A Man Made Desert
When i first set my eyes on Valhalla’s land, I was not impressed, to say the least. The over working of the soil had driven it to the brink of exhaustion. Not an insect in sight, as I combed the fallout looking for survivors; all I could find were degenerate soya plants drying up in the midday sun. Cracks began to form as the clay gasped for hydration. It was very clear why people thought we were crazy to believe that THIS could be a paradise.
The industrial way of food production poses a very real threat to us all. It is a very serious issue that my hometown of Montreal is surrounded by farmland which produces little to nothing for les habitants. Worse, the soil is being depleted of its nutrients by the forceful practices of monoculture each passing season. At the start of every year I watch as they try the latest corn corp that is sure to grow and turn a profit while they nuke anything else that wants to compete. This industrial point of view, teamed with the corporate mind set, of grocery chains supporting cheap imports rather than the healthy local alternative, has proved to be fatal. We cannot depend on others to make our food forever. We must be responsible and take control of our food production for the safety of our families, our communities and our nation.
Valhalla takes a look at some of the issues that face the agricultural sector, it’s effects on us, the economy and what we could do to fix it.
For those with the eyes to see, it was only a matter of time before we turned things around. We knew that by mimicking a healthy ecosystem in our environment, we too, would be able to see regenerative growth and abundance. We envisioned the land as it once was, a forest teaming with life. We designed a full 5 acre food forest, incorporating a wide variety of fruit and nuts. Our focus was on perennial trees and shrubs, who would grow bigger and stronger with each consecutive year, and ensure an increase in production and local wealth. We believed that the farming of a healthy edible food forest, is a very real and viable solution to our food scarcity.
Our neighbor had been raising horses since the 80’s and had collected quite a mass of seasoned wood chips mixed with a generous amount of horse manure. We moved this along with other local biomass, to help shield the ground from the intense rays of the sun, retaining moisture, and helping to rebuild topsoil. A cover crop of clover was laid down to help fix nitrogen, a crucial component in the nutrient cycle of the soil. Making sure the soil ecology was right was our primary concern. These were the first steps in reclaiming our paradise.
We were fortunate enough to meet some local legends who kept the flame of organic agriculture burning. We were able to get seedlings and clones of famous local varieties of apples, pear, cherries, apricots and plums. Seeing these plants alive and healthy puts a smile on all of our faces. Here we see Viv holding onto “her” paw paw tree. The forest is coming along nicely, the tall nut and pine trees that border the north side have provided the necessary micro climate that allowed our peach trees to survive two Canadian winters. I am glad they did, since they are one of my favorite fruits to eat at Valhalla.
All this has got me really excited for our future, and what we can leave behind for future generations. The solutions to make this world a better place are right in front of us. A simple shift of consciousness from me me me, to, we we we. thinking collectively and acting towards the communal well being of the people in your area is the key to true success. If there is one thing the world needs right now it is selflessness and random acts of kindness….
This is Giving
“The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, the second best time is now”
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A Message From Germ
Hope you enjoyed the movies ;D
Working at Valhalla, I have the great opportunity to work with some really fantastic people. They are, by no means the only ones, but they represent the active participants in global change. They are real examples of the change we want to see. If you would like to see more movies and stories about them, let me know!
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