Monday, December 3, 2007

On Being Generative


Not long ago my adopted son, best friend, PhD candidate in community psychology and fellow world changer told me i was now in my generative phase of life. I said, cool... what the hell is that? She told me that we all go through 8(?) phases in our lives and at my age ( heading towards decrepitude) it is time to share what we have learned in our lives with the younger generation. in technical terms-
*a generative stage in life, a time to leverage life experience to help others.
*someone who believes in service to others and cares deeply about giving back.

Ok, that is exactly why we moved to the Funny Farm, to put into practice all the things we have learned about growing things, about ecology, about trying to understand our place as human beings in the natural world, as part of nature not separate from nature. This is the essence of sustainability. If i remember correctly the bible says something about human kind having dominion over the plants and the animals. Well that philosophy is what has gotten us in the mess we are in today. Mother Earth doesn't need the human species at all. When we become extinct she will continue on as if we never existed just like she did when dinosaurs or wooly mammoths disappeared.
So what is your point you must be wondering.
Well, to start the generative process we are having a get together here on Sunday Dec. 16 at 1pm with a group of people interested in permaculture to give them an overview of our plans for the farm and engage any who are interested in the process of turning the place into a model of sustainability in our suburban setting. We feel strongly that we can at least prolong our inevitable extinction if we take responsibility as a community for providing for ourselves as much as possible. We can no longer depend on a global system of industrial agriculture, and the corporate mindset to provide us with our most basic needs of food, clothing and shelter. If we don't immediately shift the paradigm to a locally and regionally based economic system that can provide us with our basic needs we are doomed. Michael Shuman in his excellent book The Smallmart Revolution said the following
Analysis of a typical food dollar spent in the United States by Stewart Smith, former Secretary of Agriculture in Maine, suggests that 73 cents go to distribution, 20 cents for inputs, and 7 cents to the farmer. Only a small part of distribution is transportation. Most of it is refrigeration, packaging, wholesalers, advertisers, and so forth.
Real localization means avoiding environmentally unsound inputs of outside fertilizer, feed, and additives. It means pruning away the vast economic waste associated with ad agencies and middle people. It means avoiding trucking food around either nationally or internationally. Account for these items comprehensively and fairly, and local food wins out environmentally over global food almost every time.
In the current issue of Acres USA (a great magazine by the best practitioners of eco-farming. everyone should read it farmer or not if you really care about where your food comes from and how what passes for food in this country affects you health) there is a discussion about non-organic additives in so-called processed food. One of the examples given was a company that wanted to be able to use non-organic annatto to make the cheese in their boxed macaroni and cheese yellow. WTF. Come on people what planet are you living on. Lets get back to Planet Earth. Please!!!!
If anyone reading this lives in the Atlanta area and would like to attend our little gathering give me your contact info in the comments section and i'll send you directions.

2 comments:

Blondeau said...

Dwayne,

I'd like to ride out to your place on December 16. You have my contact info for the plans you're doing for my house.

steven blondeau

susanA said...

hi dwayne,

i'd love to come over to meet yall and hear about your plans. i am one of the organizers of a small gardening initiative over here at pine lake. several of us are interested in joining your csa. perhaps some trading can occur too! please provide me with your address and i'll be there on the 16! what time are you thinking?

susan ahl