I've recently been doing some thinking about what the soul of my business looks like. If I boil away all the science and techniques of producing healthy food that have been rattling around in my head for the last decade, what's the point?
And the conclusion I came to is hope. Hope is the point! But its not blind or unreasonable hope, and it's not because everything is rosy.
I've heard it said that the more you know or see, the more you hurt. The deeper you dig, the darker it gets. I have found this can be true. If I am anything, I am a digger and a seeker, and all that digging and looking around for answers has lead me to discover some dark truths. Probably the darkest of those truths is that at the core of the medical and agricultural industries, the main concern is a constant increase in profit. That's very far from saying Doctors and Farmers are evil, I believe the opposite is true in general. However the systems that control these industries are based on corporations that have a legal duty to shareholders to increase profits. To boil that down, sell more chemicals is the goal of both. If people are getting healthier the medical industry is losing money. It can be hard to believe, but that's what I have seen, both in research and in my own health journey. Even from truly caring Doctors, the only real option is a drug. Even though I was told I have a disease that isn't going away, the symptoms of my illness are GONE! What's my secret? Eating real food! That's it!
So that hope thing I was talking about. Creation is actually fighting for us, if we stop fighting against it, things naturally get better! People often talk about how bad there soil is. Then you drive down the road and there are 500 bags of leaves along the road.
Take a second to think about how people have been farming for all of history (the good and bad), it will dawn on us that a forest floor is what farmers are hoping to see when they dig down into the dirt. So much of history people have cleared forests to allow the sun to shine into these great soils that have been built by decades of falling leaves being broken down into a rich, life filled layer of soil. Then when you realize that if we start working with nature instead of against it, we can extremely rapidly increase the rate of improvement! Everywhere we look there are waste streams that can be turned into rich soil in very little time.
When I try to simplify permaculture, its really to realize there is no such thing as waste in nature. We know this, but its a little easier to just follow the crowd, and do our duty to have a "tidy" yard. Sure we "feed" our soil from the bag of salt based fertilizer that's "perfectly balanced".
How about we try to mimic nature instead? Look how much abundance is in a forest! And no garden Gnomes are spreading 10-10-10 in the middle of the night! Lets do better! Lets stop fighting nature and each other, and start building communities that are capable of feeding ourselves a natural diet based on what grows in our region!