Wednesday, November 30, 2016

November News from the World: An Important Message

News from the Woods World
a monthly digest of resources, events, and people in forestry & agroforestry

November 2016

View it online, as well as past issues:

This month’s update is going to be different.  Given recent events that redefine this time in history, we must pause for a moment and take in the big picture.

No matter who you supported, or didn’t support, for the recent US election (even those of you outside the US), it is hard to deny that these events have greatly elevated many fundamental questions about beliefs and values in democracy and in people. It’s clear that people all over the world will be affected by the coming administration, its policies and priorities.

In a two party system, when there are only two sides presented, few people, if any, will find a perspective that fully matches their viewpoints. The reality is that each person on this planet carries with them a unique perspective, one that comes from their upbringing, personal experiences, and goals for living the life they desire.

We believe firmly that people have a right to their beliefs, so long as they don’t impede the freedom of others. There is no reason people need to oppress any group of people in the pursuit of their own destiny.

We denounce and refuse to support any individuals, institutions, or groups that judge or threaten the freedom of any people on the base of race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, creed, disability, veteran's status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

In reality, each of us is seeking to live our lives, support our families, and perhaps play a meaningful role in the world. Everyone has the right to explore life, work, and engage in hobbies and pursuits they find personally enriching.

We had planned to launch a fundraising campaign last week for the new Silvopasture book Steve is writing, however, we are postponing this effort at this time. It is a time of great uncertainty and unrest for too many. Rather than looking ahead, and asking for money, now is a time for reflection, discussion, and action in our local communities, as a nation, and as humanity.

If you are reading this, we sincerely hope you will consider how you will work to uphold the values that support peace and justice in our global society. Thinking, feeling, and reflecting must be followed by action.

Part of our reflecting has led us to doubling-down on our efforts in farming and forestry, where we demonstrate and advocate for better ways to grow the foods and medicine’s that sustain us while also supporting healthy trees, forest landscapes and ecosystems.

At the core of our farm, the books we’ve written, and the classes we teach is the notion that humanity can rebuild its broken relationship with the natural world and support its regeneration, while also providing needs for people to survive and thrive.

When Steve wrote Farming the Woods, the goal was to expand the possibilities of what one could do with their forest land and encourage farmers to see more value in their wooded lands.

The current book on Silvopasture expands this idea further, focusing on a farming system that is among the best in offering both a economic solution for rural landscapes, along with an ecology that increases a landscapes resilience to climate change. The book will bring together the stories and science to help more people adopt the practice on their farms and homesteads around the US.

In the coming months, we will be sharing snippets of this work, as we consider how silvopasture offers solutions to our broken food system, from the way we confine and feed animals processed grains, to the challenges agriculture as whole faces in a climate that is rapidly changing in unpredictable ways. Stay tuned for updates each month.

In this way, we are re-focusing and recommitting to this work as ever more important. While we also consider steps to address issues of social inequity in our lives, we are inviting your ideas about how forest farming, silvopasture, and farming relate to social justice and equity in our world. 

We welcome your thoughts and are open to constructive dialogue from all corners as we continue to work on being good humans on this good earth.

Take care of yourself, and each other.

Steve & Elizabeth