An aerial view of Hawthorne Valley this spring, including greenhouses, barn yard, several pastures, the Place Based Learning Center’s Children’s Garden (middle of photo), and the Corner Garden (upper right) .
Perhaps these are short term, “forgotten next year” events, or perhaps this uncertainty is what to expect going forward. Only time will tell.
Promoting the means to a viable, resilient, and climate-friendly local food economy is everyone’s future work.
Grain harvest including these oats was a real struggle with the wet weather causing weed growth and sprouting.
How do we continue to produce food in this new reality? We must deepen our relationship to our farm ̶ to understand our soil, the plants and trees that struggle and thrive, the creeks, and all the other corners that are habitats for a wealth of biodiversity. And beyond that are the material flows, the energy flows, and the interrelationships that are fundamental to a thriving regenerative farm. Through this engagement, we can hope to learn these new habits.
What it takes to farm in this climate is nothing different from the past; rather the margin of error is much smaller. To this end, we must plan, not for the plan itself (which usually is garbage immediately), but for the planning process in which we will have laid the groundwork for adaptability. We must be ready to act when the time comes ̶ with the appropriate equipment in working order, and the mental and material flexibility to adapt to what each week might give us. We must make our farms and farming practices suitable to the land, and as resilient as possible, investing in the land with an eye toward resiliency in the face of extremes. We must also reflect and ask ourselves if we are merely making our farming practices resilient, or whether we’re stewarding the land to be adaptable for the emergent future.
We must engage with our community, and evolve our commerce to spread the risks of producing food in such an uncertain climate. In the past year, between the pandemic and the growing ecological crisis in California, the importance of a decentralized food system fueled by local producers has been made clearer than ever. Promoting the means to a viable, resilient, and climate-friendly local food economy is everyone’s future work.