It’s a familiar situation to any person who tries to grow food successfully and responsibly: something unforeseeable goes wrong. The rain trickles when it’s supposed to pour, or pours when it’s supposed to trickle; a sudden eruption of pests or weeds decimates half a season’s crop; a piece of vital infrastructure breaks down without warning. It’s the humbling lesson of food production that our local contexts exist in a state of constant change.
Whatever that context may be, from the country farm to the urban garden, circumstances that we have not planned for are bound to arise. Cultivating an ability to adapt new, ecologically conscientious approaches to these changing circumstances is essential to successful food production. Indeed, at the core of the philosophy of Adaptive Agriculture is the belief that adaptation and creativity are the essential qualities required to grow healthy food.
To that effect, Adaptive Agriculture utilizes a broad spectrum of strategies and skill-sets for growing food responsibly. At the heart of these strategies are two parts: A dedication to holistic approaches to stewarding one’s land and livestock while providing sustenance to one’s community and oneself; and the establishment of ever-evolving feedback loops of analysis and improvement for one’s food production enterprise.
Adaptive Agriculture also refers to the necessity to adapt to the reality of climate change in our world, and to develop food systems to healthily feed our world. Mechanized mono cropping, industrial slaughterhouses, and the overuses of harmful pesticides and insecticides have led to global crises of disease, poverty, and erratic destructive weather. To compound this trouble, the number of people finding opportunity (or revenue) in locally scaled, ecologically conscientious, for-profit farming has been drastically depleted.
To deal with these new realities, Adaptive Agriculture acknowledges the need for individuals to develop and grow their own healthy personal relationships with all aspects of food production. This includes building honest, open relationships with one’s community and oneself. In the philosophy of Adaptive Agriculture, it can be said that every individual must invent agriculture for his/herself.