The Guardian of Agriculture…

resides at the no-harm farm!

A little orange dot stands out in the dark night sky amongst a shimmering sea of stars. The sun, the giver of life and death, emits rays that pass through the thin atmosphere to reflect off its barren surface; a surface scarred by collisions with celestial bodies, eroded by wind and carved by what we assume were once rivers of water. Its very nature leads to speculation, fantasy, curiosity and adventure. It beckons the pioneers, the scientists, the crazies and the eccentrics to accept its challenge to one day harbor life and support a colony of humans even though we have found nothing that would indicate life has ever survived on the Martian planet.

The Romans believed Mars was the guardian of agriculture. Ironic since it is a cold desert that, unless we develop the fictional Star Trekkian terraforming device, will never support life as we know it. Yet we somehow look to the orange orb as a plan B for when we destroy life on our home planet. Maybe Mars could be a cautionary tale of what could happen if we continue to neglect the rhythms of nature.

There is a genius to the natural world that’s shaped everything we know. It’s the magic that allows life to evolve while creating checks and balances in a complex dance that is beyond the comprehension of the average human. We have grown fat and happy manipulating nature to serve us when we should be serving nature. It is when we change things too quickly – as we have done over the last century as we pump carbon into the atmosphere – that nature can no longer keep up and it begins to collapse as species die and the interconnectedness breaks.

The guardian of agriculture should also be the guardian of nature. Farmers have the choice to either conquer nature or to strike a deal and work with nature, to help it do its job for the benefit of all life. Using a regenerative and/or biodynamic model is one way farmers can help nature;  practices like employing no-till or minimum-till, year-round cover crop, animals to mow, hedgerows to encourage insects, animals and birds, and more. The goal is to do no harm as we farm by staying connected to nature while crafting a superlative wine named Marcien, the guardian of agriculture and nature.

Rob Sinskey