Self-reliance and sustainability in the 21st century.
Of course people only create and preserve beauty when they have the necessary time and materials, and preferably a little money. To create beauty, a degree of prosperity is necessary. The slums metastasizing around many of the world’s largest cities today are the antithesis of beauty. If we want to create a beautiful future, then we need to plan for abundance as well.
Resources will be abundant. The two primary elements in a plan for abundance are, obviously, supply and demand. Since we invented agriculture we have, ingeniously and continuously, increased supply. Human beings have maintained a remarkably abundant existence through several thousand years of population growth by utilizing natural resources with increasing ingenuity.
Logically, as we exhaust some of our resources and draw nearer the limits of our planet’s capacity to support us, expanding supply becomes more difficult. Conservation becomes more important. Ideas for improving our conservation of natural resources increasingly provide better solutions as it becomes more difficult to find new resources to exploit. Conservation, while not a complete solution to our resource issues, is a key strategy for creating abundance.
In California, Jules Dervaes and his family are demonstrating, on a personal level, the creation of abundance through conservation9. Just a mile from downtown Pasadena behind their 1,500-square-foot home they’ve devoted one-tenth of an acre – about half their property – to a spectacular garden where more than 350 varieties of vegetables, fruits, berries and herbs grow in abundance. In their best year, they say they harvested more than 6,000 pounds of food from the garden. Based on a painstaking technique Jules Dervaes dubbed, “Square-Inch Gardening,” the “Path to Freedom” garden thrives on close human attention. Jules and his grown children, Justin, Anais and Jordanne, tend the plants and soil obsessively. They raise a few chickens, ducks and rabbits and keep two goats and a beehive. The results are stunning: Four adults effectively supporting themselves on a 4,350-square-foot “farm.” Jules Dervaes and his kids are conservation experts. They take a minimum of natural resources, add ingenuity, and create abundance. Through the prism of their garden they depict an abundant human future.
What waste have you eliminated from your life recently to help create abundance?