Hello everyone! This has been a great week getting to know the farm and the new intern group; I’m really looking forward to the rest of the program. I feel like I’m learning a ton of new information every day, and this gives me hope for a future where I might be able to contribute to the need for sustainable food and settlement.
Just a recap of where I’m coming from: I currently live in Pasadena, and I was studying at UC Santa Cruz about a year and a half ago. But after much contemplation on my place in this culture, one which sadly is destroying our home planet at an alarming rate, I decided to leave and begin a new journey. My path is now aimed towards developing a set of skills and knowledge that will allow me to live in harmony with the natural environment and be more or less community- and self-sufficient, instead of relying on and contributing to the larger industrial society which seems so oblivious to its relation to nature.
Today we talked about the idea of the farm as an ecosystem and how every living organism in this environment is dynamically connected to each of the others. As farmers and stewards of the land, we can observe and align ourselves with these living beings to support our own efforts in growing food and preserving ecosystem health. This contrasts starkly with the model for industrial agriculture, which severs and sterilizes these processes in a futile attempt to control them while making terribly inefficient use of energy and resources. There is a great diagram in the Permaculture Designer’s Manual which beautifully illustrates the difference between these two methods of approach, using the example of producing an egg, shown below: