Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Exploration 8 Preston Wilkin

The biggest ideas of this film where the idea that organic farming is actually better for the farmers and that it makes better food the conventional farming and industrial farming. some evidence of this was when Joel, the farmer who is the poster child for organic farming, said that conventional farming " made 150 dollars per acre with just cows on it." while in contrast he made nearly 3,000 dollars per acre by growing food and feeding chickens and cows and all the other stuff. I think the biggest strength of this film was that they were able to explain the concepts behind organic farming and crop rotation and all of the different processes that Joel used. The other strength was that they were able to show people an example of someone who was doing it and was making money off it. As people we generally are skeptical until we can see something in person or a picture or a film. So without Joel and him being on the film they would have had no proof to say. They just would have been able to explain the concepts. I think that the biggest weakness of the film is that they didn't seem to have a lot of hard facts to support their claims. They just seemed to say, hey this is what we think you should do because of X, Y, and Z, but they didn't seem to have a lot of hard facts. Since I am a big math and numbers kind of guy it was hard to believe them because they didn't support it with hard numbers. For example when they talk about selling pigs for meat they said it was cheaper for the farmer because they didn't have to pay vet bills or loss pigs to illness. I would have liked the to say things more like the average pig costs 500 dollars to raise on an organic farm as opposed to 850 dollars on a conventional farm where they spend an average of 125 dollars on medicine and 200 dollars on feed when the organic farmers don't have those costs. If they had stats like that they could present a stronger argument to support their statement that it is cheaper for the farmers.

The theme that I researched was the topic of hydroponics. The thing that I was curious about was the problems that occur with hydroponics. Since the movie only talked about the good parts I wanted to find out what didn't work. Some of the major problems that I found with hydroponics was that it takes a lot more money and knowledge to grow this way, if the water system fails all the plants will die, some still need a soil substitute, and you will make less money per plant if you sell them. In my opinion this is a serious problem for hydroponics because it simple means that not everyone will be able to grow this way, which is contradictory to what the film said. The other problem is that this way seems to be a less effective way for people to make a living from it because it will cost them more for the same product and they will need more knowledge to do it in the first place. Now this doesn't mean that hydroponics isn't a good way to go, I just think the movie made and unrealistic image of hydroponics.


  1. I thought the theme that you researched was very interesting to learn about as well. I didnt think about what would happen if the water system broke. It seemed like a good way to do things but after reading your research I concluded that it can be very useful, but it need to be very well maintained.

  2. Hydroponics is a very interesting topic to me because I eventually want to study Ecology and your points about hydroponics are very useful. It's hard to believe that there are things that can go wrong with a hydroponics system. And if you don't take care of the system and maintain it well, then your whole system will fail and not be worth anything.


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