Farmers, this can be very difficult for you. I know a lot of you feel attacked and isolated.
I grew up on a farm, it is not easy trying to make a living from it. You have to depend on the grants to survive. This is not a sustainable business model. Having land under your care is the greatest resource you could have these days. Small farmers cannot manage to make a living and are selling to large multinationals and massive landowners. The farmers have been told ‘Go big, or go home”.
If you are worn out with it all and want to think outside the box, I am including a short list of ideas and resources to get you thinking, what else can you do?
Do not let them disempower you! Take back your power and see what other options are available that makes you part of the solution rather than being part of the system that is one of the main causes of the destruction of life on earth.
Leaving areas and boundaries around your farm and land to re-wild is a good start. Even doing something that small will make a difference to these species that are clinging on desperately to life.
Due to the miniscule amount of remaining native woodlands, our hedgerows are the last line of defence for nature. Most of them exist on your land and are under your direct control. Think of them as our Amazonian rainforests!
Between the months of March and February PLEASE don’t cut your hedgerows. Birds start nesting in the beginning of March and leaving the seeds and berries intact over winter leaves their sources of food intact for them.. Cutting the hedges in October over here, this is human-centric and causes a collapse of the wildlife food web locally. It will also immensely help with soil erosion, flood reduction and as shelter for livestock. And if you can go one step further, then only cut them back in rotation every few years – and only if you absolutely have to.
Please watch this video from www.Pollinators.ie that has some fabulous suggestions from a dairy farmer working in Tipperary.
List of resources for farmers.
• Landworkers’ Alliance – Its not understood or acknowledged that the 70% of land farmed industrially provides only 30% of our food. But the 30% of land cultivated by smallholders using organic, permaculture, agroecological and traditional mixed methods provides 70% of our food.
• Check out regenerative agriculture.
• Micro- dairies. Are you still caught in dairy farming? Think outside the box.
• Dairy farming Cow and Calf method. This is one great example from UK. The Ethical dairy.
• Permaculture has the ability to transform and save our agriculture (and the planet in the process too!). Please check out Geoff Lawton, an Australian permaculturist who really knows his stuff!! A great starting point.
•Some Irish farming organisations to inspire you. Farming For Nature and Talamh Beo.
• One example of an island on the brink of collapse that restored life through tree planting.
• You want to stop insectageddon? Go Organic! Read about The Glyphosate Debate.
• One huge and inspiring restoration project in Brazil.
• Shifting from conventional farms to agroforestry farms brings various benefits to communities as they face the threat of a changing climate. Why planting trees benefits farmers.
• We want you to change. We will support the change! We all want to buy organic, locally sourced food.
• 16 successful permaculture projects that will make you a large profit in farming without destroying nature
• The benefits of alternative agriculture.
• Ecotourism option from rewilding. Knepp is one fab example.
• Large scale regenerative farm in America, White Oaks Pastures.
• Indian farmers planting food forests to fight climate change.
• Biodiversity Report in Agriculture
• Plant Proof Podcast – Interview with Zach Bush on how our food system is getting things so wrong and a deep dive into the use of herbicides like Glyphosate, the catastrophic damage modern farming practices are causing and where the solutions lie.
• Zach Bush Interview with Rich Roll – Dr. Bush returns to the podcast for a formidable and moving conversation that will leave you rethinking not only how you eat and live, but what it means to be a conscious consumer and engaged citizen of this precious planet we all share.
•Glyphosate & the Detox Project video
•Global synthesis of conservation studies reveals the importance of small habitat patches for biodiversity
•True Cost of Cheap Food is Health and Climate Crises, Says Commission