Why farmpunk?

A farmpunk could be described as a neo-agrarian who approaches [agri]culture, community development and/or design with an anarchistic hacker ethos. "Cyber-agrarian" could supplant neo-agrarian, indicating a back-to-the-land perspective that stands apart from past movements because it is heavily informed by conceptual integration in a post-industrial information society (thus "forward to the land" perhaps?) The art and science of modern ecological design—and ultimately, adapting to post-collapse contexts—will be best achieved through the combined arts of cybermancy and geomancy; an embrace of myth and ritual as eco-technologies. In other words: the old ways of bushcraft and woodlore can be combined with modern technoscience (merely another form of lore) in open and decentralized ways that go beyond pure anarcho-primitivism. This blog is an example of just that. Throughout, natural ecologies must be seen as the original cybernetic systems.

**What we call for at the farmpunk headquarters**
°Freedom of information
°Ground-up action + top-down perspectives
°Local agricultural systems (adhering to permaculture/biodynamic principles) as the nuclei of economies
°Bioregional autonomy
°Computers are optional but can be used for good—see peer to peer tech, social media for direct popular management of natural or political disasters (e.g. Arab Spring), or the mission of the hacker collective Anonymous

Saturday, September 13, 2008

All your base are belong to grass.

Okay, so first of all let me tell you that I am not a plant scientist. I don't possess what you might call 'textbook knowledge' of these things. However, I have lived and worked among some wonderful farmers who are graziers at the core. I have a vague plan of continuing to live and work within such systems until I collapse in a pasture somewhere. Plus I really like laying in grass. Call it a hobby.

Really though - you know what I realized the other day? That most of my seemingly disparate passions (cloven-hoofed critters, cheese, biodynamic agriculture, bioremediation, Monsanto-hating, etc.) can in fact be reconciled by one great common denominator: GRASS. This epiphany was a big relief to me, because then I realized that maybe I had finally stumbled upon a pretext that I could sort of unite various ramblings under - thus tricking people into thinking that I must have some sort of vision for a better world. Blogging seemed like an appealing outlet for me (as opposed to the 'talking to one person at a time' game) as well as an opportunity for synergistic communication with the new, and next, generation of farmers. Maybe you are one of these and do not yet know it. I do so hope that this is true.

Hookay - grasses in a nutshell... and go! There are around 10,000 species of them on spaceship earth, classified by us humans in the family Poaceae (also called Gramineae). They now make up a whopping 70% of all cultivated crops. Some celebrity grasses include rice, wheat and maize. These, along with other staple food grains, have basically controlled economies in all human civilizations. In fact, they were what gave humans a chance to settle down and stay put and form economies in the first place. I mean, the second we started threshing and milling stuff into a concentrated starch and then discovering that we were able to store it, there has been nothing but drama. Grass is like the mother of all drama queens. If you aren't convinced yet, just go read the resumés of corn or sugarcane. Them two gals got a LOT of irons in the oven! Seriously.

I want to emphasize that I see this blog as a primarily a pedagogical tool for myself...and for others, if I'm lucky. So please accept my admission in advance that I'm an apprentice at everything I'll discuss here. I'm not too bad with words, though. I think they like me.

to the little green gods, with love,

~the faun

1 comment:

Jennifer McCharen said...

Isaiah sez (40:6): "All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is as the flower of the field." Actually that's God's line, and he means to say that we're weak and he's mighty. But it's one of those nice Book bits to take out of context, whilst we're revering grass instead of feeling all superior to it n stuff. In the next line he (I mean He) sez: "Surely the people is grass." And goes on to explain how he's like the wind and can kick the grass's butt at will. So...lol