Maybe the world isn’t coming to an end

February 10, 2009

Even though its 50 degrees in February and friday the thirteenth is staring us in the face I think that the world may, in fact, not be coming to an end. At least not right away.
Although our new secretary of agriculture isn’t the most green or organic friendly guy in the world I was incredibly heartened by the Obama’s decision to promote local foods dining by example. Their personal chef is going to be a local foods enthusiast. And I think that the idea being floated on the web of a first farmer is a terrific idea. The idea is to plow up the White House front lawn and replace it with a kitchen garden. Brilliant. Lets have a little more leadership by example. Check out this website for more information about it. Claire Strader, the woman who’s been selected for the job by popular opinion, is a Madisonian and the director of a really great CSA farm on the edge of town.
But, most of all, this article in todays New York Times editorial section which says that the 2007 Census of Agriculture found that the number of farmers in the state of Iowa has actually had an increase in the number of small farms since 2002. That is fantastic and surprising news. The numbers of farmers in this country have been in decline since the dawn of the green revolution and before – basically since we got big tractors to plow up the great plains. And now an increase. It seems most improbable but the numbers are telling. As the article says “These are very small farms, 9 acres or less, and they are producing a much wider array of crops than the rest of Iowa, which specializes in corn and soybeans.” My response is: Hooray! Now Iowa and I have our issues – like the fact that I’ve never driven through it without getting lost in a hail storm – but I am very happy about this news. Go, Iowa, go! Keep regaining your farm families and lets get the rest of the midwest on a roll too.
happy produce.JPG
[This photo isn’t current (if I had this much beautiful produce on my counter in february I’d be guilty of some serious food mileage accumulation. But it makes me happy to remember the bounty of the summer when my membership in a local CSA led me into crazy exploits like chlorophyll soup made from all those beet and turnip greens. Happy days will be here again soon.]

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