[Homestead] Hey, Gene !

Gene GeRue genegerue at ruralize.com
Thu Sep 9 20:27:18 EDT 2004

>As in *Gaia* being Mother Earth and damage to her
>is damage to every"body" which includes *all Life*.

I am good with the concept of Earth as a living organism. The concept is 
useful in raising consciousness about pollution, climate-affecting human 
activities and ecological sustainability. I like Lovelock's thinking, 
although I disagree with him on the use of nuclear energy.

>Citizen-farmers are preserving the land and harvesting a dream

And I applaud groups like this that, while naive and inexperienced, have 
their eco-hearts in a good place.

This operation appears to be CSA on a larger-than-usual scale. Perhaps you 
know that small farm operations in or near population concentrations have 
been happening for decades.

>Its 70.1 acres form a quilted, pesticide-free oasis of fruits, vegetables, 
>flowers, herbs and animals, all in a suburban valley where it is more 
>common to find strip-mall developments and traffic jams.
>The citizen-farmers have done more than just get by, notching up 
>devoted-customer numbers and sales last year that ranged from 400 dozen 
>eggs to more than 4 tons of berries. As their fall season begins today 
>with the opening of their popular corn maze -- healthy and tall this time, 
>cut in the shape of a farmer with a horse-drawn plow -- they will have 
>another chance to prove whether they can thrive.
>FARM LLC investors had hoped to turn their first profit last year. They 
>were stymied by the road construction and by weather that turned their 
>corn, normally a prime family attraction and moneymaker, into a "drought 
>maze" of withered stalks.
>After five years of work, the group debated whether it was on the right 
>track, asking, "Are we in or are we out?" said member and spokeswoman 
>Christine Dubois, a writer in her non-farm life.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but farmers are inured to suffering 
through way more than five unprofitable years. As long as they stay out of 
banks, they have a chance. With emotional efforts like this, one hopes that 
the energy will last until the participants get enough experience to make 
it work. It helps to spread the pain, as they have done well.

That sort of variety and experimentation is key for the modern urban farm, 
said Steve Evans, "farmbudsman" for King County.

>"It's the farm of the future for around here," he said. "Even though the 
>challenge is that it's on the urban fringe, the blessing is that it's on 
>the urban fringe.

That's the best reason to hope that people like this make it work: 
producing food within minutes of consumers saves lots of oil and allows 
people to eat fresher produce.

Have you read Booker T. Whatley's Handbook on How to Make $100,000 Farming 
25 Acres?

You suggested this might be what I perceive as "citizen forester." I 
somehow missed the forestry part.

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