Coming from a rural village myself I was always surrounded by people producing food, by farms, and trees and how the sun everywhere magically turned earth through plants into food.
At first I didn’t do much with this background and surrounding. I somehow had the idea that I was very different from the people I grew up with who became farmers and construction workers, I thought I was separate from my surrounding, immersing myself instead in books and studies in the big city.
I studied philosophy, history and international relations before turning a bit back to my roots with nature and environment studies and a minor in sustainable entrepreneurship. It was in these last two studies and my personal interests that I found something which might be construed as a calling.
I read about the biosphere 2 project in America and how humans time and time again failed to grasp the complexities of our natural world and, in our attempts to make it ‘better’, only brought us further away from what matter. I realized this was the case in agriculture also and when in my history studies we were delving into the industrial revolution things started to add up further.
More and more I was convinced that the way we do stuff, specifically also in the way we interact with our environment and how we sustain ourselves is not sustainable. Agriculture was broken. And it had a lot to do about how humans interact with their environment in general besides how we see time, focusing on short term gains and loading up on a big debt, both financial as well as ecological, towards the future.
This led me on a path to look into alternatives, I found permaculture and food forests and there it seemed humans could cooperate instead of dominate nature and make both nature and humans flourish.
It still had some flaws though. Seeing a food-forest and permaculture systems are mostly a long term strategy, but investors, and landlords for that matter, required a more instant gratification.
So for permaculture influenced agriculture to fit into the capitalist system, it first needed some finetuning.
With inspiration from Native American cropping systems and a system I called ‘the three circles’ it seemed finally possible to adapt the food forest concept in such a way that it a system of agriculture that was was both economical and ecological viable.