Friday, May 29, 2009

Permaculture & Me

A Bee Organic… only if we are

So, my friend and cohort Sarah Costin, along with Ron (my husband) & I are filing the paperwork to become an Accredited Certification Agency (ACA.) Organic Certification is an intricate verification process at the end of which the client can use the word “Organic,” “100% Organic,” or “Made with Organic” on their label as a marketing tool. Products carrying the word Organic have been verified as produced and handled without genetically modified organisms (GMO’s), irradiation of the ingredients, or sewage sludge. It also means no petro-chemical fertilizers or pesticides were used to grow the food. It means that land resources have been preserved and all things monitored and documented. These are things I am bio-ethically bound to support.

For me, the energy and commitment involved to birth an ACA came out of the writing and exploration I’m doing in Personal Permaculture. The intent in founding A Bee is to insure the humane treatment of applicants and employees- both, even while upholding all standards we hold dear. If successful we believe we would be the first of our kind.

How wrong is that? That we would be the first? Very… but the condition of the industry was not enough to get me involved. If I believe that in the near-future we can achieve a sustainable planet via- us as individuals showing up, then the path for me narrows. But not enough to make such a sweeping commitment to the industry… and even if the leap was to be taken…then, how to avoid being more of the same?

I looked to the map permaculture offered:
1) See the system as a whole.
2) Identify the whole elements within the system
3) Observe how the elements operate and interrelate
4) Create a supportive environment for a healthful system by following templates of healthy systems

My intent is that that Organic Certification becomes obsolete.
Obsolete through becoming so dead-common that the table flips, and those who ravage the environment through their Franken-seeds and chemicals be held accountable. But first I must be accountable. Even trickier than accountability, I must merge my passion to my ethics and everyday good-sense business. I’ve done it before in my commitment to motherhood, my marriage to Ron, my deeper friendships, but never to business…can I make the leap?

A lot of the fears of becoming more of the same and a part of the problem were alleviated by sitting with partners and painstakingly reviewing the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) Standards for the duties and responsibilities of Certifiers. The hardest thing to do- was to forget everything we’d seen which was fragmented, did not meet the mark, accurately support the law, or even the clients’ rights, but to see the system as a whole. Then we needed to map, how… out of our wholeness we could show up to meet the wholeness of the industry.
slowly and methodically
as true to ourselves as we know…
find new ground.

With the dream..
With the NOP…
Within ourselves.

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