Ted Dobson of Equinox Farm
Imagines Life in 2044
It is with some doubt that I am writing what could easily be a ridiculous and presumptuous editorial—how could anyone know what life will look like 30 years from today? What do we know about tomorrow?
What I do have is a sense of the last 30 years and what has happened, organically speaking, in that time frame: We’ve made it through earthly hell and very high waters.
With that caveat in place, let’s begin. In 2044, capitalism and the carbon-based energy system that supports it has basically been discarded. Ah, sweet relief! Social and ecological capitalism are the new normative structures. The groundswell for a common-sense approach—justice, equality and liberty for all— has religious power that has built tremendous momentum.
Our intimate sense of self and nature, and respect for both, has been re-established. This paradigm shift, while gradual, is major: Communities have re-established healthy working relationships with the air, water and soil that they steward.
We are now the active ecological architects of our mutual destinies. This reality is an interwoven tapestry of all levels of local life interacting to maximize efficiency in an equitable, creative, multi-diverse distribution system.
We have stopped being disconnected consumers of products from elsewhere and have become intimate cultivars, from our immediate environs, of all that we need and desire.
Forest, orchard, field and pasture, farm and garden, fen, meadow, marsh, stream, rivers, lakes and minerals are more widely perceived as interacting entities on all levels and planes. This intimate link with our neighborhood is the understood basis for a healthy and functional economy.
Advanced technology is based on nature’s facts—if it’s antithetical to the healthy well-being of circular regeneration (life into death into life), the technology is discarded as primitive.
Wind, water and sun are utilized in brilliant micro- and macromodified ways to make our life comfortable and beautiful. Food, fuel and fiber are grown on multiple farms of different scales and sizes that interact dynamically.
The excess carbon that has been generated by a petro-industrial trade is reabsorbed by enormous cultivated no-till agricultural green zones. Clover, grasses, grains, roots, leaf vegetables and fruits are grown synergistically to form a biodynamic-based agrieconomy.
Although this isn’t’ a detailed map of the future, it is a moment that has already arrived as a poignant possibility in our imaginations. It is up to all of us now to activate ourselves for a better and cooler 2044 than the one imagined by today’s giants of greed-based capitalism.
*After graduating in 1981 from the University of California, Santa Cruz, Ted began organic farming in Hillsdale, New York, growing baby vegetables and greens. Dobson introduced mesclun and arugula to some of the region’s most innovative chefs, with whom he continues to work today, growing on his 15-acre Equinox Farm, in Sheffield, Massachusetts.