The Rule of Sustainability – 3 and 5 Strategy

The Rule of Sustainability – 3 and 5 Strategy

Sustainability is a really important topic in the world right now. We need more of it, but we need better metrics to define what “it” is. Like the word, “nice” sustainability means many different things to many different people. At Mezzacello I have developed a rule of thumb that helps me better define sustainability. I call it the Three and Five Strategy. It is really quite simple.

  • Incorporate at least three other ecosystems or resources from Mezzacello.

  • MUST provide at a MINIMUM five new unique resources to Mezzacello.

  • Three in — Five out and all within one 18 month period of time.

This has eliminated all precious things from my farm. Nothing withers or remains alive through hard labor or constant vigilance. No extraordinary measures need to be taken. If one input is compromised, it can be substituted but only temporarily and not constantly; never constantly. If the systems cannot sustain that ecosystem, then that ecosystem lacks merit. Let me provide two examples. One from the natural world and one from Mezzacello.

Natural World: The human nose


  1. Allows the sinus cavity to exist and remain at atmospheric pressures
  2. Allows air to be purified through the cilia and mucus membranes
  3. Provides protection via the senses (proprioceptor and Olfactory Nervous Systems)
  4. Incorporates the lymphatic and immune response factors readily as a first line of defense


  1. Provides the sensation of smell and taste
  2. Pressurizes and maintains the esophagus and bronchial cavities
  3. Provides mucus for multiple parts of the respiratory system
  4. Preserves moisture to the body
  5. Allows the eyes to remain equidistant and focused for bipedal vision
  6. Gives the human face character
  7. Keeps the cartilage and skin of the face under tension
  8. Holds glasses on your face
  9. Secretes fats and toxins from the body
  10. Cools/heats the brain cavity directly
  11. Allows the palette to remain dynamic and flexible
  12. Home to beneficial bacteria and immune response factors
  13. Serves as an early warning system in the case of impact to the face
  14. Allows the lips to purse and tense by providing cartilage and structure

Mezzacello: The Formal Gardens


  1. Provides biomass seasonally on demand
  2. Gives shelter, food and attraction to beneficial pollinators and birds
  3. Provides shelter, privacy, and protection to all the inhabitants of the farm
  4. Gives a sense of beauty and place to the neighborhood
  5. Attracts interest in our mission here at Mezzacello


  1. Biomass
  2. A carbon sink for compost
  3. Flowering shrubs and flowers
  4. Shoots and berries that are edible
  5. A place for the poultry to forage for pests
  6. Shade and moisture
  7. Cooling drafts and whimsy
  8. Succor for the mind and spirit
  9. Attracts beneficial microbial life, bacteria and fungus to the surrounding ecosystems
  10. Improves the diversity of compost and fertilizers
  11. Provides a sense of pride and purpose
  12. Deflects noise from a busy main thoroughfare
  13. Increases the amount of molecular oxygen and moisture to surrounding ecosystems
  14. Provides protection from the east, north, and south from pathogens in the wind stream

So now when I plan any new system at Mezzacello, it MUST incorporate at a MINIMUM THREE inputs and FIVE carefully chosen outputs/benefits to all of the six systems at Mezzacello. If any one of those 14 benefits seems frivolous to you, I ask that you re-examine your priorities. During COVID19 lockdown, every single one of them became incredibly valuable and obvious to me. Through reflection, effort, and application, sustainability thrives.

Count your blessings,
but remember blessings are positive
so never divide or subtract;
just add and multiply.

Jim Bruner

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