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How John Muir Is Revolutionizing the Farm-to-Table Food Movement - Atlantic Mobile

Stashed in: Interconnectedness!, The Universe, life, Gardening

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I remember thinking: Oh my god, Ive got this all wrong. I'd created a market for this local, heirloom emmer wheat, but I wasn't doing anything to support the entire system that sustained it. Seventy percent of the crops supporting me weren't even being used. They were essentially dumped into bag feed for animals. At the time, there wasn’t a local market for buckwheat, for barley, or for millet, or rye, so Klaas had no alternative. He was just breaking even to build up enough soil fertility for wheat and corn and the stuff that could actually make him money. It just struck me as insane. I realized that, to support a farmer like Klaas, I needed to change my cooking. I needed to cook with the idea of the whole farm in mind.

Around that time, I read a line from John Muir for the first time—or if not for the first time, I read it consciously for the first time—that helped me articulate what I’d discovered on Klaas’s farm.

“When we try to pick out anything by itself,” he wrote, “we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.” 

When he wrote this, over a century ago, of course, Muir wasn’t talking about agriculture—he was referring to the interconnectedness of natural systems. But the same holds true for farming. I had come to Klaas looking only for the wheat; but I learned that, in a healthy farming environment, you can’t separate one crop from the rest. Remove the barley, say, and the quality of the soil will degrade to a certain extent—eventually, the wheat will change, too. 

We believe in the fundamental interconnectedness of all things. 

I wonder what John Muir would say about Big Agro.

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Well played, Geege. Well played.

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