Its 2020, also standing for clear vision.
About 10,000 years ago a farming revolution took over the world, in the last decades a lot of amazing work has been done on the subject and the emerging story is that farming did not evolve as a result of need of possibly climate change as was believed before, but in fact it was a revolution of belief, a magical new start.
Behind this new paradigm shift was shamanic voyaging, people that used to gather annually or at intervals, but lived as nomads, and their magical and tribal trance into other realms of awareness is very possibly the very thing that made them come together for longer periods, eventually ending up in sedentary settlements. This is when they gave us farming, they were magicians and they took their magic and invested it in their immediate surrounding, changing the grass seeds that grew in the hills around them to the wheat we eat now, they turned wild animals into domestic cows, sheep and goats.
Now 10,000 year after, we are living on the earth we inherited from them, but we are at a cross road, because in a way we lost the magical world views they had, and the ceremonial, yet we still farm like they did, in fact we did not really change much since, we clear our fields in the way they did, and having no flood plains to count on, we usually artificially or in some better cases, organically fertilise our fields.
Yet 10,000 years of farming, and amassing wealth, and making the land itself more expensive is seeing us at a cross road now, farming is no as sustainable as it was before, and instead of addressing the issue we find technological ways around it. The UK is on the brink of a new countryside policy, which may end up as farmers growing nature instead of food, harvesting carbon emission sinks for people in the cities, and although this is an interesting idea, it leaves little room for the magical farming past of which our life is based in this last epoch.
We have spent years researching a model for sustainable integration between farming, tourism, and country living. I talk to small projects that confront the various issues, to understand how we should farm now, how should we take people into holidays in the countryside, what is the role of the countryside in society, things have changed so much, and yet there is this apathy, the people writing the policies are out of touch, and so those little projects, each working for years in his own sector, like small scale forestry, anthropologists working in abandoned villages in central Europe, farm to table etc etc, those are my idea of the real policy makers.
To help confront this issue in the UK, we are looking to come up with a new integration of our work with farming, that is now our main focus, this means we run a programme that is dedicated to farms, in which we try and design a new type of farming paradigm, where organic food and social innovation come together. We look for farms mainly in rural areas. A lot is changing in the subsidies system, meaning that places that rely heavily on animal stock, may lose all their livelihood, places like mid Wales and the North.
It is no longer an idea but a necessity, farming is becoming more and more so extinct, it has been abused by the ruling class for 10,000 years, so farmers were always poorer, but we never got to a point that they were not needed.
We look for old farms, and small and traditional situations places that may have been sold at auction, with an investor that finds it hard to see how to make money from the farm, hill farms. The idea is to turn those into the new farming revolution, where organic heritage wheat, and forest gardening take place, where sustainble forestry programmes can make the owners a living, and where glamping has a role in integration with it all.
We have spoke with over 200 projects now, so it is obvious that there is a new trend, and that although people are a little confused, there is more and more people interested in turning farming on its head, to come back to peasant farming. If you have this type of farm, or situation and are looking for a new solution please contact us to talk about it.
We can help you set up the glamping part, in some cases we may even be able to take the farm on and develop some of it with you, we work with a list of small companies that make yurts, huts, cabins and more, so where we can not meet demand we can engage others who have similar outlook.
I hope we can take the year 2020 and stop waiting for someone else to make up the policies for us, I hope the farming sector can turn itself on its head, and that we can see a more local economy approach and the return to the magical roots of farming.