The Family Farm
The world is suffering a great global bellyache. The abusedearth simply cannot digest the stuff that is dumped and spread over the land, sprayedand exhausted into the air and washed and spilled into the seas.
During nearly 40 years of the constant concern and efforts byconservationists, and the spending of huge sums of public and private money, thedeterioration of the environment has continued to accelerate. CONSERVATION NEVERWILL BE ENOUGH!
Although general awareness of the out-of balance landscapesand the consequences of new pollutants is recent, many anti-landscape processes areof long standing. In the old world with small numbers of people the wide Balanceof Nature was little disturbed. However, the world today seems small for a populationso great: there are few landscapes or processes of Nature which remain undisturbedto balance the wide violations of man.
The nature of the species Homo sapiens led eventually to thewinning of all the freedoms he demanded. But the freedoms of man left freedom itselfopen to be abused. Man finds himself again enslaved by the institutionalisation ofhis freedoms.
The freedom of organisation has given business the right tokill. It is obvious that murder shortens life, but many enterprises do not agreethat shortening life is killing. So they continue their onslaught on human life byusing the power of money to persuade us to buy things which as food or in use, shortenlife. These selfish money interests are causing us all, particularly little children,to be less alive in life and quicker dead. Their deadly game has been the cause ofan irrevocable split in society. An expanding group of people will not take partin any activity which will help the continuance of the established order which sanctionssuch activities. They have rejected and left the rat races of the business worldand the workers life. They are not drop-outs, but they opt out of the machinery ofthe Establishment. In a large measure they think as great numbers of other peoplethink but there is this difference; they are backing up their convictions by actingon them in their lives. They already constitute a head society since they includein their number so many with outstanding intelligence and sincerity. The Human EnvironmentRevolution has need of their qualities and their dedication.
If my analysis of the landscape design of Nature; of soil andlandscape processes, and of the bastardisation of agriculture, are correct; the onlyanswer to the depravity and destruction of our environment and for the consequentinhumanity of society is a re-union of mankind with the natural landscape and theways of Nature.
Firstly, it is proposed that the City Forest be the major stepfor the cities; secondly; all country towns should be redesigned to include theirown City Forest in preparation for increased population, and thirdly, there is THEFAMILY FARM, and the redesign of the whole farming landscape. Fourthly is the needfor the creation of new cities.
It was stated in Chapter 2, "the farm was and still remainsthe most critically important landscape of man." THE MOST IMPORTANT LAND ONEARTH FOR HUMAN SURVIVAL AND THE WELFARE OF MANKIND, COULD WELL BE THE FAMILY FARMS--THEPRIMARY COMMUNITY UNITS LIVING IN HARMONY WITH LANDSCAPE! The important people arethe rebel farmers who have not been bastardised and who have stuck to the healthyand meaningful way of working with their soil and of farming with Nature.
Great pressures have been exerted on the farmers to force themto follow the will of the Establishment. The degradation of agriculture substitutedquantity for quality in food. The healthy balance of mixed farming enterprises wereimmediately at a disadvantage with the over speciallsed one-crop type of agriculturewhich was urged on the farmers. Eventually thousands of farmers were forced intoline by financial circumstances alone.
The ghoulish impositions of probate have been sapping the substanceof the family farms for a long time. Probate, which was originally imposed to breakup the great estates of Britain, has remained to become a macabre joke on everyone.Its damaging effects were worst on the farming families. But probate did not affectthe rising institutions. With their own "everlasting life" they have beenable to acquire and to accumulate over the generations, enormous wealth and power,and wide control over the environment. They are now either a sector of the Establishmentor they exercise a compelling measure of control over it.
The make-believe of subsidies and assistance to farmers invariablyfinished as cash in the hands of the institutions. But the real objective is clearlyshown in the arrogant demand of the Establishment for farmers to "get big orget out". A further damage to the future of healthy farming is the restraintswhich the Establishment has placed on the children of farmers who want to go on theland.
The concern of institutions is not with human welfare. Theyshould be humanised by being permitted to die regularly and pay probate. An institutionalprobate is just, but probate on private lives is not.
The family farm is now critically stressed. It is my contentionthat the young people must fight as for their own lives to save these farms and theirpeople. The young people and the farming families have great need of each other.They are alike because, almost alone, both have continued to fight for real freedomand living space.
Healthy farms have much to offer the young people. Practicallythe only sources of good food are these farms. This does not decry the fact thatfruit and vegetables of superlative flavour and goodness are grown in home gardenswhere the fertility of the soil is maintained and continuously improved by the additionof properly prepared compost. (See Sir Albert Howard's, "An Agricultural Testament"and "Farming and Gardening For Health or Disease.")
With the Industrial Revolution in England 'cheap food' was thecry of the industrialists. Their concern was to keep wages down and profits up. Cheapfood for the working people became the popular aim of governments. The effect ofthe policy was to encourage mono-culture in the new lands--which eventually led tothe loss of fertility of large areas of fertile soil--and cause the decline in farmingand in the fertility of the soil in the older continental countries.
Status symbols also played a part in the loss of the wholesomenessof food. There was the status of "White." White bolted flour, white refinedsugar, white bread, white rice were at first dearer than their wholesome counterparts.Only the more affluent could afford them, so everyone wanted them and later got themas they became staple items of diet. Now there are few items of food which escapethe processors and profit seekers. Perhaps we need a Brown Australia policy.
The continuous decline in the fertility of the soil and theloss of the real goodness of food has led to the degenerative diseases and thoseformerly specific to old age, attacking ever more youthful sections of the population.Modern food is no longer cheap--except in quality.
However, there is a revolution in thinking taking place on thesubject of food. It is no secret now-a-days that good fruit, vegetables, meat andgrains grow only on fertile soil without the application of artificial fertilisersand poison sprays. It is being realised that the one feed for producing the finesttaste and goodness in meat, is good pasture growing on fertile soil. The productsof the pig are much tastier when it can get out onto grass and not live eternallyon concrete. It is something to speak of when a chicken is eaten which grew up withsoil and pasture beneath its feet. It does not look like the pale bloated corpsesin their celephane coffins of the battery produced article. The taste is somethingmany have forgotten and some have never experienced. And what about an egg whichdoes not have the pale insipid yolk or the watery white of the wire mesh caged henfed on unnatural feed. Even fish, of which there is an increasing doubts of its freedomfrom contamination, can be grown pollution free in ponds on the healthy farms. Weproduced fish in farm dams in water which drained off good soil. They grew quicklyand were all that could be desired.
A successful Human Environment Revolution will depend on youthand the 'rebel' farmer. A simple way to get the best for the environment from thesefarmers is to buy the good food which they produce. They must be made prosperousand given their rightful place in the community. There are too few of them now buttheir numbers would be swelled quickly with the demand for wholesome food.
If cities are to be given the landscape balance of health andgood living a new agricultural revolution is necessary--and the rebel farmers areneeded in the forefront.
A necessary first step is for the two groups of critically importantpeople to get together and to get to know each other. The place of meeting shouldbe on the good land of the farmers. Here again youth will lead! It would be presumptuousto suggest to the young people what they should do. It is only necessary to say tothe farmers--if you want to develop real fertility in your soil--if you want to growonly food of complete wholesomeness and get the benefits of your labour--if you wantto grow healthy fish--if you want your land to become a farmscape of outstandinghealth, balance and beauty; by-pass the Establishment and ask for assistance andthe co-operation of youth! If you lack contacts write to Keyline, P.O. Box 165, Paddington,2021, New South Wales, Australia.
Quite apart from the consideration of healthy landscapes andthe production of food, there is a nostalgic longing for the country and for participationin farm life by thousands of city people. The principal tourist attraction for cityfolk could become their visits to farmer friends in the country.
Instead of the drift away from the land to the city, there isa need for more people on the land. There can be good business in the diversificationof the farming enterprise and the successful background to this move is a fertilesoil.
General reader; if you would like your surrounds in either thecity or the country designed and developed on the lines we have discussed, your wishescan be expressed in local and community activities and the ballot boxes.
When you go out in the country, or outside your front door andare able to see the shape of the land through the structures of the city; look ata main ridge--the sky line. Look at the depression below it which is the primaryvalley with its primary ridges on either side. Look at the water lines of the naturallandscape--the contours of shore lines and the drainage lines of water courses. Lookalso at the placing of trees--or their rarity in the cities; look at the green foliageand grass--or the dry bare soil and the concrete. Let the Landscape Design of Natureremind you that your survival depends on the Human Environment Revolution.