Aspects of a New Agricultural Narrative
We see a new narrative emerging around the role of food and agriculture in our lives – a true revival is taking place that could also provide solutions to broader social and cultural questions of our time. In order for the new narrative to uncover such solutions, we must both understand the context of our current situation, and the essential characteristics of a future bearing agriculture.
Many call the time we live in the Anthropocene. This indicates the unique role and responsibility we carry as humans today. How can we explore more deeply what that means and learn to engage the world in constructive rather than in destructive ways? How would such engagement transform the nature of our agricultural practice?
Learning from and honoring the work of the pioneers in the field. So many remarkable ecologists, agricultural theorists, ethicists and practitioners have already weighed in on this question. We have an abundance of traditional farming wisdom from ancient cultures that honored and respected the natural world. We also believe that the current modern farming paradigm has many techniques and practices that are important to maintain. What can we learn from the thinking and practice of agriculture over its history? What can we bring to the future?
The Emerging Real Food Economy provides the local and regional context of our agricultural future. Eaters, educators, chefs, food artisans, veterinarians, farmers and gardeners together will need to weave the tapestry of the future together.
The true multi-functionality of agriculture. We suggest that this emerging new food economy will be based on an agriculture that is truly multifunctional and thus will also be a starting point for societal renewal. One main aspect of this is an economy that’s truly associative and conscious. (IAASTD 2007)
Cultivation of mindful awareness. One constant in our modern world is the human being. Exploring what it means to become human and developing practices that might help unfold that potential are another cornerstone of our work. We want to help understand and cultivate the “soil to soul” connection and mystery. The acknowledgment of a personal practice will then lead to better ability to enter meaningful and fruitful collaboration. This is deeply important, as most challenges today require a collaborative approach to finding solutions. Lastly the cultivation of mindful capacities will enable us to develop a more holistic definition and valuation of quality.
Understanding and establishing of self-sustaining and resilient farm-organisms and individualities. Farms of the future will need to wean themselves more and more from the inputs of non-renewable resources and become biologically viable out of themselves. We will describe and research this real essence of farms drawing on the knowledge and experience of Biodynamics, Agro-ecology and Permaculture.