[permaculture] NYT morons at work: Don’t Let Your Children Grow Up to Be Farmers - NYTimes.com

Lawrence London lfljvenaura at gmail.com
Mon Aug 11 14:51:41 EDT 2014

On Mon, Aug 11, 2014 at 2:05 PM, Toby Hemenway <toby at patternliteracy.com>

> Seems very shortsighted to me for the author to argue that the only
> legitimate yield from a piece of land, its residents, and their abilities
> should be food. For centuries, farmers have worked at other jobs during the
> off season. If there are grants available for farm non-profits, then set up
> a non-profit. If your farm can also be an educational center, tour site, or
> other multi-functional, multi-yield venue, what weird form of purism says
> you can only sell food?
> I know small farms that gross $100,000 per acre. This guy's "woe is us"
> mentality is blinding him to other possibilities. Once again, the biggest
> limit to yield is the designer's mind.
> Toby
> http://patternliteracy.com
Could you describe the farming system that 100K grower is using? A lot of
what kind of farming you can do on a given tract of land has to do with 1)
type of soil and soil quality 2) water availability 3) site drainage 4)
availability of light for crops. What is a "farm non-profit"? site used for
educational purposes or ecotourism?
The notion of getting grants or outright donations (from other than
customers) is completely backwards as I see it. Remember Eric Kindberg and
his campaign to retain ownership of the use of the terms organic and
organically grown by farmers exclusively with minimal government oversight
and compliance with all the obvious food safety regulations? When the
government finally did take control of organic labelling the cost of farm
certification rose significantly. Farmers wondering how they were going to
pay those overhead costs were often advised to "get a grant to subsidize
your certification costs". That's just not farming and certainly not part
of any intelligent, progressive design process. Counties and states want to
conserve farms, farmland and greenspace so they offer tax incentives for
farm use status which is a significant saving.

There just has to be a way to establish a nationwide network of farms using
natural methods and materials and permaculture serving their locale or
region, giving them some autonomy and use of their own product labelling
system, closely identified with the network itself. This could be
accomplished in a short time with organized effort behind the formation of
such a network. It would be a
legitimate function of the NAPC through a subset,  NAPCFM (Farmer Network).
It could be done on a small scale through the NAPC early on using a type of
non-certified-organic or naturally grown labelling. A landowner could be
involved in a multiplicity of cottage enterprises ranging from ecotourism
to crafts to livestock boarding to market gardening, orcharding and
farming, fiber and hay production, herbs, berries, utilizing on farm sales,
on farm shop, pick your own, csa, csa coop, roadside stand, country
restaurant and grocery and more. They sky is the limit for site design
possibilities related to income generation.

Lawrence F. London
lfljvenaura at gmail.com
Skype: lawrence.f.london

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