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An Interview with Geoff Lawton

Events, Resources & News,Interview,News — by Senem Tufekcioglu

Interview: Senem Tüfekçioğlu, PDC Istanbul 2010, December, 2010

During the PDC, you mentioned that in a real recipe book, the location and the season of the dish must be given. Can you please explain why?

Yes, it’s because we need to eat fresh food and we need to eat local food. With minimum distance from where it’s harvested to where it is consumed. Because that’s the local food that’s got the synergy of energy and undeniably rich. Local food that is absolutely fresh. Now, if we set those criteria on recipes, we end up with the ultimate food franchise of really fresh food that is grown in season and food that is grown throughout the year with no real season in the perennial food. And we end up with this wonderful mixture of identifying food to place to people. And that’s what we need for a healthy people and a healthy globe.

What do you would change if we built city farms all around Turkey?

I think, people’s happiness would change. People’s health would change. And people’s understanding of what we need to do to be sustainable would change. So, we would gain personal identity as well. That’s we need. We need identity, as in this is the culture of the people; this is the people of the land.

What are your opinions about industrialized organic farming? Can organic farming be done within permaculture?

Permaculture totally encompasses organic farming. Organic farming is encompassed in to permaculture. It’s part of permaculture. But only organic farming that has ecosystem type processes, ecosystemic processes or who’ll create these processes. Organic farming that is industrial, that still destroys the environment, destroys people and destroys the quantity and quality of soil doesn’t fit into permaculture. Organic farming that totally enriches the environment of the people and the environment is permaculture and organic farming and nothing but.

Again, you mentioned during the PDC that, we can produce the same amount of nutrition in 2 % of the land we use now. How can we accomplish that?

Well, there’s only one way we can accomplish that. And that’s, 2 percent of the equivalent area in the urban space and the perimeter of the urban space. Now, that means, urban agriculture, perimeter urban agriculture, running on built half surface water runoffs of a city and town and the waste range of a town, as in the waste water, the waste organic matter and compostable materials. It means that thermal mass feed gain designed as an advantage in our cities of the solid materials that hold heat and give it a microclimate advantage and wind shelter advantage so that we get a very diverse and a very fresh food that is an employment for the people who are very local, very close by. And the transport costs are completely removed so the food is a gain. Nutritionally fresh, absolutely local and as diverse as possible and it’s the most productive per square meter of any food produced on this planet. Because the small the area that is used for production, the more production per square meter is possible and nowhere more that costs more than in the urban space.

What do you recommend the city people who want to make their environment more sustainable?

Start of by getting involved in gardens. For instance, a small space garden. And use the criteria as that; the energy I put in to the plant that I get out, with the challenge that the soil becomes more fertile as I produce. Learn that as a process, a therapy as well as a lesson and the garden it-self becomes the teacher. And you can extend that out into a whole sustainable learning curve and enjoyable journey.

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Posted on: 10 June 2011