The explosive growth in the annual Seedy Saturday event coming to Qualicum Beach Feb. 7 will once more provide a forum for intensive organic gardeners and others in Oceanside.
The sale of vegetable seeds is far out-pacing the sale of flower seeds throughout B.C. The sale of organics is growing exponentially. Many have discovered that growing it at home is the only 100 per cent reliable way of getting genuine organics, as ‘Big Agro’ increasingly makes incursions into the sales of organics.
But there is a more crucial benefit to organic gardening that barely reaches our consciousness: the rebuilding of our precious soil, which is in such a critical state of overload and depletion.
Today, it takes 0.2 hectares of farmland to feed one person. Yet by 2050, the remaining farmland will be down to 0.1 hectare per person.
Recent advances in carbon dating and other scientific techniques have allowed us to unravel the mystery of the relatively sudden collapse of civilizations caused by the erosion/depletion of farm soil — from Greeks to Romans and the Myans, Easter Islanders and many more.
Bad soil husbandry in these civilizations condemned their people to an inferior food supply then a gradual decline in food availability because they preferred quick profits to a proper job of soil husbandry, such as:
• returning organic matter to the soil thereby enhancing soil structure and ability to hold water and nutrients;
• ploughing soil lightly along the land contours to prevent erosion instead of ploughing deeply up and down in straight rows.
The increased crop yields of the post Second World War so-called “green revolution” — with its synthetic fertilizers and toxic bug sprays — have long since leveled off and are beginning to decline. There is little doubt genetically modified food seeds will lead only to a colossal disappointment.
The agricultural history of mankind dictates that we return to smaller mixed farms and the hard working market gardeners who sell their fresh nutritious fruits and vegetables at the Qualicum Beach Farmers’ Market each Saturday morning.