Ronald Nigh wrote:
> Organics is not only a 'market
> niche' (getting pretty wide to be called a "niche") it is also a
> (certified) committment to the consumer to farm in an ecologically
> responsible and healthy way.
> We all know it is far from perfect.
this is the point i'm trying to make. I'm not trashing organic farming, as i've
learned lots of good information that I've adapted to my farm. Organics is not
perfect and nither is *any* agriculture production system for that matter.
Just because i'm not organic doesn't mean I don't have a highly sustainable
production system. there are certain environmental aspects of the way I farm
that are better then the confines of an organic system and there are other
aspects that are less favorable.
> question is whether to "go beyond" and forget what organics has come to
> mean for the public (go beyond to what?) or stay with that market and
> label, and that farming system, and defend and deepen the ecologically
> responsible meaning that the label has come to have. I believe the latter
> is the only viable strategy.
I'm not telling the organic growers to *go* anywhere if they don't feel they
need to . It is a great environmentally friendly system over all. I think the
organic farmers have great opportunities now in marketing their products and
taking advantage of the current consumer trends.
> Organic farmers have already had a positive impact on farming in general.
> Conventional farming *is* becoming more responsible, as you point out, in
> part because organic farmers alerted the public that there was an
> alternative and that we ought to pursue it. The power of those consumers
> to continue forcing positive changes in agriculture is only growing--which
> is why it is being contested by those who stand to benefit from resisting
> or diverting that change. I say its the only real game in town for having
> a real impact on the way the world farms. "Other things" may well be going
> on elsewhere as Douglas says, and they may be important, but they do not
> stand to have 1/10 the impact the organic system could have over next
> couple of decades. That's why I believe our energies should be going into
> improving organics rather than just dropping it.
this is where i disagree. from a *national* perspective i think organics is too
restictive to be sustainable. As Bart stated earlier, "Focusing on materials
instead of healthy system management gets us in trouble". And I certainly don't
advocate "dropping organics" but i'm tired of organics being held up as the
*ideal* for sustainable agriculture.
-- Steve Groff
"Enhancing the Environment" http://www.cedarmeadowfarm.com/ Cedar Meadow Farm 679 Hilldale Road Holtwood, PA 17532 USA
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