I've spent about 25 hours getting from Minorca on the Mediterranean to the Gold Coast of Australia and went to bed for about 16 hours to get acclimated. This is my 16th trip to Australia, so I've learned what works for me and the key is get that initial long sleep.
As I reflect on the last three days in Minorca with good friend and teaching guru Darren Doherty of Regrarians, he had two profound statements that bear repeating.
"We've got to quit growing things that want to die, and quit killing things that want to live."
"We've got to quit treating ourselves like annuals and treat ourselves like perennials."
The first statement is in regards to feeding antibiotics to animals in concentrated feeding operations. Industrial agriculture often creates situations where the living subjected to the insulting production systems want to die. But they are propped up by all sorts of crutches, from chemicals to antibiotics.
The second statement has to do with how humans make decisions. For too long, we've been making short-term expedient decisions similar to the opportunistic ways an annual works, assuming it'll make seeds that can grow another season. But a perennial has to store enough reserves in its roots to live another day. Annuals exploit soil whereas perennials build soil.
If we as people interacted with our environment like a perennial, we would put back more than we take. We would make decisions with a hundred years in mind. It's about time to think long-term rather than short-term.
Darren is a fantastic teacher and undoubtedly the best landscape water design guy on the planet today. It was a privilege to share the stage with him in Minorca. And it was great to enjoy his wisdom and wordsmithing again.
What would agriculture policy look like if it were based around a 500-year plan?