The way we view the world is often a reflection of the paradigm of the day, that is the deepest set of beliefs and assumptions a culture has about any given topic at any moment in time. Needless to say, paradigms do shift over time to create the unique circumstance we see on a daily basis, and sometimes this happens rather quickly.
The new shift in thinking seems to be towards sustainable urban food production. Photo taken at AgTechX @matt_horgan
Paradigm shifts: Thinking in cycles not lines
One paradigm of today seems to be the perception of our lives as a series of linear processes. We seem to idolize cause and effect relationships whenever possible in daily life and tend to view most of our experiences through this narrow lens without analyzing the entire picture.
However, thinking of systems in terms of lines tends to be characteristically more predictable and simpler, while systems as cycles are naturally more complex.
Nature’s Cycle by Virginia Lee 2001
Shift towards interconnectedness
A personal shift in assumptions I experienced was while I was taking an ecological agriculture class during my time at SUNY Binghamton. My perception of self shifted from the individual, separate self to a more interconnected sense of identity.
Ecological Agriculture: Nature as model
Ecological agriculture is a term used to describe a type of farming that raised food without any chemical or synthetic fertilizers, to create an agricultural system that mimicked ecological systems that sustain in nature.
The general trend in agriculture since 1950 has been towards large-scale industrial farms that use synthetic fertilizers and chemical fertilizers, but a recent surge in interest in local, organic produce by consumers is causing a paradigm shift in the way we consume and produce food.
Ecological agriculture can be seen in the increased interest in urban farming in recent years. By incorporating sustainable food systems into the built environment, we can improve food security in urban environments.
Sky Vegetables February 2018 By @matt_horgan
We can also use underutilized spaces, like basements, to produce food on land to support the health and to educate our local communities
An example of a hydroponic food system, and what my neighbor calls a “permaponic system”, is seen below (Top: after 6 weeks/Bottom: the before picture).
The potential for ecological agriculture to foster a more harmonious coexistence between human beings and the earth, as well as the practical implications for food security and positive impact on local economies leads me to think that this will become ever more present in our city in the near future.
By @matt_horgan While walking to class at CUNY Brooklyn College, I saw this incredible urban food garden someone created on their front lawn 🙂
I look forward exploring ecological agriculture more on this blog in the future 🙂