“All the world’s problems can be solved in a garden.”
The modern project in its Promethean ambitions and Cartesian methods has on balance turned out badly. We are in a social crisis, an economic crisis and a spiritual crisis.
Industrial Civilization has plundered the natural world for over 200 years, pushing all essential life support systems to their limits, heading towards ecological breakdown. Peak water, peak soil, peak health and peak climate are driving global civilization into a state of emergency.
Modern Food plays a central part in life’s requiem: unlike most peoples’ intuitive reasoning about planes, cars and power plants it is a fact that over 30% of all green house gases are released by petrochemical agriculture and factory farms. In the course of this devastating food production process we are poisoning our soil, our water, our air and ourselves. Every day hundreds of thousands of tons of pesticides, herbicides, hormones, antibiotics, chemical fertilizers and greenhouse gases are burped, farted and dumped into the biosphere. We wage a silent war on life itself: A spectacular design failure that nevertheless continues to thrive and expand, supported by industry lobbied legislation and subsidized with billions in public funding.
Because of its centre-stage role in wrecking the biosphere, the production of our FOOD also has the biggest potential to get us out of the hole, to turn the ship around and heal both ourselves and the planet. Our daily act of eating is a powerful medium of change – we can literally vote with our forks and connect all the dots in the critical, delicious and vital moment of putting food into our bodies – our health, the health of the ecosystems carrying us, climate, energy, biodiversity, community, politics and happiness – they are all connected with the most basic and powerful energy transaction on the planet – billions of people putting 2000 calories into their bodies – every day.
It’s time to disrupt the failed system. Time to wake up and start writing a new story – the story of our generation. A generation that knew more than any previous one about who we are, where we are coming from and, most importantly where we are heading – a generation that finally woke up and put its knowledge to work, that placed cooperation over competition and quality over quantity – the story of a generation that started walking north on a south bound train.
Our daily food , the ways in which we make it, move it and consume it is at the heart of the problem and the solution.
Food can be the saddle point of a new equilibrium between the human project and the rest of life on this planet.
A KIND OF EPILOGUE
We are half way through the life of the sun – it is possible that we will colonize the universe , and hopefully some future version of us – an advanced version of earth’s life evolution will watch the sun go down over the pale blue dot in 6 billion years from now. To get to that point, however, we have to learn to propagate and protect the miracle of life’s evolution, become the stewards of life rather than its predators, evolve to understand the delicate interdependencies that allow us and the rest of the biosphere to thrive. “A partnership of life on Earth, a mutual celebration between evolution and intelligence” as David Orr calls it in “the Trial”.
Eventually, beyond the drunken delight of human conquest and progress, lies a sacred opportunity – to become heroes, to become the custodians and storytellers of an otherwise silent universe.
These are some of the writers and thought-leaders whose work has shaped and continues to inspire our project – take their names as a reference and as a reader list – their writings will help to make the world a different place:
Aldo Leopold, Wendell Berry, Michael Pollan, Vandana Shiva, David Orr, E.O. Wilson , Joel Salatin, Geoff Lawton , Bill Mollison, Darren Doherty, Eugenio Gras, David Montgomery, Wangari Maathai, Jairo Restrepo, Helena Norberg-Hodge, Richard Heinberg, Wes Jackson, Albert Einstein, JH Kunstler, Carlo Petrini, Rachel Carson, Maria Rodale, Sir Albert Howard,Charles Darwin, Wade Davis, Rob Hopkins, Lester Brown, Rudolf Steiner, Noam Chomsky, Raj Patel, Miguel Altieri, Jared Diamond, Carl Sagan, Anna Lappe, Vladimir Nabokov, Bill Evans.