New Agrarian Voices

Steven Franz, APPRENTICE, Tooley’s Trees, NM

My Land Ethic

My philosophy or theoretical framework about how, ethically, humans should regard the land is in no way new or refreshing. It is simple because the consequences are simple, no matter how complex you think it is; we exist because there is life to support us. For now, but not long given the lack of understanding had by our own neighbors. I don’t believe that any state, agency or organization is capable of caring for the sacred land we rely on, but each person, collectively sharing inputs towards a unified goal of being better each day. Better in ways that honor life and create a foundation for actual “progress” and “economy” that all species of our home, personally and globally would enjoy. My land ethic is to work at mitigation of past damages while envisioning and creating environments for the future unseen.

Regenerative agriculture to me is reaching a point in time and place where outputs exceed inputs. One can find examples of such present-day realities on small scales in all climates and environments. The scale must be exceedingly greater in order to unify our grossly disparate, human-ravaged planet. Land-based practices, in my opinion, imply that a society’s focus are mainly concerned with the biological balance of a given area influenced by human populations. These practices would be best undertaken by an educated, unified and capable people. In order to maintain land-based practices over generations, much care should be taken to raise younger generations with emphasis on compassion and gratitude for the gift of life, including its unknowns and challenges. My aim is to pass along a sense of hope with the faith that we can create a far different environment for the generations inheriting our work. Work in harmony with countless biological specialists that need only our cooperation and respect to effect unprecedented changes on landscapes.

Here’s to healthy farms feeding small communities and the masses of cities realizing they are capable of contributing a great deal towards the aim of economical use of finite resources.

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