Saturday, May 25, 2013


This picture was taken somewhere in the Orkney's north of Scotland where the summer nights are short and the days are long and full of light. Long may they stay that way. Which brings us to what seems to be a bit of a series.

In the May 18 AP article headlined “Organic Farmers Gaining Influence,” Rep. Austin Scott (R-Georgia) blasted the organic sector for a “lack of respect for traditional agriculture,” primarily due to that sector’s ongoing fight against genetically modified crops. Then he went on to acknowledge that he and his wife buy organic foods.

Aside from that blatant hypocrisy, Scott needs to get his terminology straight. What he calls “traditional agriculture” appears to be a reference to all farm production that’s not organic.

But that sector, which overwhelmingly dominates US farm production should rightfully be called “industrial agriculture” for that’s where the majority of our food is derived, at least for the past 70 or 80 years—large machinery plowing tens of thousands of acres at a time, spreading ammonia based fertilizer on a vast scale, planting with seeds that must be bought annually, and dousing the succeeding crops with copious amounts of various poisons (insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, etc.) until such time as the crop is ready for mechanical harvest.

Sorry to bust Scott’s bubble, but I believe that most folks would agree that farming on relatively small plots of land, using animal waste products for fertilizer, rotating crops and animals on a regular schedule, saving seeds from part of a crop for the next year and generally having an ethic that values the health of the soil—and, by extension, the environment as a whole—is what constitutes “traditional: agriculture as it has been practiced for thousands of years.

Steven F Salman


This was in the paper this morning. It fits in with my last couple of entries. The word “traditional” has been high jacked. Modern medicine and pharmacies have been around for about as long as big Ag and they lay claim to being “traditional” too. The use of herbs and diet to promote good health is about as alternative as organic farming. We’ve been encouraged to trust so called experts from everything from food to religion and look where it’s gotten us.

See previous entry and imagine a world where we treated the earth as if she were a goddess. Now imagine how we can make it happen.

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