An Agroforest Manifesto: the Prime Directive of Perma(nent Agri)culture

We urgently need to act to reverse our direction of widespread, rapid & accelerating, deep degradation of Earth’s resources and processes we rely on for survival. Our response needs to be faster than that of governments, and we cannot rely on those invested in degrading ways as they will be an obstacle-or-worse until converted by being shown better ways that they can see from their greedy perspectives. We must act with the long-term care-taking mentality in which it is clear that helping that-which-helps-oneself is…helpful to oneself! We must do the simple and obvious – and fast – to mitigate and adapt as much as possible. We must do the most practical and broad scale – at the foundations of our wellbeing – to mitigate and adapt as much as possible. We must farm and support farms that are both producing what we need and conserving what we need: farms with diversity to increase resilience for farmers and societies; farms with trees to provide long-term value generation while reducing costs of crop nutrient- and risk- management; and a number of other scientifically-supportes, time-tested techniques currently in action but not on nearly a large enough scale. Farmers control the ecology of vast, vast tracts of land. We must act to reverse degredation, to regenerate livelihoods without insurmountable and unending debt, to regenerate landscapes with nutrients and healthy cycles rather than toxins and worsening margins. We must act while in this relatively peaceful period, for it is much easier to shift gears and start building (rather than losing) healthy topsoil on a farm than on the desert conventional farms leave in their wake.

‘The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is now.’

What do you think?