Nature is a complex set of systems and there are a range of different doctrinal approaches that have evolved to support sympathetic agriculture in a range of contexts. I have been exploring a number over the past few years, trying to pick the useful threads and to rationalise the inconsistencies between them. Having thrown a lot of doctrine about, there are several threads which resonate with the system we are developing at Mindrum. Possibly confusingly, they are not completely doctrinally coherent, but each offer pieces of the jigsaw that seem to make sense here.
I am in my second year of formal conversion to Organic Farming and the Organic Farming model is pretty central to what we are doing, however what we need to achieve is both wider and deeper than the Organic Farming framework, it involves a complete change in the way we think about farming, a paradigm shift.
One of the best known agricultural systems, Organic farming, has developed over the 20th century, uses sympathetic methods and natural inputs to produce or process food in a way that benefits soils, ecosystems, animals and people. A number of rigorous certification frameworks exist to give consumers confidence that food marketed as organic conforms to the the appropriate standards. The Organic framework brings with it many advantages, but also a number of challenges. For me, its strength lies with the set of core principles which underpin the doctrine. Whilst I wholeheartedly support these principles (I won’t quote in detail here – they are widely available on the squinternet), I have found the Organic management system doesn’t provide all the tools I need so I have been looking wider. One of my biggest challenges is to pick coherent threads from each discipline and to ensure that they do not compromise each other.