I started writing Renewing the Commons one year ago today, on November 30 2010. So I want to briefly mark that anniversary and say, a huge thank you to everyone who’s read and commented here. It’s been really, really rewarding to receive feedback and build connections with so many people. The comments conversations around shifting the invasive species paradigm were especially rich.
I think the blog’s cast a really nicely broad net while still maintaining a focused mission and perspective. And one thing I’m excited for in this coming second year is to do more “site reviews” of places where people are doing hopeful work, a la the Waterworks Forest post from a few weeks ago. I’m also excited to host some guest posts – let me know if you’d like to submit a short piece that’s connected in some way to the overall story I’m exploring here.
In other news, Young Farmers Conference 2011 starts tomorrow! I can’t go this year, but I’ll be following the #YFC11 tag on Twitter, and my friends Ethan Roland and Benneth Phelps will be presenting on applying permaculture and carbon farming to larger-scale agriculture. Go hear them speak if you can!
I remember a packed end-of-conference discussion session at YFC two years ago in which the National Young Farmers Coalition was birthed, practically out of thin air, in the span of about 20 minutes. Less that two years later they’re a national force, in the New York Times, etc. One lesson I take from this is that if enough people who are flexible enough in their thinking, have enough world-changer skills and capacities, and have common enough goals get together, some seriously cool shit can happen very, very quickly. And I do think the younger generation has some advantages in terms of flexible thinking, process skills, and common vision, and that’s one reason why big, electric social-capital events with lots of under-30’s (like YFC and StartingBloc) are so powerful. So enjoy and rock out if you’re going! It’s a pretty exciting time in the world of agriculture and food, and there’s room for many, many people to be involved and contribute.