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Bottom-up versus Top-Down Food and Farming

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Rob Kall       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   8 comments, In Series: Bottom-up, Top-down

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I got an early start this morning, doing a few hours of farm labor-- weeding and squishing beetles on broccoli plants (it's an organic farm.)  It's nice to get back to nature. Afterwards, I chatted with John, the farmer who runs the farm, told him I was writing a book about bottom-up, and asked him how it applies to farming.

He replied that on earth, life begins with soil. There is more biomass below the surface, in the soil, like bacteria and fungus, than above, "even including elephants." And he explained that organic, small farmers work with the living things below the surface, for fertilizer, for growing. On the other hand, big factory farms kill everything below the surface, with things like methyl bromide, then add chemical fertilizers like phosphoric potassium nitrate, and then they spray to kill weeds and bugs. Organic farmers plant ground cover plants. They take the approach that things start below the surface of the soil, then add cover plants, then seedlings, then crops. People who are part of the co-op and a few paid workers, usually students or farmers in training, do the planting, weeding, harvesting. The harvested food goes to local community members with a stake in the farm. The bottom-up approach to farming is small, local, and good for the environment.

The top down approach-- kill all the living things in the soil, artificially-- chemically-- fertilize. Take a plane and fly over a crop to dust it with toxic pesticides. Harvest with big machines. Move the produce by truck and train thousands of miles away. Big corporations either own the land or contract with big farmers and then sell to grocery store chains or fast food or restaurant chains.

We need to start asking how we can move the big corporations to start seeing with bottom-up eyes to find bottom-up solutions that are good for the earth and healthier. There's a lot of gasoline in food that is transported a thousand miles.


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Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect, connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media. He's given talks and workshops to Fortune 500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful people on his Bottom Up Radio Show, and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and opinion sites,

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Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

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