Farming, Conservation, and Preservation

The argument that environmental or ecological conservation is a luxury is an ignorant and destructive fallacy.  The argument that agriculture is at odds with conservation or restoration is also entirely false.

hollow tree

Farming must be rooted in an ethic that protects its capital; the land and the life on it that makes it function.  If a system is rooted only in the pursuit of money or growth it will quickly deplete its resources and become reliant upon inputs e.g. the typical industrialized farm.  An ethic that promotes sustainable land and ecosystem management, it should be abundantly clear, is self-serving.

The creation of a biologically diverse and resilient landscape appears to many as unproductive.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Permaculture systems are designed to mimic natural ecosystems that provide valuable services.  Those ecosystem services replace expensive and dangerous chemical inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides.   Permaculture systems also provide valuable secondary products such as native seeds, herbs, flowers, mushrooms, honey, etc.

solar owl

People must move away from the idea what is important in a system is the harvest index, bushels per acre, tons per meter, etc. Instead, a new emphasis should be placed on overall sustainable productivity and economic revenue.  Conservation is not a luxury, it is an economic necessity.