“One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. Much of the damage inflicted on land is quite invisible to laymen. An ecologist must either harden his shell and make believe that the consequences of science are none of his business, or he must be the doctor who sees the marks of death in a community that believes itself well and does not want to be told otherwise.”
― Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac
I love Aldo Leopold. I was introduced to his work early in my life. My parents had an old battered paperback copy of A Sand County Almanac on their bookshelves nearly my whole childhood, and I remember the first time I read it finding it beautiful but not really accessible - I was probably 6 or 7.Later in school I rediscovered this masterpiece and my own personal copy is well worn and full of highlights, a good trusted friend with excellent advice.
The quote above used to make me feel so isolated. It still does, on the days when I see so many of my fellow humans act so wastefully and carelessly - fracking, strip mining, clearing forests and prairies for more subdivisions, even simply tossing recyclables into the trash. It's hard not to see evidence of all of this and not feel pessimistic, like Leopold so eloquently expresses.
However, I have hope now. A large portion of that hope is due to the fact that I feel like I have some actions to take to make the situation better. I have discovered a 'magic key' - a way of farming food that doesn't gobble up soil, slurp down water, and burp up greenhouse gasses and pollute our waterways with its waste - aquaponics.
More importantly, I'm not the only person to discover this amazing healing tool! We all have come to it from different paths but we're here, all together on this website. Isn't that amazing? The conference and the new Association are two more steps in the right direction towards sharing this discovery with the world and really making a positive change in the way we grow our food. I'm so grateful to be sharing this journey with such amazing people.