Fields for the Future

Yesterday, I drove past a fairly substantial amount of expensive acreage that was sold a couple of years ago. I was wondering whether the purchasers of the land were “getting their money’s worth”. Bad winters, poor springs etc, I was trying to work out how you justify the business case on a field. And then I realised: you don’t need to.
A field is a field. Each year, there will be a crop or harvest or animals grazing. Some years, the field will be used for totally unexpected revenue generating schemes because farmers are damned good at diversifying and capitalising on their assets. It might be a few horses, a motorbike track, a metal detector finding a Roman helmet, or a wedding party. But the lifetime of the field is far beyond that of the current owner. It is a never-depreciating asset.
And so, I decided, is a next generation community network. We have no idea what the next generation will do with the ‘land’ any more than the previous generation could have guessed about green burials, weddings in the back of beyond, 4×4 off roading as a leisure activity, or any of the other uses the land is being put to. For money, as well as imaginatively and innovatively.
What we do is care for it, make sure it is fit and healthy and sustainable. Then farmers know, as they pass the assets on, that they have left the best land they can for the next generations. So, it needs to be for networks. We however have the chance to play God and build the fields.

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