Sunday, August 3, 2008

Metaphors


Recently, Lynn Miller (editor of The Small Farmer's Journal) presented what I interpret to be a "call to action". Lynn draws our attention to three key realizations that I paraphrase here:

1. ...the climate is changing...

2. Oil is over...

3. ...the world food inventory is hanging by a thread over a precipice...

Lynn's metaphor between the collapse of a colony of bees into small like-minded (like-skilled) groups--communities--to survive and the current movement toward a model of human-scaled farming (to also survive) is very timely and meaningful to me.

I intend to weave these three strands into each of my agriculture courses this year; the intent is to keep these concepts in mind as we learn to work with animals in our fields and forest, gain confidence in the care and use of our tools, and perhaps of some higher importance, work with one another toward achieving a common goal at Sterling--that each student will connect with the food and fiber system with conscious effort.

1 comment:

Pavel said...

It's interesting how thematic strands can emerge from different places to create a fabric of ideas. Networks, for one, of bees, of people working together, or of stories like the ones being collected here. I was reading just yesterday an article that drove home the idea that the network connections become the essential parts of any system - not the nodes themselves. "When simple units interact," writes the author, "new phenomena emerge." Only by helping to build a scaffold to empower our community to become more than the sum of its parts can we hope to tackle the challenges you list here.