Living water

Hi there. It’s been a long time since Lucky died and I’m finally ready to write something here.

A friend/neighbor lent me this book, Living Water by Olof Alexandersson. It’s taken me three months to finally finish it between tomato harvests, milkings and snuggling kittens. Anyhow, the book chronicles this Austrian nature-loving inventor, Viktor Schauberger and his pursuits to create clean energy while respecting and mimicking natural phenomena. He was a student of the natural world, growing up in ancient forests, which he inadvertently helped log by his invention of a log flume. Seeing the bent of society to “death technology” he wrote this about modern agriculture in the mid 1950′s:

“A free people can only arise from a free earth. A people who violate Mother Earth have no right to own a home…Man is what he eats and he remains an animal so long as the buildup of products of quality is stifled. So a cycle is completed: infected water cannot produce healthy food. Infested water and poisoned nutrients cannot produce healthy blood…The farmer of today treats Mother Earth in a worse manner than a whore. Moreover, he prays to a god, whom he believes is up above but in reality is under his feet. The modern farmer violates the earth, which reacts by opposing her sungod. He strips yearly the skin of the earth and applies poison as artificial manure and then wonders why this wretched process demands more work and yet yields less and less each year.
The old farmer was, for the clod of the earth, both it’s priest and doctor. The modern farmer, on the other hand, is personally and collectively harassed politically and is concerned about government subsidies. He believes that he can, to a massive extent, defy Nature.”

Apparently a boy in the austrian woods in the late 1800′s develops the same concerns as me. There is nothing we cannot learn by watching a forest grow, expand and reproduce that we could better find in a textbook. Our mainstream agricultural (and otherwise) technology is that of depletion, abuse and control. In a healthy ecosystem nothing is destroyed or lost. All nutrients cycle, return and create more life in the next season. Since the Cambrian explosion life has increased in complexity and diversity up until today when more species go extinct every hour, in fact, 27,000 go extinct every year. Look at a satellite image of any major city; we are the earth’s cancer, and unless we can stop destroying the natural reproductive cycle we will destroy this planet and our ability to survive on it. Food cant grow on concrete and sand; the parasite will kill the host. Think drought, climate change, the end of oil, lack of drinking water, we cannot defy nature, only postpone our extinction for some time.

Feeling hopeless? Channel that into finding something green that needs a doctor and a priest. Try to consider the destructive consequences of buying low quality food and products. Try not to waste anything; recycle, compost, cook your own meals, feed your neighbors if you live alone. Listen to the birds, look into the eyes of a cow, put your feet in the grass. Stop abusing mountains with dirt bikes, quads and skis. Burn your jet ski and learn to enjoy the quietness of a snowy pasture or peaceful lake. There is still beauty here, for the time being.


  1. Kim says:

    Hello! I’ve read about Lucky on your blog and the longest acres. It inspired me to paint something…see link below. I’d love to send it to you. :) If you like. Otherwise, you can have the e-copies. :)

    Here’s to beauty everywhere. :)

  2. Pete says:

    This post is lovely, positive and empowering Nick. How easy it can be to feel hopeless when there are so many of us that don’t seem to learn these lessons of nature well; witness the continual denial of climate change by some public figures of a certain major political party.. even ridiculing the notion and calling it a hoax…..certainly wants to make someone burn their snowmobiles.

    But really, yours and Kate’s chosen lifestyle; you and your contemporaries dedication to the earth, to your farms, to your animals and to sustainable farming and living practices are the loudest and the most effective call to action. Like other leaders I admire, you and Kate walk the walk and I feel very hopeful about our world as your generation has picked up the torch of a teachers like Olof Alexanderssen and Rachel Carson. You will teach your children well. There is definitely beauty here.

  3. Russ says:

    Great post. Nick can you tell me how you found and became staff at cane creek?

  4. zigelbaum says:

    Well, i’ve been dating the owner of cane creek farm’s cousin for almost 5 years. It was pure luck that found me working there and learning to love and raise livestock.

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