Respecting Tradition

At Quinta VAle da Lama

“Traditional wisdom & technological progress need not be add odds…”

What does it mean to Respect Tradition?

Fundamentally, it is about recognising that anything which has stood the test of time is inherently worthy of consideration for values that may not be immediately apparent.

Why Do We Care?

Because the small mediterranean farm- family-owned and deeply rooted in its local ecosystem -has so many generations of embedded wisdom, it is a legacy that we can ill afford to lose… And yet we must evolve.

What does it mean in our context?

Assuming stewardship of formerly productive lands long gone wild, buildings & infrastructures needing to be rebuilt from scratch on some more sustainable foundation, the perennial question for us has been: What aspects of this thing should stand? And what needs to change in order to make that viable?

How do we do it?

“In the first place” (as Hippocrates wisely advised) “do no harm.” Then, as we consider making a change, we do well to ask three questions:

Economic:

Total cost of ownership of the new thing over full-lifecycle, including not only maintenance & repair, but also the end-of-life scenario: can it be “upcycled” somehow?

Ecological:

Considering all elements of the natural ecosystem in which we are embedded, what might be the impacts of this change we are bringing in? Might there be a way of testing that before we fully commit?

Human:

With respect to any new technology, we’ve learned to ask not only what it can it do FOR you, but moreover: What will adoption of this technology make OF you, over time?

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