People will drive the direction of agriculture toward sustainable production because sustainability is just that; it won’t run out of resources and stop. People will also insist on ‘know your source’ informed nutrition, and accept direct delivery as direct as possible.
Starfield Centre's theme is local - "Good Food Close to Home"
The cost of fresh produce will most certainly rise. Other costs rising are water for irrigation and processing, food security, refrigeration, packaging, and transport from California, Mexico, Central America and China.
Droughts in California, Texas and Mexico are permanent. The whole fresh food chain is undergoing an upward price trend and along with it the costs of health care.
Starfield Centre will be able to grow and process affordable produce because of year round regional production, and a reliance on renewable fuels for power & heating.
The best greenhouse producers will manage mineral nutrients, provide a full range of minerals in their crops and use less water in the production of crops. Since minerals are expensive, various ways will be developed to conserve minerals while the crops are growing. Re-circulating, drip irrigation systems and the use of liners are three such methods.
Ideally, greenhouses will be located right next to the cities they serve. Production will be sustainable, where the use of fossil fuels is low, arable land is not used, and the operation is pollution free. Sustainable by our definition is the ability to operate indefinitely without depleting natural raw materials such as topsoil and fossil fuels.
For the customer this results in fresh nutritious vegetables at competitive prices. In light of this, Starfield Centres are well positioned for expansion to meet the present and future demand for our products.
Steven Solomon, in his book Water, (published in 2010) notes: “In the first decade of the 21st century, an astonishing number of nations were so critically water stressed that they can no longer grow all the crops they need to feed and clothe their own populations. Growing crops is an astonishingly water intensive enterprise – about ¾ of mankind’s water use worldwide is for farm irrigation.
“In the dawn of the 21st Century, for the first time in history, mankind’s unquenchable thirst, whetted by a voracious industrial demand, gargantuan engineering capacities, and sheer multiplication of human population and individual consumption levels, was starting to significantly outstrip many planetary ecosystems absolute supply of readily accessible and renewable, clean, fresh, liquid water (from rainfall, and thousands of dams, and groundwater).
Based on current usage trends, practices and foreseeable technologies, it was doubtful there is enough freshwater returning to the Earth’s surface in the natural water cycle of evaporation and precipitation to sustain economic growth. An explosion of competition for fresh water looms.”
Starfield Centre emphasizes the conservation of water in growing crops and by doing so there is a bright future for our communities.
Everything must be done to reduce carbon emissions, including but not limited to a serious abandonment of fossil fuel consumption.
The NOAA (U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) stated in July 2012 that the major cause of bad weather is man made. The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; a group of 2,500 independent scientists) has consistently warned that fossil fuel emissions (C02) are causing climate change. The conclusion is that current droughts and storms are not a cycle. Each year they will become more severe because fossil fuel emissions in the atmosphere are cumulative.
Over the last century there has been a 1 degree Celsius (1.5°F) rise in temperature, which is considered an extremely large increase by Earth’s planetary standards. Elevated C02 levels today are melting the Arctic seas. With a rise of 1 more degree the Greenland ice sheet will melt. That has already begun.
Less Than a Decade Left
There is less than a decade left to stop the rise of 1 degree. Emissions must level off. Lowering the particulate in North America will not stop the particulate pollution in India (1 million people per year die of air pollution) and China. So we still face the same problem of particulate pollution. If particulate pollution is eliminated then warming will not accelerate. There is no choice but to lower fossil fuel
burning. As it is, agriculture in California and Mexico will fall dramatically or cease from a lack of water. This has already started. Production will have to shift to other regions.
A larger greenhouse industry is needed to protect food production and provide food resilience. Starfield Centre grows crops with 1/20th of the water used by dry land farming, and is powered with heat and electricity from renewable fuels, both of which are carbon neutral and create minimal particulates. This is the future of sustainable food production.