Challenges of Agriculture – Interviewing Patrick Holden

For our new course Biodynamic World View, I have been conducting a series of interviews about the challenges facing agriculture today.  Patrick Holden was up first!

I wanted to ask Patrick what he thought were the ecological challenges in agriculture, he wanted me to ask about the spiritual challenges, so we did both…

Here are just a few excerpts (all from the first 5 minutes of the conversation) there is more!  The whole interview will be available as part of the first week of the Biodynamic World View Course.)

In the context of agriculture, how can we undergo a transition from food productions systems which are based on old thinking, fossilised, both in terms of their thinking but also in terms of their use of fossil fuels and other non-renewable capital, polluting, destroying of public health and arguably failing to support the planetary evolution on some deep spiritual level which can only just be articulated, but which nevertheless most of us feel is important?
If it is a human task to act as intermediary between the cosmos and the mineralised body of the earth, then what is demanded of us, as human beings involved in agriculture, that can refine the biomass of which we are part and arguably stewards? (at least on a good day, and there haven’t been many good days recently!)
Now we see a planet which is in crisis – ecological crisis, spiritual crisis, resource crisis… and in all of these agriculture plays a prominent role.
I’m talking about a total transition, to food systems which operate within planetary boundaries.  So for me the question that arises is ‘what part do I have to play?’

As I said, these excerpts are just from the first five minutes.  This was a conversation that touched on world-wide issues, questions of thinking, understanding and action, how it is to be a steward of nature and what has to happen next.

The challenges are immense, but not insurmountable!  There is action to be taken, Patrick’s interview is only the beginning…

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