Courage, Soil + A Case for Unrealistic Hope
"Courage is not a man with a gun in his hand. It's knowing you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do."
― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
So I did a thing last week.
My introverted, shy self got up (without notes or preplanning or even knowing I was gonna do it beforehand) in front of 300+ strangers and a panel from the Agricultural Land Commission to speak in defence of soil.
It was a packed house at Kwantlen College - standing room only. The biggest turnout they've ever had to a town hall on farmland like this. I was just one of SIXTY folks who spoke that night.
We were all there to protect one of the most productive pieces of farmland in all of North America. You can read a little bit about the land in question here, or follow Farmer Ty @heppellspotato on Tiktok.
Long story short - this land SHOULD have been part of the Agricultural Land Reserve when it was initially set up, but - MONEY.
It's always down to money, isn't it??
First, this rare and productive soil was slotted for an OIL REFINERY??? Then telecommunications, then a hoped-for Microsoft campus . . . And now the land, which is owned by the Federal Government, has been deemed by them as 'superfluous' and they want to sell it. When this happens it has to be put to 'best and highest use' - which, you guessed it - means the most MONEY. Gah.
The fact we're even having this conversation - as one of our largest producer of food imports, California, is literally washing away, families can't afford groceries and food shortages abound . . .
I am hopeful that the ALC will see sense and add this land to the ALR, as it should have done back in the 70s. But even if we win this battle, we haven't won the war.
Many around me have been quick to point out not to get my hopes up.
Bureaucracy, David and Goliath, short-sighted selfish politicians and all that noise.
They're not wrong. That's also no reason not to try.
I've decided I'm doing being 'realistic'. Suffering and disappointment will find us, whether we have hope or not. We might as well BE hopeful, act hopefully, fight hopefully, dream hopefully. 'You hit what you head for, you get what you ask.' - Ani D.
So I figure we might as well aim for goodness, because, after all - You rarely win . . . but sometimes - you DO.