Agriculture is only about 10,000 years old and it has shaped today’s cultures fundamentally. Agriculture enabled population growth and the population explosion of the past 50 years. Agriculture is also what has brought forth culture as we understand it; it is specifically agriculture that enabled the development of the first great cultures in Mesopotamia and Egypt. Agriculture was a new concept then, as we moved from a nomadic lifestyle and collecting our food through hunting and gathering, to settling down and harvesting food from the same surrounding area year-in and year-out. The hunter-gatherer lifestyle permits nature to renew itself naturally, while agriculture, if not practiced wisely and in tune with nature, depletes the soil – and then what?
Agriculture is the unification of nature and man. We exhibit our current disconnection from nature through the type of agriculture we have created – soil-depleting monocultures that require outside chemical input to produce food at the expense of environmental and human health. However, the significant growth of the organic (funny - until about 150 years ago all agriculture was organic), sustainable (better than organic), and biodynamic (the best) agricultural movements demonstrates an emerging awareness of the deep connection between ourselves, nature and our food supply. We exist as part of nature, not apart from nature, and strictly on the basis of light and water. Without nature we do not exist. Sacred agriculture!