By all honest accounts, 2010 has been a terrible year for traditional agriculture worldwide. Extended severe weather events have cut many crop harvests in half. Farmers are going bankrupt as crops fail, commodity prices are exploding, and millions of people more have been added to the list of those who go hungry on a regular basis. Already a record 40 million Americans are receiving food stamps at a time when the economy is a disaster and state and Federal governments are essentially bankrupt.
The near- to mid-term looks to be a time of immense hardship; yet, in times of hardship come great innovation as people are spurred from their complacency and forced to become participators in their own survival. There is an Organic Revolution taking place that is focused on self-sufficiency as the primary goal. Despite how power brokers have aimed to co-opt the movement, individuals must remain steadfast in their pursuit of living a simpler, healthier, and less-dependent lifestyle.
Our modern way of life is centered on mega-cities. This will continue, as the percentage of the global population living in, or very close to, major cities rises to 80%. It would make sense, then, that any new innovative farming system should begin here, as it will benefit the greatest number of people. Up until recently, Genetically Modified Foods have been the most prominent farming innovations, despite their obvious flaws. Now, two new farming methods show great promise for growing an abundance of healthy food on a small footprint of land, and may be instrumental in feeding a growing world population.