Correlation in Climate Crisis
Soil is the source and solution. We have come through evolution into a state of super consciousness living in the organic material of this planet. We know this for sure. We are having this experience due to the marvelous alchemy of organisms and microbes interacting with light in water. We as humans are one of millions of life forms on this planet. At this very moment our planet is in convulsions and I am terrified. I know I must be terrified because I am continuing to wake up and move in my familiar work unsure of what impact it has or what else to do instead.
This is an excellent time to reflect and be grateful for the time and experiences I have enjoyed on this planet with the diverse beings it supports. I am writing this to be certain I have done this simple exercise in gratitude. Our planet has been neglected and worse, raped by a violent plague of greed that seems to have been birthed by a deep insecurity. This particularly violent plague of greed was carried and transmitted to others through colonization, imperialism, consumerism and corporate rule. The enormous power and influence required to dominate public opinion, psychological freedom and our innate sense of creativity was drawn from exploiting Earth energy through fossil fuels. This age of burning fossil fuels allowed for us to mesmerize ourselves with technologies that demand this biological fossil fuel be converted into electricity for the power to perform all actions. We are now numb. As we wake up we find that our political system is denying the catastrophes of climate change at the same time directing the energy of the people to focus on artificial differences that are of no importance to the true survival of our species and the planet. At this time it seems to make much better sense to save the place that will care for us all rather than focusing on deciding which of us is worth saving.
My time has been invested in cultivating soil now for over 15 years. As a young father I was searching for a way to transform my panic into a productive way to provide for my small family. Over the years since our first son was born I have buried my father and fathered 2 more children all while surviving as an urban farmer in the United States. This has been deeply challenging to me and my loved ones due to the constant economic uncertainty as well as the social pressures of being undervalued and misunderstood. Things are beginning to change. We are witnessing amazing actions worldwide to support the Earth and natural resources while directly confronting corporations and secret alliances that are attacking our planet in order to feed their insecurities. All of this action is taking place on land whether in offices, marching in streets, in prayer circles at #standingrock or on our farms in urban SW Atlanta. I will stay here. I will continue to work with those I love. I will continue to serve those I live with, all as byproducts from surrendering to the Earth as my life source.
Over the last decade of farming I have been propelled into the political sphere of food justice due to my experience as a ‘black man’ who farms by choice in cities like Los Angeles and Atlanta. Both of these cities are known for employing ‘black men’ in the entertainment industry as both talent and the labor. Los Angeles is drying up literally and also in relationship to entertainment career opportunities. Atlanta is a city in a forest and there are plenty of social emergencies worthy of our attention here. I can control my attention and direct my movements efficiently. The choices and activities of others are unpredictable and motivated by intimate forces that remain undisclosed. There remains a large majority of us who are deeply connected to a way of life that is consumptive and fearful. What our planet is calling for is courage. Courage that is in motion toward regenerating soil, protecting water, changing patterns of control and cultivating love. This power can be utilized by us to assist the fungi and microbes in the soil making process. We can greatly accelerate the masterful transmutations that take place in nature by gathering material and optimizing the environment for these processes to take place. The by products of this healthy soil will be nutritious food, community security and cultural expansion.
We all stand on soil and are fed by it. At this time their are corporations that are working to convince us that a connection to land is undesirable and that farming is futile. We are being completely diverted by political games and real poverty. Our sickness and fear preoccupy many people living in isolation in cities among millions. Do you think our cities can continue with growth measured as destruction of natural habitats? Can the health of our urban residents really thrive on even one more decade of genetically modified food transported in from long distances? If we do decide that healthy organic food is a priority, who will grow it? Where will they farm and how will their community value their contribution? These are the questions I now spend many hours examining and discussing with people who are fully participating in creating a local food system that functions. These questions were nowhere in my mind when I began gardening to feed my pregnant mate and soon born infant. Kinda wish they were. I was being moved by a deep need to feel useful and able to provide. This very nuclear concern has developed over the years into a mission to assist in rejuvenating soil wherever I grow food.
This perspective was deeply inspired by farming in Kenya and learning from growers in Jamaica, Haiti and New Orleans. After seeing the depleted soils in some parts of Kenya and in the hills of Haiti I asked questions that only a politically unaware farmer who loves the soil would ask. I wanted to know why the organic matter was missing and why the rains were avoiding some areas of the country. Each time I would have to take the answers back to my quiet space and work through them. Many answers were told in stories and some were cloaked in the shame and sorrow of the tender hearted people who were sharing memories of deep pain related to how the land was stolen, the people were tortured and the love of caring for the Earth beaten out of those who are most traumatized by the climate crisis. It may seem simple but I am grateful that in this lifetime on planet Earth I have met amazing people to serve this diverse family of life with. I am grateful to be practicing the priceless art of agroecology at a time when many of my peers are drowning themselves in emotional fits of helplessness. I am grateful to bear witness to the strength, energy and beauty that our Earth rewards us with when we follow the most primary instructions of caring for the soil and sharing good food. From November through spring we will be partnering with diverse groups to ramp up compost projects, reforestation, mushroom cultivation and urban orchard plantings. We are focused on incorporating housing and long term land use rights into as many initiatives as possible. It has been proven by the work in China’s’ Loess Plateau that when farmers are valued for their work and supported with long term land rights the most desolate places can be rehabilitated in as little as ten years. We invite you to move with a purpose. There are many ways to become active in the mission to rebuild soil for carbon storing, healthy food production and mycoremediation of our increasingly toxic environment. Your intention and personal will is required. We are in the times of discomfort and intensity. We have seen the peak of the consumer lifestyle and our planet specifically our soil has been paved over, stripped bare and been made toxic and infertile. These facts can been frightening and they also offer deeper insight into the ways that our personal relationship dynamics develop. Much of the abuse and control our planet is experiencing is becoming the baseline for how we as earthlings interact with each other. Our prehistoric insecurities influenced us to develop a tribal mentality and an ownership attitude toward land, natural resources and each other. Cultivating the soil is an act of service that can evolve into generosity which will become love. Love in this stage will teach us to serve those we desire to spend time with. Our true attraction comes from our expression of health and wellness. Our health and wellness is intimately connected with the health of the soil that produces the food we eat. Now our emphasis for actively gathering the raw material and creating the conditions for soil regeneration is intensified due to the crisis of excess carbon and other chemicals in our air. Large quantities of carbon can be brought down and stored in the soil and plants. We can accelerate this while we work in solidarity with all the scientific, political and economic measures for transitioning rapidly to clean energy and clean seed to be planted in our new soil. Correlation is: a mutual relationship or connection between two or more things. What if the ‘things’ were ‘beings’?