The Real Economic Society established a 28 acre farm on the Grand River in Haldimand County  with two objectives: 1) The Society needed a physical headquarters to conduct research and continue its advocacy for Real Economics, and 2) there is no more perfect an example of an economy than a farm.

Core to the philosophy governing Real Economics and the Real Economic Model is the fundamental commitment to the stewardship of the Earth’s ecology. Thus, the farm is strictly organic, regenerative, and biodynamic.

But more than that, we seek to eliminate plastics from the value chain of food from seedling to table. And that is not an easy thing to accomplish.

Plastics – which are very much a derivative product of the petroleum industry – have become the default packaging material, default labelling material, and default construction material of hydroponic and aeroponic systems.

The pots we plant seedlings in are plastic. The trays the seeds are sprouted in area plastic. The transluscent domes of greenhouses are plastic, as are the crop covers, the mulch sheet material, the caterpillar tunnel rods, and the signs that identify plants. Plastic has become literally inescapable, as we have discovered.

Yet plastics are one of the most destructive pollutants flowing into ecology due to its short lifecycle. But the really sad thing is, while plastic breaks easily under ultraviolet light or mechanical impact, it doesn’t degrade into anything except smaller bits of plastic.

And now, nanoplastics have been discovered in human tissue, as well as in the plant tissue of agricultural produce.

So plastics are one of the defective ideas of human evolution that have been seized upon because they provide a short term, low-effort solution that can generate monetary wealth.

Which is the formula behind so many of humanity’s worst ideas. But let’s leave that for The Real Economist text.

The Red Dog Farm – so called because of Thelma and Louise, the two red heelers who guard (sort of) the farm – is designed to be a beacon of hope, and what is possible when human beings reject the easy money/low effort solutions of industrial agriculture.

The demonstration part of it is that we are seeking to prove that, over the long term, organic regenerative agriculture is a superior agricultural practice to industrial mono-cropping, in terms  economics, ecology, community and food security.

Small farms run by families and helpers tend to be more responsive to sudden changes in weather patterns, and less impacted by catastrophic crop failures, by virtue of their robust diversification.

Real Economic Society members are welcome to visit the farm any time and wander among the berries, orchard, forest and fields to inhale the varied and fragrant scents of a diversified, healthy ecology.

Check out our Tiktok channel to see what’s happening at the farm today.

Click here to explore membership in the Real Economic Society.

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