Desertification, that is deforestation, ploughing, spraying and stripping the earth of its natural ground cover is a major contributing factor to the climate change that is upsetting the balance of our earth.
We want to be part of the solution, we want to continue living on the earth in harmony with nature, and so we made the decision right from the beginning that we would not plough the fields and terraces of the Freedom Farm.
Many people have criticised us for our choice calling the place “untidy” and comparing it unfavourably to neighbouring farms with pristinely tilled rows of fine dusty soil. Our farm on the other hand is “scrappy” and demands sensible shoes and long trousers to protect the feet and shins from scratchy bushes and a multitude of snakes, spiders, beetles, and insects.
There have been times when I’ve questioned the wisdom of letting nature take over, usually after I’ve finished picking prickles and thistles out of my fingers or an unfortunately tangled dog. However, we recently noticed that the Google Earth satellite images of our property had been updated and what we found more than validated the decisions we have made to keep the plough off of our property!
You can clearly see from these two images that the property in 2018 was sparse and dry looking compared to the surrounding forest. The picture taken on the right in 2020, shows much more greenery covering the ground. As a result, our soil is less likely to be eroded by wind and rain and more capable of sequestering the excess carbon we have pumped into the atmosphere. To put it simply, more plants eat more carbon and create more clean oxygen, helping to reverse climate change and make our air cleaner to breathe.
Another bonus to increasing the amount and variety of plants on our property is that numbers of wild creatures such as mice, rabbits, squirrels, frogs, toads, snakes, beetles, bugs, worms, and birds has exploded. We are already in a Special Protection Areas for Birds (SPA) and hope to see more and more birds return to the Freedom Farm on their migratory travels.