Roots of Eco-Landcare Theory

The idea of Mass production and centralized processing is a given in the United States. The great industrial age of   America was founded on the idea that it is more efficient to produce and process centrally than it is in small batches. This idea has been applied to every facet of American life including the care of the  landscape.

 

 

   We mass produce and bag soils and fertilizers, than we transport them in, we remove leaves and lawn “waste”, and ship them out, and in our minds it all makes sense. It’s theoretically cheaper and easier to do things in large batches. Except that means transporting, storing, large machinery for processing. The larger the machine, the more frequently it has to be used for maximum efficiency and payback. After a while we are looking for ways to use our machines more efficiently and the machines drive us.

 

 

 This piece is not a resurgence of Taylorism by a long shot, but rather a demand that we re-examine process. Toyota if not already the number one auto manufacturer in the world soon will be because they abandoned mass production as we know it post world war two.

Toyota manufactures their products on the theory of “Just In Time” and meet demand for product instead of producing cars and hoping they get sold. Through JIT production,

Toyota abandoned mass production as Americans know it, using simpler machines and greater employee involvement to produce cars in the quantities that the public was willing to purchase and to the specifications and needs of their clients.

 

 

  Toyota consciously or not, has adopted models from nature in their production system. The principles behind the production system, the mode of production, the elimination of stockpiling and return to local batch production all mimic natural process.

 

 

 

 

 Landcare, in order to be eco-friendly, must abandon mass production and do its best to mimic natural process. It means less specialization, minimal centralized production, more on site activities like mulching, composting, water recycling.

Property is a manmade idea, but is applicable in the sense that while we “own” a piece of land, we are the primary caregiver of this property and must strive as self sufficient as possible within it. This is how ecosystems work, cells within larger cells. The more diversity of interacting cells, the less reliance on any one particular system. The less reliance on a particular system, the stronger the eco-system.

 

 

   The same is true for landcare practices. The less centralized and more site specific our practices, the stronger each individual property/system is and the less dependent on a larger system of care it becomes.

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