It’s my last day here in the idyllic Walden Farm. I was not able to stay as long as I would have liked, but one should count themselves fortunate to stay any amount of time in this nest of peacefulness. It is a small, on the grander scale of farming as a whole, beacon to farming in China to set the bar higher; an example of a farm, though not fully sustainable, trying to get there and unshackle themselves from the binds of modern farming that sees nature as only a resource to exploit, opposed to what it should be, a resource to be cared for even as it provides us with a return of its bounty to feed us- therefore, enabling it to care for generations to come as well, or better, than it did for current generations.
Lack of foresight and vision is a huge problem for modern farming. These might not be the first things that come to mind when you consider: all the pesticides, herbicides, over using antibiotics, oil consumption of machinery, habitat destruction, erosion, to name a few, because who has time to name all that is wrong with modern farming? I think in large part it goes back to foresight and vision though. In todays fast pace, me me me, results now environment, society is not mature, wise, and maybe even compassionate enough to consider the long term effects of this type of farming (profit today, destruction tomorrow). As Paul Hawken likes to put it we are stealing the future, and selling it in the present.
What stops someone from seeing the world like this, and doing farming a better way? A vested interest in the land is what. One way you get that is staying in a place for a long time. This starts the connection in you that the health of your land is strongly connected to your own family, and your ability to take care of that family. If your going to stay in a place for an extended period of time, and I’d say 400+ years is pretty extended (how long Walden Farm has been family run), you want to make sure that you care for the land as it provides for you and your family in the present, and so it can continue to provide for your family in the future.