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Indian state wins prize for showing 100 percent organic 'no longer a pipe dream'
22 October 2018 - India's first fully organic state won top prize in a U.N.-backed award on Friday (12 October), with organizers saying its policies had helped more than 66,000 farmers, boosted tourism, and set an example to other countries. The small Himalayan state of Sikkim on India's border with Tibet was declared fully organic in 2016 after phasing out chemical fertilizers and pesticides and substituting them with sustainable alternatives. (more)
India: 'Future' gold medal for Sikkim, the first 100% organic state
17 October 2018 - More than 66,000 farmers helped tourism; increased by 50% between 2016 and 2017; improved living conditions. These are the reasons why the Indian state of Sikkim, the first 100% biological state in the world, won the 2018 gold medal for 'policies that look to the future'. This is the 'Future Policy' award, given each year by the United Nations for political initiatives that 'create better conditions for present and future generations'. In 2016, the small state on the Himalayas chain was declared 'totally organic', after local governments decided to focus on organic farming by eliminating chemical fertilizers and pesticides. (more)
Demand for Indian organic produce is high in global market: Radha Mohan Singh
8 October 2018 - Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Radha Mohan Singh today (8 October) said that the demand for Indian organic produce is high in the global market. He was addressing at Jaivik Krishi Sammelan organized by the National Centre of Organic Farming at Pandit Deen Dayal Dham in Mathura. The Minister said, the Modi government is committed to promoting organic farming and is providing every possible help to farmers for the development of organic farming in the country. (more)
Ghana: 2018 Garden and Flower Show was well patronized
29 September 2018 - The 2018 edition of the Ghana Garden and Flower Show has ended in Accra, recording more exhibitors and visitors as compared to the previous years. Madam Esther Cobbah, the Convenor of the Ghana Garden and Flower Movement, organizers of the show said from all indications, it was evidenced that Ghanaians loved flowers and were committed to a greener, cleaner, healthier, wealthier, and more beautiful country, adding that, the Creator of the Universe loved humanity so much that he provided beautiful gardens and flowers for various uses. (more)
Ode to autumn: A Victorian garden in England is returned to its handsome roots
29 September 2018 - How the naturalistic gardens at Gravetye Manor were restored with a vibrant nod to their past. Restoring a historic garden is always a challenge, particularly when that garden is now a hotel and restaurant. 'It's a balancing act,' [current head gardener Tom Coward] says, 'but it's about progressive conservation rather than preservation.' It's no easy feat, but Coward appears to have pulled it off: today, the garden feels vibrant ... (more)
US: Bachman's and Galleria announce three-year agreement to co-produce floral experience
26 September 2018 - Galleria's revival of Bachman's spring flower show -- a downtown Minneapolis tradition for more than 50 years -- was such a success this past spring that they plan to do it again, and again. The Edina shopping center and Bachman's floral company announced a three-year agreement to keep the event going. ... 'Just to walk into a space and to see so many beautiful colors -- and it's not just a visual thing, it's the fragrances... you experience it through the aromas and visual beauty of the place,' said [the center's general manager Wendy Eisenberg]. 'It's extremely well-done, tasteful, interesting, it really changes your state of mind at that time of year.' (more)
Burkinabe farmer wins 'alternative Nobel' for drought-fighting technique
24 September 2018 - A farmer from Burkina Faso who popularized an ancient farming technique to reverse desertification is among the winners of Sweden's 'alternative Nobel prize', announced on Monday (24 September). Yacouba Sawadogo is known for turning barren land into forest using 'zai' -- pits dug in hardened soil that concentrate water and nutrients, allowing crops to withstand drought. The technique has restored thousands of hectacres of dry land, helping to reduce hunger in Burkina Faso and Niger. (more)
US: Agriculture program teaches students about growing, giving
23 September 2018 - What once started out as a small garden behind the agriculture building at Rehobeth High School (Alabama) has grown -- just like the seedlings that were planted there -- in an effort across grade levels to serve the community. Brad Willis, agriscience teacher at the high school, said the effort to teach children where their food originates started about eight years ago in one of his classes. After the school board purchased more land behind the football team's practice field, the agriscience teacher quickly jumped on the opportunity to utilize the space to teach students the inner workings of creating produce. Without any equipment except for an old, rusted tiller and a few seeds, Willis and his students helped the agriculture department grow, one plant at a time. (more)
Celebration of spring at Blooming Tasmania Flower and Garden Festival
22 September 2018 - Greenthumbs and plant lovers from around Tasmania will feel right at home at Albert Hall. The Blooming Tasmania Flower and Garden Festival aims to showcase the best of the state's garden tourism, horticulture, floristry, and landscape design. The festival will feature more than 60 exhibitors and displays, alongside a speaker program of Tasmanian and nationally renowned gardening experts. (more)
Eat, pray, farm: U.S. churches turn faith lands into food
19 September 2018 - Across the United States, more than 200 faith groups are members of an emerging Christian Food Movement, which promotes more sustainable food systems by growing their own crops, bringing idle land into use, and feeding the poor and hungry. (more)
Success of Maharishi's Programmes
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Maharishi Vastu home, organic farm featured in Westchester County, New York
17 May 2018 - With the help of an architect versed in Maharishi Vastu, or ancient Vedic principles of architecture, the owner built a stunning 5,000-square-foot home northeast of New York City, reports LoHud (New York). Maharishi Vastu architecture ensures that a building will have only nourishing influences on its occupants. This results from the use of several key natural law-based, Vedic principles. Then she set out to create an organic farm and orchard on the nearly 5-acre property. Each year, Amba Farms yields nearly 10,000 pounds of produce; some goes to local restaurants for farm-to-table dining, but much is donated to local food pantries. There are also eggs from chickens and nearly 100 fruit trees. (more)
Maharishi University of Management faculty present in India, Rwanda, South Korea, and Bali
15 May 2018 - Maharishi University of Management (MUM) faculty have been making an impact worldwide in recent months, giving presentations in a number of countries around the world, including India, Rwanda, South Korea, and Bali. (more)
Teaching regenerative organic agriculture to Bhutan refugees: Maharishi University of Management faculty
2 January 2018 - During a recent workshop on regenerative organic agriculture, Maharishi University of Management (MUM) faculty Dr. A. Thimmaiah helped a group of Bhutanese refugees learn to grow their native food while also learning to heal themselves and the planet. The workshops with Dr Thimmaiah are sponsored by Lutheran Social Services in Fargo, North Dakota. Dr. Thimmaiah is associate professor of sustainable living at MUM and heads the BA in Regenerative Organic Agriculture Program. He is a former agriculture advisor to Bhutan and a top expert in organic and biodynamic agriculture who authored the national organic standards for Bhutan. (more)
Creating 'an army of future farmers' to redesign, restructure food and agriculture systems
9 September 2017 - Students in the Regenerative Organic Agriculture Certificate programme at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, USA started selling the fruits of their harvest at the Fairfield Farmers Market just a few months after they began working on the student farm. The 10-month programme's purpose is 'to create an army of future farmers who can redesign and restructure the current food and agriculture systems', said Dr. Appachanda Thimmaiah, programme director. 'Graduates will have confidence to farm or start their own business in regenerative organic agriculture.' (more)
Veteran plants the seeds of a dream in the new MUM Regenerative Organic Agriculture Program
15 August 2017 - US military veteran Kyle Amsberry was introduced to Transcendental Meditation (TM) and its beneficial effects on combat veterans while serving his country. He soon learned about Maharishi University of Management (MUM) and was drawn to the idea of studying Sustainable Living while also working toward becoming a TM Teacher. Enrolling in the new MUM Regenerative Organic Agriculture programme, Kyle worked for weeks on a business plan to open a TM Retreat and Education Center for Veterans that included a working organic farm in southern California. 'Right now it's just an idea and a dream', he said, 'but through the Regenerative Organic Agriculture programme, I know I can make it a reality. The networking opportunities and possibilities are endless in this programme and at this university.' (more)
Maharishi University of Management pioneers first complete farm-to-fork program in Regenerative Organic Agriculture
25 July 2017 - Maharishi University of Management in Iowa has launched the world's first complete programme to train the next generation of farmers in an agricultural paradigm that can fully reverse climate change and provide abundant and healthy food for our planet's growing population. Termed 'regenerative organic agriculture', this 10-month certificate work-study programme is a collaborative effort among five internationally renowned organizations in the field of organic and biodynamic agriculture - directed by Dr. A. Thimmaiah, an expert in climate-smart agriculture who has developed many low-cost farming solutions using natural resources that are benefiting thousands of farmers in different countries. He says few schools or organizations offer even one course in regenerative organic farming systems, which he distinguishes from common organic farming. Regenerative agriculture is a self-sufficient, closed-loop system in which farmers, on their own farms, produce all the inputs required, using only naturally available resources there. (more)
Maharishi University of Management launches Regenerative Organic Agriculture Program
28 December 2016 - Maharishi University of Management is launching its new certificate programme in Regenerative Organic Agriculture this month. Under the directorship of Dr Appachanda Thimmaiah, the 10-month programme is the first of its kind in the US and will give students the knowledge and hands-on experience to master a system of agriculture that embodies the best and most sustainable aspects of organic and biodynamic agriculture, as well as traditional agricultural knowledge systems from around the world. 'From home gardening, to transforming the urban landscape with neighborhood food forests, to professional organic farming and food entrepreneurship, to food activism and advocacy - this programme is a great first step in taking on each of these missions,' said Dr Thimmaiah. Students will also learn Transcendental Meditation, which is a powerful tool that they can use to get in direct touch with the deep laws of nature that govern agriculture, thereby improving their effectiveness in farming. (more)
Infosys founder offers scholarships for Regenerative Agriculture students at Maharishi University of Management
26 October 2016 - S.D. Shibulal, a cofounder of technology giant Infosys, and Mrs Kumari Shibulal, announced recently that their foundation will provide scholarships totaling US$100,000 for students from India who enrol in the new Regenerative Organic Agriculture Program beginning in January at Maharishi University of Management, USA. (more)
Maharishi University of Management: Certificate in regenerative organic agriculture to be offered
21 October 2016 - Those interested in being part of the next generation of organic farming will be able to enroll in a 10-month certificate programme in regenerative organic agriculture at Maharishi University of Management in the USA, beginning this January. This regenerative method of organic farming is a self-sufficient, closed-loop system in which all the inputs required for production are supplied and grown using only the naturally available resources within the farmstead. 'This course will be of interest to anyone who has a passion to create radical change in the current food and agriculture systems,' says programme head Dr A. Thimmaiah. 'The students can be food activists, farmers, food advocates, home and urban gardeners, or future organic farmers.' (more)
Maharishi University of Management's Dr Thimmaiah is helping Bhutan adopt organic agriculture
6 October 2016 - Bhutan is the first country in the world that is becoming 100 percent organic. The man behind this transition is Dr Appachanda Thimmaiah. Currently an associate professor of sustainable living at Maharishi University of Management in Iowa, from 2008 to 2013 he served as the organic agriculture consultant to Bhutan. His biodynamic agriculture consultancy company in India was the first to develop large agricultural projects transitioning to organic agriculture. Helping farms in Bhutan maintain self-sufficient, 'closed-loop' systems where no outside products need be purchased has caught on with the government, along with 'no-cost' organic certification for farmers, and training programs for instructors in organic farming methods. Dr Thimmaiah upholds that for a country that puts great emphasis on its unique Gross National Happiness metric, which measures progress through the spiritual, physical, social, and environmental health of its citizens, switching to organic agriculture would have an enormous positive influence on its citizens. (more)
10 Short Summaries of Top Stories
Scottish government identifies case of mad cow disease
18 October 2018 - Scotland's government said on Thursday (8 October) that a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, had been discovered on a farm in Aberdeenshire, the first in Britain since 2015. BSE was first detected in Britain in the late 1980s, spreading from there to other parts of Europe and ravaging cattle herds until the early 2000s. It has been linked to the brain-wasting Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. (more)
US: Swollen North Carolina rivers swamp dumps, raising water pollution fears
16 September 2018 - As rain from Hurricane Florence continued to lash the Carolinas, the region's swollen rivers were beginning to swamp coal ash dumps and low-lying hog farms Sunday (16 September), raising pollution concerns. Such farms typically have large pits filled with hog urine and feces that can cause significant water contamination if breached or overtopped by floodwaters. State environmental regulators said Sunday they had not yet received any reports of spills. Duke Energy said the collapse of a coal ash landfill at the L.V. Sutton Power Station near Wilmington, North Carolina, is an 'on-going situation,' with an unknown amount of potentially contaminated storm water flowing into a nearby lake. The gray ash left behind when coal is burned contains toxic heavy metals, including arsenic, lead, and mercury. At a different power plant near Goldsboro, three old coal ash dumps capped with soil were inundated by the Neuse River. (more)
More Afghans displaced by drought than conflict, U.N. says
11 September 2018 - A total of 275,000 people have been displaced by drought in western Afghanistan -- 52,000 more than the number uprooted by conflict this year -- with over two million threatened by the effects of water shortages, the United Nations said. Afghanistan, a country where nearly 20 million people rely on farming, has suffered a 45 per cent fall in agricultural output this year as the drought has bitten, officials at the ministry of agriculture have said. (more)
Water shortages to cut Iraq's irrigated wheat area by half
11 September 2018 - Drought, water shortages have reduced Nineveh, Iraq's former breadbasket, to a dust bowl. Iraq, a major Middle East grain buyer, will cut the irrigated area it plants with wheat by half in the 2018-2019 growing season as water shortages grip the country, a government official told Reuters. An investigation by Reuters in July revealed how Nineveh, Iraq's former breadbasket, was becoming a dust bowl after drought and years of war. (more)
Brazil court overturns ban on weed-killer glyphosate
3 September 2018 - A Brazilian court on Monday (3 September) overturned an injunction banning products containing the popular weed-killer glyphosate, knocking down a previous ruling ... A Brazilian judge ruled last month to halt the registration of new glyphosate-based products in the country and to suspend existing registrations after 30 days, until health agency Anvisa issues a pending ruling on its safety. ... The injunction and the subsequent reversal also applied to insecticide abamectin and fungicide thiram. (more)
Crop damage mounts for EU farmers after torrid summer
22 August 2018 - European farmers are counting the cost of a summer heatwave that has shrunk cereal harvests and shriveled pastures, leaving some farms struggling to survive and shutting the EU out of lucrative export markets. The severe weather in Europe has coincided with adverse growing conditions in other major grain producing zones such as Russia and Australia, raising the risk that supplies in exporting countries will be eroded to their smallest in years. (more)
Brazilian lawmakers seek to deregulate pesticide use, ban organic produce sales
14 August 2018 - Brazilian lawmakers have reportedly resurrected a 2002 bill that would severely reduce the role of government health and environment departments in authorizing new pesticides, the Los Angeles Times reported. A second bill would ban the sale of organic foods to supermarkets and other major retail outlets. Environmentalists and other opponents of the proposed changes say that deregulation would increase a range of health problems linked to pesticide exposure -- including cancer and infertility -- and contaminate soil and water. (more)
Red Cross warns of food crisis in North Korea as crops fail in heat
10 August 2018 - A heat wave in North Korea has led to rice, maize, and other crops withering in the fields, 'with potentially catastrophic effects', the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said on Friday (10 August). The world's largest disaster relief network warned of a risk of a 'full-blown food security crisis' in the isolated country, where a famine in the mid-1990s killed up to three million people. (more)
Straw prices soar, piling pressure on northern Europe farmers
9 August 2018 - Livestock and dairy farmers across northern Europe are paying soaring prices for straw used in food and bedding for cattle, as hot, dry weather across the region reduces crops. The higher bills put further pressure on farmers already facing one of their toughest summers ever; many have had to purchase more hay for fodder because the grass on which their herds normally graze has not grown. (more)
Beekeeping in Yemen becomes a dangerous profession in war
7 August 2018 - Yemen's beekeepers risk air strikes and land mines as they traverse the country's valleys, transporting their hives on pick-up trucks to produce some of the world's finest honey. The impoverished Arab state, known for its Sidr honey made from the jujube tree, has endured three years of war that have pushed it to the verge of famine and shattered the economy. (more)
Global Good News provides the latest information on agriculture
Worldwide demand for natural, organic food is growing. Many scientists, farmers, and consumers are concerned about the health
and environmental risks associated with agricultural chemicals and genetically modified foods. Educated consumers are seeking
natural approaches to health, economically viable solutions to global hunger, and sustainable practices for the health of our planet.
Global Good News provides the latest information on the benefits of organic agriculture, organic gardening, and Maharishi Vedic
Organic Agriculture—a programme of the Global Country of World Peace for harnessing the full potential of Nature's intelligence
in the field of agriculture, to create healthy food for a happy life.
Genetically modified foods (GM foods, also called genetically engineered and genetically altered) are plants, animals, and bacteria in
which the genetic material has been directly manipulated and distorted. Natural processes—such as selective breeding, grafting or splicing—do
not directly manipulate the DNA. Many experts fear the irreversible loss of our food crops' diverse gene pool. Altered plants easily
cross-pollinate with conventional crops, making it impossible to separate the natural from the unnatural.
Agricultural companies began aggressively marketing GMOs (genetically modified organisms) in the mid-1990s, claiming an increase in crop
production. They cite evidence of pest resistance and crop spray tolerance, meaning the crop can be sprayed with amounts of pesticides
that would normally kill the plants.
However, research has found that traditional crop cultivation delivers better results. Doug Gurian-Sherman, PhD, a biologist in the Union
of Concerned Scientists (UCS) Food and Environment Program, says, 'The biotech industry has spent billions on research and public relations
hype, but genetically engineered food and feed crops have not enabled American farmers to grow significantly more crops per acre of land.'
In March 2009, Dr Gurian Sherman published a report entitled, Failure to Yield—Evaluating the Performance of Genetically Engineered Crops in which
he states, 'This report is the first to evaluate in detail the overall, or aggregate, yield effect of GE after more than 20 years of research and
13 years of commercialization in the United States. Based on that record, we conclude that GE has done little to increase overall crop yields.'
The report continues, 'Recent studies also suggest that organic and other sophisticated low-external-input methods can produce yields that are
largely equivalent to those of conventional agriculture, even though limited investment has been made in these agro-ecological methods.'
Organic gardening is the time-honoured approach to working with Nature's intelligence. Some studies have shown that organic foods have much higher
nutritional value than genetically modified and conventionally grown crops, which use pesticides and fertilizers.
Maharishi Vedic Organic Agriculture goes beyond the most rigorous existing standards for pure, organic food. It includes the understanding of how
Nature functions, and how to align man's intelligence with Nature's intelligence to support health, happiness, and abundance.
Vedic Organic Agriculture is an important part of Maharishi's Programmes for creating a disease-free society, and eradicating poverty. Practices
which are economically viable for farmers worldwide can supply the growing demand for pure, natural food.
Global Good News is the source for positive news and education pertaining to organic gardening, organic food, and the development of organic
agriculture around the world.
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