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Individualistic collectives

Three sisters farming is an indigenous method of farming that allows each crop to flourish through interdependence. Traditionally the bean, the corn and the squash are planted together. In her lovely book Braiding Sweetgrass, Robin wall Kimmerer points:

“It’s tempting to imagine that these three (the three sisters) are deliberate in working together, and perhaps they are. But the beauty of the partnership is that each plant does what it does in order to increase its own growth. But as it happens, when the individuals flourish, so does the whole.”

For this to happen each of the sisters need to know what it is they specialize in and also to know that they need not be like each other or compete for the same resources. As with our monoculture farming and so with our monoculture education, all derived out of the industrialization of objects and of minds we’ve lost our individuality and the belief in our ‘specific’ way of being. Individuals that are different from one another, thriving with each other, while at the same time working towards their own goals is a fact seldom heard of. But for a collective to thrive there is indeed a necessity to understand one’s own needs and stand behind it first and foremost to be of use to the larger group. We need to deeply understand and take what we need and give what is needed by the other for the collective to thrive together.


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