Climate change whiplash is upon us. We have gone from record heat over the past few years (with a 1200 year drought) to a winter with all-time record-setting precipitation and snowpack. Farming is difficult enough without all these extremes, but how do we respond when change occurs too quickly for nature to adapt?
Most farmers impose their will on nature. They are individualists who believe they can organize nature to serve their purpose. This approach might realize short-term profitability, but at what cost to the long-term health of the farm and the surrounding environment? At what point does “efficient” conventional farming have diminishing returns as nature – through climate change pestilence and disease – fights back to try to find balance?
We, as farmers, have a responsibility to look at the big picture and approach farming as mutualists instead of individualists. We need to recognize that nature has a grand design and we need to humble ourselves as we learn where we fit in. We need to be honest and self-aware, and ask what practices we can change to heal the damage we’ve caused to nature by ignoring natural processes.
Instead of posing rhetorical questions and lecturing from a soapbox, these photos will illustrate the difference between a conventional farm and our holistic, biodiverse farm.