I’VE BEEN THINKING ABOUT how energy carries on from generation to generation; ideas and methods of being as a means of reincarnation. How is energy recreated and continued on through connection of thought? Thought becomes a form of energy converted into reality via practice.
History repeats itself with lessons and knowledge, cyclical loops that have a certain feeling of inevitability to them. We learn to emphasize that which is passed down to us, along with that which we encounter in life. A wide range of reading material offers opportunity to encounter many different ideas and schools of thought. There is much to be gained; much to know.
I read Helen and Scott Nearings “Living The Good Life”, and then read Melissa Coleman’s “This Life is in Your Hands”. The energies that were put forth in life by the Nearings refracted and reflected in part to create the “back-to-the-land movement”, espousing ideals of sustainability and self-sufficiency.
We live now in the coming of age of the third iteration, the children of the generation that followed the trail blazed into the woods by the Nearings. To be a member of that generation is to look upon a bifurcated worldview; we are taught by mainstream culture to be mass-production consumers, while we look back at our roots and the ideals that were handed down to us. The dichotomy between the two is a source of tension as we strive to navigate the world.
Pumping gas and I think to myself “here I am, pumping fossilized hydrocarbon back into the atmosphere; from carbon in the atmosphere to carbon in prehistoric plants to carbon in oil locked in sediment to carbon back in the atmosphere from my tailpipe. For less money than it costs for a latte, I can by a gallon of liquid dinosaurs that will transport me in my two thousand pound chunk of metal down a highway made of more dinosaurs and the plants they ate.
We do well to contemplate the reality in which we live, and the things that we consume. As humans, we have all got to do a better job if our future is to avoid a terrible fate. The fires and smoke that have become the norm in August here in NorCal are a prelude to a hotter, drier future. We all hold responsibility in part for this. What can we do?
We can think about what we buy and how we use consumer goods. We can bring our own plastic bags and containers when we go to the grocery store. These are small things. More important, we can vote, we can become active, we can run for office. We can elect politicians who will help make changes, and we can talk about how have a healthier future.
Poisons in our food, our air, our water. We must do better, and we do so together or not at all. It takes direct action, making choices and learning to be more effective. We struggle as farmers with the output of plastic that tends to come with commercial food production. Trying to bring produce to market in a way that gets it home to consumers without losing it’s nutritional and aesthetic qualities is a difficult thing during the heat of summer. We are trying to learn how to have less waste, but it is a slow process.
The point is that we can all learn to do better and the more we are able to discuss it, the more ideas and potentials will be generated. The more we encourage each other and support each other in these conversations, the more we will create positive feedback loops that build more sustainable practices.
We have a duty to ourselves and to future generations to strive towards a more regenerative future of land-use. We need a supportive dialogue, which is one of the things that is so beautiful about the current “small-farm social media” sharing that is happening. It is a joy to share the journey with so many talented and caring individuals, working together to try to learn to have a better future.
Casey O’Neill co-operates HappyDay Farms, a micro-diversified farm in northern Mendocino County, California. His family raises two acres of Sun&Earth and DEMPure Certified vegetables, poultry and medical cannabis in a small-farm setting while working towards sustainability. He is stoked about sharing food, medicine and cultivation techniques with others. He is passionate about representing small farmers and works to support Mendocino County policy-makers in crafting sensible regulations. You can find his radio show on podcast at HappyDay Farms - Farm and Reefer Report on iTunes or Soundcloud.