CONSOLIDATION – As of this date I’m placing my deep agroecology blog under the umbrella of my Chiron Communications website. These pages will remain online as an archive of the existing 218 blog posts. All new posts on agroecology and related themes will be published at Chiron Communications. – Steven McFadden
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…
Here’s a link to the full review of my book, Deep Agroecology.
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.
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.
My video conversation with Brooke Medicine Eagle about The Call of the Land and the accompanying slide show, is freely available now. To learn more about deep agroecology and the possibilities for our food and farms, follow this link.
I’m pleased to share this press release from my publisher (and wife), Liz Wolf of Light and Sound Press:
Lincoln, Nebraska, October 8, 2020—Independent journalist Steven McFadden was named a winner of the 2020 National Indie Excellence Awards (NIEA) for Deep Agroecology: Farms, Food, and Our Future.
Deep Agroecology won the top honor in NIEA’s Environmental category and was named a finalist in the Green Living category. The book, the author’s fifteenth, was published in 2019 by Light and Sound Press.
NIEA was established in 2005 to promote excellence in independent and small-press publishing. Award entrants are judged by book industry experts on the basis of superior content and presentation in the final published product.
“Farms and food are foundational for human society,” McFadden notes. “Right now our civilization is undergoing massive upheaval—from climate chaos and environmental destruction to social injustice, economic uncertainty, and a global pandemic. We must build a new foundation, and that imperative task requires a vision.”
The book offers a vision that weaves together the insights of agrarian science, social justice, indigenous wisdom, quantum physics, and ancient spiritual traditions.
The term “agroecology,” used widely internationally, refers to ecological farming and food processing systems such as organics, biodynamics, and regenerative systems. McFadden’s “deep agroecology” also acknowledges subtle dimensions of light, energy, and spirit.
McFadden writes: “When we are respectfully aware and cooperating intelligently with both gross and subtle life forces to provide food, fiber, and beauty, we are practicing deep agroecology.”
Frances Moore Lappé, author of Diet for a Small Planet and cofounder of Food First, wrote of the book: “Thank you, Steven McFadden, for rich and moving clarity as you weave for us the many threads of deep agroecology. The vision you capture is not a choice, for in this dire moment for our Earth, it is life’s only possibility forward.”
The New England native is a graduate of Boston University’s journalism program. A lifelong champion of organic and regenerative agriculture, McFadden has written about farming, food, the environment, and North American wisdom teachings for over 40 years as a journalist, author, and blogger.
He is the co-author, with the late Trauger Groh, of the first two books on CSA (community-supported agriculture): Farms of Tomorrow (1990) and Farms of Tomorrow Revisited (1998). He is the author of The Call of the Land: An Agrarian Primer for the 21st Century; Odyssey of the 8th Fire, an online chronicle of a 1995 pilgrimage across the U.S.; and over a dozen other nonfiction titles.
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.
Agroecology is a dynamic concept that has gained global prominence in scientific, agricultural, and political discourse. But not so much so far in the USA. More widespread knowledge is essential. Time to make that happen.
My new book — Deep Agroecology: Farms, Food, and Our Future — offers an introduction to the subject of agroecology, and then takes this critical subject wider and deeper.