World-wide, smaller farm-holdings play a valuable role in providing nutritious food for literally billions of people. Unfortunately, with the commercialisation and industrialisation of food-growing and land-use, the real value of farmers and healthy soils and waterways has been pushed to the limits in favour of unit-production and corporate strategising for control of land, food and seed. This leaves farming families often struggling to be valued for their energy while growing our food, often resulting in debt, stress, farm-loss, and even suicide.

When one has a look around the world at this mind-set, what is found is :- massive mono-cultures; saturation of toxic chemicals in soils and waterways and all living systems including human bodies; a loss of natural food nutrients; the destruction of biodiverse ecosystems which are essential to the intricate balance of life; the loss of topsoil through mismanagement creating erosion; loss/damage of natural water cycles including precious underground aquifers; droughts; and the shifting of large amounts of people looking for food-growing land to sustain their families. Global corporate-owned ‘Special Economic Zones’ imposed on various countries cause mass-displacement, environmental havoc and are set up to avoid levies and liability.

On the local scene, we see that same push to urbanise due to the current system of unit-commercialisation of everything that corporations can ‘get their hands on’. In this push, the eyes set on commercial value only will miss the value of natural systems, wildlife, clean waterways, valuable food-growing land and thriving local communities. This requires the resourcefulness of local communities to gain access to otherwise hidden information (from ‘behind-closed-doors’ ‘negotiations’) and to gather peer-led ground-swell momentum to be able to protect their living environment now and into the future for generations to come.

water-wise farming picture from www.newforestfarm.com

The Koah community and wider region has been providing produce from many farms for the people of Cairns, Mareeba, and many extended market-places. Koah farmers are actively involved in soil regeneration processes to create essential living soil microbiology, and also in localising the food system for local community resilience, as well as being generously involved in dedicatedly providing quality produce further afield. From the soil and water system damage created by past land-use (tobacco-farming and mining heavy metal contamination), local farmers are taking responsibility for improving the land they are guardians of, while also creating healthier relationships with the water catchments and other living systems they rely on. Koah farmers and others throughout the tablelands are involved in ‘community-supported agriculture’ systems, which, on researching, prove to be a ‘way forward’ to responsible food-growing and land-use, as well as long-term health and nutrition and protection of water-catchments and the other living systems we all rely on, co-creating resilient communities.

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