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Passive Agriculture

May 12, 2017

 Act without doing;

work without effort;

Think of the small as large;

and the few as many...

 

Passive solar energy is an example of a well understood concept. Instead of heating your house 100% with fossil fuel based power like electric or gas, or even solar panels, we first intelligently design or adapt our houses to mitigate and maximize the sun's potential. Simply by design, one can enhance comfortable living quarters  utilizing the perennial, open source sun at less expense or continual effort. Once the design is implemented  natural forces of nature work for us as long as the sun shines. So it is with perennial agriculture, or passive agriculture by planting native tree crops. If intelligently designed, we can produce food with considerably less intensive fossil fuel inputs, equipment , and wear and tear on the environment. Plants that are perennial don't require the soil to be disturbed through plowing and cultivated throughout the season. They don't need to have seeds purchased and fertilizers and pesticides applied year after year. They passively harness the sun's energy producing food crops year in and year out with or without us. It doesn't have to be the only thing we eat, but at the very least, it is not a bad idea to get your eggs from different baskets.

 

Admittedly, most people at this point cannot depend entirely on passive solar design, but to the level effort is put forth in this regard, is the level we reduce the demand for fossil fuels and extending the availability of these resources into the future. Likewise, in a passive food system, we can begin to transition from a dependence on extractive, high input, annual, commodity agriculture owned and controlled by a very few people, to one where trees are accessible to more of us, and passively serve many functions including:

 

1.) Rebuilding and remineralizing the soil

 

which in turn

2.) produces high quality nutritious food,

 

this

3.) improves the carrying capacity of the land,

 

that will support a booming human population that will benefit from

4.) trees replenishing and purifying our water.

 

When we 

6.) re-localize our food systems,

 

we can

5.) reconstruct vibrant, healthy rural agricultural communities,

 

and all this will contribute to

7.) sequestering atmospheric carbon and begin to stablize our climate

 

Re-establishing  native orchards with an emphasis on  food production will be a lot easier to set up while we still have the fossil fuels, fertility in the soil, and an intact greater environment.  With forethought and support, our comforts and needs will be fulfilled by intelligent design that is less expensive to our pocket book, and our environment. Through this, the re-creation of not only passive food, but passive wealth and autonomy can be returned its rightful owners. 

 

...confront the difficult

while it is still easy;

accomplish the great task

by a series of small acts.

 

-Tao Te Ching

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