Tag Archive: 40th anniversary

Dec 21

IFOAM. The 40th Anniversary.

Practice what you preach in all respects and live a sustainable lifestyle.

In those forty years the wheel has turned full circle. In the beginning, of my life anyway, self sufficiency and sustainability was a necessity of a post world war scenario where scrimp and save were the order of the day and that is where I learned the skills and wisdom of working in the natural world and became a student of horticulture at tertiary level. As globalization with the attendant industrialization of food production based on technology gained sway so the concept of horticulture or garden culture became an anachronism and the wisdom of old became forgotten and chemical farming took over as the conventional wisdom.

So it was that Rachel Carson as early as 1962 sowed the seeds of doubt in the minds of the people and by the mid 70’s on the back of the energy crisis a new environmental awareness was born and what was left of the traditional wisdoms of land management rose from the old literature and the renaissance of the organic movement began.     For me in New Zealand in 1976 it was the beginning of the Biological Husbandry Unit [BHU] on the campus of an organic unbelieving Lincoln University. Out of sight out of mind, it was a matter of creating the new organic tomorrow based on the old biological science and doing it for all to see while educating the young and subverting the existing paradigm through infiltration into the minds of the students that there was another pathway to follow. Over the next 20+ years hundreds of students were challenged to rethink their pathways into life in the broadest way.

Today 36 years later the BHU survives as a dedicated ORGANIC COLLEGE attached to Lincoln University demonstrating and teaching organics in both a theoretical and practical way helping many to relearn the science, wisdom and practice of a more holistic lifestyle on the journey to a very different economic paradigm in the future.

The Christchurch earthquakes from 2010 until today have destroyed much of the City and suburbs and created the kind of disaster that has stimulated the populations understanding of the need for greater self sufficiency and sustainability and has resulted in a renaissance of need for basic knowledge of how to tend the land for productivity. Horticulture once again has relevance, the wheel turns full circle and grass lawns get turned into productive areas.


Bob Crowder
73Ashgrove Terrace, Christchurch. New Zealand.
Board of Directors IFOAM 1989-97