The “Regional Mosaic” of Permanent Agriculture

As we navigate through this Monsanto-free minefield for six weeks, we have the overt goals of getting people to stop eating genetically modified foods and to contribute to international efforts at having GM products clearly labeled.  Yet, the foundation of that goal is seeking transformative social justice in which people reclaim autonomy and power over the food systems which sustain us from the multinational corporations which have appropriated them.  What does that transformation look like? How do we get there?

At last Saturday’s Northeastern Organic Farmers Association, New Jersey’s (NOFA-NJ) annual winter conference at Princeton University, Andrew Faust of the Center for Bioregional Living hosted a workshop on the concept of a bioregional economy that encompasses a confluence of issues:  restoration ecology, land use equity, sustainable agriculture, responsible economy, and social justice.  It is about development of agricultural practices in context with a deeper look at the landscape of the region, appropriate to the geography and heritage of the place.  It is about accountable stewardship of urban cityscapes to dramatically reduce the enormous waste generated by those spaces.

Andrew asks, “How do we retrofit this infrastructure to be more ecologically sound and socially responsible?” He seeks the answer to this question in permaculture, articulating the interconnectedness of ecology and economy and describing tangible, simple, and yet somehow revolutionary urban and rural designs .

Ultimately, Andrew Faust wants us to begin to “nurture our nature” rather than our culture, as our culture often has misguided ideas.  So as we think about a people-focused food web to replace the corporate-dominated food chain, it is to insightful and brilliant thinkers and doers like Andrew we could turn for guidance and inspiration.

As overwhelming as this Monsanto-free endeavor feels at times, we can take heart in knowing people like Andrew are out there, propagating a wisdom from which all of us can benefit.



About A Patented Life

Documentary-Style Social Work Project December 15, 2011 – April 1, 2012 Our Mission This is about seeds. A Patented Life is a project documenting our 6 week personal rejection of the genetically modified seeds that compromise the food on our tables, small farms around the world, and our relationship to the land. Through genetic engineering and US patent law, Monsanto Inc., the company which brought us Agent Orange, leads the way in dominating our world’s seed supply. The purpose of this project is to activate the public to stop Monsanto’s genetic experiment on our food and livelihoods in its tracks. We are returning to real foods and inviting eaters of the world to do the same. Goals *To get people to stop consuming GMO products by sowing seeds of doubt around the safety and ethics of genetic engineering(GE) *Contribute to the work of existing community movements about this human rights issue Come Join Us!! Here are a few ways to get involved: *Subscribe and Contribute photographs, articles, thoughts, experiences, and questions to: A Patented Life on Facebook (Community page) Ready to go GMO free? Join us anytime from January 15th- February 26th, 2012. We are going for 6 weeks- Join us for a day, a week, or even multiple weeks and keep us posted on the experience! Or just follow our journey, join in the discussion, and check out our Task of the Week on our facebook page. Looking forward to the organic adventure with everyone!! Together, we are stronger! Ready to be filmed? Contact us for an interview! Email:

Posted on February 1, 2012, in Farming, Mary, Monsanto. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: