W-7 Implementing an Ecologically Sustainable Food Production System to Address the Food-Energy-Water Nexus

An efficient ecologically sustainable method of food production has been developed, tested and implemented in 151 countries to feed successfully hundreds of thousands of families in climates from the hurricane-drenched tropics to the arid regions of Kenya. From 45 years of data, this method will be contrasted with other agricultural methods/practices in terms of yield per area, calories produced per gallon of water applied, and embodied energy to flesh out what merits the designation as a feasible “sustainable” system for feeding the billions while addressing the challenges at the food-energy-water nexus. We will engage the participants in considering the role, constraints and opportunities of a biologically intensive agriculture as a nexus solution.


  • John Jeavons, Executive Director, Ecology Action
  • Steve Moore, Faculty Agroecology, Elon University
  • Gene Bazan, Neo-Terra
  • Matt Drewno, Garden Manager, Ecology Action
  • Tania Slawecki, Research Associate, Neo-Terra and Pennsylvania State University

John Jeavons is a leader in the field of biologically intensive agriculture. He holds a B.A. in Political Science from Yale and worked as a systems analyst in business, government and university settings before joining Ecology Action in 1972. He has authored/edited books and publications on or related to the GROW BIOINTENSIVE® Sustainable Mini-Farming System and is currently dedicated to encouraging the creation of centers around the globe that implement this climate-resilient, rapid soil-building, resource conserving “local on a global scale” farming. This system enables people everywhere to grow a complete, balanced diet, significant income, and soil fertility using very little land. 707-459-0150 johnjeavons@mac.com

Steve Moore teaches and directs the AgroEcolgy and Peace Corps Prep Program at Elon University, Elon, NC. He was the Small Farm Unit Manager and Agriculture Energy Specialist at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems, N C State University. With the National Cooperative Extension team he helped to develop E-extension educational information on sustainable energy production and utilization in agriculture. He is an associate editor of the peer review journal, Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems. Steve and family have farmed organically for over 30 years. Steve has also been a pioneer, researcher and advocate for solar greenhouses and high tunnel production for over 25 years, is design certified in Permaculture, and has done extensive consulting for such groups as USAID, etc. 336-278-6271 smoore24@elon.edu

Gene Bazan’s projects include organizing a community to obtain funding to construct a zero-discharge ecological wastewater treatment system; using Bucky Fuller Tensegrity domes (with ecological wastewater treatment systems) to create portable housing; and helping to start the Center for Sustainability at Penn State. With his wife, Dr. Tania Slawecki, he formed Neo-Terra in 2005, dedicated to living lightly on the earth (www.neo-terra.org). His degrees are in electrical engineering, economics and city and regional planning. He has lived and worked in Yugoslavia, Turkey and Ghana. He gives talks, tours and workshops on organic food production in Central PA. neoterraexpts@aol.com

Matt Drewno is certified in permaculture, restoration of oak-savanna ecologies and biointensive food production. After a Bachelors of Architecture from Iowa State University, he founded RhythmicWater Ecological Design, a permaculture design business in the mid-western states. He has been working with Ecology Action since 2010 training individuals and communities in the principles of biologically intensive food production. His experience includes organic farm-scale food production, design and implementation of food forests, residential-scale food production and community gardens. He serves on the board of Ecology Action and manages the Green Belt Mini-Farm, a research, education and demonstration mini-farm in Mendocino, California. 847-404-2586 Rhythmicwater@hotmail.com

Tania Slawecki is a physicist/materials scientist, former director of Penn State’s Center for Sustainability, who taught courses in Sustainable Living, Green Design, Living Machines, and Integrative Medicine, and received a grant to build an ecological wastewater treatment system on campus. With her husband, Dr. Gene Bazan, they formed Neo-Terra to conduct experiments in healthy living and share their findings with the public. They present talks at the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture and other venues that include a detailed energy analysis of agricultural methods, how to apply sustainability metrics to food-growing, and data from their own food-growing experiences. 814-234-0836 tms9@psu.edu


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