Sustainable Agriculture & Farming

Quotes from Living Lightly on the Land Intro re Sustainability, 1998

When I am in my garden, the most obvious and amazing truth stares me in the face, makes music to my ears, kisses my feet, tugs at my heartstrings. It is a truth almost everyone knows but no one dares say. It is a truth that is so gigantic, it is painful. It’s a truth, which once absorbed, forever alters our response to the future. It is a truth ready to announce itself:

We can all live peacefully, healthily and happily on this planet.

There are many aspects to this shining truth. Food is certainly one of the most fundamental. Everyone should have, could have, enough to eat. To the core of my being I know that if we take care of the Earth, the Earth will take care of us. Clean, wholesome food is everyone’s right and if we make the Earth our garden, we get that food and other goodies as well: we get joy, delight, laughter, creativity, entertainment, healing, community. We get ourselves as powerful, alive beings.

And I’m going to spill a bean or two more as I divulge one of the most surprising secrets of all. It is one you won’t find in gardening magazines, books or catalogues. Here it comes: it is easy to grow all your own food on a small piece of land.

It is easy if you do your part: if you grow a diversity of crops, if you honour and nurture the carrying capacity of the land and if you dedicate yourself to being present to do what asks to be done at the optimum moment.

Self-reliance is not about doing it by yourself. A self-reliant attitude is about becoming consciously interdependent and embracing the many communities in which we live. Living lightly on the land is about supporting each other. All of us don’t have to become farmers or grow all the food we consume but we do need many more people to steward, nourish and stay in direct contact with the earth.