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  • Hannah Apricot Eckberg

    May 22, 2019 at 8:24 pm

    Thank you for the contributions of fascinating material I’ve seen here thus far. I apologize if this entry deviates from any current topics, but I do not have internet access at my house and most of my posts must be pre-written and pasted in when I am able to access the net. Here is something for the ecological healer ( Earth Doctors? ) to chew on.

    In the Pacific Northwest, we don’t have the same eroded landscapes and deserts as in other parts of the world. Our deserts are not dry and sandy, but they are deserts of another sort – our deserts are monoculture agriculture in the flat lands, and monoculture Douglas Fir tree farms in the mountains. These lands need restoration because they are deserted of life and heavily polluted by herbicides and pesticides. But how can we restore these private properties? How can we get a chisel in to take these lands back?

    Guerrilla reforesting has been proposed as a possible solution to increasing the diversity of the monoculture Doug-Fir farms – and there are several, if not more than several people already engaged in this technique.

    The accompanying idea proposed for the conventional agricultural fields are Masanobu Fukuoka inspired seedbombs. Large seedbombs full of aggressive (but beneficial) plants such as blackberry, dandelion, burdock, plantain, grasses, buckwheat, thistle, native plants, etc. Some call them “weeds” but we know better.

    Initially, I found the flaws of these techniques to be obvious. If we plant other trees in monoculture Doug-Fir farms, they will simply be eradicated because they spray such farms with broad leaf herbicides. ( YECH!) The same is true in conventional agriculture. Other introduced species are simply managed as any other weed – doused with herbicides. Nothing would survive the chemical assault and the effort would be futile…And then I started to wonder…So yes, if one person threw a seedbomb into a field, it would just be sprayed. If one person planted trees in the Doug-Fir deserts, they would be sprayed…but what if 100 people were doing this? What if 1000? What about 1 million people? The idealistic quality of this answer begins to fade. 10 million?

    I am reminded of a scene in “Princess Mononoke” by Hayao Miyazaki? (Highly recommend) The leader of the city is shooting her gun at the ape tribe. She says with exasperation: “Oh they just keep coming back…every night they are out there planting trees, trying to turn the mountain into a forest again.”

    But I don’t want to have to dodge bullets. In conclusion, I think this answer might be a piece of the puzzle, but probably not a complete picture. There are other avenues worth exploring that are more in line with the system (and law) that might be more feasible. How can we convert conventional farmers to be more ecologically minded? ( A challenging proposition.) How can we leverage these lands back into the hands of organic farmers, responsible foresters, land trusts, and even government protected park lands? This takes Big $$$ or a lot of bureaucracy. Seedbombs and tree seedlings are cheaper and maybe even faster.

    There is much more to think about, but thought needs to be followed by action. Last night I was watching Star Wars for the 167th time (not really) Han Solo yells: “ NO TIME TO DISCUSS THIS IN A COMMITTEE!”