Save the Perennials…and Save the Community

Perennials prepare the soil of community for future growth. I read an article yesterday that demonstrates the importance of perennial & old growth: “This man is cloning old-growth redwoods and planting them in safe places”. From the article:

By cloning and replanting them in places where they once thrived but were lost, he is not only increasing their numbers but planting them in locations where they have a better chance of longevity. And the result is two-fold: Save the trees and save the planet (for humankind, at least, the planet will go on with or without us, but you know what I mean). Redwood trees are among the most effective carbon sequestration tools in the world, notes Moving the Giants, “Milarch takes part in a global effort to use one of nature’s most impressive achievements to re-chart a positive course for humanity.”

We can take his concept and create a case for the importance of identifying & supporting the long-term ‘investors’ in local communities. (A group in which I include myself).

For example, Austin is at risk of losing our identity as a sustainable ecosystem because the perennials–those who hold the history and have contributed both money & much more to the ‘soil’ in which the ‘new’ Austin has grown–are uprooting and finding new places to “get involved, stay curious, mentor others, [be the] passionate, compassionate, creative, confident, collaborative, global-minded, risk takers who continue to push up against [the] growing edge and know how to hustle” [source: Meet the Perennials]

We ‘perennials’ have come to Austin–and stayed–for reasons beyond money.  Our investment of time is the most valuable and vital for the future of the community. However, without acknowledgement and support for our contributions, we can easily leave and reroot elsewhere, something that’s happening daily. The myth of Austin is powerful, but it’s wearing thin. It is up to us to rewrite the story together.

Sources:

What the agrichemical industry is selling, we ain’t buying

Today, six chemical companies control 63% of the seed market, and their combined R&D budgets are 15 times higher than all U.S. public spending on agricultural research. And with recently announced efforts to merge it’s about to get worse.

What the agrichemical industry is selling, we ain’t buying. Learn more at seedmatters.org and sign our letter for change. #SeedMatters

The Surprising Healing Qualities … of Dirt

The Surprising Healing Qualities ... of Dirt

More at Yes! magazine..

The scientists investigating this soil-health connection are a varied bunch—botanists, agronomists, ecologists, geneticists, immunologists, microbiologists—and collectively they are giving us new reasons to care about the places where our food is grown.

For example, using DNA sequencing technology, agronomists at Washington State University have recently established that soil teeming with a wide diversity of life (especially bacteria, fungi, and nematodes) is more likely to produce nutrient-dense food. Of course, this makes sense when you understand that it is the cooperation between bacteria, fungi, and plants’ roots (collectively referred to as the rhizosphere) that is responsible for transferring carbon and nutrients from the soil to the plant—and eventually to our plates.

Given this nutrient flow from soil microbes to us, how can we boost and diversify life in the soil? Studies consistently show that ecological farming consistently produces a greater microbial biomass and diversity than conventional farming. Ecological farming (or eco-farming, as my farmer friends call it) includes many systems (biodynamic, regenerative, permaculture, full-cycle, etc.) that share core holistic tenets: protecting topsoil with cover crops and minimal plowing, rotating crops, conserving water, limiting the use of chemicals (synthetic or natural), and recycling all animal and vegetable waste back into the land. Much of this research supports what traditional farmers around the world have long known to be true: the more ecologically we farm, the more nutrients we harvest.

Read the rest at Yes! magazine

A Tale of Two Chickens

When did chicken, pound for pound, become cheaper than bread? Find out by watching the story of two chickens, one raised on a FACTORY FARM, the other PASTURE RAISED.

By illuminating the vocabulary of sustainable agriculture, and with it, the conversation about America’s rapidly evolving food culture, the Lexicon project will educate, engage and activate people to pay closer attention to how they eat, what they buy, and where their responsibility begins for creating a healthier, safer food system in America. Learn more at https://www.lexiconoffood.com/