To talk about possible healthy choices, we need a word that filters out “cookies” (emphasis on the quote marks), diet cola, and other such “foods” ― foods that are highly processed. But rather than saying “eat less highly processed food,” I have chosen to embrace the word “virgin” to describe foods that are not highly processed so that I can say “eat more virgin food” instead.
In order to further facilitate this conversation, Paul and I came up with two new terms that embrace all of the values of organic with an emphasis on virgin foods: one for omnivores and one for vegans. First, there is “Virgin and strictly Organic” (VO), and then there is “Virgin and strictly Organic and Vegan” (VOV), which is a subset of VO. Diet cola and “cookies” would not make the cut for either.
But this is permies. This is where we talk about going far beyond organic.
So I wish to convey something far beyond VO ― something that embraces VO but, also, has a strong emphasis on building rich soil and polyculture using permaculture. So Paul and I came up with “Virgin, strictly Organic, Rich soil, and Polyculture/permaculture.” VORP. (This word sounds so silly that I wish to somehow work it in to regular conversation.) And since we made up the term we get to define what it means.
- low processing, low packaging
- foods are grown in aged soil with a high organic matter level
- polyculture of at least a dozen species
- harvested with minimal soil disturbance
- harvested by hand (no harvesting by machine)
- human-to-acre ratio is very high: more like gardening than farming
- super localized inputs
- minimal irrigation - seasonal foods
- minimized grafting
- super localized plant and animal varieties
- no cardboard or newspaper in horticultural endeavors
- no pesticides, even OMRI-approved pesticides
- growing plants in a space that suits them ― as opposed to adding fertilizers and using pesticides to force an artificial environment
- pampered animals (bye bye, CAFO)
I suppose if you formulate your soil deliberately, and include fungal slurry treatments and compost extract applications, that would count as at least equivalent to "aged soil." Actually, I would suggest that it is perhaps superior.
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
-Robert A. Heinlein
The Greenhouse of the Future ebook by Francis Gendron