Thursday, 11 May 2023

Modern 'agriculture'

Our rampaging garden/land is situated between several large fields - some of which I think can no longer be termed 'fields' more stretches of ground utterly devoid of anything natural - including the soil. 

The ground to our left has been scraped away, levelled; rows of raised 'soil' created, sprayed, layers of sand and fertiliser added, industrial radishes grown and removed - incidentally, the abandoned plants, of which there are many - sometimes around a third of the plants - never get touched by the local rabbit and deer population - all of it ploughed up again, faffed with, more fertiliser added, plastic put on, thrown away, irrigated during hot, windy weather, and so on . . . and so on . . . the sheer amount of diesel used, roundup, and general wastage is astounding.

The 'fields to our right are mainly corn which are cattle fodder and require astronomical amounts of water as soon as summer gets going, but at least the 'farmer' who owns or rents that land is trying out a 'no dig' policy and so far no spraying has occurred. 

The fields to the back of us are thankfully mostly pastureland and are left to grow along with many wild species of flower/insects etc. Cattle grazing has its own problems but at least the land is mostly left alone, and trees/hedges left in tact. Between the pastures are other fields which I have been observing with growing incredulity since the winter months. Ok . . . so . . . the farmer has employed no-dig so that the maize roots have been left in the ground, so far, reasonable; then they sowed broad beans which I assumed were for cattle, sadly not for humans. The beans grew to late flower stage then the farmer sprayed the whole lot with round-up before planting a new maize crop between the dying bean plants. Uh? I assume he'd heard that no-dig was a new thing and employed it, and that beans add nitrogen to the ground, so had sowed them to improve the impoverished 'soil'. But to add weed killer on top and then sow corn . . . all destined for cattle which will then be slaughtered having dined on round-up . . .

                                                               round-up and new maize plants

Thank the Lord of green stuff that we have pockets of sanity in the form of excellent organic veg growers in the locality. And . . . when I get more time, we shall have a bit more than beans and lettuce in our own veg patch. 

our back garden/wildlife zone 

a few meters away next door - the next crop of radishes, plastic and non-soil

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