Category Archives: agroecology

Our Main Chance: Agroecology

by Steven McFadden ~ 9.21.2022

The phrase main chance generally refers to the most advantageous prospect available, the opportunity for the greatest progress or gain in any given set of circumstances. I use the phrase now in regard to our tempestuous environmental, climatological, social, and spiritual circumstances.

In a historical context, playwright William Shakespeare employed the phrase main chance memorably in a speech by the Earl of Warwick in Henry VI, Part 2:

“There is a history in all men’s lives,
figuring the nature of the times deceased,
the which observed,
a man may prophesy, with a near aim,
of the main chance
of things as yet not come to life…”

With my nearest aim, I now prophesy for the future that our main chance would be wisely grasped in reference to collective ambitions that we must of necessity awaken in ourselves: ambitions for survival and well-being through climate chaos and more, for a clean Earth, for health, for respect, for purpose, for the next seven generations, for beauty, for spiritual maturity.

All of this is what farms are for, what they can be for if we set our minds and hearts to make it so. Farms and food are the key to our physical, moral, community, and spiritual survival and evolution. Our main chance to realize all of this lies in the realms of agroecology and deep agroecology.

For your consideration, here’s a sample of some memes I’ve been inspired to create by the main chance theme:

Agriculture 2060: Farms, Food, and Our Future

July 22, 2022 – by Steven McFadden

I often listen to Youtube recordings when I do my morning stretches, getting ready for the day. This morning I listened to an interview with Stephan A. Schwartz conducted by Jeffrey Mishlove on his Youtube channel, New Thinking Allowed.

Schwartz offered a provocative view of the future in general, and of agriculture in particular, based upon the cumulative impressions of thousands of subjects who participated in his remote viewing research.

Schwartz is part of Distinguished Consulting Faculty of Saybrook University, and editor of Schwartzreport.net. He previously served as Special Assistant for Research and Analysis to the Chief of Naval Operations. He was the principal researcher studying the use of Remote Viewing in archaeology, using the technique to discover Cleopatra’s Palace, Marc Antony’s Timonium, ruins of the Lighthouse of Pharos, and other significant sites.

In this July 3, 2022 interview he discusses a project he began in 1978, asking remote viewers to describe life in the year 2050. More recently he initiated a  project to look at the year 2060. He uses a specific consensus methodology in remote viewing, and then applies modern statistical tools to analyze the data.

He said that his preliminary results suggest that by 2060 society will have adjusted to an enormous transformation, a transformation that would happen in particular through the five-year stretch of time from 2040 to 2045.

Between the 19:20 to 21:40 marks of the Youtube video, Mr. Schwartz reports the following observation based on his research: “In general with the 2060s…there seems to be an increased recognition that we live in a matrix of consciousness. And that all consciousness is interconnected, interdependent.”

“Agriculture has changed radically,” he says. “The chemical-industrial, poison-based, single-crop, monoculture agriculture seems to have been replaced by communities growing more of their own food…”

“…the descriptions that they (remote viewers) give (of 2060) are that A, people don’t move around that much any more. B, they live in smaller communities. And C, they seem to provide for themselves locally, rather than having large, long-distance shipping.”

When I consider that forecast it sounds to me like the common sense concepts and practices of agroecology might well come to the fore over time, as circumstances make clear is essential to our ongoing and future well-being. I’ll gladly take that non-local encouragement,

One particular area of interest that Schwartz has been inquiring about during his researchbecause it’s a personal interest of hisis the development of CRISPR technology for genetic manipulation, genetic engineering.

Here’s what he said about it during his interview with Mishlove: “My concern, and I’ve written about this in several papers, is the emergence of another hominid species: homo superior.”  He said that when he beginning his research several years ago he’d not put the questions about genetic engineering the way he would put them now. Having learned more, he now wants to research the genetic probabilities further. The emergence of a new hominid (homo superior) would, Schwartz said, be “dramatic.”

For the Beauty of the Earth and Our Lives.

Dear Readers,
Agroecology remains my passion. I continue to see it as our main chance to reckon with all of the global challenges now so fiercely active in environmental, social, and spiritual realms. Yet I’ve had little time over the last year to write directly on the subjects of our farms, our food, and our future.

For many months my work life has been focused solely on writing the biography of a visionary, native leader. There’s a bit more work to do on that project before it’s complete and I’m free to write again about deep agroecology.

In the meantime, as of July 2022, I’ve spruced up one of my older nonfiction books, Tales of the Whirling Rainbow. I’ve given it a new cover and new formatting. It’s the slimmest of volumes, but it still goes right to the heart of the matter of respecting each other and the natural world we share as the source of our lives. In that sense, it does explore the  wisdom themes that are at the heart of deep agroecology. Thus in right relationship among practice and theory, I offer this small treasure to readers for the beauty of the earth and of our lives.

The edition of the book now graced with a new cover and format is available at this Amazon link as either print or eBook format.

Here’s the text from the book’s back cover:

Tales of the Whirling Rainbow is a journalist’s account of some of the key myths and mysteries of the Americas, and an electrifying exploration of how those myths are resounding in real time.

Like an atom of gold, this wee book radiates deep beauty. It delivers authentic inspiration for our 21st Century souls.

Tales of the Whirling Rainbow conveys critical insights into core wisdom teachings at the heart of North America’s unfolding saga. Respect for these knowings is fundamental to our survival, and to our spiritual development.

As the Sun awakens and Earth changes intensify, our lives attain high velocity. At this time and in this manner, elders across The Americas informed the author, the human beings who are the different colors and faiths of the world will have opportunities to heal their web of relationships with each other, and with the natural world.

2022: The Year of Agroecology

By Steven McFadden – 1.6.22
By the authority vested in me (and everyone else) on account of being someone with something important to say, I hereby declare 2022 to be The Year of Agroecology. Someone needed to do it. It’s time.

I hope the other 7.8 billion human beings on the earth are listeningnot to me necessarily, but rather to the swelling chorus of farmers and food workers around the world who are leading the way forward, building a foundation for a clean, healthy, just, and sustainable  future. That’s the essence of agroecology. That’s the opportunity before us. And that opportunity addresses a range of critical issues from climate chaos and social unrest to food quality and food security.

Although the word agroecology may sound abstract, it’s a term that’s both plain and exalted. It’s about the food we all eat, the human beings and animals who are part of that web of relationship, the essential care of the earth we all depend upon for our lives, and the utter necessity of our spiritual growth to the point where we human beings efficiently and gracefully engage our responsibility as caretakers of the earth.

We all have an opportunity to help advance the vision of agroecology, and thereby to participate in setting right the ways we human beings are in relationship with farms, food, and the future. This is the vision described in my book, Deep Agroecology: Farms, Food, and Our Future.

Agroecology is a vision now held and practiced by millions of human beings around the world. The year 2022 (and the years beyond) hold the potential and the necessity of agroecology becoming a vision held and supported by billions. That’s what it will take. That’s what we need. 2022 can be, and with wisdom will be, The Year of Agroecology.

Code Red for Humanity, Code Green for Earth

by Steven McFadden
My primary work throughout the rest of 2021 is dedicated to researching and writing the biography of a man who was a kind, knowledgeable, and skillful leader for the Navajo people, as well as for people around the world. Having died in 2008, he left a legacy of insight into the well being of our earth, and indications for time-tested ways of supporting hózhó  – life in balance and beauty.

While at first a biography might appear to be a divergence from the topics of agroecology and deep agroecology, it’s actually related. Part of the biography, through the subject’s eyes, is an exploration of how we might reckon wisely with the catastrophes described in Code Red for Humanity, the alarming new UN report. In my view it’s the most critical report in history. The dire realities it spells out demand our global attention.

While I’m at work on the biography, I’ll continue to let people know about my book, Deep Agroecology, and to create occasional memes to call attention to the critical issues in the book, and the high, necessary vision it sets out.

Here’s a sample of the kinds of memes that I create from time to time, as the spirit moves me.

 

        ~ End ~

Global Forces Rile Farm and Food Realities

by Steven McFadden

Colossal forces—social, financial, technical, environmental, governmental, and climatological—are whirling emphatically this year, directly engaging, disengaging, and impacting our farms and food. Each human being on Earth has a stake in how it all settles out. It’s that basic.

Among the forces: climate extremes, environmental breakdowns, food security threats, the Covid-19 pandemic, all accompanied by a burgeoning corporate involvement in the realm, including big finance and the advance guard of data-driven AI technologies.

Those forces are met with the soul-yearnings of millions of human beings of all colors, faiths, and nations. They hunger and thirst for a planet-wide realization, a spiritual awakening that results in a sincere, whole-hearted, justice-based reckoning with the critical, foundational matters of our farms and food.

This is no time for co-opted or fake measures, no junk agroecology. Things are real.

The consequential vectors—big money, big tech, big GMO, big chemical, the human beings, and the poisoned politics of our times—are engaged for a defining moment, a moment likely reaching a crescendo in September, in New York, at the UN Food Systems Summit 2021 #UNFSS.

A classic yang-yin polarity thus emerges in sharp relief as we move through
critical points on the pathway to the future not just of farms and food, but also of all that rests upon the foundation that farms and food constitute. Mechanical, material, technical efficiency and profit reside in a yang zone, while the yin realm is home to the basic, upwelling needs of every human being for dignity, respect, justice, adequate clean food, a beautiful, sustainable world to live in, and a dynamic active vision that includes the full circle of life…

The rest of this blog post is at Mother Earth News…

The roots of our human relationship with the land

Here’s a link to the full review of my book, Deep Agroecology.

An elevated perspective on farms, food, and our future: Deep Agroecology slideshow

by Steven McFadden

Thanks to an invitation from Ubiquity University, I had an opportunity to coalesce some thoughts about farms, food, and our future, and then to present them in a Zoom seminar this week,

Even without the soundtrack, the slides I used for the presentation tell the story with power and resonance. The slideshow, now freely  available via Youtube, takes less than four minutes.  I invite you to check it out.

Click here to watch the Deep Agroecology slide show on Youtube.

CSA Farms: Exploration and Activation

This is a link to a Youtube recording of slides I created for an online seminar presented to a large group for KAIL (Kuncup Padang Ilalang) in Indonesia, Earth Day 2021. I invite you to check it out. The slides tell this important story in a concise, colorful way.

Although the first audience for this presentation is the people of Indonesia, the points I share about the context, purpose, and promise of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) are important, and universally relevant. The full 1.5 hour seminar, including both the slides and voice recording, is also available via this link on Youtube.

 

For just a moment, focus your attention on the abstract of this new paper from the FAO: “The impact of disasters and crises on agriculture and food security: 2021”

Colossal change is well underway locally and globally. If your eyes are open, then of course you see the forces and patterns of upheaval fully at work in uncountable ways. The paper cited below from the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) sends this message resoundingly and with yet more data.

In response to the global reality we share, the challenge for all is to create and sustain life systems that not only survive the storm of changes, but also establish an array of models for stable, healthy, spiritually uplifted local and global cultures. Farms and food are the foundation of our relationship with Earth.

The ways we farm and the ways we eat will determine the destiny of life on Earth. That insight is what the pathways of agroecology recognize, and what they engage with manifold healthy environmental and social responses. My efforts through the book and the blog for Deep Agroecology are to help show these ways, and to suggest how they can be inspirited.

Abstract: “On top of a decade of exacerbated disaster loss, exceptional global heat, retreating ice and rising sea levels, humanity and our food security face a range of new and unprecedented hazards, such as megafires, extreme weather events, desert locust swarms of magnitudes previously unseen, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Agriculture underpins the livelihoods of over 2.5 billion people – most of them in low-income developing countries – and remains a key driver of development.

“At no other point in history has agriculture been faced with such an array of familiar and unfamiliar risks, interacting in a hyperconnected world and a precipitously changing landscape. And agriculture continues to absorb a disproportionate share of the damage and loss wrought by disasters. Their growing frequency and intensity, along with the systemic nature of risk, are upending people’s lives, devastating livelihoods, and jeopardizing our entire food system.

“This report makes a powerful case for investing in resilience and disaster risk reduction – especially data gathering and analysis for evidence informed action – to ensure agriculture’s crucial role in achieving the future we want.”

FAO. 2021. The impact of disasters and crises on agriculture and food security: 2021. Rome.
https://doi.org/10.4060/cb3673en

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