COMMENTARY

KUDOS for “low-pol” organics (and Parker Bosley)
Two New Farm readers tell Parker Bosley he's not alone. And, they have a message for sustainable ag supporters: change the world through example not through political pandering.

Posted July 20, 2004

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NF

DEAR NEW FARM:

“Amen” to Parker Bosley's letter, NF Newsletter July 13. I also reference an unfortunate phrase in the lead sentence of Cornucopia's Op.Ed in same Newsletter: "... right-wing think tank ..." Mightn't a representative of a left-wing think tank possibly, sometime, be as idiotic?

I took a brief look at Hudson's site. Any place that recommends Joe Lieberman for the next Secretary of State sure cannot be all that right wing! More to the point, I along with many other readers of NF despise Avery of the Hudson Institute; I care not at all that his viewpoints may be left, center, right, or other.

Our issue is the viability of ecological, organic farming, and mostly that in the United States. Because farming activities involve so much of the rest of society, some non-farm issues will be appropriate to consider but only with the least possible reference to political tendency. For example, with Lisa Hamilton's excellent descriptions of various ranchers' ecologically-oriented, profitability-oriented management methods, I don't care who they're going to vote for next elections. Geez, I don't even care what movies they like. I don't care about those cultural tendencies, because I do care a lot about the culture of ecological agriculture. That culture will succeed more quickly without the burden of left-right references.

As my personal area of active interest during the last 15 years, I can definitely communicate that in the area of non-toxic or low-risk "pesticides,” EPA interpretation under both Republican and Democrat administrations has been continuously incompetent, with the result of slowing the advancement of ecological methods of agriculture.

Please just tell your Op.Ed contributors to skip all the political swipes when they write for NF.

Thanks,
James Silverthorne
Three Hills Farm
Stroudsburg, Pa.

 

DEAR NEW FARM:

During my years of organic gardening, teaching organic gardening and farming workshops here and abroad, I have never read a better article than the one of July 2 by Parker Bosley, the restaurateur from Cleveland, Ohio. Apparently, most famers like he discusses are not taking the organic certification route. They are right.

There is no end to the conferences, meetings, etc., that are occurring monthly, sometimes I think weekly, all over this nation discussing this. There is no end to the listserves on the Internet discussing this. They encourage attendance, and sometimes I am invited to speak. My question is this: After all these are finished, how many farmers have switched to organics? How many more consumers are buying from the local organic family farms, either directly or at the farmer's markets? Usually the answer is “none”. The solution to the problem is just what Mr. Bosley and those farmers are doing and will continue to do.

Ken Hargesheimer
Lubbock, Texas