Noel Deering wrote:
Personally, I feel like I'm occupying the higher ground relative to all the conventional farmers who surround me, by not accepting government money. That said, if there was cost share money for constructing ponds, I'd be all over it.
Noel Deering wrote:Thanks Deb
I haven't looked very hard for cost share money, but the little bit of inquiry that I did was asking the county soil and water conservation district because I heard that they used to do that. I was flabbergasted by their response- we don't really allocate funds for ponds anymore because it's all going toward cedar removal. I do not understand why public money would be used for the removal of a native and very useful tree. (It looks like they're native to all, or almost all, of Missouri too depending on which map one consults.) I understand that cedars can take over a pasture, but that only happens if nobody does anything. If they need to be thinned, they should simply be cut down, at the owner's expense.
Looking out my window right now I see a hillside full of bur oak and Eastern Red Cedar. They both shade the understory and change the plant composition of the area underneath them. Are we going to use taxpayer money to cut down the oaks too?
I understand and support something like CRP because it's a sacrifice on the part of the farmer for the benefit of the public; sure, use taxpayer money for that. I can rationalize pond construction in the same way- the waterfowl that will use my ponds benefit everyone from Canada to Mexico. But there's a lot of public money being used for things that really bother me. Conventional farmers are getting money for cover crops now. One of the benefits is to keep sediment out of our streams and rivers so that's a public benefit, but the added fertility and keeping the farmer's soil on the farmer's land and fueling soil life, etc. are all benefits that mainly accrue to the farmer so let the farmer pay for that. And they all act like cover crops are some new technology. It's been common sense for years. It also bothers me how farmers don't do much of anything unless they get some free money to do it.
When I mentioned "higher ground relative to..." I was trying to say that in addition to Salatin using ultra-wise permaculture techniques which are very efficient and keep expenses to a minimum and thus are very profitable, he also approaches everything with extreme frugality and that is just as integral to his success as permaculture techniques are. I just hope permaculture doesn't get sucked in to the government-and-big-business maw and get all messed up like agriculture has, like "organic" has, ...
When I criticize conventional farmers and complain about their methods to blue collar conservatives in Iowa, the point of profitable permaculture vs. socialistic-bordering-on-parasitic conventional agriculture is a VERY powerful argument.
I also strongly disagree with the use of the term "invasive." My opinion on that is much like Hemenway's and (I think) Jacke and Toensmeier's.
Anyway, I guess I'm rambling now and maybe getting too political. Shit, and I'm late for work.