I turned 75 this year so I get to give some perspective on the state of the world. Here is some of the good news that is not being reported these days. I should begin by acknowledging that, oh, yes, there are lots of things that are getting worse, but many things are getting better, too.
In 1976 when I was starting to manage a little apple orchard organically, the general consensus and what I was told, was that “there are two crops you cannot grow organically: apples and cotton”. Lesson: don’t believe everything the experts tell you about what we can’t do.
When I started Harlequin’s Gardens in 1992, people were not that interested in native plants: “they’re kinda scruffy-looking”. Lesson: people can change their views and wake up to a more intelligent and ecological perspective.
Ten years ago at Harlequin’s we used to be asked for plants that didn’t attract bees, “you know, they sting”. Now gardeners want to plant Pollinator Gardens to attract and support them. Lesson: our world is coming to the realization that humans are only one of the important beings on the planet.
Not long ago if a teacher was asked what is soil, the answer was “clay, sand and silt”. Now more and more people are aware that our soil is biological as well as mineral and that that biology is essential to plant health. Lesson: what we can’t see is important and microbiology is a leading edge of our awakening.
Organic food is continually increasing in market share and is acknowledged as valuable to our health and to the health of our land. Even buying organic landscape plants has moved from “why bother” to “important to our pollinators and to our family’s food”. Lesson: even the power of the petroleum world view can’t keep common sense in the dark forever.
These are just a few of the inklings that our world is on the mend, and none too soon. It’s good to acknowledge that things are getting better and to change our lives so they get better, faster.