“If Harmony is my Abbey, then simplicity, stability, and sustainability are my vows.” — Me
Sustainability is the ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level and avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance. *source: Oxford dictionary
So, maintain or grow, but don’t deplete — balance. A couple of things to note here, I don’t think we can buy our way to sustainibility and I do not believe in commodifying that which should be free. That about sums up my definition, but what does it look like in practice here on our farm? Stay tuned. I hope to have a whole series of posts about how we strive to live sustainably.
Here are just a couple of examples where you can see how principles and questions lead to our practice.
A Sustainability Practice: We do not till or plow our garden.
- Why? It requires petroleum. We prefer people power.
- Why? It kills organisms in the soil. We prefer strong healthy soil.
- Why? It requires nearly perfect weather. We prefer to admit that Spring in southeastern Indiana is wet and deal with it.
- Why? It requires packing down the soil as it turns the soil. We prefer loose, crumbly soil.
- Why? It requires a purchase and maintanence. We prefer a cheaper solution and maintanence that can be done on the front porch. IE: a spade, a hoe, and a pitchfork.
A Sustainability Practice: We do not buy commercial cleaners.
- Why? It requires petroleum. We prefer to use less non-renewable resources.
- Why? It pollutes the waterways. We prefer our water clean and drinkable, not just for us, but for all those downstream too.
- Why? It kills organisms in the soil. We prefer strong healthy soil. (See above, the soil has a lot to do with most of our reasons.)
- Why? It is hard on a septic system and/or a grey water system. We prefer not to replace our current septic — the cost is prohibitive and the concrete is not a renewable resource.
- Why? It requires a purchase that can only be used for one purpose. We prefer to use multi-purpose ingredients.