Consilience Enhances Resilience: A Key Element of CSA Farms


Vegetable rows on a CSA farm.

While preparing a talk for the Midwest CSA farm conference, I inevitably encountered the word resilience, and soon found myself musing about its relation to a word with a similar sound: consilience.

Resilience is about the strength and flexibility that allow people and systems to endure shocks or adversity and yet still be able to re-organize to keep functioning. Consilience describes linking together principles from different disciplines, especially when forming a comprehensive theory or system. It’s a convergence of independent insights and capacities.

In realms such as science, history, and computer networks, consilience has been appreciated for some time. But the concept is fitting as well for the systems we use to bring forth our essential food, wood and fiber from the land, and the need to enhance their resilience.

Definition Of Consilience

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