Jorden Speaks

Jorden Speaks

April 22, 2011 Food Production Permaculture 0

I know all y’all have been waiting for this in the same sort of expectant, anxious way that I have… Jorden has finally coughed up a blog post! I’m so proud. Oh. And Jorden’s new… so, unlike me, he might not keep writing for the blog if everyone stays lurking in the shadows of the internet. Comment people! Like I always say… if I was writing so no one would read it and tell me what they thought, I’d write in my journal.

Oh ya. Jorden. This is about Jorden …

The Lumpy Land of OURI came to O.U.R. Ecovillage with a passion to pursue Permaculture. A passion to understand how I interact with the planet, and a passion to help others do the same. I knew that Permaculture was a practical way to address climate change, but it wasn’t until I got here that my thought pattern shifted a little further. It was after I had shuffled off my urban coil and had found some time to think. And that’s when it hit me.

I’m chasing sunlight.

I quickly realized I’d be a fool to attempt this alone. After all, light skips along at 186,000 miles/second. Cripes. Even in a group, this is a daunting task. So to be fair, I should re-phrase:

We’re chasing sunlight.

Chasing sunlight?  Damn. You must think I’m totally nuts. Let me summarize.

If we leave discussions about the carbon cycle and photosynthesis at the door, chasing sunlight is what producing organic sustainable food boils down to. So when I applied for an internship in Sustainable Food Production at O.U.R. Ecovillage, that’s one of the tasks that laid in my path. Our rather, their path. To their credit, they were already on the path. I just hopped on the ever-growing bandwagon.

There’s many collective ways to chase sunlight. Here’s are a few examples I’ve recently experienced:

  1. Growing delicious organic food.
  2. Recovering sneaky chickens that have escaped from their pen. One particular chicken (Houdini) is particularly adept at this. I’ve yet to catch her in the act.
  3. Sharing the collective journey of creating community. Shared meals originating in the field or garden being a prime example.
  4. Laughing my ass off in a sunny garden with friends while munching on yummy plants. Does life really get better than this?
  5. Manually churning the most massive pile of compost I’ve ever seen. Somehow I managed to avoid getting splattered by some pretty stinky stuff.

Growing food sustainably means different things to different people. I believe that’s partially because there’s so many ways to define sustainability. I define sustainability as “any system that produces enough energy from within to provide for its own reproduction.”
Hhhhmmm…. well, keeping that in mind, it’s a complex journey we’re on, and it will not happen overnight. We’ve got work to do.
I believe this journey is a vital to our species survival. I guess otherwise I wouldn’t be here.

Pig TailsThus far in the journey, I’ve reached the following conclusions:

  1. Fossil fuels are actually a rare and somewhat precious thing.
  2. Humankind’s prolific use of them is starting to cause one, maybe two … alright, more than a few problems.
  3. We can either choose to leave them gently behind, or choose a more violent approach.
  4. Soils and forests around the world are in dire need of a little TLC. And not in the form of fertilizers, pesticides, or clearcuts.
  5. Polar bears are fuzzy-looking and very cute from a distance.

Granted, the more expensive fossil fuels become (and they will), the more this journey will be pursued by mainstream society and not just marginal groups. The exciting thing is that we don’t have to wait. Or rather, does it make sense to wait? I’m the first to admit that I’d opt for the gentler approach referred to above in number three.
Pursuing a sustainable path is that gentle approach. It’s the approach of collectively chasing sunlight.

fotos by: jdawg (this is what Jorden makes us call him while doing this funny little hand signal that I can’t really describe in words)


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