Reclaiming the Honorable Harvest: Robin Kimmerer

It’s not the land that’s broken, it’s our relationship with the land that’s broken, and you and I can heal that.

Robin Kimmerer is a botanist, a writer and member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. She teaches in the Department of Environment and Forest Biology at SUNY-ESF, where she is the director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment. She is active in efforts to respectfully bring the wisdom of traditional ecological knowledge together with the tools of western science for our shared concerns for sustainability. Kimmerer is the author of “Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses,” which received a John Burroughs Medal. Her talk, “Reclaiming the Honorable Harvest: Indigenous Knowledge for a Sustainable Future,” examines ways in which traditional indigenous approaches to the environment and harvest as practiced by the Potawatomi can teach us valuable lessons about healing our own relationship to the living earth.

A Lesson On Adaptation: Invasive Plant Treating Invasive Disease

During a talk on adaptation at a permaculture gathering (this video @ time 03:38 – 04:12), a speaker pointed out that as climate changes, ticks carrying Lyme disease are coming deeper into the Northeast USA, as are non-native invasives such as Japanese Knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum). Both of these new things are taken as problems, popping up more than ever in places disturbed by humans, and the conventional treatments for them are high-doses of synthetic anti-biotics and herbicide spraying and cutting respectively (both of which I’ve experienced as very unpleasant, and not guaranteed effective, for everything except maybe chemists and their sales).

The speaker at this gathering pointed out that as inhabitants of Earth we too must adapt, and if we try to rather than wage war on our enemies, then we may find a much easier way to go about things – it turns out Japanese Knotweed, which is popping up imperialistically and quickly regenerating itself, has many medicinal uses including as food treatment for Lyme disease (which, however you treat it, calls for a sustained healthful diet and accompanying gut flora/immune system).

For more information on Japanese Knotweed as a treatment for Lyme disease, see:
http://www.hawthornehillherbs.com/node/148

Ron Finley Highlighting a Revolution: Geurrilla Gardening

The article The Next American Revolution Has Begun And This Is What It Looks Like, listed on Resilient Communities, features guerrilla gardener Ron Finley and his work in South Central Los Angelas, USA, where he grew up and now raises children of his own. The article emphasizes that significant change, a food-security revolution even, toward greater liberty and vitality is possible for individuals and communities, and that this change may be brought about by “decentralization of everything[, which] is the key to building a thriving local economy”. Ron Finley shares a similar message of localization (at least of food) and leads the article by example in the featured TED Talk which shows him working to regain “control over his food supply and health, while also setting his community on a path towards resilience and independence.”

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A House Out of Alignment: An Etymology of Consumer Economy

Our word “economy” comes from the ancient Greek word oikonomia, meaning “household management, thrift,”. Our word “consumption” was first used to define a disease that wasted the body, and comes from the Latin word “consumptio”, meaning “a using up, wasting,”. The roots of these words clearly show the roots of both our current economic and ecological problems. …

On troublesome conventional agriculture – an article titled “Why vegetarianism will not save the world”

“The truth is that agriculture is the most destructive thing humans have done to the planet, and more of the same won’t save us. The truth is that agriculture requires the wholesale destruction of entire ecosystems. The truth is also that life isn’t possible without death, that no matter what you eat, someone has to die to feed you.”

The above is an excerpt from this article on Metador Network, “Why vegetarianism will not save the world”. Below I will share a comment of mine on this article shared via Facebook and quote the parts of the interview which stood out to me.

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Networking – I give thanks

A friend of mine explained why the goat and the cow he owns does not live in his backyard and in doing so, shared with me a valuable lesson: for herd animals, such as cows (or humans), it is stressful to be isolated and wellness necessitates some degree of community. Since then the lesson has grown on me. I’ve grown to better recognize the place of the hermit-personality and of the community in one’s life. This post shares a little bit about the role and value of community in my life.
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