ARTICLES      
         
         
         
  The use of chemical
fertilizers is a part of
an unnatural linear
flow of nutrients that
human societies have
adapted themselves to
since we discovered
the fossil fuels

Here's why

The use of chemical fertilizers is a part of an unnatural linear flow of nutrients that human societies have adapted themselves to since we discovered the fossil fuels. This temporary resourse has given us the opportunity to (for a while) keep taking from the larders, without replenishing them again. The flow moves from phosphorous mines, that one day will be empty, and energy-wasting nitrogen fixation, past plant production, meat production, humans, and into the sewage. The sewage then becomes a problem in the other end. However much we would like to believe that our treatment plants are doing a completely good job, they do miss some parts of the nutrients that become pollution because there’s too much of it in the wrong place in nature’s cycles. Furthermore, there is a fundamental fault in the thinking in that system. The treatment plants are made to send the nitrogen, this important ingredient in nutrition, back up into the air, instead of keeping it in a form that the plants can readily use. That is what we ought to be putting back in the larder! How that could be done, we’ll return to later, but first a little about how fish come into vegetable farming:

As you can see, hydroponic plant cultivation can be a part of an unsustainable food production. Fish farming, Aquaculture, can also be unsustainable. Salmon farming in Norway consumes many more kilos of fish food (made of fish caught in the ocean), than it actually produces in the form of kilos of farmed salmon. Also, under the bags of salmon, the bottom fauna of the fiords die from lack of oxygen, caused by over fertilization by the salmon excrements.

So, if you add up two bad things, can the sum be a good one? The answer is yes! The thing that is a waste in one system – fish excrements – is a resource in vegetable farming, replacing chemical fertilizers. Connecting the two, is to work with nature, instead of against it.

   

 

    [2012-02-07]
  Back Text och bilder © Grönare Stad AB - Louise Lundberg