AHH I am sick of lockdown and being stuck in the house.
Come for a walk with me. Let’s go outside, away from the neatly manicured lawns, fruit trees and garden beds and instead venture into the rainforest that stretches away for miles behind the house.
Let’s sit down and enjoy the peace and solitude of nature.
No! not there on that old rotten stump you’ll be scratching for days.
That buttress root looks better.
Wriggle around a bit until you get comfy and soak in the peace and solitude.
Listen to the birdlife in the canopy above, feel the soft breeze on your face.
Observe nature with fresh eyes as your mind quietens and your soul expands out into your surroundings.
Observe a scene that probably hasn’t change much for thousands of years. A resilient, highly productive, sustainable ecosystem where everything is recycled and re-used with no waste.
As we lose our sense of time, we are filled with an intense feeling of peace.
Our consciousness focuses on a leaf lying on the ground.
We become that freshly fallen leaf that has recently floated down from the canopy far overhead.
In a state of timelessness we feel our leafy body being nibbled by insects, quickly shredding us down into smaller pieces.
Fungi and microbes invade our tissues, digesting our body into theirs. As the leaf becomes humus, the fungi and microbe are in turn eaten and digested, creating plant food to support the diverse forest above.
Relax and feel this process.
Feel the rightness of it all, as the nutrients released by the breakdown of the leaf are used to make new leaves in the rapidly growing forest canopy above.
As always in meditation our mind starts to wander and before we know it we are comparing this process to what happens on an ordinary farm.
On the pathway from diverse rainforest to farmland, forest is cleared and burnt.
As the diversity of the forest disappears so does the diversity of the biology that recycles, supports and sustains an ancient ecosystem.
At first there is a huge flush of released nutrients as the stored fertility in the soil is released. However as time goes on the natural fertility of the soil ebbs away with the biology. The farmer then starts to plough and use fertilisers and chemicals to stimulate this ever waning natural fertility.
Initially only a small amount of chemistry is needed to get good results. However as the chemical salts (fertilizers), poisons and vigorous cultivation destroy the soil biology then more and more chemical amendments are needed to grow and protect the sickly crops produced.
At this point man made chemistry has completely replaced the natural soil biology in growing crops.
This is the current situation world wide that is leading to soil loss, loss of arable land, a denuded environment and sickly plants, animals and people.
Ah! My sense of peace has evaporated.
Realizing where my mind has led me, I try to get back to into that peaceful meditative state.
No luck. What’s that biting sensation on my foot?
Opening my eyes I glance at my legs to see them covered in leeches.
Yuk I hate leeches!!
But I guess I am in a biologically rich environment and as I have sat still for too long I am going through the primary stages of being broken down into nutrients.
I grumble to myself as I wander back to the house to use salt and fire to cleanse myself of this unwanted biology. I am getting old but I don’t need recycling just yet.
Walking back across the lawn I have a mental flash.
Biodynamic farming is the impulse that breathes life and biology into these dead soils.
All is not lost, farmers just need to change their mindset and realise there is more to farming than comes out of the chemical bag or bottle. They need to build up their soils rather than continuously extracting from them.
Will we see this change in farming? Certainly there would be a short term cut in production as dead and addicted soil can no longer get its fertiliser fix. But we think it’s worth it as the highly productive and sustainable biological processes reassert themselves into a diverse biological system.