At RTB, we believe that diversity is the key to nature’s success. Diversity exists at the ecosystem, species, and genetic level, and is the result of interactions among the environment and people over thousands of years. From the smallest drop of pond water to magnificent fields of produce to the majestic oceans, nature is filled with incredibly diverse, yet closely interdependent, systems. We see the importance of valuing diversity in every decision and action we implement at the farm.
Diversity is factored into the relationships that we develop and cultivate, the crops that we plant, and the livestock that we raise, because we know that diversity strengthens our work, expands our reach, and creates a more restorative ecosystem and humanity. The power of diversity is immense when we truly respect and value differences. Individually, and organizationally, we become stronger when we value differences in backgrounds, skills, experiences, race, religion, sexual orientation and gender identities. This brings fresh ideas and perspectives to our work and lives, challenges our assumptions, and makes our lives richer. Diversity shapes every decision that we make in the evolution of this organization. Our team can raise barns and goats, develop fields of food from seedlings and business plans from ideas to implementation. Through their diverse skills, experiences and perspectives, the RTB team constantly collaborates and challenges one another to grow.
The practice of diversity, inspired by the intelligence of mother nature, is reflected in how we approach our efforts on the land. Multispecies and rotational crops are one such example. By diversifying what we cultivate and where we do so, we improve soil health and promote resistance to pests, bacteria and disease. Just above the soil, pollinators benefit from more food and habitats. The impact of diversity is far reaching. A diverse, local food system becomes resilient in the face of climate change and extreme weather events. Protection of open farmland, and the availability of more nutrient-dense foods in the bioregion, means higher wages and reduced exposure to harmful agricultural chemicals for farmers. Most notably, diversification decreases reliance on industrial agriculture whose chemical-addicted monocultures strip life from the land and put the future of food and nutrition, as well as human life, at great risk.
From diversification comes strength, wellness and integrity, for the human and non-human community alike. In all that we do, the rich abundance of diversity that mother earth creates is our model which we aspire to mimic. We look not just to this day, this season, or even this year, but to the impact that our decisions will have for generations to come. In actively valuing diversity throughout the countless spheres of influence here at the farm, we pursue a global paradigm shift toward hope and abundance, beginning right below our feet.