tolenio at sentex.net
Thu Dec 27 11:01:49 EST 2007
A farmer with spare time...?
I know that farmers with less than 1,000 acres need to diversify. It is
difficult to keep your head above water if your single cash crop plummets on
the commodities market. With multiple irons in the fire when one crop is
economically weak, another may be strong. The problem with multiple things
is the time it requires to keep all the balls in the air.
Dairy, pigs, beef cattle, cash crops all chew up time. Then there is
machinery maintenance, break downs and business planning. I have never
known a farmer with spare time, unless you are talking about a farm with
enough hands to make the work load lighter. However, unless the farms hands
are "family" they are too expensive.
I know a number of small farmers and their life is their farm, with very
little time for hobbies.
From: nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Anton Callaway
Sent: Thursday, December 27, 2007 10:33 AM
To: North American Fruit Explorers
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] FEDCO
There is truth to both observations below. However, I also am puzzled by
the lack of interest in plants, soil and environment displayed by some of
the large cash-crop-only farmers. Don't they have spare time for a hobby
like even city people? Why not garden as a hobby? I guess many of them
don't really enjoy it.
Efficiency is a broader issue than $$ in vs. $$ out. If one relies on
supermarkets for one's produce, the family's health is likely impacted by
the sub-par quality food. What impact does that have on the efficiency of
the farmer? What impact does this have on society? Sometimes things look
very practical and sensible until the impacts on greater society are taken
>From: Thomas Olenio <tolenio at sentex.net>
>Sent: Dec 27, 2007 5:06 AM
>To: 'North American Fruit Explorers' <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
>Subject: Re: [NAFEX] FEDCO
>In a couple mile radius from me I can't think of a farm that still has a
>vegetable garden of consequence, and only one old couple that keeps
>chickens. The number of farmers who actually dabble in horticulture of any
>sort is confined to a few ex-hippy back-to-the-land types. The rest barely
>even consider themselves to be farmers, sad to say--they are commodities
>I know many farmers and the lack of family farm vegetable gardens becomes
>obvious if you understand their motives and drives. Farmers are practical,
>pragmatic people and time is their most precious commodity. If it is more
>practical and inexpensive to buy vegetables and fruit they will. No good
>farmer worth his corn would spend $100 of his time to end up with $25 worth
>of produce. The time invested in a vegetable garden is much better spent
>their cash crop.
>Farmers are pragmatic and practical to the bone. The far greater
>percentages of farmers are not hippies, tree huggers, or eco-zeolots they
>are simply small business men who work with agriculture. The law of
>economics and pragmatism are their model. Do not look for veggie gardens
>but "efficiencies" on a well operated farm.
>Sure you will find those willing to spend $100 in time for $25 of tangible
>results but they are not farmers, they are hobbyists'.
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