Farming is About Community

Some of the Demeter certified product which is becoming more
and more available, including at Whole foods.

Yesterday Donald and I attended the National Heirloom Expo at the Santa Rosa, CA, fairgrounds and sat in on two Demeter seminars. The room was packed in the seminar in which Grover Stock and Erik Ohlsen of Permaculture Artisans discussed how we can participate in restoring depleted soils. This included a discussion of carbon sequestering and was particularly interesting as they offered concrete suggestions on dealing with the magnitude of dying trees in our forests. (Our land is perhaps 75% forest, and, yes, trees are dying.)

There was excitement as Demeter Marketing Director Elizabeth Candelario recounted the history of Biodynamic agriculture  as well as its acceptance into the general public sector. Whole Foods is handling more and more Biodynamic products (including, we hope soon, our essential oil, hydrosols, and bathsalt.)

But for me, the community feeling of the meetings and the exhibit was most remarkable, and it restored me. Farming is about community. You work, and often with others. And then you gather, bringing what you have learned, or what you are puzzled about. How do we help our forests which badly need the fertilizing touch of fire? Yet, due to our ignorant, albeit well-meaning, practices of fire suppression, forest fires too often bring massive destruction of trees as well as the release of climate warming carbon dioxide. In such discussions as yesterday, concerns and ideas are shared. Agriculture (and forestry practices) as it has been practiced is part of the environmental problem, Elizabeth stated, but it can also be part of the solution.

Part of the solution is that gathering of minds and forces and the interconnections, for we are not only restoring soils and forests, but also our own souls.

The Heirloom Expo continues today and tomorrow. This link gives the schedule of free Biodynamic classes.