The Allotment (an afternoon in the sun)

Raised Bed Garden

Raised Bed Garden (Image by VeggieGardeningTips via Flickr)

Gardeners tend the soil,
weeding and feeding their bounty.
Building raised beds
for herbs and delicate plants.
Removing pests by hand,
or more innovative means.
Coffee grinds ward off slugs,
caring yet effective against the pests

Hoses lead across the paths,
bringing much need water.
Water soaks into the ground,
a cool drink in the midday sun.
Potatoes soak up the moisture,
cabbage funnel it down leaves.
This artificial irrigation,
keeping these plants alive.

Their tools kept clean and tidy,
their sheds fit for a kings visit.
Nets lay over the fruit bushes,
birds sit on the outside looking in.
Bees flit from flower to flower,
pollinating and collecting as they go,
this is the life many of us don’t know.

©2011 Trevor Litchfield

This poem is my entry for this weeks One Shot Wednesday

One Shot Wednesday

One Shot Wednesday

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The System’s Bust: Intensive Farming

Here is the last of my thoughts concerning The System’s Bust Campaign being run by Oxfam. My previous efforts are Climate Change, Land Grabs & Food Price Hikes.

The System's Bust

Click to visit Oxfam website

Following a century of increases, crop yields are flatlining – because intensive farming can only go so far. So it’s time to focus on the huge untapped potential of small-scale farmers in developing countries – and especially on women, who often do most of the work for little reward. Already, 500 million small farms help to put food on the plates of two billion people – or one in three people on earth. And with effective government support and a focus on sustainable techniques, productivity can soar. In Vietnam, for instance, the number of hungry people has halved in just 12 years – a transformation kick-started by government investment in small farmers. It’s time to change the way the world thinks about growing food. – Source – Oxfam

Growing a better future: http://www.oxfam.org.uk/resources/papers/growing-better-future.html

This poem is much edited from my original.

Intensive Farming

You can see for miles,
the big sky, blue overhead.
The flatness of the land,
villages lost in the haze.
Far off church spires
glisten in the sunlight.
Water towers dot the skyline,
even from a distance, dominating.
This is Fenland,
This is Farmland!

Giant machines crawl over the land,
no hedgerows hide their progress,
no trees offering welcome shade.
Irrigation ditches the half-hidden landlines
that cut the land deeply, dividing.
Mile after mile of fertile soil
worked until it can produce no more.
Grain, fruit and vegetables,
destined for western tables,
and ultimately western bins.

Gone are the days when
farming was a way of life.
Living off the land,
selling the surpluses.
We now measure our surplus
by the value tied up in it.
Not in how many mouths it could feed,
not by thinking who will eat tonight?
It’s time to think differently,
The System’s Bust!

©2011 Trevor Litchfield.

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