Alex wrote <snip>
And it doesn't make any sense to grow wheat and buy Wheaties or corn and
Flakes, but that's what USDA and everyone else tells us to do. Farmers
supposed to live like city folks- houses, cars, clothes, food... Just
look at the
propaganda that's put out. We've been told that, if we don't, we'll be
rubes and ignorant rustics.
Roberto wrote <snip>
Many Philippine farmers are unfortunately already caught in the same
trap as American farmers. However, we still do have enough subsistence
farmers (who grow their own food and sell the surplus for cash) to
know that subsistence farming works, especially if you stay away from
the chemical, high-input ag trap. I know farmers who can grow in
around 1 hectare (2+ acres?) all the food their family needs. Very
roughly a fifth to a fourth of the land for vegetables and the rest
for rice. With chicken and pigs in the backyard and perhaps some fruit
trees, they have more than enough food for themselves, and much
healthier than what urban dwellers eat. Subsistence farming is a good
starting point for sustainable living.
I agree that the propaganda mongers want farmers to be as
dependent on processed foods as urbanites. I took the Master Gardener
class (I already knew how to garden but wanted to find gardeners who have
lived in this area longer) and heard "just go down to Safeway and buy
it" so many times that my classmates (the ones who've stayed in touch)
now preceede any question about food gardening with a commment to the
effect of "I know we aren't supposed to grow our own, but..."
What I resent is the knowledge that my tax dollars go to support
the spreading of such messages as "just go down to Safeway" and "it's too
much bother to grow your own" along with the raised eyebrows and snide
remarks aimed at anyone gardening organically. And it doesn't sound like
it is any better in the Phillipines.
Meanwhile, in my circle of friends, more and more people realize
that my husband and I eat better than most in large measure because of my
garden. Admitedly, I'm not trying to sell my produce as a cash crop like
many of you are. And I don't plan to expand my chicken flock beyond its
present 10 because what I can get for organic eggs doesn't pay for
organic chicken food which was originally intended for human consumption
(I've not been able to find organic chicken food locally).
I have a friend who likes to tell people my chickens eat better
than most people do. She's right. But that's because most people would
rather eat Wheaties and corn chips than whole grain wheat or corn. As
for vegetables, the chickens get my leftovers and discards which are
generally fresher than most people find in the supermarket.
I'm sure there are those who think I should get a job in town so
I could afford to buy more processed food rather than stay home and grow
my own. They just don't know what good eating is. As for those of you
who farm cash crops but don't garden, I urge you to budget a little land
and a little time for home food production starting with your favorite
vegetables. Safeway and the other supermarkets can't possibly compete
with the flavor and freshness of just picked vegetables no matter what
our county agent says!
Best regards, Edna
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