I too often feel a victim of economics. Participating in a system that I don’t believe in, that doesn’t reflect my values or the real costs of anything.
At the same time, I am fascinated by the subject, perhaps in an effort to regain my own authority, so I was actually really excited to go to Switzerland to hear what others had to say about what kind of economics actually are appropriate for biodynamic agriculture.
The conference was insightful and incredibly varied with inspiring stories from all across the world. This went way beyond the box schemes of community supported agriculture! If you would like some inspiration of your own check out some of these:
Teikei Coffee – community supported coffee from Mexico to Germany by sailboat.
Hansalim – Korean initiative connecting consumers with producers, keeping food local and promoting life-saving agriculture.
Eosta – providing consumers with information about the growers of their food and the true costs of their produce.
At the heart of the conference this became clear for me – in order to take hold of the economic process, I need to penetrate it with human interest and make it work with human interaction. Then there is the possibility of working with real value, my values and the values of others.
Much as I would wish (sometimes) to simply remove myself from the economy to the best of my ability, that is not really a human solution, nor is it one that really works collaboratively with human beings and nature. The challenge is really much greater, the challenge is interest.
For someone involved in biodynamics this is obvious, the farm organism includes soil, plants, animals, landscape and humans in all their social messiness and imperfection. It is one of the unusual aspects of biodynamics after all, that social interactions on the farm need attention alongside fertility of the soil. That without human activity the possibilities for harmony may be limited.
Just because something is obvious, doesn’t make it easy, but it is a truly human activity.