We believe that creation reveals what is sacred.
Before Greg & Mary owned the farm it had been used as a junkyard for old cars. While the cars were gone from the land by they time they owned it (except for a few stray fenders and car parts in the creek), so were the birds and much of the wildlife. One of the recent joys at Tikkun Farm has been the return of the bird population from bright yellow goldfinches to deep red cardinals, black cap chickadees, barn swallows and even a falcon.
What’s harder to see, but essential to the health of everything on the farm, is the community living in the soil. Diverse soil ecosystems determine the productivity of our land. Without the billions of bacteria, millions of fungi and protozoa, and the thousands of other critters living under our feet, we would be hungry indeed. This micro-community transfers nutrients through the soil and helps protect crops from soil-born pathogens. How we farm the land supports or destroys this community.
For thousands of years farmers around the world, unaware of this soil community, have employed farming practices that devastate soil eco-systems, leading the use of fertilizers and pesticides that further erode soil health.
Tikkun Farm is committed to repairing creation using a diverse set of farming practices that replenish and reactivate the soil. This goes beyond “sustainable” agriculture, which will only maintain the existing poor state of soil health. Repairing creation through our farming practices means soil, water, vegetation and productivity continually improve rather than staying the same or slowly getting worse. We incorporate permaculture and organic farming practices, limit tilling, plant cover crops, compost and rotate crops to increase food production and re-grow the topsoil. Restorative farming relies on knowledge and care, rather than expensive farm equipment, seeds, fertilizers and pesticides. While in the short term, these farming practices may produce slightly lower yields than conventional, chemical-intensive crops, over time they produce higher yields and more healing.
What’s true for the soil, also serves as a metaphor for all the healing taking place at Tikkun Farm. So much of what heals us, lives within us already. Understanding that there is a devastated community living unseen in the soil, learning to respect it, to farm it using reparative practices and waiting patiently for it to recover and then thrive, teaches us how to love and care for ourselves as we also heal. Caring for the land can be the doorway to allowing ourselves to be cared for by practitioners who understand how trauma devastates the many emotional, spiritual and biological systems within us. Caring for the land can give us courage and hope that our own unseen wounds can heal and we too can thrive, becoming persons who contribute bountiful beauty to the world.
For more information contact Mary Laymon.