When the words ‘miracle’ and ‘crops’ show up in the same sentence, some type of genetic modification is typically involved. However, when it comes to the story of Sumant Kumar and his rice crop, only all-natural, non-genetically modified processes were used. By applying only manure and no herbicides, Kumar was able to produce the largest amount of rice on one hectare of land in history.
A modest farmer in the village of Darveshpura, Sumant Kumar never expected to create world records with his rice crop. He anticipated a good season due to the heavy rains his village had experienced, but he never could have imagined producing the amount of rice that he yielded. Through all-natural means, Kumar grew 22.4 tons of rice on just one hectare of land. To prove just how wild this amount is, this farmer typically yielded 4 to 5 tons of rice per hectare previously.
Watch this well-spoken, charismatic 11-year-old kid take on the industrial food system in this TEDx video. Birke Baehr is a homeschooler who began learning and taking notice of how food actually gets to the table. He wants all kids to know that food animals do not live on the picturesque farms he had always imagined and outlines his case for why we need to localize and clean up our food production. Pretty remarkable and inspiring message from someone who has only been on this planet for 11 years.
At age 9, while traveling with his family and being “roadschooled,” Birke Baehr began studying sustainable and organic farming practices such as composting, vermiculture, canning and food preservation. Soon he discovered his other passion: educating others — especially his peers — about the destructiveness of the industrialized food system, and the alternatives. He spoke at TEDxNextGenerationAsheville in 2010. Birke Baehr wants us to know how our food is made, where it comes from, and what’s in it. At age 11, he’s planning a career as an organic farmer.
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When an experience inspires you to see that dream again, motivates you to a place you haven’t felt in a long time, and adds a monstrous log to the fire in your soul, what do you call it? Heaven? For me, it was the 2011 Edible Institute. For 20 hours, over two days, I listened, absorbed, brainstormed, smiled, scribbled, tweeted (#EI2011), consumed, and connected.
If you are not familiar with Edible, they are beautiful magazines filled with everything food-related local to that area, or as they say, Award Winning Magazines That Celebrate Local Foods, Season by Season. When you so much as glance at an Edible magazine, you know that it is something unique. The first thing you’ll see is the stunning cover. When you pick it up, the luxuriously thick pages beckon to be flipped and the sumptuous photographs visually devoured. There are almost 70 Edible magazines and publishers flew in from all over the United States and Canada this past Wednesday to attend a publishers’ conference. Starting at 7:30am Saturday, the Edible Institute ignited bringing publishers together with food writers, farmers, activists, artisans, cookbook authors, winemakers, bloggers, and little old me.