Monday, August 10, 2009

Imagine the ag land on Minto helping keep us healthy and fed

Composite image to illustrate the diversity of...Image via Wikipedia

One of the main arguments against kicking agriculture off 200 acres on Minto Brown is that we would do so today -- forever -- in the face of a huge and fast-growing mountain of evidence that all is not well with our food systems, which have basically become entirely dependent on a copious supply of fossil fuels and a finance system that selects for megafarms that require megaprofits -- meaning producing the cheapest possible food and shipping it a long way.

Here's a great article from todays NY Times calling for a rebirth of the agricultural extension service to help people all over the country select and breed plant varieties appropriate for their particularly place.

If we reject this "Rush, rush!" deal and think carefully, we can, if we wish, restore hundreds of acres on Minto Brown Island AND preserve its rich heritage as an agricultural place; we can convert those acres, one at a time if need be, to organic production and community gardens, with community supported agriculture operations to find which perennial vegetables, to name just one example, are most suitable for this area. We can, in short, act with caution, rather than making an irrevocable commitment of land to a particular (if not particularly well-fleshed out) use.

None of this is possible under the terms of the proposed easement. Instead, just as we will be needing MORE local food for more people, we're talking about reducing ag acreage that is perfectly situated on land we already own.
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