Environ Mental

Monday, Sep 26th, 2011

How often does life get too busy that some facets run on auto pilot? I think it can inadvertently happen to most of us. Sometimes I get so focused I lose touch with some of the amazing elements of my daily environment at home or on the farm. You know how it is! Sometimes it takes a guest or visitor who points my attention to a specific flock of birds, swimming insect, spider web, flowering plant, scent of soil, or cloud formation. When that happens, it is helpful for me to become deliberately “Environ Mental”.

I am fortunate to farm an environmentally rich crop in an environmentally rich region. It is important for me to take time to be deliberate about seeing, understanding, and appreciating the environment where I farm. It is valuable to focus on the Macro environment, as in an entire field or portion of the farm; other times on the Micro level as small as one square foot of a flooded rice field. Have you ever seen an egret in a rice field staring intently into the water? Try it sometime. You will see an amazing diversity living in the rice: water beetles, dragonfly nymphs, varieties of algae, snails, crayfish, pollywogs and frogs, tadpole shrimp, mosquito fish, red worms, water walking spiders, lilies, rushes, duck salad and occasional azolla ferns.

I don’t often have time in my schedule to spend wading like an egret, but when I do it can be mentally stimulating. I like to think of it as being “Environ Mental”. Why don’t you try it sometime at your farm, garden, yard, sand box, hedge row, or simple drainage ditch?

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