[Market-farming] GMO'S

Mary Conner chucknmaryc at yahoo.com
Wed Jun 10 14:03:21 EDT 2009


I appreciate your thoughtful response and agree with some of what you say, but please don't put words in my mouth that belong to you.   

"You'll see folks like Mary condemn me and claim that she is glad that I am not her neighbor, but I know, roughly where she is, geographically, "

I'd really like you to show me where I have condemned you or where I said that I'm glad you're not my neighbor because I don't remember saying that. The point of my posting was to provide information about genetically-modified frankenfoods. 

It's your prerogative, Richard, to choose profit over the future of our food and planet.  Perhaps if your land is under water, you might consider growing rice or leaving it as CRP land or putting in a pond.  

And if you haven't familiarized yourself with what it is that you're dealing with, here's a very short video that sums it up:  


All the best to you, Richard,


From: Richard Stewart <rstewart at zoomtown.com>
To: Market Farming <market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Wednesday, June 10, 2009 7:11:07 AM
Subject: Re: [Market-farming] GMO'S


Have you ever grown on a flood plain?  That is, a location that, during late autumn, winter, and sometimes very early spring that is often under water for a period of three or four days?  Most of the floods are slow, depositing mineral rich soils and sands on the property.  They also replenish the weed bank.  The weeds here tend to be Johnson Grass and what we call Horse Weeds along with a diverse cast of others.

Cultivating is nearly impossible once corn and beans get to a certain age, other crops, especially certain cereal crops would be difficult at best.   Hay and forage crops are gone in two years, filled with weeds and unsellable and filled with crap that takes years to breakdown in composting.

All of this is because of poor development planning and water runoff controls from both other farms and residential and commercial development along the Great Miami watershed.   We never used to flood unless the Ohio River overflowed its banks, which is rare, given the amount of of flood and navigation control we have these days.  Now we flood three or four times a year.

But not during corn and bean seasons.

Add to that the fact that growing corn and soybean, which are by their nature (unfortunately) in demand and easy to sell in a society that refuses to pay good money for good food and expect everything "Chinese Cheap" and throws up road blocks and hurdles every step of the way to sell produce off the farm and it makes very good sense.  If I wanted to grow switch grass for bio-fuels who do I sell it to?  There is no infrastructure supporting it.

I do not grow any BT corn or beans and no study that I seen suggests that Round-Up ready corn or beans impacts the health of our bee colonies.  

I talk with farmers at the local grain elevator when we haul to market and those that do not use GMO corn still spray, they simply spray MORE and use more diesel fuel..  Just like the no-till guys use more spray, use more diesel and get lower yields.

As beekeeper that is interested in working with Ohio Ag and local fruit and vegetable farmers I try to learn all I can about how folks use pesticides to protect me bees AND to provide alternatives.  As a grower I use NO pesticides or herbicides on my grapes or other fruit trees...AT ALL, even proscribed "organic" sprays, which can still impact my honey bees.  I know LOTS of non-GMO sweet corn and pumpkin and melon growers and let me tell you, for being non-GMO I'd never take my bees near their land.  Its a death zone.  Most sweet corn (non-GMO) is sprayed about every four days for ear worm and root protection, apples and oranges and are sprayed with a whole cocktail of stuff.  Vine crops are sprayed continuously as well.

GMO is a red herring though I do agree that specific types of GMO seed types (BTs and Terminators are a major threat).  Not all GMOs are created equal or are evil.  The problem is monoculture and resource use that, in the end, will be our undoing (be it organic or not).

Which is more dangerous to a region?  The use of a herbicide, or triple the amount of diesel fuel usage to cultivate, then four times the amount of water to irrigate weed seeds, followed by more irrigation because humans are trying to establish a crop in an arid or semi-arid region?

I'd love to go complete non-GMO just because people ARE uneducated when it comes to GMO vs non-GMO and it gets us slapped with nonsensical stereotype.  Non-GMO is our situation would mean we would increase our herbicide spray regimen and increased diesel fuel useage to cultivate at the early stages.

Much like large scale organic produce production it is not the perfect answer to our food problems.  You get Americans to pay 8.00 apound for good healthy heirloom tomatoes and I'll be more than happy to stop growing corn.  I plant switch grass and sell that to the local bio-fuel producer...if there was one.

I have a farm that is 300 acres.  Its been in the family since 1855.  You get what you get and you make it work.

I tried not to turn that into a rant and really explain our position.  You'll see folks like Mary condemn me and claim that she is glad that I am not her neighbor, but I know, roughly where she is, geographically, and trust me, I am a GOOD neighbor to have.  She has LOTS of GMO crops up there, and lots of spraying going on and lots of chemical fertilizers as well.  I make attempts to actually control how we do it, make sure that every field is ringed in by a dense stand of trees and that the GMO property is lower than the non-GMO/organic/forage property.  I manage wildlife and encourage diversity.  We rotate crops rather than plant year after year of corn till we HAVE to amend or plant beans or plow under a crop of wheat to add organic matter.

It is simply one part of a puzzle that works for us.  We have a profitable farm and the money made from those crops allows me to build up our produce and beekeeping business.

Have a good day!

Richard Stewart
Carriage House Farm
North Bend, Ohio

An Ohio Century Farm Est. 1855

(513) 967-1106
rstewart at zoomtown.com

On Jun 9, 2009, at 10:49 PM, <clearviewfarm at bluefrog.com> wrote:


Why would it "be impossible for us to farm this land without GMO seed types"?  That is difficult for me to imagine.  Your land is that chemically dependent?  Perhaps I have something to learn here.  Please enlighten me.

Kurt Forman
Clearview Farm
Palmyra, NY 14522

--- sunmoonriver at windstream.net wrote:

From: "courtney mcleod" <sunmoonriver at windstream.net>
To: "Market farming" <market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org>
Subject: [Market-farming] GMO'S
Date: Tue, 9 Jun 2009 17:40:36 -0400

I am glad we do not farm anywhere near each other…my crops and honeybee’s would be contaminated with your GMO pollen.  That would not be good for my land…my business or our bee’s!  GMO’s are what are going to wreck the environment and natural farming all together if not eradicated!

Nothing against you personally, just your choice of farming

Herb Thyme
Middlefield, Oh



I will argue that some GMO crops DO have their place.  I have 160 acres of bottom lands that I know till.  Every year the weed base is replenished.  A GMO corn or soybean does allow me to make use of this land. I could cultivate the weeds or try to choke it with a cover crop.  All of it has been tried.  We do a single herbicide spray to kill competing plants and that is it.  No pesticides and no other fertilizers. 

In other areas we do not use the same seed and do Non-GMO.

I would, literally, be impossible for us to farm this land without GMO seed types.

We use a fraction of the fuel that most large scale organic production uses too farm the same number of acres and do not irrigate at all.  Both of which are a massive drain on resources, are polluters, and wreck the environment..  Which is the lesser of two evils?  I do not have the answer to that.

Richard Stewart
Carriage House Farm
North Bend, Ohio

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