2788
The World Calls for Strong Climate Action
2787
Unsustainable water use depleting the world's major aquifers - 2 Jan 2012
2786
Peru bans GMOs - 2 Jan 2012
2785
Climate change ‘fights’ rice farmers in Northern Ghana - 1 Jan 2012
2784
France has had hottest year since 1900 - 31 Dec 2011
2783
Studies highlight growing urgency of preserving biodiversity - 30 Dec 2011
2782
Temperatures in December 2011 were a full six degrees Celsius warmer than usual in Finland - 29 Dec 2011
2781
Increased chance of runaway Arctic global warming due to permafrost melt - 28 Dec 2011
2780
Mass perishing of aquatic birds in Utah, USA - 27 Dec 2011
2779
Fish threatened by acidic oceans - 26 Dec 2011
2778
Lack of rain has led to a drastic reduction of water levels in the UK's River Kennet - 25 Dec 2011
2777
Jerry Brown, Arnold Schwarzenegger urge green energy policies - 24 Dec 2011
2776
As lack of rain reduces levels of the Xijiang and Xiangjiang Rivers to historic lows - 23 Dec 2011
2775
Unprecedented release of deadly methane in the Arctic - 22 Dec 2011
2774
World Wildlife Fund announces new species and reminds of their need for protection - 21 Dec 2011
2773
Nearly 3 million in Afghanistan face food shortages due to drought - 20 Dec 2011
2772
Indian state of Sikkim one-third of way to being entirely organic - 19 Dec 2011
2771
US Congressman Dennis Kucinich introduces a bill thatprohibit open-air cultivation of genetically engineered crops - 19 Dec 2011
2770
Natural and man-made catastrophes cost the world economy $350 billion - 19 Dec 2011
2769
Coal ash threatens America’s groundwater resources at 19 more sites - 18 Dec 2011
2768
Overgrazing behind degradation of Mongolia’s grasslands - 17 Dec 2011
2767
Historic drought grips Mexico - 16 Nov 2011
2766
Global carbon dioxide emissions have increased by 49 per cent in the last two decades - 15 Dec 2011
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2765
Leading climate scientist warns of disaster with 2 degree Celsius temperature rise - 14 Dec 2011
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2764
Organic farming of chilli, cauliflower, tomato yields positive results - 13 Dec 2011
2763
Sea levels may rise much faster than previously anticipated - 13 Dec 2011
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2762
Nissan Leaf electric wins Japan car of the year - 12 Dec 2011
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2761
Urgent action still needed on climate change - 11 Dec 2011
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2760
Halting meat consumption to solve climate challenges - 10 Dec 2011
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2759
Supreme Master Ching Hai honored with sustainability award - 9 Dec 2011
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Global carbon dioxide emissions have increased by 49 per cent in the last two decades - 15 Dec 2011
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Leading climate scientist warns of disaster with 2 degree Celsius temperature rise - 14 Dec 2011
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Sea levels may rise much faster than previously anticipated - 13 Dec 2011
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Nissan Leaf electric wins Japan car of the year - 12 Dec 2011
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Urgent action still needed on climate change - 11 Dec 2011
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Halting meat consumption to solve climate challenges - 10 Dec 2011
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Supreme Master Ching Hai honored with sustainability award - 9 Dec 2011
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Saving the oceans: a vital climate issue - 8 Dec 2011
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South African legislative and traditional leader joins vegan advocacy to halt climate change - 7 Dec 2011
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Media report: Veganism halts climate change - 6 Dec 2011
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Organic vegan farming a part of climate justice - 5 Dec 2011
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“Veganism to Save the Planet” offers inspiration at COP 17 - 4 Dec 2011
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UN report warns of worsening effects of climate change - 3 Dec 2011
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Climate change summit reaches midway point amidst warning from new report - 2 Dec 2011
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Citizens and youth join in calling for climate action - 1 Dec 2011
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Rallying for climate justice for all - 30 Nov 2011
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Unseasonably warm weather leaves Scandinavia snow free - 29 Nov 2011
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United Nations Climate Change Conference begins - 28 Nov 2011
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Scientists unanimous on pending biodiversity collapse - 27 Nov 2011
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South Africa prepares to host United Nations climate change summit - 26 Nov 2011
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US company sees potential in kinetic energy capture - 25 Nov 2011
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Media report: Vegan diet is priority solution to climate change - 24 Nov 2011
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Arctic natives bear witness to climate change - 23 Nov 2011
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Airdrop design pulls water from air to irrigate deserts - 22 Nov 2011
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Refugees of climate change rising steadily - 21 Nov 2011
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Whales perish in two mass strandings. - 20 Nov 2011
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Coastal villages on the Fijian island of Kadavu threatened by rising sea level - 19 Nov 2011
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Widening effects of climate change on human health - 18 Nov 2011
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Climate Vulnerable Forum held in Bangladesh - 17 Nov 2011
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Concerns raised as plastic bags litter the oceans - 16 Nov 2011
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Historic drought grips Mexico - 15 Nov 2011
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Students at the Jerudong International School are learning about protection of endangered orangutans - 14 Nov 2011
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Rwandan officials announce a new plan that seek to plant 68 million trees within a year - 13 Nov 2011
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Scientists in India appeal for protection of stork populations, whose numbers are severely dwindling - 12 Nov 2011
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New study suggests life on Mars existed underground - 11 Nov 2011
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UN report links extreme weather to climate change - 10 Nov 2011
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Marine species need to travel vast distances for survival as climate warms - 9 Nov 2011
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The Magic of Findhorn: An Eco Eden on Earth
Part 1
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Part 2
 
Comprehensive study validates global temperature rise - 8 Nov 2011
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Small fish also at risk of collapse - 7 Nov 2011
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US scientist focuses on diet to stop climate change - 6 Nov 2011
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Hummingbirds are imperiled by primarily deforestation for plantations and livestock - 5 Nov 2011
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Bananas grown with coffee to combat climate change - 4 Nov 2011
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Green Party leader highlights measures to curb climate change - 3 Nov 2011
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Glaciers and major rivers such as the Yangtze, Yellow and Lancang in China shrinking rapidly with warming - 2 Nov 2011
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First US summit on ending factory farms - 1 Nov 2011
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France loses its harvest wild flowers - 31 Oct 2011
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Permafrost and glacier melt in the Qinghai-Tibet plateau region are resulting in grassland and wetland erosion - 30 Oct 2011
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Communities in Bolivia’s Huayna Potosí Mountain are already experiencing water shortages due to the effects of global warming - 29 Oct 2011
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Economic impacts of climate change being seen in the US - 28 Oct 2011
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Germany’s railway set its sights on a goal of 100% sustainable energy sources by 2050 - 27 Oct 2011
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United Nations works to address desertification - 26 Oct 2011
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Great Whale Conservancy raises public awareness on preserving endangered blue whales - 25 Oct 2011
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International organizations help mitigate climate change related risks in Tajikistan - 24 Oct 2011
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Schools can save energy costs equal to teacher’s annual pay - 23 Oct 2011
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Canada loses nearly half her Arctic ice shelves to record melts - 22 Oct 2011
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Medical experts in the UK warn of impending climate change threat - 21 Oct 2011
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Snow coverage in the Australian Alps has decreased by 30% since 1950s due to climate change - 20 Oct 2011
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97 harbor seals perished along the beaches of Massachusetts and other New England states - 19 Oct 2011
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African scientists discuss veg solution to curb impacts of drought - 18 Oct 2011
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TerraCycle of New Jersey turn a billion pieces of waste into creative and eco-friendly products - 17 Oct 2011
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Wildfires sparked by drought consume vital habitat in Brazil - 16 Oct 2011
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Dead turtles prompt new water testing calls in Queensland, Australia - 15 Oct 2011
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Music for the planet - 14 Oct 2011
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Greenlandic glacier melting faster than expected - 13 Oct 2011
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As oil spill near New Zealand worsens, containment hampered by high winds - 12 Oct 2011
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Nissan unveils Leaf-loving home of the future - 11 Oct 2011
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Pacific Islands declare states of emergency - 10 Oct 2011
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Extensive flooding in Aisa has severely impacted staple crops - 9 Oct 2011
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New Zealand opposes Japanese whaling plans - 8 Oct 2011
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Study shows that the majority of humankind's historical crises linked to climate change - 7 Oct 2011
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Conservation offers better rewards than plantations: UNEP - 6 Oct 2011
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Journalist bears testimony to dwindling Himalayan glaciers - 5 Oct 2011
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35% of the nation's glaciers have disappeared in the last 30 years in Tajikistan - 4 Oct 2011
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New map reveals the most biodiverse place on Earth, but already threatened by oil - 3 Oct 2011
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Ongoing drought worsens power crisis in Tanzania - 2 Oct 2011
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Livestock grazing is a major cause for the deforestation in legally protected forests - 1 Oct 2011
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Massive floods in Thailand, Cambodia threaten both health and food security - 30 Sep 2011
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Greenpeace calls on the Indonesian government to stop deforestation - 29 Sep 2011
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950,000 trees could succumb due to this year’s flooding along the Missouri River - 28 Sep 2011
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Scientists make hydrogen fuel from bacteria and water - 27 Sep 2011
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Jordan government decided not to allow the uprooting of trees for the construction of a military academy in Bergesh Forest -
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Warming ocean waters linked to higher bacterial contamination - 25 Sep 2011
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Rare meeting and wisdom with Koko the Gorilla - 24 Sep 2011
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Pristine tropical forests once cleared never completely regenerate: new study - 23 Sep 2011
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The Fijian government announces the relocation of Navunidogoloa village for rising sea levels - 22 Sep 2011
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This summer was the fifth warmest summer in the northern hemisphere - 21 Sep 2011
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King crabs migrate to the Antarctic due to climate change - 20 Sep 2011
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International effort launched to curb shorter-lived climate forcers (SLCF) - 19 Sep 2011
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Ancient sea coral analysis reveals unstable sea levels in the past - 18 Sep 2011
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Deforestation and land degradation have worsened climate change effects in regions like Somalia - 17 Sep 2011
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Nissan develops a new quick-charging station for electric vehicles - 16 Sep 2011
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Study: reducing soot is one of the fastest way to slow climate change - 15 Sep 2011
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US climate and agricultural experts express concern over the effects of climate change on agriculture - 14 Sep 2011
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Unsustainable development led to the collapse of the ancient Mayans - 13 Sep 2011
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Prince Charles assumes presidency of UK's World Wildlife Fund - 12 Sep 2011
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APEC countries hold inaugural meeting for forest conservation - 11 Sep 2011
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UN leaders call for urgent action on climate change - 10 Sep 2011
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Drought causes food shortages for some 6,000 people on Papua New Guinea - 9 Sep 2011
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Greenland ice melt shows evidence of accelerated warming - 8 Sep 2011
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The Secret to Success of Organic Farming  
email to friend  E-mail this to a Friend   If you want to add this video in your blog or on your personal home page, Please click the fallowing link to copy source code  Copy source code   Print
Part 1 Play with windows media ( 51 MB )
Part 2 Play with windows media ( 47 MB )

With a return to more natural and sustainable lifestyles, organic food, which is both healthy and beneficial to the environment, is becoming more prominent around the world. On today’s program we will visit an organic farm in Austria. 

It uses no chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or animal-based fertilizers. And yet, this farm reaps a plentiful harvest year round.  Let’s meet Helmut to find out how this is achieved.

Mr. Helmut=male
H(m): Hi, I’m Helmut from Austria. I am an organic farmer and today I would like to show you a little bit
around on my farm.

H(m): The size of the farm is 1.7 hectares. But we only use around four thousand square meters of this land.
We have around 30 different varieties of vegetables.

And we have more than 100 families, they get vegetables boxes from this farm, every two weeks.
On average, per month we deliver 150 boxes. On this small bit of land, there are around 20,000
plants growing all year.

We have enough snow and rain here, but most of the moisture is in winter. So in summer sometimes it’s very dry and sometimes we have periods of six weeks without rain. So I found some solution for this dry time. I put a lot of straw and grass cuts on the ground, and this really works very well. I will show you this later.

At the end of the season, we cover the whole vegetable garden or vegetable land with straw.
So that the soil does not freeze in winter. That means that all the micro-organism stay active all year.

It is not necessary to use any manure from cows or pigs or whatever, or some chemical fertilizer. What the micro-organisms produce naturally is totally enough to plant vegetables. The only thing is that these beings, they need also food, and we give this by straw or grass cuttings.

H(m): There is a group of plants where the straw method works very well. In spring when we clean the whole field from the straw, we put the straw on one third of the field, altogether, and here we plant these different plants. They are the zucchinis, the squash, physalis and inside the greenhouses, cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes. It is very easy. The only thing what we need is to have big plants, so that they are not covered by the straw. And we put the straw on the surface,

H(m):  and make little holes and put the plants in. Of course this method does not work with carrots, parsley roots, celery, onions, leeks or cabbage. Here we have to use another method. We have to hoe it a few times, which is not very difficult, and then finally we bring in grass cuttings between the plants. The effect of the straw is of course very good; even when it’s very dry in the summer it stays wet underneath. This we can see here. When you move this, it’s really completely wet underneath, and this is very good soil.

And of course all this moisture also goes to the plant. And this moisture never disappears. I think this method is also very good for Mediterranean or semi-desert areas. You can keep a lot of moisture in the ground, even when it rains only once a year or once every second year.

H(m): You can see it’s really wet. It’s like if I would have watered it before. But this is just the normal moisture from the ground. The moisture comes always up and if you cover it a little bit, then it cannot disappear. So now let’s go into the greenhouse and I can show you a bit where no water has been used for three years, and it’s still moist inside.

H(m): Here in the greenhouse we have some dripping water system for the plants, because otherwise
they would not survive. But in between the rows we have straw to keep it wet. And on this part, for years
there was no water. But I can show you now, if I dig down there, it’s totally dry here on top but when you come down, you can see the soil is completely black and it looks moist.


H(m): You can see the grass is now in this box. And here are the beans. And it’s just like this,
that I put the grass in between the rows. It’s important to put not too much into the row so that it doesn’t get wet or fungus. This is enough. The soil is covered and the water cannot disappear anymore. Of course, after a while it might be necessary to go through and hoe the weeds a little bit. After ten, fifteen days,
you can hardly see anything from this grass anymore, because all these animals that live in the ground,
they have already put it down and they had an excellent meal.

So here you can see the third generation of green beans. They will be ripe in late September. What you can see here, I was hoeing these three rows just half an hour, or an hour before, and you can see the soil is already white.

Here, where I didn’t hoe, you can see that the soil is dark. That means that the water or the moisture
is coming out from the ground, and is disappearing into the atmosphere. Here, it is similar to having mulch. The capillary system of the soil is interrupted, so that the water and the moisture cannot
go into the atmosphere.

The way of hoeing is quite easy, because it’s not a big effort. I will show you now. It’s just like working with a broom. You go just on the surface, and it’s very easy. Don’t put any effort in this. Just cut the wild herbs what is above the soil, from the root. And that’s it. And in half an hour, or one hour, this will be also dry, and no moisture will come up. Of course later we will put also grass cuttings into these rows.

H(m): If you have a little bit of experience and practice, you can make 100 square meters in one hour. For a family, when you calculate the vegetables for a family of four or five persons, 300 square meters of garden is enough. Of course, it depends on which area you are in.So you can easily produce, with an effort of between half an hour and 1 hour per day, all the vegetables you need for your family.

H(m): Now I will show you how we produce the little plants. We have two types of these sheets. One has 77 holes and the other one has 45 holes. The smaller holes are for all the salads, brassicas and smaller plants like fennel. And this is for zucchinis, squash, peppers and tomatoes.

H(m): So then I press it a little bit with my fingers.

H(m): So now I cover it again.

H(m): So that’s all. And now I make little holes with my finger also.

H(m): Now we put the seeds in one by one.

SupremeMasterTV(m): What seed is this?

H(m): This is a late salad, which is a little bit frost resistant and can be harvested until December if the winter is not too cold.

H(m): So now we cover it a little bit, press it a little bit and that’s it. Finally we put a little bit of water on top. And in between three or four days we should see already something. Okay, and here you can see endive plant we’ve planted two weeks ago and they are ready, maybe in ten days to plant them outside. We plant them very late at the beginning of August because they are frost resistant, a little bit at least. And we can harvest them end of September until the middle of November.

H(m): There is one saying in our area and they say, “One time hoeing is better than two times watering”. And this is really true, I made this experience. When you hoe, then the water stays in the ground so there is no need to water the plants. But of course all this experience I made are here, north of the Alps.

We have enough rain. I do not have any experience how this could be in the south or in semi-desert areas. But I think when I would use straw or grass cuttings, it also could be a very good harvest. Zucchini, squash, peppers or tomatoes, or all these other fruits, which like more warm areas, they can grow very well
under these conditions.

Mr. Helmut: The area behind me is what we do not use at the moment, but the garden is getting bigger and bigger every year, because the demand is also getting bigger and bigger.

Mr. Helmut: We have also a lot of flowers in the garden in different colors, and they, of course, attract different insects which are necessary to fertilize some plants. Some plants only need wind for fertilizing, but some also need insects. And it’s good to have some nice flowers inside because the insects like the different colors, especially the blue flowers they like the most. And there are a lot of wild bees and bumble bees here.
You can see now here, there are the plants, but there are also a lot of wild herbs in between.

We can use these wild herbs for making some juice. We just have to know which herbs we can use. So we have a small book that shows which herbs in our area are edible.

And this is what I can recommend to everybody, a nice little book about the wild herbs in the local area might be very helpful. Also there are a lot of wild herbs in between the plants that we like to eat. You can see that these plants still develop very well.

SupremeMasterTV(m): What is this?

Mr. Helmut: Mangold. The amount of vegetables we can harvest here on this small bit of land is around 6½ tons.

SupremeMasterTV(m): How big can it grow if you don’t cut it?

Mr. Helmut: Now this is already the final state. They will not become bigger than maybe six kilos.

HOST: In one of the longest studies ever conducted on organic farming practices, research by the US-based Rodale Institute has found that organic soil management not only minimizes fossil fuel use, it can also reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide by removing it from the air and storing it as carbon in the soil. Scientists at the institute estimate that if organic practices such as planting cover crops, composting and crop rotation were implemented on the planet’s 3.5 billion tillable acres, nearly 40 percent of current CO2 emissions could be absorbed.

http://www.rodaleinstitute.org/files/Rodale_Research_Paper-07_30_08.pdf
http://www.strauscom.com/rodale-release/

Mr. Helmut: These are potatoes. In our area the farmers have a massive problem with the potato beetle or Colorado beetle. But I’ve found out that when you put them on the pure soil, not bring them into the soil, then cover it with straw, they grow wonderful, and they do not have hardly any of the beetles. We also do not use any pesticides. If you look at our plants, of course they have some holes. There are a lot of animals here; of course they like the vegetables as much as we like them. But I always got enough harvest from them. Especially they are not so much because we have a more similar system like we have outside in the wild

Mr. Helmut: … areas. It’s more like a meadow here, so our plants are quite healthy and they are not attacked so strong by insects. To keep the plants healthy, it’s also necessary to have some rotation system. There are only a few plants you can plant over more years on the same place, but it’s better to let them rotate. So this year we have the squash and the zucchinis down there. Then we have all the Brassica. And then we have fennel and beetroots and mangold on top. So next year we will have the beetroots and the mangold down there, and all the others are coming more up.

Mr. Helmut: What is also important to keep the insects under control is that you plant as early as possible. When the last frost is gone or there are also plants, they can resist a little bit of late frost. So we start as early as possible because then the plants, when the insects want to attack them, the plants are already strong and they have their natural oil to protect them.

Of course we try to start very early with planting the plants outside. So we have to start early in the greenhouse putting the seeds into the sheets so that the plants, when the time is right, are already quite big. Of course these big plants are not so strongly attacked by insects, because when we plant a little bit of frost-resistant plants outside, maybe in the end of April, third week of April, there are no insects. The insects are coming maybe at the end of May. So this plant is already strong enough to resist the insects.

Mr. Helmut: As you can see, we also have slugs here, but they do not make a lot of destruction. They do not eat a lot of our plants. I think as long as they have enough things which are rotting, they do not attack the normal plants. Of course,when they get too much from time to time, I collect them and bring them down to the forest, and tell them that they should stay there. And it looks like it works.

Mr. Helmut: Most of the time I use this little ceramic knife, because I had the impression that all the vegetables taste different if I cut them with a metal knife or with a ceramic knife. Also in the kitchen we use a ceramic knife.

Mr. Helmut: Now finally I want to show you the cellar where we prepare the vegetable boxes. I take the old boxes from the supermarket and we can use them a few more times for delivering our vegetables. So it’s no need to buy new plastic boxes. We prepare between 15 and 35 for every delivery. We deliver.

Mr. Helmut:twice a week and we have a little bit more that 100 customers. So I’ll show you now the cellar. It’s cold in here; it’s nine meters into the solid stone and on some parts of the ceiling there’s more than one meter of soil on top.So we do not have any problems with the temperature. Here we can prepare the boxes and keep them overnight and in the morning they go into the car and they get delivered. And people really have these vegetables as fresh as from their own garden. We also don’t need any fridge in our house because the temperature is always very low in here so we can keep all the things,

what we need, what we normally would put into a fridge. For the winter we have two more cellars for the storage; one is very old, like 300 years maybe. And the other one we made new. These are the cabbages, the beet roots, the parsley roots, the kohlrabi, the potatoes and so on.

Mr. Helmut: This is our oldest cellar; I think this is the oldest part of the house. The house is first mentioned in a contract in 1795 and when you come into the cellar you think, you can see that it’s really that old.

Mr. Helmut: So here we store many things, especially the potatoes. We put them in bags, in like onion bags and then we cover it with this sand and it keeps very well until June of next year. We still can take them out of this sand in a very good quality, and they are solid, like harvested in autumn. And the same is with the beetroots and the parsley roots.

Mr. Helmut: It’s also healthy, in my opinion, because it is not that cold like in a fridge, and so when you take something out of the cellar, you can eat this immediately, without doing anything harmful to your stomach. So this is my way of ecological and economical farming.

Mr. Helmut: We have short transport distances to the customers. This is good for the environment. We do not use any fertilizer; we do not use even animal fertilizers outside on the field. And this also protects the environment, because when you use animal fertilizer, then a lot of methane gas and nitrite goes into the air. It’s really enough when you only use grass cut and straw and all the waste from the kitchen, what you have. As I’ve already told, the family needs around 300 square-meters and can save a lot of money with this when one person works one hour a day.

And a very important thing is also that the organic food produced in this way is very healthy. So you have a lot of benefit for your body also. So if anybody has a little piece of land, he can produce some vegetables on it, he can bring it to the towns, because there are so many people who are waiting for really good quality. It is really good for the environment because we do not have this long transport.

This also saves money, saves a lot of money for the government, if people eat more healthy. And finally it’s also good for us. This way of producing vegetables we do since the year 1989 and it still works, and it’s getting better and better. And the demand is getting more and more every year. So it would be necessary to produce more.