I am currently reading The One-Straw Revolution, by Masanobu Fukuoka.
Published in 1975, I read through it and stop to ponder, often, as so much of it seems to be the same information my Dad shared with me, and yet, I look around me and sometimes, it’s hard to tell just how many truly listen to the message.
The swales referred to in my permaculture course, this book and the like, were known to me in my childhood – we called them terraces, here.
The lands surrounding my childhood home held many of these terraces. Many miles of earthworks to re-route water during spring floods and to hold water or prevent erosion were put in place, locally, by our local conservation district office.
To this day, Double El Conservation District continues to maintain long ago installed infrastructures, even though National interest, and thus, funds, have gone away.
In my youth, they were areas of the pasture that needed care when driving a truck across and were rather good for learning to do mild jumps on your first motorcycle – (when it wasn’t a drought year, that is – no vehicles in pasture if it’s dry, don’t ya know…)
But I also knew where the first spring flowers would turn up. Where to watch out for muddy/soft areas – all because of the gentle mounds, dips and curves that rolled through our land.
Thankfully, I have many in my circle who I can call and ask,
“Hey, I’m reading about (such-and-such). Isn’t that the same thing as what we did back when? Why did we stop doing that?”
So far, to each question, the answer has been, not everyone stopped doing it, many still do – but an exponential increase of following generations didn’t occur, so it looks/feels like it’s dying away –
Maybe so, or maybe not – I shall report back if ever I know for certain.
In the end, I closed out this week with a good long phone chat with my farmer brother to the north. I don’t know if I’ll ever talk him into going Permaculture Rogue, or letting me try my hand at his canvas, once I get this current one completed –
But, I do know this, our love of the land, each in our own way, binds us just as closely as our shared DNA does.