Our Sacred Acres - Home of the Office Mystic and other Misfits

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Occupy 2.0: The Farm

Whose Farm?


From the ground up we will build it.. 

And we'll film it, and show you how we did it. 

 And we'll produce the soundtrack of our new culture..  of our permaculture.  "Our lives will live in the seeds we have sown.."  The Polish Ambassadors Permaculture Action Tour sparked a resurgent enthusiasm for connecting with the earth..  and brings harmony to our work by writing the songs that get us all working in tune.

This seems to be the clarion call of the social movements presently converging as the 2.0, the next version, level,  release of.. Well, of EVERYTHING.  However we'll keep it simple for now and stick to Occupy, and Agriculture.

"If you've ever planted a seed, you're a farmer!"

In the newly released documentary film "Occupy The Farm", our community activism storytellers have done a fabulous job presenting what Occupy 2.0 looks like on the ground, specifically at the Gill Tract on UC Berkeley-managed lands in the East Bay.  As people organize locally more and more on common ground issues of land management, community process, civic engagement, and the rights of both humans, and 'property', these multimedia stories are vital - the lifeblood that carries information - in disseminating the learnings of our shared experiences from region to region, between the places of our whole village.

"It's  inherently hopeful to plant a seed, because you hope it grows."

This is stewardship - collectively as a community, and personally in making the individual choices to take care of the people and places that make up our public spaces and affairs.  

It is about hope, and dreams, yet even more critically it is about actively creating a world in which the caretaking of our land and people is fundamental, and compassionate collaboration is a core value to be protected and cherished.  

Collaborative Communities.

Collaboration between ALL affected parties, including the public (both oppressed populations and historical oppressors), the civic (the governmental, political, educational, financial etc. ad nauseum), and yes, even the corporate (for profit, non-profit, NGO's, conglomerates, industries, small businesses too), is something we can not only hope for, we can DO THINGS, TOGETHER.

Seeds need a healthy environment, just like us, to become strong - to get well beyond survival into participation with the cycle of life that is growing, fruiting, seeding, dying and returning to the soil, where it all started.  We cultivate our hopes and dreams just as we cultivate our soil and seeds, with water, sun, compost, and a LOT of laboring.  And the farm is but one segment of our human village - there are many elements in whole systems design that have and continue at this time, to compete, rather than cooperate, when it comes to the use of resources such as access to clean water, and the very ground where our roots are nourished.

"This is a fight about the allocation of an asset ..  Land."

Make no mistake, this story is about a fight for our rights, a fight for social justice, a fight for a seat at a table that is even, not the slanted offers that have used tactics including the threat of force and the promise of some future vague opportunity.

The value of land cannot be underestimated..  I wonder, can it truly even be estimated? How do you place a value on the very last large acreage parcel of agricultural land in a massive urban food desert?   

Is there a mathematical equation for the poundage of food that can be grown here, the poundage of food that city dwellers would subsequently be empowered to grow for themselves through the permaculture education offered to the public here?  The COST of a human beings right to feed themselves?


 I can tell you this.. There is a spreadsheet somewhere that shows how much revenue comes from a Whole Foods store in a particular density neighborhood, and one for the revenue generated off a senior care center located next to a Whole Foods, and those revenues DO NOT stay in the neighborhood.  A portion of them will flow to the city from the councils rezoning approval, and to the city, state and federal governments in taxes, fees, assessments and political endorsements.

And THAT is what those who are in the ECONOMICS of agriculture are interested in..  The development of that land is worth millions .. Upon millions.. Of dollars into corporate and government coffers.  I would love to see how community organized action can affect the direction of research and practice work product that comes from our public education institutions toward sustainable home agriculture instead of these corporate bottom-line driven economics.

People who work at Whole Foods.. Cannot afford to eat at Whole Foods.

We must stop taking from the pockets of the hungry, and the poor. 

"Force would be used against them if necessary, and that force could have included chemical agents."

The use of chemical agents, and of militant force against students and friends.. That would have left an impact on the neighborhood for a very long time.  We can look no further than the Bay's local community land action  version 1.0 - People's Park Riot in Berkeley, 1969 - to see how our internal organizational processes as well as external emergency response procedures have evolved already.  

Today's activists for the land have the benefit of the wisdom, guidance, and participation of our elders that have seen violence, destruction, and even fatalities in the past when fighting for our rights.  We are listening!!

As a native of Detroit, born in 1969, this story of people fighting for their human rights runs in my blood and is the fire that fuels my own community activism.

"The whole point of this, is to not talk about what we want, and to not demand what we want..   But to make what we want real."

And this is where the lessons from the Occupy Movement were made real, this is where the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. moves from a  dream of racial equality to that of social and planetary equality… of justice for all, BY ALL.  Everyone who showed up to Occupy The Farm was invited to participate in the community through organized processes, which included the demonstration of commitment to the cause before involvement in group decision making.

"A wake-up call to the whole community.."

Community meetings were conducted using circular, facilitative structure and nonviolent, compassionate communication procedures.   

Decisions were reached
Requests were clarified
Letters were written
Entities in question.. 
Were moved!

"And it was like WOW! We really are having an IMPACT.."

So what do you need to get started on your own personal 2.0? 

Me?  I'm cultivating a seed.. the start of an "Occupy MY Farm" movement, here on the land I steward in the temperate rainforest of Cascadia in the Pacific Northwest.
Getting Involved Locally..

Producing Adaptive Templates..

Sharing Our Learnings..

Has an Impact Globally.

And what are some of the things that maybe won't make this release, but we can put them on ALL our feature request lists for 3.0, 4.0, and beyond?

This is where technology from the high rises meets networks of the mycorrhizae. The interwebs are alive and weaving with information, ready to download into your brain how and where you can get your hands in the soil, and be part of this whole.. Having an impact, thing ;)

Below are links to local permaculture (permanent agriculture - resilient social culture) initiatives, worldwide connection networks, and the kind of search terms you can use to begin researching and practicing the skills that empower you, your family, your neighborhood, and our world.. For the betterment of life on earth..  Through collaboration, compassion, community.

 Permaculture Now! was created to promote and support permaculture education and design around the world, based on the ethics of people care, earth care, and fair share.

Organic produce, community supported agriculture (CSA shares), edible and distinctive plant nursery, and permaculture/farm education.

The goal of the Beacon Food Forest is to design, plant and grow an edible urban forest garden that inspires our community to gather together, grow our own food and rehabilitate our local ecosystem. 

Seattle Tilth provides farm business training and support to immigrants, refugees and people with limited  resources in South King County. This “farm incubator” program is called Seattle Tilth Farm Works (STFW) and is located in Auburn, WA. Participants attend farm and business trainings, tour neighboring farm operations, and gain hands-on experience growing and harvesting food using organic practices.

Meet other local people who support Permaculture design for sustainable human existence.

A place where permaculture enthusiasts in Snohomish, Island and Skagit counties can network to share common interests, share resources, and host regular events, activities and classes.

The Songaia Garden is supported by an intentional community of over 65 local residents in a semi-rural area of Bothell, WA. Over the last 25 years It has evolved into an important focus of our work towards a sustainable future. Significant steps towards living lightly on the land have manifested through the development of permaculture based systems, which include food forests and a keyhole garden. Our quarter-acre main garden, raised beds, and orchard plantings contributed over 3,700 pounds of organic produce in 2011. The bee-hives and goats helped too!

Alleycat Acres exists to (re)connect people, place + produce by transforming underutilized urban spaces into neighborhood-run farms.

We are a grassroots organization both for and by  young & beginning farmers in Washington state.   We are young growers and their supporters living, learning and working in Washington. We recruitsupport and promote beginning farmers in Washington State.

A listing of Land-Based Intentional Communities, Impact Centers, Eco-Villages, or Educational Centers that we are aware of throughout our network, and gatherings to plant seeds of collaborative support for these communities.

Spore Prints (templates) for local community organization.

Evolving the emergent language that embraces ancient ways, moving towards universal understanding, planetary awareness, and right relations for all beings.

A permaculture based platform to connect people with places through projects around the globe.

Occupy The Farm Continues

WE Dig



No comments: