organic farming

How Can Organic Farming Save The Planet?

Can organic farming really feed the world? This is a question that has been pondered for decades and one that is not without controversy. On one side we have scientists whose funding comes from GMO companies like Monsanto saying that it can’t and on the other we have organic farming operations proving that it can.

Organic farming can provide enough food for the world’s booming population and also is safe for the environment. This benign method of farming starts at the core by protecting and regenerating the water and soil that make organic farming products so much better for us.

In contrast, industrial farming which uses chemicals that are harmful to all living things, causes immense harm to the environment costing over three trillion dollars per year in damages. The horrific results of industrial agriculture practices can be found in the poisoning and depletion of water resources and aquifers, massive soil erosion, dead zones in the oceans such as the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as major increases in greenhouse gases which impact global warming.

One can also look at the issue as it relates to long term sustainability. Organic farming is sustainable just as it has been practiced by Indigenous people all over the planet for thousands of years. Industrial farming is not, it is poisoning the soil and the water we need to survive in addition to killing creatures like bees that are needed for food production.

organic farmingOrganic farming uses far less energy while at the same time protecting beneficial insects such as bees and offering a bio diverse environment for many plants and animals to thrive in. Because organic farming increases the capacity for the soil to retain water as well as strengthening the structure of the soil organic farms are more resistant to major weather events such as floods and droughts.

While the environmental benefits of organic farming are easily seen what many are unaware of is the fact that it is also more profitable for farmers and helps to support local economies. In one particular study conducted in the United States it was found that there were higher median household incomes and lower poverty levels in counties that had more organic farming operations.

It is very important to do your own research as well as dig into those behind the research to know the facts on organic farming and its benefits. The chemical companies that produce the pesticides and other chemicals used in industrial farming as well as the GMO companies such as Monsanto spend untold millions of dollars on lobbying as well as false propaganda against organic farming.

It is time that we ignore the greed and lack of conscience shown by these Agrichemical interest groups and show the world that it can be fed organically in a way that is safe and sustainable for the environment. We must do all we can to eliminate chemical pesticides and fertilizers, growth hormones and antibiotics; all of which end up in our water supplies. In addition we must make a concerted effort to push against the use of GMO seeds.

More people than ever are seeking organic farming products resulting in an increase of over 300% in organic farms over the last 15 years. The public is becoming more and more aware about the dangers of chemicals used in industrial farming while at the same time learning how beneficial organic farming is.

At the time of this post the United States government is pushing for job growth yet while the United States consumes almost half the organic farming products grown globally, less than one percent of the crops in the United States are certified as organic! There is an enormous opportunity not only to put people to work but also to rely less on imports. The organic farming market is worth nearly $50 billion in the United States alone, it’s time that politicians recognize this and put more money into research and subsidies for organic farms.

At the Tree of Life Foundation we are committing to helping provide assistance and education all over the world to establish veganic organic farming communities as well as help the people to be healthier by eating organically farmed foods.

Kids Kingdom Orphanage & Benjamin Hill Relief Center Update

Last Sunday, February 26th, 2017, the Tree of Life Foundation, PPEP, and the Tucson Rotary Club traveled to Mexico to inspect our humanitarian projects there. It was a very positive experience. Over six years ago El Reino de los Ninos (Kids’ Kingdom) Orphanage, in the town of Imuris, Sonora, Mexico, was going to be closed by the Mexican government because they had no resources and living conditions were poor. The Tree of Life Foundation intervened, rebuilt the orphanage’s infrastructure, rewired the buildings’ electricity, repaired the plumbing, refurbished the dormitories, installed a large commercial kitchen, constructed a sprout house, built a girls’ dormitory section, and began paying for 80-90% of the orphanage’s food costs. Now it has become not only a well-run orphanage, serving orphans from infancy to adolescence, but also a community center feeding over 200 meals each day to the Imuris community as well as to the resident orphans.

Kids Kingdom Orphanage, Imuris, Sonora

Kids Kingdom Orphanage, Imuris, Sonora

Many single working mothers drop their children off to play, study, and be regularly fed in a timely manner.The “Kids’ Kingdom” provides more than shelter. It is also a loving home and a space to teach and prepare children for independent adult life. Since the Tree of Life Foundation’s intervention in 2011, the orphanage services have expanded to offer a community soup kitchen, cooking and sewing classes, music and worship service, traditional Mexican dance lessons, devotionals and Bible studies, a Saturday Kid’s Club, a secondhand thrift store (at a separate location in Imuris), and a sewing shop for single mothers and youth, where they create sock monkeys, aprons, pin cushions, and fabric flowers for sale.

While we’ve completed our work on the orphanage’s infrastructure, Tree of Life Foundation needs to raise $500 more to expand the green house, which will provide the children with sprouts and microgreens to meet the increasing community appetite. The Kids’ Kingdom has now created an ongoing space, and people from Phoenix and Oregon now come down on a regular basis to add energy and services. The Kids’ Kingdom has become a taste of the Kingdom of Heaven for the whole Imuris community.

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Ribbon Cutting at the Benjamin Hill Relief Center

Our second stop was at the town of Benjamin Hill, where we’ve created a relief center initially designed to serve migrants on their way into the US from Mexico. Many of these potential migrants reach Benjamin Hill having gone up to three days without food and proper hydration. They have sparse clothing, and high levels of overall depletion. Our nearly completed relief center has provided at least seventy healthy meals each day for over a year, in addition to free showers and clothing to refresh people for the next leg of their journey. The center has been successful in its initial endeavors, and now, with the support of the mayor and his wife, this center is also becoming a community center focused on empowering local community teens and children. On Sunday, we helped deliver computers to be equipped with internet access, which we have paid for, to give the locals some computer training. We’re supporting these teens in developing a soccer club with the active support of the mayor and his wife (head of the town’s social services), the Tucson Rotary Club, and PPEP. In assessing these upgrades, we need $4,000 USD more to complete basic construction on the center.

Dr. Cousens celebrates all the success' from our projects in Mexico.

Dr. Cousens celebrates all the success’ from our projects in Mexico.

While we’ve already received $2,000, we still need an additional $2,000 for this work. We have additional programs planned to follow as soon as these programs are completed. We would be very grateful for all those receiving this letter to donate towards this project’s completion to the Tree of Life Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit, making all donations tax-deductible. Currently, all people who participate in any program at Tree of Life Center US automatically contribute to the Foundation’s projects, as 25% of the Tree of Life Center US’ net profits go to the Tree of Life Foundation. Now we are asking for $2,000 more to complete this phase of the Benjamin Hill project. We are deeply grateful for all your donations.

Our humanitarian work is bearing good fruit, and it is gratifying to see our progress. We thank all for your loving support. In a society that focuses more and more on what can I receive, it is gratifying to know there are those who ask, “What can I give.”

Blessings for your generosity,

Rabbi Gabriel Cousens, MD

President of Tree of Life Foundation

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Please specify “Benjamin Hill–Sonora, Mexico” from the drop down menu on the donate page.  This ensures your donation goes towards the completion of the Relief Center. If you wish to send a donation by mail, please do so by check made out to:

Tree of Life Foundation

attn. Benjamin Hill Relief Center

P.O. Box 778

Patagonia, AZ 85624