Over at Sun Dog Farm things are moving at a hare's pace. The Spring crops are sprinting for the finish line while the Summer crops swell and spread utilizing the bountiful rains and heavy sunlight. I do my best to live in the moment, to smell the Mimosa blooms and gaze at the Chestnut Tassels before their notes and textures are lost to the dreamlike presence of memories.
The beginning of Summer is a beautiful time in the valley. The neotropical songbirds have all returned to the woodlot and the hummingbirds feed on the day lilies. Wild blackberries fill every gap in vegetation with ripening charcoal colored beauties. Our recently adopted feline is quickly learning what it means to be a farm cat and patrols the fields for careless voles and mice. A fat and happy woodchuck has been preying on our Spring field and he will soon meet the swift hand of veggie justice from my husband's rifle. Contemplating the ebb and flow of life, predators and prey, crops and wild spaces, has my senses keenly focused on the organs of my farm body. Just like our human bodies, the farm itself is a contained system of working parts.
The Head and Chest of the Farm Body
In biodynamic agriculture, the highest goal of cultivation is always an intricate balance of all of these systems, providing for holistically grown foods that continually build on the fertility of the landscape, as opposed to degrade and diminish it over time. With whole system awareness and observation, we are able to monitor the health of these relationships. When any of these systems experience stagnation or impurity, our first clues generally fall within the health of our crops and livestock. Modern day agriculture has us treating these plants and animals on an individualized level, usually ignoring the greater context of circumstances that has lead to the disease or pest problem. This limited perspective often times perpetuates imbalances by encouraging us to introduce chemicals or plant and animal concentrates into the situation to boost the crops up or defeat the disease or insect. Generally when we adopt such a band-aid method of problem solving, we are never necessarily touching the root of the problem and run the risk of learning lessons the hard way through crop loss and sick livestock. Healthy crops and livestock will not grow where soil is insufficient in mineral content and biology. Plants will not be able to produce healthy fruits from their flowering stages without the aid of a healthy endocrine system provided by the mobility of insects.