In the United Kingdom, James Dyson the inventor of the bagless vacuum cleaner is buying up land all across the country, and Bill Gates recently became the largest landowner in America. With breakthroughs in mutually reinforcing technologies such as artificially generated intelligence, robotics, and gene editing technologies, these billionaires can see there is more money to be made at the expense of the natural world and its intricate synergism vital to human wellbeing on the earth.
Farmerless farms are coming and big corporations will continue using chemicals to grow foods lacking in vitality. Vegetables that are grown in this way don’t have all the nutrients that we need to grow healthily, because if these nutrients and minerals are not in the soil, then the plant cannot uptake them.
These farms will be devoid of human consciousness, and the connection to the land for most of us will be separated by another degree. Efficiency will be improved. Increased precision in applying pesticides and denatured edited plants will aid this efficiency. Robotic automation will be seamless and farm workers will need to look for new occupations in an increasingly abstract world.
Biodynamics when juxtaposed against the fourth agricultural revolution shines brighter than it ever has before. Biodynamic agriculture is about working in a relationship with nature and returning back to nature the forces that we take from it. Biodynamics is a framework where we can create self-sustaining farm organisms that provide human beings with nourishment, connection and meaning.
There are jobs on earth that human beings shouldn’t have to do if we have the technologies that can do it for us. Dangerous jobs that can be done by machines, should be done by machines. Farming doesn’t need to be completely mechanised and abstracted. Farming is an art.
Many young people and eager farmers cannot afford land. So when a farmer retires with children not wanting to farm, the farm is sold, often to be consolidated into another farm or sold to a corporation.
If small farms following biodynamic practices were able to replace conventional farms, we would be able to reverse the ecological disaster, provide true nourishment for the population, and overcome our meaning crisis. The fourth industrial revolution of agriculture won’t be able to do this.
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