This ladybug showed up to eat the aphids in my house.
The summer ahead bears knowns and unknowns. Droughts and floods linger unpredicted in equal parts, along with abundance and failure. What is known is the certainty of a mixture of these elements, and that our designs to receive them are as flawed as we sometimes judge nature to be. Accepting failure is not easy, but acknowledging its likelihood and broadly bracing for it allows failures to be built into the system. Their impact is expected and absorbed, and the experience is incorporated into the functioning of the increasingly resilient farm organism.
This is the lynchpin of diversity. Diverse food systems internalize their resources and their decision-making, and their problems, too. Diverse systems don’t just tolerate external forces; they embrace them. As this internalization grows, the problems shrink, because fewer and fewer events are surprising.
Farms that accept diversity in the landscape are in many ways much larger than their acreage. The number of species that directly impact a given piece of land is vast, and the amount of ground they cover surely exceeds the world’s largest farm, even stretching across continents.
When we look at farming through the lens of diversity, we see that agriculture has always been globalized. If we want to have positive global impact, our approach to food production must be diverse and wide-eyed. To ignore and isolate the disruptions that are clear in our environment is to ask to be surprised. We must work instead to absorb all impact, be it fantastic yields or new pests or evening birdsong.
The summer lies ahead, inevitable and bright. Let your fingers take in the sun and soil, and your plot take in all comers.
Oxalis is generally considered to be a weed (this popped up on its own among my other plants this winter), but the tiny okra-like seed pods are tangy and delicate