We are living through an interesting time period littered with cutthroat geopolitics; dangerous daily rides on the international economic roller-coaster; all while experiencing an influx of social justice issues that are dividing our nations and our people. It is truly a complex transition for the next generation.
With that said, the question then becomes, “What can we do to better our future?” The most hopeful solution I see is to collectively become the change we wish to see in the world as said best by Gandhi. We must take responsible action on a local level; to positively influence our communities to better understand and educate how we can all coexist together in a peaceful & abundant manner.
God has given me the beautiful gift of good health and the eyes to see through disillusionment. It is my goal to dedicate my time and energy towards something larger than myself. I want to help create this new path forward, and I will do all that I can to succeed.
My goals with High Prairie Produce are just the beginning for Southwest Iowa.
It was a Saturday night and a good amount of friends and I were at the bar playing some shuffleboard. My buddy Kyle was in town from Portland, Oregon for his birthday/Mother’s Day; we had a good time catching up. Somewhere within our conversation I came up with the brilliant idea: Friendship Trees
I want each and every friend of mine to plant one tree on my piece of land;
We together can watch our friendship tree grow throughout years.
I had already planned on using the South quarter of my property for establishing a food forest, and there is also a strip along the Eastern side of my lot in which I want to create a natural privacy fence for. With both of these ideas already in place I knew this thought would work out quite well.
Since Kyle was only going to be in town for a brief period of time I knew I wanted to align our schedules to be able to take him to a garden store to pick out a tree to plant; I should mention that Kyle loved this idea and was totally excited for it. Kyle decided upon purchasing a Santa Rosa Plum tree and while there I picked up a Belle of Georgia Peach tree to plant alongside it.
I took Kyle to my property and he was amazed by the size of it, “… Beau, you can plant so much here!” As we walked the land we continued our ongoing conversations about how we the People need to take action to better the world around us rather than waiting and expecting others to do it for us.
Kyle is a firm believer that I can positively change our community’s future and I think so too.
“Well, what if your friendship ends?”
Then I’ll just chop down the tree and burn it! 😉
Ever since my time WWOOFing out in North Carolina, one of the goals I have set for myself is to build community. Traveling away from my home-town and experiencing a different culture, a different way of life, opens your eyes to new possibilities. Traveling away also allows you to reflect upon the subtle beauties you take for granted.
Growing a connection to the natural world had also given me a better idea of how life once was and where it’s going today; sometimes we get caught up in the instant gratification of today’s technological era, yet our lives still require a sense for the past; a foundation that has allowed generations upon generations to flourish to the present day.
From my travels across the United States, both East and West (there’s still much more I need to see), has allowed me to experience the geographical differences – these natural borders – which has created unique societies within each and everyone one of these regions. All have their pros and cons; all with their unique beauties and disappointments.
I hear stories all the time about how my local area flourished during the 20th century, but now has been declining since the 1970s; a direct connection to the economics of the United States; outsourcing of factory jobs, 1980’s farm crisis, the “War on Drugs“, the destruction of the family unit, the retreat of youth to urban metropolitan meccas; ultimately the decline of the Middle Class.
All of this upsets me; because it upsets me, I want to do something about it.
Just because this area has been in decline does not mean it has to continue down this path. All it takes is one individual with enough passion to change the course of history. I’m working up the courage to be that individual.
I want community.
Photo by Niall Kennedy