Worldview: Thoughts from Innisfree on the Stillwater: And so much more…

I’ve discovered over the past five years that people have huge preconceptions about what being a farmer means. I know, coming in, I had all sorts of them, and I know I am surrounded by fellow farmers who have deeply held ideas about their profession. One of my first posts on this site dealt with one of them, and dredged up the almost predictable responses (I’m not linking to it simply because I want to talk about something else).

One of the preconceptions I had coming in was the nature of what farm work meant in the first place. Many people, including my onetime self, have the idea that farming is as simple as growing and harvesting a crop or raising and selling an animal. I’m here to tell you firsthand that, whatever kind of farming one does, that could not be further from the truth.

Even at its most monoculture, farming is a polyculture because it cannot be anything else. Farming demands knowledge of everything from agriculture to zoology and demands the farmer be everything from an accountant to a zoo keeper.

It’s not an accident, then, that history notes the rise of farming intertwined with the rise of what we think of as civilization. Domesticating, planting, raising, harvesting, and slaughtering plants and animals for food in more effective and efficient ways is the necessary mother that gave rise to everything we take for granted today, either by inventing the things we have or by enabling the things we have to be invented.

And so, in the end, I can think of few other undertakings as intensive and broad as that of the farmer. Granted, the hurdles are tall and the valleys are deep, but if anyone wants to fully challenge himself in the pursuit of life, the vocation of farmer is a place to do it.

DLH

Read more at my Thoughts from Innisfree on the Stillwater weblog...

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Thoughts from Innisfree on the Stillwater: What’s in a name? A redux

We received notice from the State of Ohio today that our new registered trade name for the farm has been approved. Henceforth, we will be called Innisfree on the Stillwater, a name that reaches back to the farm’s recent and older history while reflecting the new transitions we anticipate as Keba and I take over operations.

This is more than just a name change for us. In being forced to take on a new name, we’re also being forced to recognize what we’ve been doing since we first moved back to the farm three and a half years ago: we’re taking this place over and making it our own. That means something, and we need to show it.

In keeping with that thought, our full name going forward will be:

Innisfree on the Stillwater
A family-run sustainable farm and nature preserve
“Growing in life by growing our food”

Updated websites, Facebook pages, and email addresses will follow.

DLH

Read more at my Thoughts from Innisfree on the Stillwater site...

Science and Technology: Global population growth will not be halted by birth control

The whole government mandated birth control debacle in the United States has brought birth control back to the center stage in the global debate. Unfortunately for the debate, neither side argues from a position of holistic facts, but I think the pro-birth control group gets it more wrong than the other.

For example, this Treehugger article makes the point that access to birth control is one of the most important matters for the international community in an effort to control expanding populations and the resulting resource consumption they generate. The only problem is that the article misses the fact that unchecked live births are not the reason the population is growing so quickly.

No, the problem isn’t new babies being born, it’s that the ones already born and grown into adulthood aren’t dying. Does that seem harsh? It may be, but it represents the reason the pro-birth control argument is so fallacitical.

In fact, the fastest growing global population demographic is people over the age of 85 followed by people over the age of 65. In fact, if the current trends in medicine and longevity continue, people over the age of 65 may outnumber people under the age of 65 by the end of this century.

How does birth control solve that problem? What has happened now is that global birth rates are declining, and as they do, the population begins to invert itself. The results have the potential to be catastrophic and unprecedented in human history.

None of this is to say that access to birth control should be limited, but if there is going to be a debate, it should be a debate with all the facts.

DLH

Read more at my Science and Technology site...