Signs of Healing in the Land
By JoAnne Dennee, Common Roots Land Educator
At Common Roots this week, we are celebrating Head Farmer Fae Blackmer, Land Manager Reese Baker, and our many farm interns who have lifted up our farm as one of many examples of Circles of Recovery emerging across the American landscape. Why are we celebrating? Our farm soils are now fully covered with beautiful, lush crops full of health-giving vitality. And by having full plant coverage across our farm soils, leaving none of our soil barren, we are sequestering carbon in our soils and reducing our farm’s impact on our planetary climate crisis and temperature increase!! When nitrogen is sequestered in our soils, we reduce temperature climb. When nitrogen is released from bare, open fields into the atmosphere, it changes from nitrogen to nitrous oxide — not a beneficial substance. A few weeks ago, I heard Fae say that seeing our farm blanketed with edibles, cover crops, and flowers gave her a “sense of calm.” I was profoundly struck by this and have been carrying the depth of her remark in my heart. Our young farmers are among a current generation that is inheriting our climate challenges — and they do so with worry about the future that they and their families will be required to navigate. The burden that they, and we, shall carry is no small task, yet we can stand beside them in supporting this shift. So this week, we celebrate doing our part in recovering and protecting the vitality of our planet just as Fae meets the Earth each day with a vigilant yet tender eye, a compassionate heart, and an iron will to do the right thing. Here are the words of a song by MaMuse — a mantra for these days. Farmer Fae and this uplifting message give me hope, reason to pause, reflect, act, and cause to celebrate: "We shall be known by the company we keep by the ones who circle round to tend these fires. We shall be known by the ones who sow and reap the seeds of change alive from deep within the Earth. It is time now, It is time now that we thrive. It is time we lead ourselves unto the well. It is time now. And what a time to be alive in this great turning, we shall learn to lead with love. In this turning, we shall learn to lead with love."