Food exit after Brexit, China’s “appetite,” and super soil….by Geoff Lawtonn

Hi, this is Geoff,

I hope that all fathers receiving this email had / are having a wonderful Father’s Day weekend.

On Saturday, I had a great time answering all sorts of questions about soil posed by attendees of the 2017 Home Grown Food Summit online event. In case you missed it, Marjory is doing an “encore” to replay some of the most popular presentations. I was honored to find out that mine was one of those selected, so if you missed it this weekend and would like another chance to view it, please scroll to the bottom of this and read the “P.S” for full details. The “encore” will be on Tuesday morning (EST) and continue for 24 hours through Wednesday morning. Details after the PS…

Let’s jump right into this week’s Friday Five – Father’s Day edition :)

Russian Roulette: Sharing this without comment, other than that this should make you shudder: « This study confirmed that genetically engineered microalgae grown in open ponds will escape and spread into the environment. Once this genie is out of the bottle, there is no way to put it back, » said Dana Perls, senior campaigner with Friends of the Earth. « Not only is it impossible to contain GE algae in open air production, but there are currently no adequate regulations which fully address its risks to our environment, from lab to final product. Without this essential oversight, there should be no environmental release or commercial uses of GE algae and other synthetic biology organisms. » Full article here.

Super Soil: Even though this article is almost 4 years old, it gets so many things right, and connects well to the recent talk on soils for HGFS that I mentioned above: “By many calculations, the living soil is the Earth’s most valuable ecosystem, providing ecological services such as climate regulation, mitigation of drought and floods, soil erosion prevention, and water filtration, worth trillions of dollars each year.” The expression “It’s not worth dirt,” might take on a whole new meaning the more we learn :) You can read the full article in the Atlantic here.

Food After Brexit: So now my countrymen in the UK will soon learn what it takes to produce their food … and they might not like it: “Opponents of EU membership talked during the referendum campaign about sovereignty and control. They railed against the free movement of labour. What they didn’t mention is the way the British food supply chain has, over the past 30 years, become increasingly reliant on workers from elsewhere, both permanent residents and seasonal labour.An insightful analysis from The Guardian looking at the UK food supply, migrant labor, and some of the challenges ahead.

Table for 9? (BILLION): China has the world’s largest population and has undergone a rapid and somewhat bizarre change in its system of agriculture. As a result, it is now in a very serious situation. The statistics in this article are arresting and hard to believe, but absolutely true. Researchers featured in the 1911 book, Farmers of Forty Centuries or Permanent Agriculture in China, Korea and Japan outlined a radically different, sustainable system that made them envious of what China was doing; and to such an extent that they used China’s example as a model worth emulating in the US. Instead, the opposite seems to have happened: “China’s 1.4 billion people are building up an appetite that is changing the way the world grows and sells food. The Chinese diet is becoming more like that of the average American, forcing companies to scour the planet for everything from bacon to bananas […] That leaves China with a stark ultimatum: If it is to have enough affordable food for its population in the second half of this century, it will need to make sure the world grows food for 9 billion people.Full article here.

In case you missed it: A few pieces of interest this week from our sister site, the non-profit Permaculture Research Institute:

If you enjoy these posts, be sure to bookmark the site as several new articles go up weekly, or check out thousands of other past articles, here.

That’s it for the Friday Five. As always, if you have comment / reactions / a different point of view, please share on the blog-version of this Friday Five (and all past + future Friday Fives), all housed here.

Cheers, and have a great weekend

Your friend,



PS – A few months back, my friend and founder of the Grow Network, Marjory Wildcraft, asked me to put together an instructional presentation about soils and the unique perspective that permaculture thinking has on the importance and “how-to” around soil.

The result is a 40+ minute video presentation that includes blackboard-style segments from my PDC 2.0 online course, and some gorgeous on-the-scene footage from a recent consulting trip to Malaysia (as well as some heartbreaking visuals brought about by a monoculture-approach to agriculture). Also included in the presentation are short animations to better highlight some of the concepts introduced, as well as a fun addition at the end showing how to create soil using…chickens :)

If you’re interested in seeing it, there are 3 ways to do so:

Option #1: This Tuesday (June 20th), the presentation will be streamed and available – free – for 24 hours. This will be the second and final time that Marjory and her team play this as part of the Summit. To view it, all you need to do is sign up for her 2017 Home Grown Food Summit event. Once you do so, you’ll immediately receive viewing instructions. Again, registration takes 15 seconds and it’s free. Details below.

Option #2: If you don’t want to register for the HGFS, you can wait until September, when I intend to publish the presentation on the Permaculture Circle. Out of respect to Marjory, I will most likely wait until September to do so, so if you want to see it sooner than that, doing the free registration with HGFS is probably your best bet.

Option #3: If you want to see the presentation, but are busy all day Tuesday, Marjory offers a paid option to access my talk whenever you want, rather than having to “catch-it” at a specific window-of-time next weekend. It’s called the “Lifetime Pass,” and here’s how it works:

  1. You purchase the “Lifetime Pass” and choose online access or a USB flash drive (or both)
  2. As soon as you do, you’ll get immediate access to all 38+ talks. That means you don’t even need to wait until Tuesday for my presentation – you can see it immediately.
  3. You can skip ahead to watch only the talks that interest you the most.
  4. You can listen to audio mp3 versions in the car, during your work-out, etc.
  5. You can download and print transcripts for further study.

Whether you want to do this or not is entirely up to you. I like to present multiple options that cater to ALL of my readers. My job is to share the information, and yours is to figure out which way best fits your time, schedule, budget, and preferences.

If you have the time and flexibility to tune in, then free access may be sufficient.

If, however, you know that other commitments might get in the way, or if you simply want the peace of mind of having access to everything, on-demand, whenever you want, then the Lifetime Pass might make sense.

To get the Lifetime Pass, first sign up for the free event; once you enter your name and email, you will automatically be directed to a page that details the Lifetime Pass. You can then scroll down, review your 3 purchase options, and pick whichever makes the most sense for you.

Now, be warned: It’s one of those old-style pages with different fonts and colors that seem to scroll forever. I know some of you don’t like that style (I must confess that I’m not a fan of that format either), BUT if you can look past the way it looks, the information itself is actually quite valuable, ethical, and transformative.

And I know that in the past, a significant number of you have expressed appreciation for the paid option, as it makes viewing on your own time much more convenient, and adds-in written and audio versions of the presentation. We’re all adults here, and know what is best for our time, schedules, convenience, and priorities.

Finally, please note: You may see other paid offers that Marjory may want to extend to you. I’m sure that whatever she and her team presents is informative and painstakingly-produced, but as a matter of integrity, I owe it to you as my readers to say that I have not seen or gone through any of the material besides the Summit itself.

So, to sign up for free access, please click here. And if you want to secure the “Lifetime Pass,” you can do so on the page you are redirected to after completing the free registration. Otherwise, enjoy the free presentations from the great line-up that Marjory and her team have assembled.

To sum up:

Option # 1: To see my presentation this Tuesday (the 20th), as well as the other presentations on the “encore day” – all free – take 15 seconds to register for the 2017 Home Grown Food Summit here.

Option # 2: If you don’t want to register for HGFS, feel free to wait until September, when I’ll post the presentation to the free videos area in the Permaculture Circle.

Option # 3: If you want to see the presentation ASAP, but will be busy on Tuesday, or simply want the flexibility of watching all the presentations at your convenience, access a supplemental mp3 version, download a transcript, etc., then you might want to consider the Lifetime Pass, which you can explore on the page you’re redirected to after completing the free registration.

Look forward to serving you with whatever choice you make.

Permaculture Sustainable Consulting Pty Ltd 1158 Pinchins Road The Channon, New South Wales 2480 Australia

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