Staying the course, or farming goals for 2010

As I mentioned previously, I give myself a D+ for the past year’s effort. That means there’s still a long way to go, so the goal for this year is to stay the course with what I am already doing.

Staying the course means resisting the temptation to add more when what I am already doing is not quite working yet. I have a lot of ideas I would like to try, but before I do, I want the stuff I’ve already started to work.

To that end, I will be focusing on the following efforts this year:

My hope is that, by the end of this year, I can improve my grade to at least a C+ and have something to show for it too. Keep reading on this site for updates.

DLH

The flow of the seasons

We moderns get very put out by the changes of the seasons, even most farmers. We see the seasons as interruptions of the process we think we should be able to pursue all of the time, and because of that vision, we miss the important processes the seasons introduce.

I’m coming to realize that the reason the seasons put us out so much is because we rarely do certain kinds of work when the season is appropriate. Before we can even begin to correct this kind of problem, we must first identify what the correct season is for each kind of work, and then we must plan our work not just for the days or weeks ahead, but for the whole year, at least in general terms.

This is not just my own idea. Before the incredible rise of industrial agriculture, most farmers understood this premise. They knew how to make their work count for the most in every season because their lives and livelihoods depended on such efficiency.

What we must do now is relearn what they once knew because, in many ways, their way was better. I am not suggesting that we should embrace every part of their way of doing things, but certainly there are aspects of their way that are far better, and there is always the opportunity to improve on what they were doing–what we have now is abandonment, not improvement.

Of course, I’m not really just talking about farming either. Really, that old way should apply to most of life, not just how we create our food. I know that is a grand dream, but I think we should always be trying to make life better, and such a pursuit demands that all viable options remain on the table.

DLH