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Genetically Modified Alfalfa or Our Farmers’ Livelihoods, Our Bellies, Our Environment?

Written Apr 11, 2013

There are always a couple of pillars to each problem that we see in society. While chopping down one pillar, it’s pretty important to be building up that alternative pillar so that balance and support is brought to this new ‘way’.

On Sunday, April 7th, 25+ community members in Guelph helped to plant a seed, both literally and metaphorically. We came together on the warmest day yet to capture some footage for an educational film that will present the possibilities of Edible Forest Gardening and will be the invitation card to community members to participate in the research on Edible Forest Gardening!

Check out the [PHOTOs] here –> Many Rivers Permaculture Facebook

I am beginning a crazy adventure into a two-piece, two-year, thesis-based masters in Edible Forest Gardening principles!! (psst. I’m pretty dang excited!!!)

One piece is the research into the effects on soil nutrients and microbial life in response to diverse understory management in apple orchards. We will be collecting samples of different plants (ex. comfrey!) to see what nutrients they accumulate and how that relates to the nutrients in the soil, and how that effects tree nutrients. We will also be collecting soil samples to determine the changes within the soil microbial communities (ie. fungi and bacteria) as we shift from an annual-based cropping system to a perennial-based system.

Second piece is the community-based education. I am trying to include as many points of participation as possible for community members. Roles include Worker Bees, Mycelium Runners, and Potluck Pots! Haha, lots of fun stuff and opportunities for learning!

More on all this when the video comes out. Stay tuned and check out those photos.

This is the alternative pillar that we, as a community, are building up to support this new ‘way’ that we would like to see our society follow.

The pillar that we are breaking down is that which supports the current industrial agriculture society. One such event that took our monkey wrench to their gears was the rally for Our Farmers’ Livelihoods, For Our Bellies, For Our Environment, and Against Genetically Modified (GM) Alfalfa. On Wednesday, April 10th a group of 200+ farmers, consumers, activists, and politicians came together in Guelph to join a national day of action to tell Forage Genetics and Monsanto that WE DO NOT WANT GM ALFALFA. Nor do we need it. Check out the footage.

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