In this book Artur Granstedt - Ph.D. in Agronomics and Associate Professor at Södertörn University, and Coordinator of the BERAS project (Baltic Ecological Recycling Agriculture and Society) - describes how ecologically adapted farming based on local recycling and renewable energy sources can reduce the eutrophication of the Baltic Sea and even help to reduce global warming. Widespread conversion to organic farming methods would furthermore stop the spread of toxic chemicals on farmland, benefit biodiversity and stimulate social and economic development in rural areas in the Baltic Sea region.
The book starts with a description of the ecosystems that support the health of the biosphere - terrestrial and marine, the climate, and global food production. Granstedt also gives a historical overview of agricultural practices, noting the various ways in which human activity alters the natural order of things and, if we are not mindful, can deplete the resources that support our existence. But he also gives examples of how we can turn negative trends to the better, how we can restore fertility to the soil and bring depleted land to bloom once again and produce nourishing food that can feed the world.
Artur Granstedt writes on the basis of decades of experience as an organic farmer, researcher, adviser and teacher of ecologically sustainable agriculture. The book reports the results of field trials and evaluation on farms in eight countries around the Baltic Sea that were conducted in the BERAS project. This comprehensive project, which was supported in part by funding from the European Union, is now continuing in an implementation phase, focusing on how agriculture throughout the region can be converted to profitable and ecologically sustainable methods of production.
The publication of this book has been made possible through a grant from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to the BERAS project at Södertörn University and the Biodynamic Research Institute in Järna, and funding from the Swedish Government and the Swedish Research Council, Formas.