what has struck a vibrant, positive industry. I am seeing and experiencing it firsthand, on the rural back roads that were the heart of Oregon’s leading agricultural crop. It is a matter of survival for these growers, and not a time for taking chances with any innovation, let alone risking your present production system for one that is still being developed. More on this soon.
Still, as an organic produce grower with a horticultural degree, I see opportunities for those nurseries that can turn to more sustainable production. In the next few months I will update the “Can Nurseries be Sustainable” post (12/23/2009), including the rough tests I ran with several organic container mixes at a local nursery. The results were impressive enough that I want to see more work done in this direction.
And, this site will continue to discuss the innovative future uses of plants, particularly in urban/suburban areas. This includes the diverse “urban agriculture” movement that could change how much of our food is grown and even become a “job creator?”
But, it goes far beyond that! I have been involved in the green roof industry for five years, and, despite the current construction collapse, it is technology for the times. It is just one example of how plants are being used to solve environmental problems. Plants will be integrated into our lives in ways we have not even developed yet…just look at the urban food production skyscraper being proposed by Dr. Dickson Despommier. I will discuss his book, The Vertical Farm, soon…though I have my doubts.
Finally, though there are other sources to find general agricultural information, I will continue to comment on the limitations and negatives of large agribusiness. For instance, the expanding herbicide resistance issue has overwhelmed the promises of easy farming. Even the main stream ag press has acknowledged this, warning its readers that production will need to return to more complex systems. As usual, something that seems too good to be true, finally fails. A return to working with nature, instead of fighting it, will probably turn out to be the best economic investment farming can make.
Anyway, enough for this short post. If any of the above topics interest you, please keep tune. Its good to be back.
Tags:Bioremediation, environmental benefits of trees, farmers markets, gardening, green practices, green roof plants, green roofs, healthy landscapes, home food production, local food movement, Sustainable landscape, Urban agriculture