In the afternoon heat, I took a turn to where a lake once stood.The trickle of its former clear waters, enough to clench my thirst.New life, buzzing.
The reign of extractive economies of the past 300 years has turned abundance into luxuries and comforts, leaving this generation but a trickle. Some will choose a path of harsher competition while others will do what is sustainable. I have chosen to support regeneration.
At its heigh the Mayan civilization boasted cities as large as 120,000 inhabitants. Having outstripped the hunter-gathering capacity of the region, more land within the civilization’s borders was cleared for agriculture. When earth is viewed as a resource, its capacity to produce is all that is valued. While the Maya started off with a rotational system of crops, allowing fragile rainforest land adequate time to rest, constantly increasing population made this strategy no longer viable. The land was exhausted and civilization collapsed. Ruins of former great cities like Calakmul now stand in greenery rising many stories tall, land fully recovered.
Industrial agriculture claims the capacity to feed 8 billion people, leaving water pollution, land depletion, and pest problems as its waste. Nitrogen compounds degrade and flow down the Mississippi river causing entire dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico where there is no oxygen for marine life to breathe. India now faces farmland desertification in 90% of its states with states like Delhi having lost as much as 70% of its land. US 50x increase in the use of pesticides has caused a bee apocalypse. With little to no financial incentives to mitigate, remove, or reduce the impact of this waste in production-driven economies, the degradation continues at accelerating rates.
Abhorred by the industrial agriculture practices and dissatisfied with lawn-grass taste of produce, some are taking matters into their own hands . Through intelligent weather adaptability, the use of complimentary plants, non-chemical pest control methods, Leanne has created a food source of her and her family. Wooden stakes to support plants against high winds, growing peppermint along her herbs to ward off ants, and using egg shells to trip up slugs are just a few of the creative solutions.
Civilizations emerge out of abundance and spent themselves into scarcity. The resource flow has been reduced to just a trickle. To build up on what is here now in a sustainable way is our survival.
AltWork is for creative minds of today, doing the work which our home needs. If you are currently taking part in a personal regenerative project, feel free to get in touch.