Today marks the first day of launching the website for Resilient Ecology Systems and Design. We are dedicated to finding ways to improve life through recognizing, using, and copying natural systems in a responsible and sustainable way. The blueprints and design principles for a better physical life are all around us and have already been perfected by God. We just need to humble ourselves to take notice of these natural systems and carefully adapt them to our own uses.
I think that it is fitting to start off by recognizing God is the master designer, and to be thankful in the knowledge that we can study and adapt to our uses what has already been created. Our folly as humans is usually to assume that we know more than nature. We are easily prone to oversimplify and grossly mismanage natural resources to suit our needs. Look at the widespread adoption of monoculture farming and our reliance on GMOs, artificial fertilizer, and pumping subsurface water for irrigation. These practices are destroying our natural ecology AND also hurting our ability to provide for ourselves in the future. They are fragile systems prone to disruption, failure, and lots of unintended (and unknowable) consequences. God has created an "antifragile" system in nature that not only adapts to change, but thrives in it. Compare the monoculture practice that we have now with the food forests that can be created into a biodynamic system. We should aim to study and adopt these more resilient design principles in our lives and landscapes. It may take a long time to change our current practices on a large scale, but we always have the power to change what we do in our own lives. Do you choose fragility or resilience?
Not only can we be thankful today for the systems that God has provided us, but also for the bountiful food sources. Many of us will be enjoying Turkey, potatoes, stuffing, etc today - but we should not limit our conception of food to the things that we may eat on a regular basis. Our food supply chain has limited variety compared to the diverse variety of tasty foods that are available in nature. I sincerely believe that even without access to grocery stores or restaurants filled with food grown in far-off places it is possible to live off the local wild lands. Hunter-gatherers survived in virtually every environment on the planet before the advent of agriculture. We should strive to reclaim their knowledge of edible plants and animals in order to increase our personal resilience and hopefully aid in the preservation of local flora and fauna rather than aiming to replace them with monoculture and domestics that take more work to sustain. Look at this short list that someone compiled on Pinterest on some native plants in Northern Arizona. There are many more plants that could be added to this list and many desert plants that are not included. We did not have to plant, water, or care for many of these plants and yet they still can provide us with food. It is definitely something else to be thankful for!
I hope that everyone can enjoy a great Thanksgiving with family and friends. Let us not forget all of the great things that God has given us. I hope that you will continue to check in on this site as we study natural design principles and food sources in Arizona.