So what might fill the gap so that we can avoid this robotic, chemical-based, industrial non-utopian view of farming?
So far in this series on sustainable farming, I have explored food foresting and small plot intensive (SPIN) urban farming as means to grow the nutritious, pesticide-free foods that we deserve.

However, when considered alongside community food gardens and home vegetable plots, there remains a huge range of food, fodder and energy crops that are not provided for in these farming systems.

If we do not develop new natural-food systems, then the ecomodernist approach (shudder) will become the default alternative.

To summarise the ecomodernists’s view of our place in the world, it is for almost all of the population to live in cities powered by nuclear energy and eating genetically engineered foods.

There is enough of a furore running over the intensification of Auckland City without having to consider us Franklinites moving to the city too. Except that it seems more and more, that city is moving to Franklin’s highly productive lands.

Ecomodernists will justify their view by arguing that if we grew food more intensively, then more is produced from a given area, so we would need less land for farms.

And when it comes to energy, they argue that if we use more energy-dense fuels, aka nuclear power, then coal mines and windmills would not exist.

A-Sheeple-I-will-not-beWell thanks but no thanks. A sheeple I will not be.

So what might fill the gap so that we can avoid this robotic, chemical-based, industrial non-utopian view of farming?

Any such system ought have people living on the farm and working the soil. Sounds obvious but robotic farmers are a happening thing in Japan where 66 is the average age of farmers. The average age here is around 58 so it could be that we will go down that path soon.

Growing commodity produce is to be avoided. In the food distribution chain, producers it seems, are the lowest of the low earners from their endeavours. So by-passing the middle man and selling direct to the consumer at retail prices appeals as a good tactic.

Fonterra are currently demonstrating the absolute folly of selling milk powder into the international commodity market. It ought be instructive to observe overseas processors building milk powder factories and bypassing the wholesale market by selling direct to their own home markets.

This would not matter if dairy farmers were paid what they are worth rather than what the market decides. So it is only a matter of time now before more foreclosed dairy farms are bought by those same overseas companies to take control of the source of production too.

The final consideration would be a diverse crop, biomimicing nature, which does not grow monocultures, is an area of huge potential for innovation.

As a foundation, we need an education system focused on what we do best and that is agriculture, not information technology.