From Sharon Astyk:
So close your eyes. Or first, open them, and look at your property – or your friendly neighbor’s property, or your church’s lot, or your community garden plot. Now that you’ve got it in your head, close your eyes. And take what’s there and add on – what do you want to see? Look at it closely. Smell it. Taste it. Listen to it….
What do you see? A small farm of a few acres, with pigs that root out weeds and manure the ground and then feed your family, and chickens for eggs and a small woodlot, managed for mushrooms, coppiced wood and acorns for feed. Every year you plant more trees, grow more crops, and new garden beds sprout like weeds. There’s a sign at the end of the driveway reading “fresh eggs, raspberries” and the neighbors stop by to pick up your extras and trade neighborly gossip.
What do you see? The family farm brought to life again – the land made productive again, the weeds cut back, the family brought back, swales built to catch precious water, with new crops and new techniques for making fertile space out of what seemed like a lost cause. New hope, and the chance to work together again? Do you see yourself, slowly, patiently planting new trees, repairing the tractor, laughing with your sister again?
What do you see? Draft horses, pulling logs from the shady woodland, and a barn full of animals. A business plan and a market for your lamb, your wool and your vegetables. A diversity of plants and animals – life without monocultures. A pond. A quiet spot to rest, a kitchen full of peaches ready to can. And you see yourself, at work, at rest, in the kitchen, on the land, but there, and present, and ready.
Yeah, I can see that. I can see it all, practically taste it. It’s a good dream.