Parasite – an organism that lives on or in an organism of another species, known as the host. A person or being who receives support or advantage from another or others without giving any useful or proper return, one who lives on the hospitality of others.

You are a native, organic being. You are designed to steward and enrich the earth. The earth, properly cared for, is a fully self-sustaining source of life, health, and nourishment to its inhabitants. Humans are charged with the wonderful responsibility of maintaining proper care for the earth. Our love and care for our children and for generations to follow is on display through our care for the lands we pass along. Our feelings of affection or sentimentality for our children will not leave behind a healthy planet. Love does something. 

Likewise, bureaucratic efforts are not equal to the challenge of fostering or leaving behind a healthy planet. Politicians all over the political spectrum give homage to environmental issues, using approximately the right rhetoric and passing bills to fund large industries purportedly dedicated to decreasing carbon emissions, reducing greenhouse gases, and slowing climate change. Their net “benefit”, to date, has been an increase of carbon emissions, greenhouse gases, and little to no effect on the climate. Asking governments and industries to steward the environment is like asking a mouse to herd cattle. At best, the mouse will be ignored. At worst, their skittering little presence on the ground will evoke a negative, fearful response from the herd. While, believe it or not, mice do have purpose, they are incapable of purpose as it pertains to herding cattle. They are of the wrong nature, size, and temperament to do so. It is not their role. However, herding cattle is the role of a good herding dog. (see picture of ours below)

There are few things more beautiful than a natural being fulfilling its naturally designated purpose. People, like a good herding dog with cows, were designed to steward land. In today’s world this can take on a few different faces. It may be gardening or composting. It may be covering exposed ground with grasses….or planting trees…or raising bees. It may be owning a couple of chickens to convert table scraps back into food (eggs…more on that idea at a later date.) These, and the like, are good at-home ways to contribute. They may look insignificant, but in the economy of land health there are no small contributions. The solution will not be found in one giant discovery, legislation, or industry. The solution is the sum of our seemingly small, human contributions and strong, principled choices over time.  

At the risk of sounding like an enormous self promoter, let me offer one more solution. Buy your food locally. “Buy local” is a cheeky little buzz phrase typically chanted by people who have no idea what it means or why it matters. Like a lot of good, virtuous ideas it has been pilfered by posturers more interested in self-perception than in societal-reality. When you buy local food from responsible, local growers you are taking part in an agricultural effort to reorder a devastating ecological equation. For 100 years this equation has been: 

Food Consumers + Food Consumption = Negative Environmental Impact = Depleted Human Health = Healthcare Dependance = Healthcare Crisis
repeat, repeat, repeat

This, of course, is oversimplified, but, only in that it leaves out other untold (and undiscovered) negative consequences. There is no redeeming element to this equation. By definition, this equation identifies human food consumers as parasites to the earth’s environment. (read above definition one more time) And, as parasites within the current cycle, we are dependent on a host with an ever-decreasing state of health…which means our health is also ever-decreasing. This was never the design. It is a dysfunctional farce we have chosen to embrace. Nature’s equation is simple and complete:

Thoughtful, Reasonable Humans + Responsibly Grown Food = Land Health = Human Health
multiply, multiply, multiply

This equation is also oversimplified. There are a myriad of other positive local and global impacts when humans eat thoughtfully and reasonably. This equation identifies humans as part of a symbiotic relationship. A relationship where one variable adds to another in a continuos cycle of growth and replenishment. In this relationship we are not suckers like worms inside a dog or flies on the hide of a cow. In this relationship we are compliments to our host and environment. We make it flourish. This kind of a complimentary relationship is happening right now in your community. WonderTree is growing in health as a result of local people investing into a local farm that is growing better food on healthier land using less non-renewable resources for production. Every home putting WonderTree’s pastured foods on the table is a solution in itself. A solution more effective and sustainable than any political administration’s conservation-flavored edicts, whether liberal or conservative.

Parasites eventually deplete their host to the point of death. That is the road we are on in modern agriculture. Folks, this will not end well. Find a local farm. Meet your farmer. Be picky about their processes. Invest in your health and community by investing in local farms. 

Be a solution. Don’t be a sucker.

Hunter Smith
March 4th, 2021

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