Dear Farm Journal,
In his book, “The Three Pillars of Zen”, Roshi Philip Kpleau wrote, “Wastefulness is a measure of our egocentricity, and hence of our alienation from things…from their essential unity with us”. I reflected on these words as we chipped wood in the ash grove this afternoon. The emerald ash borer killed these trees. We’ve cut them down for firewood to heat the farmhouse and dimensional lumber for building projects. Now, not even the fallen branches are wasted. Rather, they’re converted into a weed suppression tool, a more eco-friendly choice than plastic that will end up in a landfill one day. I feel we’ve been conscientious stewards of this timber resource. Of course, I recognize our ironic dependence on fossil fuels to make it all happen. Everywhere we look, there is an opportunity to evolve our lifeways, to act in unanimity with ecological processes rather than catering to our egocentric nature.