What is it about the state of our food system that draws forth the use of the word “revolution?” Merriam-Webster describes revolution as “a sudden, radical, or complete change.”
I often call urban farmers “warriors.” Our culture might seem to only recognize the role of the warrior in context of battle but at its core a warrior is a sacred protector of community. Warrior is one of the archetypal mantles we all can choose to wear as we do that of mother, father, child, sister/brother, teacher, caretaker, worker. Our modern world likes to separate duties and skills, allowed and not-allowed, but when we are called it is in our nature to take up the tools we have to protect our loved ones, our land, and our community.
I recently heard Winona LaDuke speak about the raging river that runs between being independent – doing your own thing – and being a part of community – choosing to engage and lead. There are times for one and times for the other. And the stepping into the river is daunting. The call of the warrior requires crossing that river, choosing to step up for the health and well-being of your family, your community, and the earth you live upon.
These are times we must look deep inside. The state of the planet is compromised. Our ecosystem may not be able to support our species as we currently choose to function. The security of our community having a healthy future is in question. We must call on our warrior within to find our task, our mission at this threshold to the future. The Good Food Revolution – the actual “future of food” revolution – is at hand. What will we do about it?
We need to bring our strongest and brightest to the table. We need our creatives and spirituals there as well. We also need those who rely on the food system to join in. As Wendell Berry says, “Eathing is an Agricultural Act.”
This movement is actually a revolution because it’s about more than just our farming and food syste. The brokenness of our food system is just one layer of the cracking and disintegration of most of what we consider the “reliables” – reliable transportation, reliable housing, reliable water sources, reliable food sources, reliable government. If nature teaches us anything we know that disintegration, decay, dissolution is normal, natural. Transformation is often scary, messy, and calls us to walk into it blindly. Imagine the bravery of the revolution – sudden, radical, and complete – the caterpillar experiences dissolving in its cocoon to emerge as another entity altogether.
Choosing to take a path in food production that is truly, fully sustainable and regenerative to the earth is revolutionary. Although the modes, techniques, information are not new, the act of gathering together these ways and standing firm in the mission of rebuilding not only a food system but a path to regenerating healthy land and ecosystems –even in tiny urban spaces – runs counter to all of our unconsciously yet collectively agreed upon social contracts. Those contracts we have with business, government, education, and other institutions built to organize but grown beyond their initial missions of protection of the people and planet.
Institutions are funny things. That raging river between the individual and the collective requires a dip from both entities…not just the individual. The organizations will/are finding the water lapping at their ankles and will need to be cleansed and rebirthed themselves.
We'll talk more in this space in coming weeks about how to engage in the revolution as a Good Food Warrior. If you want to explore the revolution in more depth or even dip you toe into that raging river, consider our Urban Farm Revolutionary Training beginning January 13. This nine week course will explore how we came to this place of climate collapse and local food insecurity, how growing food and stewarding the land has become a warrior path and urban farming revolutionary. You will explore the truths of food production, the morality of choices, regenerative growing techniques, and how to awaken the good food revolutionary farmer within. This class will guide you toward a path of personal, spiritual, and financial sustainability as an urban farmer.
Learn more about The Urban Farm Revolutionary Training here.
“The basic difference between an ordinary man and a warrior is that a warrior takes everything as a challenge, while an ordinary man takes everything as a blessing or a curse.” – Carlos Castaneda
“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than themselves.” – Joseph Campbell