Wild Wisdom : Why the incorporation of untamed genetics is vital to our food system future.
As we watch our world careen towards the next era of deep shifts in planetary cycle, the most important act of adaptation that we can participate in as hyper mobile, hyper informed, androidian human species is to cross pollinate the domesticated world we have created with the wisdom of the wild.
While our domesticated food system has by in large been focused on the trivial dreams of an esthetically obsessed industrial agriculture, breeding tomatoes red, carrots orange, maximizing “production” of a few annual vegetables and domesticated grains, the wild has been quietly digging its roots down deeper, surviving the drought, extending its network of hypha alliances, shoring up its resources for the erratic climate patterning which is to come. While we have been focusing on how much of one thing can we produce at a time, taking species out of their forest structure and placing them in open fields, making barren hybrids of them, selecting for production under conditions we have fabricated but lack the resources to sustain, the wild has been investing in species variation and genetic diversification.
As the rivers dry and rains variate across the globe, the great permafrost melts and flooding and drought become the two main weather cycles, the systems we have built are cracking and crumbling. Our domesticated grown to ship and bred to sell agriculture doesn’t look to stand a chance in the approaching armageddon. It hasn’t been selected for it.
But there is still time to adapt. There is still time to ally with the life forms that have successfully survived a whole slew of cataclysmic events and shifts in cycles.
How would our world look if we did? What would agriculture look like if we started mixing in diverse hedgerows and alternating forest allies with our greedy gramineae offspring? What could we be capable of achieving in terms of production and regenerative economies and ecologies if we partnered with these species as allies in evolution?