Sustainable soil management & healthy food

carrots growing in the soil, shalow DOF

How does soil management affect the quality of the soil? What could be the indirect effects on the quality of our food? What if good soil management one day could eliminate the need for medicins? On the 9th of February, the symposium ‘Sustainable soil management & healthy food’, organised by  Down2Earth and the Centre for Soil Ecology NIOO/WUR, took place at Wageningen UR to discuss such questions. BY: SANNE VAN LEEUWEN.

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In conversation with Jan Douwe van der Ploeg #2: Peasant agriculture and a message to students and social movements

Jan Douwe van der Ploeg has a message to the students and to the social movements: Continue reading

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March: Spring excursions to Dairy farms

Spring Excursions pic

 

11th March: Conventional dairy farm of Hans Geurts. A fair price for the producers

Practical info:
Depart: 9:00h at the parking lot in front of Radix Building (Next to Forum)
We will go there by car
Excursion fee: € 5,-
Sign up: Sign Up for the excursion to the conventional farm on 11 March:
Subscription form 11th March

The Farm.
Hans has a conventional dairy farm with 110 dairy cows and 70 calves. The cows are ‘double purpose’ (for milk and meat), of the Fleckvieh breed. He milks the cows with two milking robots, and from half of April until November, the cows can go outside in the pasture. Hans is married with Nicolien, and they have three sons. One of them, Luc, is thinking on taking over the farm, and maybe turning it into an organic farm.

Fair Prices for the Producers.
Since 2003, Hans Geurts is active in the Nederlandse Melkveehouders Vakbond, NMV (Dutch Dairy farmer Union). For 8 years, he was part of the Executive Committee, out of which 3 years he was the chair. Currently, he is also chair of ‘Aarde Boer Consument’, a platform of several farmers unions and foundations, like Boerengroep. In 2007 already, far before the milk quota was ended and all phosphate problems started to rise, Hans wrote a document Afschaffing van de melkquotering: een historische vergissing” , where he warns about the negative consequences of ending a quota. During the excursion, Hans will give a tour on his farm and share with us all his rich knowledge on the struggles of dairy farmers, politics, and the need for fair prices.

 

18th March: bike excursion to organic dairy farm de Hooilanden. The Ethics of dairy Farming

Practical info:
Depart: 9:30 at the tree statue of the Forum Building (15 min. bike). Bring your bike!
Excursion fee: € free (but bring some money, because the farm shop is open! If you bring a bottle, you can fill it with fresh raw milk for only €1)
Sign up: Sign Up for the excursion to the Hooilanden farm on 18th March: Subscription form 18th March

De Hooilanden is an organic dairy farm with 75 cows, located in Bennekom, a Neighbouring village of Wageningen. The same family keeps the farm for already three generations, and dairy farming is their main activity. Nature enjoyment matters a lot in the Hooilanden, that’s why others activities linking farming and nature are set up. Farm tours are organised, and people can as well have meetings in the farm, while enjoying a delicious homemade meal in a peaceful environment! Cheese, milk, butter, and cow meat are produced and sold on the spot, and we will have the chance to see how butter and cheese are made. Don’t forget to bring a bottle, you can fill it with fresh raw milk for only 1 euro.

Farming while respecting nature and animals are important for the Hooilanden farmers, and we will discuss the ethics of dairy farming together.

 

25th March: Organic farm De Beekhoeve. The story of a family dairy farm

Practical info:
Depart: 10:00h at the parking lot in front of Radix Building (Next to Forum)
We will go there by car
Excursion fee: €5,- (for transport, and a contribution to the farmer. Bring some lunch)
Sign Up for the excursion to the Beekhoeve farm on 25th of March: Subscription form 25th March

For those of you who have seen a passionate farmer speaking at the farewell of Jan Douwe can der Ploeg: that was Monique van der Laan! We will visit her at her farm De Beekhoeve. De Beekhoeve is an organic diary farm with 60 cows, located in Kamerik,  a village close to Utrecht. The cows are of the Maas-Rijn-IJsselvee (MRY) breed, and are red and white of colour. The family farm has more to it than only cows; sustainable entrepreneurshop and agrarian nature management are two basic, ethical principles. Citizens are involved on the land through activities, volunteering days, alternative financing possibilities, and more durable developments. One example that illustrates this well is the option to adopt a calf or a cow. In this way the relation between the consumer and the farm is secured over a longer period of time. In their farm shop they sell their produce and home-made foods such as cheese, butter, milk, meat, and fruit juices. One of the visions of the farmers is to gather a group of citizens around themselves and the farm for support, input, and to share the harvest. This is one of the ways in which family farmers can secure their future and assure continuation. In other words, lots of things to see, experience, and learn through the excursion tot De Beekhoeve. We will hear the story from the family farm!

 

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7-10 March: International Congress Global Peasants’ Rights

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From 7-10 March, Via Campesina, FIAN and “Haus der Bauern” will host an international Congress of Global Peasants’ Rights in Schwäbisch Hall, Germany. There will be peasants, small scale producers, rural workers, and other people working in rural areas as well as other international organisations and numerous stakeholders present. Continue reading

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Our Right to Life

WAR forces people to leave their lands, their homes, their livelihoods.
Yet, many of us resist, because we love our land, our water, our way of life.
We resist, because we strongly believe the rights to use and manage lands,
territories, waters, seeds, livestock and biodiversity are
in the hands of those of us who produce food.

Suleiman Hammad, Palestinian farmer, was brutally killed for believing this, for resisting the occupation of his land.

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Duurzame Landbouw als wetenschap, praktijk en sociale beweging

Agroecologie

Boekje ‘Het Echte Werk’. Download pdf hier

De term agroecologie, komt van twee wetenschappelijke disciplines: agronomy en ecology. Agronomie, of landbouwkunde, is de wetenschap met betrekking tot het verbeteren van de landbouw. Ecologie bestudeert de dynamiek van ecosystemen. De combinatie – agroecologie – betekent dus het observeren en leren van ecosystemen, het samenwerken met de natuur, om zo voedsel en andere landbouwproducten te produceren op een daadwerkelijk duurzame manier. Lokaal, met de natuur en de seizoenen mee, en een zo veel mogelijk gesloten kringloop (korte keten). Continue reading

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2 febr: Algemeen Overleg Biotechnologie

GMO

Vandaag vindt het Algemeen Overleg Biotechnologie plaats. Nina Holland (Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO)), schreef een brief aan de Kamer om enkele punten onder de aandacht te brengen: Continue reading

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Interview met Prof. Jan Douwe van der Ploeg

Is er nog wel ‘peasant agriculture’ (kleinschalige landbouw) in Europa? Het lijkt erop dat er een trend gaande is van schaalvergroting en dat voedsel steeds meer in de ongereguleerde vrije markt terecht komt, ondanks waarschuwingen van boeren zelf. Hoe kan het toch dat er zeven boeren per dag verdwijnen in Nederland en bedrijven ondertussen steeds grootser worden? (CBS) Is dit een trend van vooruitgang of zitten hier verborgen interesses achter?

Boerengroep ging op onderzoek uit en vond een interessant antwoord van Jan Douwe van der Ploeg. Zie hier ons interview:

(Klink voor Nederlandse ondertiteling op ‘cc’) Continue reading

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Reclaim the Seeds 2017

reclaim-the-seeds-2017

It’s time again for the biggest seed swap of the Netherlands! This year, Reclaim the Seeds will take place on the 4th of March in De Vasim in Nijmegen.  Continue reading

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Excursion Organic dairy farm Veld en Beek

11-excursion-veld-en-beek

There’s a lot going on with farming in the Netherlands, especially now the milk quota is off. The milk price decreased, making it more and more difficult for farmers to survive. Every day, 7 farms have to stop in the Netherlands, partly because of this problem. Continue reading

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