Zero Footprint
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Zero Footprint
We absolutely can reduce the ecological footprint of humanity all the way down to zero!
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Rescooped by Daniel LaLiberte from Agriculture and the Natural World!

The giving tree: Agroforests can heal food systems and fight climate change

The giving tree: Agroforests can heal food systems and fight climate change | Zero Footprint |

Growing numbers of farmers are using agroforestry -- integrating tree crops and grazing animals -- to create more resilient soil, a diverse range of foods, and even fight climate change.


Shepard calls his approach “restoration agriculture” (that’s also the name of his recently published book), and his hope is to mimic nature as much as possible to produce high-quality crops while restoring the health and fertility of the land.


“There are two problems with agriculture — even organic agriculture,” said Shepard recently on the phone. “You are either trying to keep something alive that wants to die, or you are trying to kill something that wants to stay alive.”

Agroforestry — a broad term to describe ways in which forests and forest management are combined with agriculture — is key in understanding Shepard’s system.

Multi-species grazing on silvopasture — the intentional combination of livestock, forage, and trees on grass — now plays an essential part in the operation.

“We’ve generated numbers that show our system is capable of out-yielding corn by 30 percent on calories per acre,” says Shepard. “And as far as nutrition per acre, it’s off the charts. Then throw in the fact that the whole system is perennial — we don’t have any more planting costs, maintenance costs are minimal, no pest or disease control, no [fertilizer] inputs.”

Via Darin Hoagland
Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

Integrating with nature, rather than fighting it, is key to achieving the goal of Zero Footprint.

Darin Hoagland's curator insight, December 12, 2012 9:14 PM

Agroforestry, agroecology, integrated farming and permaculture all are exibited here in this article about Wendell Berry.  It is amazing how many mutually beneficial ecological interactions a farmer can get when all these things mentioned above - and more -- are being executed.

Darin Hoagland's comment, December 12, 2012 9:19 PM
The Wendell farm reminds me of Joel Salatin's famous Polyface farm. I think its the moveable foraging cages he uses for his pasture animals.
Rescooped by Daniel LaLiberte from green infographics!

Feeding the World Sustainably: Agroecology vs. Industrial Agriculture

Feeding the World Sustainably: Agroecology vs. Industrial Agriculture | Zero Footprint |
There are currently 1 billion people in the world today who are hungry. There's also another billion people who over eat unhealthy foods.


Food production around the world today is mostly done through industrial agriculture, and by judging current issues with obesity, worldwide food shortages, and the destruction of soil, it may not be the best process. We need to be able to feed our world without destroying it, and finding a more sustainable approach to accomplishing that is becoming more important.


The current system contributes to 1/3 of global emissions, is a polluter of our world’s water resources, and is a contributor to health problems. Industrial agriculture relies on mass produced, mechanized labor-saving policies that have pushed people out of rural areas and into cities, consolidating land and resources into fewer hands.


Agroecology looks to reduces agriculture’s impact on climate by working within natural systems. This is especially beneficial in rural areas, because the local community a major part of the growing process. The approach can conserve and protect soil and water — through terracing, contour farming, intercropping, and agroforestry — especially beneficial in areas where farmers lack modern irrigation infrastructure, or have farms situated on hillsides and other difficult farming sites.

Via Lauren Moss
Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

Clearly industrial agriculture is not sustainable, and must be replaced entirely with systems that reverse the current damage and restore the balance that used to exist before we messed things up.  We can use plants and animals not only to feed ourselves, but to *improve* the environment for all life on the planet.

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