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Take care of yourself first, farmer, and the customer beware  RSS feed

 
Joshua Myrvaagnes
pollinator
Posts: 567
Location: Massachusetts, 6b, urban, nearish coast, 39'x60' minus the house, mostly shady north side, + lead.
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Hey Permies,

OK so i've been kicking this idea around for a while but just wanted to throw it out there, ptobably it's been discussed already maybe in the Helen and Scott Nearing book? but here it is anyway:

Let's say for example (and I don't want to make this all about raw milk, it's only one example, there's parallels in many different areas of the dynamic of shifting to a new paradigm) you are wanting to have healthy food grown for your community and you consider starting a farm. Well, now you have to follow all these regulations and pasteurize and stuff. And you have to sort of please the public and care about what they think.

You still really want raw milk to drink, so you drive a hundred miles out of your way to pick up for a milk club that's not really legal, which is stressful and in the back of your mind you worry that something will go wrong and it'll be an uncomfortable experience plus maybe put you out of business. But you do it because you have to, even though your own cows are sitting there in your field munching away.

And your customers aren't getting any raw milk either at this point.

Waht my gut feeling is is that you would be better off separating the farm from the homestead, physically as well as legally, and having some way that you can take care of yourself (as far as I know there's zero regulations about what you do with your own cow on your own land as long as it doesn't involve the land where your herd is that you're selling from--except maybe for certain activities we don't need to talk about here). And then you can drink raw milk every day, feel great, not have that long drive or that stress, and ahve more energy available for your work. Plus, I think our insctinctive localism is right no: local milk is more congruous biologically with the local ecosystem. The bacteria in the cow's mlk here are the bacteria that will help your gut, and the antibodies in the plants here are the ones that will stop the unfriendly bacteria. So it's better to be doing that.

You take care of yourself, and meanwhile you sell pasteurized to your customer. Why? arey ou a ruthless uncaring sociopath who is only out to make a buck? No! But you alone can't take on resonsibility for the entire legal system and the lack of real will among the people yet to change laws and so on and so forth...it's more battles than you're obligated to take on, it's more tahn you practically CAN take on. So your customer is suffering? Well, they may have to get their own cow, or go and get the legislation changed, or drive 100 miles to get raw milk themselves, but the fact is they have responsibility too.

Well, this example may be a little screwy becausei t's based on a real case I've observed, and I actually have no idea why the farmer was making some of the choices they were making, it felt rude to pry too much. But this is really happening (as far as I know zero has changed), and this really amazing, good-hearted, diligent and hardworking caring farmer is dealing with a crazy situation.

Another farmer was not making an composting sawdust toilet because iot would be illegal to have on the farm. For me, that just feels really--pun intended--crappy. My instinct is take care of myself first. Put my own health and that of my ecosystem ahead of the customer. Because if I haven't given myself really true health, then I don't actually have that to give to the customer, I'm really giving them some kind of a lie.

I guess it's that I believe the example I set is worth a lot more than a million favors I do for other people.

Does this make sense to anyone but me and what are your thoughts on this?

 
Scott Strough
Posts: 299
Location: Oklahoma
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Yes Joshua, Joel Salatin wrote a book about it called "Everything I want to do is illegal". All I can add is that you need to choose your battles wisely.
 
Joshua Myrvaagnes
pollinator
Posts: 567
Location: Massachusetts, 6b, urban, nearish coast, 39'x60' minus the house, mostly shady north side, + lead.
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Thanks, Scott! Great, that's perfect, I knew I had to read Joel Salatin some time, he sounds so inspirational. It's not directly related to what I do, but I think I'll just have to pick up a copy.

I think Joel's producing really high-quality food for his customers too, right? as well as for his family? I also think about Mark Shepard--if the zombie apocalypse happened tomorrow, he'd have plenty of chestnuts and stuff to feed his family and so on and hold permaculture design courses for willing zombies too--while in the meantime he's selling them as a high-end product. Brilliant!
 
David Livingston
steward
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Location: Anjou ,France
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Is not your first and best customer - yourself ?

David
 
Joshua Myrvaagnes
pollinator
Posts: 567
Location: Massachusetts, 6b, urban, nearish coast, 39'x60' minus the house, mostly shady north side, + lead.
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Yeah, well put! Most appropriate customer, in the literal sense of "near to" as well as "fit" -- that's true.
David Livingston wrote:Is not your first and best customer - yourself ?

David
 
Victor Johanson
Posts: 377
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
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The alternative is civil disobedience. It takes courage, and is futile unless enough people participate. But if tomorrow every farmer who wanted to disregard unjust and onerous laws did so, there wouldn't be enough jails to hold them all. And at some point, the controllers need to be confronted head, on or nothing will change. One example can galvanize multitudes to action but, understandably, no one wants to go first, since we've all seen what the oppressors do to the disobedient. When it comes to losing everything, it's hard not to chicken out. But the way things are going, maybe enough people will get sick enough of the status quo to grab a torch and a pitchfork.
 
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