All Solutions Come From Seeing the Problem as an Opportunity.
Resilience, adaptation and cooperation are essential to surviving and thriving in uncertain times.
Finding the solutions begin with a change in our perception. We become a lot more practical when we have a mind focused on creating solutions rather than dwelling on the problems. We need to get past our mind and let our heart make the choice. The mind is a terrible master but a great servant.
Our heritage is not toxic and nutritionally deficient food, whether that is GM food, industrially farmed and chemically grown, or vertically farmed food. Our food came from and belongs in the soil, with a symbiosis of natural chemistry and biology working together in a balance between bacteria and fungi, creating healthy and regenerative land that actually nurtures our Earth rather than exploiting it.
We can create healthier food systems by connecting with our local organic and regenerative farms that have a care for the land and by growing our own food and sharing it with our community. Our solutions are about looking at the most broad view of life through the lens of biology, chemistry, ecology, and natural ecosystems. This is what is needed if we are to understand our own humanity and connection with our home-planet Earth.
THE REGENERATIVE ECONOMY-We are now entering a time when our consumption of resources has reached an epoch. We are mining for minerals and fossil fuels to make fertilisers, using plastic without any regard to the waste it produces, toxifying our soils and oceans with biocide run offs, that are acidifying our coastal regions.
Renewable resources work, but only when done in symphony with nature. If we continue to mine materials from the earth, exposing toxic chemical run-offs, poisoning the water tables and exploiting vulnerable people and using technological ideas that are still wasteful, then we will be no better off than we are now. What communities need are localised and effective natural systems that can store and capture energy and use it in effective ways.
Grey Water systems are a simple example of this that most people can have installed into their homes. Just like water capturing systems, so there would be far less usage of precious water resources. Local business can thrive in these circumstances and the rewards shared with community. Regenerative ways are holistic, creative and resilient which can stand up to uncertainty of our climate and economy and our very relationships to each other.
SOIL REGENERATION-Soil is ‘the mother of everything’, it has given birth to all complex life. All life comes from this relationship between the soil, microbiology and the sun. This evolution that has taken place over this long geological time span has created some of the most complex and productive ecosystems that exist on our planet. The Soil biome or Soil Food Web, is as complex as our universe and as unexplored as our oceans.
It not only holds the key to growing healthy and abundant food, even for an expanding global population, it also offers us the solution to all the problems we face today and threats in our future. The soil biome or microbiome of the soil is directly connected to our gut biome. In fact this relationship is as old as humanity itself. Without this direct connection to the biology of the the soil or the ‘Soil Food Web’ our own health is compromised. In fact there is a direct link between chronic disease over the past 50 years and the introduction of industrial chemical agriculture in the 60’s.
Here at Sow & Grow Revolution our purpose is to demonstrate to people who wish to have a healthy life, co-exist with nature and create resilient communities that the solutions are very simple- Work with others who love the land and understand its infinite potential and want to create healthy local communities that are focused on producing the most natural food. Education is the key to creating this reality. It is of course not just about physical health-our relationship to nature is about our relationship to ourselves and each other.
SAVING SEEDS(The key to self-resilience)-without the simple seed, where would we be!? There would be no life. There is within each seed the knowledge to create another generation, ideally adapted to the environment.
At Sow & Grow we are launching the Seed Exchange Network, this will be at it’s core the start of local community and designed to empower people to see the benefit of knowing where our food comes from, how it was grown and most importantly the person who grew it. Imagine creating a community which is based on trust, respect and mutual growth-wouldn’t this be many peoples version of an idyllic life.
This concept of growing our own food, saving and sharing seeds, is maybe a slightly strange concept and may seem out of reach, however, it is completely achievable, whatever your circumstances and wherever you live.
Saving seeds is actually quite easy, although learning to processes can take some time. However it is very rewarding both mentally and practically, plus you get to keep the natural genetics of a species going
COMPANION PLANTING an example of how nature expresses the complexity of life.
Companion planting is a method employed in Permaculture which enables different species or genus of plants grown together, which benefit each other in some way. This can be mutual exchange of nutrients and support, pollinators and pest controllers. These types of methods used in permaculture are there to replicate natural bio diversity that we would see in a forest or natural setting.
(A few examples of how it works)
GUILDS-These are specific groups of plants that work in harmony together, each performing a specific purpose individually and as a collective.
An example of a guild is the ‘Three Sisters’. These are Corn, Squash and Beans-this has actually been practiced since the American Indians started cultivating food. They each have a function that give each other the best chance of survival. Corn is an amazing source of food and has many different uses from making bread, cakes and of course enjoyed with butter.
In this guild, corn is used as a support for the beans. The beans are nitrogen fixers, cow peas are very good for doing this, these can be eaten raw or cooked, depending on the genus and can be frozen for later use. Squash is a heavy nitrogen consumer, which is why the beans work so well. The great thing about squash, is you get a lot of food and they can be kept for up to 4/5 months, depending on the type you are growing. Winter squash keep the longest.
These three also provide layering or staking for each other, the squash grow low and help to protect the soil from excessive heat and rain, and the beans grow tall with the corn. This is probably the most widely used guild and can utilized practically anywhere in the world.
Water Harvesting and Recycling-Spread, Slow, Soak and Store. This is a fundamental function in permaculture. Water is a precious resource and as such needs to be treated with care and respect. Victor Schauberger was a renown forester, naturalist, philosopher, inventor and biomimicry experimenter. He realised that water is alive and that water can be beneficial or detrimental to health. When kept at particular temperatures and natural movements it has the ability to cleanse and heal its environment. We can all use water in a way which not only benefits our health but also in a way which is regenerative. Capturing water and using it in our growing spaces allows us to save money, help the environment and give life to our plants.
Water Butts, Grey and Black water systems, drip irrigation and many more are very simple solutions we can all use and benefit from.
Life Changing Books I have Read
The New Complete Guide to Self-Sufficiency-John Seymour
This book is one of the most influential and ground breaking books, I have read. John Seymour, was a pioneer in the UK, that showed people how we can live a self-sufficient life, with little money but a lot of passion. IN this book contains literally everything you need to start your own small holding in the UK.
Regenerative Soil-Matt Powers
As infectious as he is passionate about Permaculture and soil biology, this self made professional, has written many books, including ‘The Permaculture Student 1 & 2. His latest book is his best and most user friendly book, developed with the help of super soil biologist Dr Elaine Ingham, this book shows us all how we can bring life back to our soil and create an abundant and healthy environment, wherever we live and whatever our circumstances.
The Permaculture Student 2-Matt Powers
The Earth Care Manual- Patrick Whitefield
Patrick Whitefield was one of the first pioneers of Permaculture in the UK. This book explores how we can use permaculture principles and ethics in a temperate climate. Patrick was not just a keen gardener and horticulturist, he also believed in life-long learning. He practiced what he preached and spent his entre life, teaching and inspiring others. Patrick also wrote another amazing book-How to make a Forest Garden, which in itself is a book full of practical book firmly cemented in his experience over many years.