Monday, January 5, 2009

Op Ed from Today's New York Times

(Love your mother)
Wes Jackson and Wendell Berry have written an outstanding piece about the importance of proper soil management, titled "The 50-Year Farm Bill", in the Op-Ed section of today's New York Times.

An excerpt:
"For 50 or 60 years, we have let ourselves believe that as long as we have money we will have food. That is a mistake. If we continue our offenses against the land and the labor by which we are fed, the food supply will decline, and we will have a problem far more complex than the failure of our paper economy. The government will bring forth no food by providing hundreds of billons of dollars to the agribusiness corporations."

I'm really blown away that the NYT would run an opinion piece as detailed and arcane, though as critically important, as this.

I sure hope Governor Vilsack reads the Times.


PJ said...

I'm just now learning how to work with the soil on my 1/2 acre. I think there should be a seperate cabinet post to deal with the integrity of our ecosystem, and I'm not talking about the EPA, that's a political beauracracy. I mean a national program for soil conservation and consumer and business helps.

ilex said...

You said it sister- the EPA exists to serve the government. I agree wholeheartedly. I read a great book last year called "Dirt", about the ruin of farmland causing the fall of civilizations through the ages. It was a real eye-opener.

PJ said...

It's my understanding that the Sahara Desert used to be a bread basket but was over-farmed and that it is now the source of our hurricanes. What does that tell you????

Rabbits' Guy said...

Sometimes I think many of these "fixes" need to come from much more local/regional efforts rather than US Government policy.

In our State the Conservation Districts and State University Extension services provide much help for local (and huge) farmers in terms of sustainability and soil preservation methods.