Posted by Paula Aberasturi on February 05, 2014
It is alarming how in a few weeks, Metro Manila and most of our Northern provinces were inundated. The storms have struck us in places that matter: our homes, our loved ones, and our means of livelihood. Farms everywhere are taking a brunt of the disaster. And people are only realizing now how essential agriculture is to our way of life. When roads to Baguio became impassable, our vegetables and fruits could not get to us. Restaurants, groceries and markets were at a loss, they had too little supply, and thus could not feed everyone’s need. Green beans soared to 300% more its normal price. And that’s just a small bean! A few days more of the city being cut off from us and we would have suffered an onslaught of high prices in basic commodities. It was the same scenario in our flower shop, where I saw florists, restaurants and wholesalers, panic buying, because flowers from Baguio did not come.
We rarely give our food sources a thought. Farming is not given its
due honor, as really, the source of what is basic to us: food. We are
assured that food will be at the markets and grocery stores, and prices
will stay the same because food is not scarce, and vegetables and fruits
will always be grown, harvested, and delivered to us. Except now we
have a direct experience of how it is when we are cut off from our food
sources. We are to experience more and more of it as a great number of
farms were damaged by the storms and lost their food production for the
next few months.
And now, climate change and its devastating effects are looming on the horizon. What happens if we keep having extreme rain, prolonged droughts, unusually strong winds, and our farms are unable to keep up with our food needs?
Climate Change and Organic Farming
Our way of life has made it quite impossible for keeping climate change at bay. “Three hundred fifty parts per million (350 ppm) is the recommended safe threshold for carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. Today, at 386 ppm, we’re over the limit.” That is why we saw the flooding in Metro Manila, a city that we never thought would be submerged. And that is why, storm after storm came, ravishing our farms and mountains too. “To avoid further expensive climate chaos we must deploy the most creative and innovative technology in the world to rapidly pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. And [sustainable, organic, biodynamic,] regenerative farming is it.”
There is hope in climate-friendly farming. We need agriculture to pull off more carbon out of our atmosphere. “Organic farming could pull forty percent of global greenhouse emissions our of the atmosphere each year.” Picture that. And that’s a whole chunk of help. “Farmers who are building soil organic carbon can remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere at rates of 2 tons of CO2 per acre.” When we practice sustainable, organic or biodynamic agriculture, we nurture our soils with creative techniques such as crop rotations, cover cropping, organic fertilizers, and mimic nature’s innovative but gentle methods. Compare this to conventional farming where chemical companies burn fossil fuels to produce synthetic fertilizers, which are flown all over.
Real farmers build real soils. Real soils hold more
carbon and hold more water. Real soils perform better in very dry or
very wet weather. With good soil, we build a better earth, resilient to
the very uncertain climate that awaits us. And that means more healthy
food for our growing world.
Inspired and taken in part from Organic Farming Could Stop Global Climate Change