Intensive agriculture is destroying the land we depend upon, but there is a sustainable, regenerative solution
Brooklyn host Dominik specialises in regenerating farmland that has been depleted by intensive agriculture. Sustainability must be our priority. We caught up with him to get his thoughts on his work and what it means to be free. Image: Dominik Eckenstein
We are used to thinking of ourselves as free human beings, with no boundaries preventing us from doing any sort of thing. Is that really so, though? Or are we secretly driven towards certain choices by the pressure many different players subtly exercise on us? And who are these big players that have a hidden influence on our behaviors? Society, perhaps? The people in our circle? Maybe even the political environment we are brought up in..
Brooklyn community host Dominik has a clear opinion about this topic: “It seems obvious for the last thousands of years there was always a guiding force on humans behavior and actions (country, power, church, wars, colonisations, slavery etc). Many events affect other humans, so we never had or have free will. Today we are being dictated by social norms & upbringing, basic survival, health condition, education level, technology, career ambitions.. So many events and things force us to make certain decisions, guided by others for good reasons and some not so good. The Importance of strong community limits free will, so it keeps us healthy and allows coexistence; these last few months showed good and bad examples.”
Images: Dominik Eckenstein
Dominik is a hospitality entrepreneur turned permaculture enthusiast. Starting his career in hotel management, came a long way to restoring historic buildings, and has since incorporated conservation strategies into both his professional and personal lives. Dominik also travels the world to work with NGOs that support humanity and environmental causes. He is currently working on a Hudson Valley farm that is in need of restoration to preserve, restore, and regenerate the ecosystem. “My long term vision for this farm is to build an ecosystem that can sustain itself.”
He defines himself as an “entrepreneur of historic buildings and farmland, restoring and regenerating.“
He worked in the hotel business for 15 years while gaining some experience in historic building renovation as well; he then renovated a historic building and a few others before setting foot in the Hudson Valley countryside. He now patiently restores and regenerates abused farmland to more natural levels with animals and trees, also called Silvopasture.
- Visit NEW YORK CITY, the big Apple that never sleeps and get lost in its parallel (or perpendicular, depending on your point of view!) streets while exploring indie environmentally-friendly new businesses and world-wide famous ‘NYC’ pizza shops!
- Stay at Dominik’s garden level apartment renovated with Passive House standards and explore NYC with the bikes he will be happy to provide you!
“The clothing and textile industry is one of the richest and most productive ones on the planet. Fast-fashion has been taking over the world in the last few decades, being the exact opposite of what can be considered sustainable living.
Is it possible to merge the ever-changing multibillion-dollar clothing industry and its need for fashionable outfits with sustainability?”
“My freedom ends where yours begins” is one of the very well-known rules that define the boundaries of our lives. Sometimes, however, these boundaries are too tight and we feel the need of going beyond and experiment, try, fail, improve, try again to fully understand what our role in the world is.
What is more important, then? The realization of our own personal talents and mission or the adherence to the boundaries of the society? Is a certain level of selfishness excusable if it is needed to accomplish our mission on this planet or is collective freedom a unbreakable ethical barrier?”
“Oscar Wilde used to say “Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. The consciousness of loving and being loved brings a warmth and a richness to life that nothing else can bring.“. Love can however be more complex than that, as it is one of the most thrilling, intense and yet frightening feelings you can experience. Sometimes, it can even turn into a way to escape from your own chaotic and paralyzing thoughts and emotions.”