BDN interviews Blais for article on regenerating environment through farms, gardens

The Bangor Daily News interviewed Joline Blais, an associate professor of new media at the University of Maine, for the article “How your farm or garden can be used to regenerate the environment.” Blais told the BDN that sustainability is “admirable,” but it’s not enough. “Instead of sustaining a status quo in an ecosystem, we have to start making it better. We have to interact with nature in a way that builds up the natural world,” said Blais, who also is the adviser for UMaine’s Terrell House Permaculture Living and Learning Center. “We have done so much destruction to this planet, sustainability is just not going to cut it anymore.” Practicing permaculture is designed to increase the human footprint on the planet, but in a way that enhances the natural world, the article states. “Instead of sustaining what we have, we need to be making it better. When humans interfere with nature in the right ways, it really helps the planet,” said Blais, who recommends actions like reforestation, rebuilding soil, growing food close to the people who will consume it and working to sustain those practices over the long term. Specifically, Blais suggests planting diverse gardens and crops and avoiding the agribusiness model, as well as using local and native seeds, creating a habitat for naturally occurring birds and wildlife, and more — including being willing to make mistakes and learn from nature. “Let’s have a large footprint that actually helps,” she said.