Tag Archives: earth changes

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:

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.

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…

Ginawaydaganuc 2021: from UN Code Red to Deep Agroecology

by Steven McFadden
As yet another United Nations Code Red warning flashes around the world, I join with those who propose that ginawaydaganuc is an essential and realistic mind set, and who encourage general, wholehearted embrace of all that it denotes and connotes.

What in our vast, entangled cosmos is this thing called ginawaydaganuc? Suffice for the moment to say that it’s a word from one of the original languages of North America, Omàmiwininìmowin (Algonquin). That language has been extant on North America for many thousands of years–a vital vernacular. 

This Algonquin word is easier to say than you might at first imagine. It’s pronounced with a soft ‘g’: gee-na-way-dag-a-nook. Try speaking the word aloud phonetically, and experience how the sound feels in your head, heart, and soul. Ginawaydaganuc denotes the fundamental reality that we are all related–with each other, with the natural world, with the cosmos.

There’s more to say. But before contemplating the ramifications of ginawaydaganuc, take a moment to breathe, and to absorb the full impact of one of the latest Code Red warnings. This one comes from the UN’s 2020 report, The Next Frontier: Human Development and the Anthropocene.

Unprecedented Moment of Human History

“We are at an unprecedented moment in the history of humankind and in the history of our planet,” the report says. Under relentless pressure from climate chaos, species loss, inequality, natural destruction, and COVID-19, our planetary and social warning lights are “flashing red”…

My complete blog post is live now at Mother Earth News.

As Climate Chaos intensifies, agroecology stands as an essential response

by Steven McFadden
Based on political talking points, many people kiss off the reality of climate change. They go on with their lives as if there is no threat to be concerned about at all.

But climate change (now more accurately spoken of as climate chaos) is severely real. with raging fires, roaring hurricanes, and parching drought, it’s impacting farms, food, and millions of lives. The population of environmental refugees is swelling around the globe. This is factual way beyond politics or propaganda.

A recent survey by Stanford University, however, found that when people are directly impacted by climate change, political divisions evaporate. The impacted people immediately begin to take the intensifying reality of climate change seriously. How could they do otherwise?

The USDA’s landmark report Climate Change, Global Food Security, and U.S. Food System concluded that climate change is going to impact global, regional, and local food security. It will drive an overall increase in food prices, and also disrupt food availability.

That’s a grim outlook. But the USDA report also states emphatically that adaptation can make a positive difference. That’s where households and communities of all sizes and constellations need to place their attention and their energy: effective adaptation. And that is one of the key reasons why I wrote Deep Agroecology: Farms, Food, and Our Future.

Climate chaos is here. It’s not coming at some future date. Embracing agroecological responses now, while it is possible, is wise, worthwhile, and essential.

Toward positive, proactive responses, I strongly recommend the new film Kiss the Ground. It’s available now on Netflix, and via DVD.

Deep Agroecology earns a five-star review

This five-star book review just in. The review is by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers’ Favorite:

If you’re interested in integrating modern sustainable agriculture with ancient native wisdom to meet our future food needs while regenerating our planet, Deep Agroecology: Farms, Food, and Our Future by Steven McFadden is for you.

The term “agroecology” has been used since 1928 to refer to the merger of agronomy and ecology, but it’s now a growing international movement with broader goals.

“Deep agroecology” is “our next natural, intelligent, and necessary evolutionary step” for a better, cleaner, healthier, more just world through the transformation of agriculture from an industrialized and chemicalized agribusiness model to a holistic approach which supports a culture of respect for the earth and all life on it; a culture in which farmers are our heroes. An extensive list of resources is included and a subject index is provided.

In Deep Agroecology, Steven McFadden gives us an impressive and impassioned in-depth treatment on one of the most important topics of our day: caring for our earth so we can feed the people who live on it. Add the issue of water resources management, which is interconnected with agriculture, and we survive or we perish on the direction we take.

While in today’s world we’re accustomed to turning to technology to find our solutions, McFadden reminds us that we have deep cultural roots which need to be brought to bear as well: the wisdom, clarity, integrity, and spirit-centeredness of indigenous peoples.

With the skill of a seasoned journalist, McFadden ties together topics of agrarian science, economics, and ancient spirituality in an approachable style that gives the reader not only food for thought but inspiration for action.

Highly recommended.

CSA 2020: It’s not just about food

by Steven McFadden
Among the cascade of changes the coronavirus pandemic has unleashed is a wave of interest in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). In a time of insecurity, people like knowing where their food comes from. It’s basic…

…With this wave of interest and energy pouring to into CSA and various food-box schemes, questions arise. Where will the energy go? Will new CSAs follow a business model as many people advocate? With the desperate poverty and hunger now afflicting the nation and the world, that emphasis could become more challenging than usual.

Or will CSAs continue to develop as a range of creative community models? Will CSAs draw in, employ, and maintain the support of local communities so the farm keeps going even as the world turns upside down? Many people are now beginning to recognize the imperative value CSA farms can have in an era of global sickness, economic calamity, and climate catastrophe…

< The full blog post is at Mother Earth News >

Towards deep agroecology (The Ecologist)

by Steven McFadden
The world’s leading environmental platform, The Ecologist, has published my essay, Towards deep agroecology. The essay gets the story across concisely in about 900 words. Here are the introductory paragraphs:

“Agroecology presents an inspirational and pragmatic vision of what is necessary and possible as we strive to re-organize our food chain in response to this pandemic, and to pollution, climate breakdown, and the intensifying hegemony of multinational chemical, drug, and industrial corporations.

“Agroecology is an expression of practical, purposeful, and realistic hope. It’s a global vision that has been dreamed and then acted upon by millions of people around the world. But many millions more human beings, billions more actually, are needed to take up and follow the vision now…”

The full essay in The Ecologist is here.

Encourage Courage: Pollen’s Perils and Promises

If you are drawn to read this then it’s probable that you are already familiar with the perils of pollen, the aggravations of allergy. Enough about that. But as you reckon with pollen this season — while coronavirus drifts ominously across the land — you may find it strengthening to reflect on the promise pollen signals as an agent of the flowers.

When I was writing Legend of the Rainbow Warriors decades ago, I gained some uncommon insights into the many-petaled mysteries of flowers. My senses were roused through color, form, fragrance, and essence…

…In our time of coronavirus, as we all contend with the pandemic swirling through our lives, it strikes me that many people could benefit from engaging the essence of one flower in particular, borage. Borage can help lift feelings of heavy heartedness, encourage the quality of courage, and generally add a note of buoyancy to the soul.

My full blog post is available now at Mother Earth News.