Cover art for podcast ChangeUnderground


280 EpisodesProduced by mrjonmooreWebsite

Decarbonise the air, recarbonise the soil.To feed the world, to clean the air and water, we need to change what we do with our soils.This podcast looks at the many variants of regenerative food growing. How? Why? When?We must be the ChangeUnderground!


50 #worldorganicnews 2017 02 06


WORLD ORGANIC NEWS in the Australian Podcast Awards Click here

Agroecology: A Multifacted Solution | The Green Economist


Eating from the Garden | smallholding dreams


Grid Storage Reality | Power For USA


This is the World Organic News for the week ending 6th of February 2017.

Jon Moore reporting!


The blog  smallholding dreams brings us a post: Eating from the Garden. This post addresses the alleged shortage in the UK of courgettes, that’s zucchinis for everyone outside France and the UK and Iceberg lettuces.



Apparently, there is a shortage of iceberg lettuce and courgettes in the shops  – um duh of course there is, it is winter. Seriously people, what happened to eating seasonal, local food?

End Quote.


What indeed? We had a similar situation here during the drought of 80-85 when farmers weren’t able to feed themselves let alone their stock. This was an “ah ha”  moment for me. Somewhere between settlement and the post war “get big or get out” wave sweeping through agriculture, our farmers, at least enough of them, had moved from homesteaders to agribusinesses.


Yet the effort and space required to grow our own food is really quite small.



You really don’t need a lot of time (or space) to grow veggies, I work full time at the day job and at weekends I am the shepherd, beekeeper, dog (and goat) trainer, chick-hatcher cheese-maker and chicken killer/butcher here on the smallholding as well as growing all our fruit and veggies. It is amazing what you can do with a few hours a week.

End Quote.


Even in a suburban setting, vegetable production is not that difficult. We did it a few summers back on a four radius circular garden. By having your food at hand, you just need to pick the number of lettuce leaves you need for each meal. The same thing applies to silverbeet, spinach and so on. Beans and peas keep producing, pretty much as long as you keep picking them. Zucchini and squash produce so heavily you’ll get sick of eating them. One square metre of rocket can be trimmed in strips and it will continually regrow.


Yes, this gardening will likely lead to chicken ownership and we all know chickens are the gateway stock to small mammals but that’s not a bad thing.


In fact, before you know you too will be dreaming of a smallholding.


The blog The Green Economist brings a post entitled: Agroecology: A Multifaceted Solution. They make the interesting point in regards Asia and sub-saharan Africa.



According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), smallholder farms provide up to 80 percent of the food supply in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Although farmers work small plots of land (average size is 2 hectares), they produce a variety of crops with high yields and very few inputs such as manufactured fertilizer.

End Quote.


Agroecology may be answer for all the world. Small area farms, 2 hectares, or 5 acres in the old money, can produce an enormous amount of food. Feeding not just the farmers but sustaining nearby urban settlements. By staying small, the workload for each farm is not excessive but incomes can be.


A turnover of $100,000 per acre is not unheard of in the developed economies. In that situation, four acres are put to animal husbandry to enrich and maintain the acre of produce.


The article goes on to document the application of agroecology in Uganda. Well worth a full if you feel so inclined.


Hand in hand with clean food, produced by viable farmers we need a solution to our energy dilemma. Whilst renewables are now the least expensive way to generate power, the question of storage is continually thrown up in argument against a fully renewable system.


The blog Power For USA with their post: Grid Storage Reality provides a workable solution.



There currently is 20,000 MW of pumped storage in the United States, with the potential for an additional 31,000 MW. While substantial, it still falls far short of the storage capacity needed to eliminate a large portion of fossil fuel generating capacity.

End Quote.


Yet this is both workable and is working. A similar system is in place in Scotland and another is being built in Queensland, Australia. Basically pumped storage relies upon the potential energy of a mass at a higher altitude over one at a lower altitude. Water is held in a reservoir. This reservoir is connected by pipes and pumps to a reservoir at a higher altitude, that is, up hill. In the Queensland example an old gold mine contains the two reservoirs. As excess power is generated, say from solar panels during the day, that excess is used to run pumps and drive the water from the lower to the upper reservoir. At night, when demand exceeds supply, the water runs back into the lower reservoir turning the pumps “backwards” so to speak, turning them from pumps to generators.


This is old, well tested, mature technology. We’ve had hydroelectric power for over a century. The hydro parts of this system are proven. The setup in Scotland has been running for at least ten years and is also proven. In that case they use off peak, that is cheaper electricity, to drive the water uphill and they sell electricity to the grid when the prices are higher. It is a simple matter to replace “off peak” with renewable energy.


What’s stopping us? The usual, vested interests, financing, the urgency for the need to change hasn’t dawned yet, who knows what else? We can do this, we can “make do” with current level of battery technology and use that to cover the gaps pumped storage can’t cover. Batteries will continue to improve but we have a technology we can use now. The more quickly we move the better.


On this technology and on the ideas of agroecology discussed earlier. We can make the leap from polluting to clean, we can make the leap from centralised food distribution to individual food sovereignty. Indeed

And that brings us to the end of this week’s podcast.


If you’ve liked what you heard, could please follow the link in the show notes and vote for World Organic News in the Australian Podcast Awards Click here Thanks in advance.


Any suggestions, feedback or criticisms of the podcast or blog are most welcome. email me at


Thank you for listening and I'll be back in a week.




Agroecology: A Multifacted Solution | The Green Economist


Eating from the Garden | smallholding dreams


Grid Storage Reality | Power For USA


Educational emoji reaction


Interesting emoji reaction


Funny emoji reaction


Agree emoji reaction


Love emoji reaction


Wow emoji reaction


Are you the creator of this podcast?

Verify your account

and pick the featured episodes for your show.

Listen to ChangeUnderground


A free podcast app for iPhone and Android

  • User-created playlists and collections
  • Download episodes while on WiFi to listen without using mobile data
  • Stream podcast episodes without waiting for a download
  • Queue episodes to create a personal continuous playlist
RadioPublic on iOS and Android
Or by RSS
RSS feed

Connect with listeners

Podcasters use the RadioPublic listener relationship platform to build lasting connections with fans

Yes, let's begin connecting
Browser window

Find new listeners

  • A dedicated website for your podcast
  • Web embed players designed to convert visitors to listeners in the RadioPublic apps for iPhone and Android
Clicking mouse cursor

Understand your audience

  • Capture listener activity with affinity scores
  • Measure your promotional campaigns and integrate with Google and Facebook analytics
Graph of increasing value

Engage your fanbase

  • Deliver timely Calls To Action, including email acquistion for your mailing list
  • Share exactly the right moment in an episode via text, email, and social media
Icon of cellphone with money

Make money

  • Tip and transfer funds directly to podcastsers
  • Earn money for qualified plays in the RadioPublic apps with Paid Listens