From the depths of journals, notebooks, handheld devices, recording instruments and crumpled scraps of envelopes.. past writings are filtered through my present state of mind to envision, create and evolve into the future.
Our Sacred Acres - Home of the Office Mystic and other Misfits
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
This IS WHAT WE ARE
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.
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
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
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
meetings were conducted using circular, facilitative structure and nonviolent,
compassionate communication procedures.
"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.
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,
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.
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!
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 recruit, support 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.