Communal Musings

In my last blog I briefly touched on our mission statement, Soil to Community Wellness, which lead to this article.  We at Roots Underwood are blessed to be a part of the Foxhollow Community.  This is an intentional community, whose mission statement is to create a thriving biodynamic community, and we're totally on board with that.  That brings up a few questions, such as, what is a community? What's a thriving community?  How does biodynamics affect a community?  How can we improve the wellness of these Communities?  These are the questions I'd like to address today, and I'd like to point out that I'm no expert, no guru, just a farmer who spends his winter contemplating how to serve his community best.

To start this discussion we need a definition of community, had the following definitions that are most pertinent to this topic; a social group of any size whose members reside in a specific locality.

Ecology. an assemblage of interacting populations occupying a given area.

These definitions let us establish two things.  A community is a social group of any size, and an assemblage of interacting populations.  When I first started meditating on community, I was narrow minded and considered our human community as a separate entity, independent of the ecological communities that I work with on the farm.  To me it was simple, if I focused my energies on feeding and nurturing the soil community, then the plant community would benefit, which would intuitively benefit the independent human community.  As you can see, these are interactive populations, therefore, the scope of a community being limited to our species is very narrow minded.  Since we all eat food, and food comes from  plants or animals that are dependent on the soil life, our communal view should include all aspects of these ecological interactions.

Once we accept that our community is comprised of more than the human element in a given area, the role of biodynamic agriculture makes far more sense.  For those of you unfamiliar with biodynamic farming check out or stay tuned for more blogs... However the basic premise is it's super organic, using no synthetic fertilizers, chemicals, or pesticides.  A biodynamic farmer views the farm as an ecosystem and manages accordingly. When the plants or soil need help the farmer utilizes homeopathic doses of various herbs and compost teas to support their health.  So right there you can see that biodynamic farmers are in the business of cultivating and nurturing communities.  We strive to feed our community, which means feeding everything from the worms to you and that is the premise of Roots Underwood's mission statement soil to community wellness. 

With this in mind, what is a thriving community?  Given that a community is a social group within a locale, that interacts with other populations of that locale, a thriving community would be a robust population that works symbiotically with the others in the community.  In a truly thriving community the individual elements would actively contemplate and seek to benefit the other members.

So how do improve the community wellness?  At this point the premise of a healthy landscape supporting thriving communities is obvious.  Therefore, anything detrimental to one part of the ecosystem, will have a trickle down effect on the wellness of all the others in the community.  If we remember the DDT scare in the 80's and how the use of a pesticide almost eradicated the peregrine falcon, it's easy to see how toxic elements can have a greater impact than we anticipate. At this point I want to remind you that these are philosophies that we (@Roots Underwood) operate under.  Although we have read many scientific articles that link chemical contamination to poor health of any system, this list is far too long, and todays musing is intended to be more philosophical than scientific.  If something is toxic to one element of our community, it is inherently toxic to the rest of the community.  An example is meth, you don't need to use it to feel the negative effects it has on your community.  Only a small portion of a community using this toxin negatively impacts the whole locale.  It can be hard for us to contemplate the macroscopic view of how toxins effect whole systems.  A fungicidal application may seem benign, but healthy plants depend on healthy soil and healthy soil hosts vibrant fungal communities.  At this point I feel like I'm focusing on negatives and we strive to focus our energies in a positive manner, so if toxins effect us all, conversely wholesome inputs benefit us all.  Summarily, thriving communities beget thriving communities.  I hope this is clear as mud, and if you have any questions regarding a holistic approach to wellness, yours or the communities, please contact us.



Matthew Sargent

disclaimer, this blog is written by matt@rootsunderwood, and the verbal imagery does not always reflect the sensible thoughts of his beautiful wife, even if philosophically she agrees with the content.