Monday, July 27, 2009


It's time to raise a hue and cry on this one, on its way through congress at the moment. This bill could be a potentially devastating blow to any progressive agricultural project, and especially would impact Hawaii. Take the time to do some research on the intent and the likely consequences of this legislation. Read it for yourself.

I don't like to offer my opinions on such things, as I believe people should read such material for themselves, but few seem willing to do so. In a nut shell, at the moment, these are the ramifications of this bill as I see them.

1) Every "farm" in the country must be federally licensed and registered. A 500 dollar annual fee.

2) Every "farm" in the country is now open to federal inspection at any moment in time.

3) Every "farm" must provide in essence a detailed "MSDS" on every farm product. If you grow a green bean, you'll need to register with the federal government what kind of green bean it is, where the seeds came from, the process by which it was grown, and any and all soil amendments, or fertilizers, or mulches, or pesticides, or whatevers where used in the process. 10000 dollar fine for each omission. This includes home brewed mixtures of garlic juice and tobacco or elsewise.

4) Of course, all of those fertilizers, or mulches, or carts of horseshit you use to grow those green beans will require producer "MSDS" sheets as well, as to what the mulch is made of, or what the horses ate, or where it all came from.

The strict interpretation of these provisions are onerrous in the extreme to any small farmer, and the fines so threatening for small operations that surely the bill will discourage small farming. The provisions are especially difficult for small operations that emphasize diversity, or organic practice, or permaculture, as the paperwork load required will be hundreds of times more complicated than that of, say, a huge factory farm growing GMO corn. . .this is how I see it.

Read the material for yourself and form a educated opinion. Primarily this will impact the consumer, rather than the producer, and everyone has a vested interest in the details. Kiss farmers markets good bye if the bill passes in its current form.

I'm trying to get a discussion going on the forum, by the way. It's important.

UPDATE: Farm language has been modified, thankfully, to be specifically exempt as long as no processing occurs on the farm site. The language pertaining to processing is very precise, and involves simple things like cutting or drying. More on this as it comes along.

UPDATE: annual fee for drying herbs has been raised to 1000 bucks, from 500, from zero. Monsanto may care little. You might.

UPDATE: This bill, written by people on the Monsanto payroll(no shit, really.) has passed the house. Some exemptions have supposedly been made for small farms, no details.

There's two other bills in tow behind this one if this one doesn't achieve the agenda. Again, written by those on the Monsanto payroll. No shit. Stay tuned.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Corrupt Government II

Here is an interesting opposing view to many of my contentions, and it's worth a read and thinking about.

I profoundly disagree, but the points raised are valid and interesting, and to take the time to answer some of the objections raised is worthwhile.

Discussion here:

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Fear of commitment

"Fear of commitment." This is something I've heard from a number of people lately. Would it not be nice to enjoy the luxury of indulging in such things?

I relate to the fear. Over the last couple of years I've been forced to accept some very major truths about the world and where we are in history, and the future that faces us. I've wrestled for certain with "fear of commitment" to the validity of such truths and the necessary repercussions that these truths forcibly demand. Change is upon us, and epic change it is. Our lifestyles will change as well. The new paradigm by which we will live is far from clear, and a rigorous and adaptive heroism will be required of all of us. Where this all ends up, short of the resolution that the macro scale provides us, individually, is also far from clear. Suffice to say: Take nothing for granted.

A little over a year ago finally I felt forced to make the commitment to the "new world coming" and get started on crafting a way of living that will remain workable in the future. Sustainability is key and core to that way of living. I was full aware that I was doomed to failure if I either made the mistake of indulging in comfortable half measures or dilettante morality. I needed to make a "commitment" to the ramifications my rationally derived and studiously researched knowledge as well my ethics. A big deal, and no way around it. Ignoring the issue was appealing but no longer an option. Evasion neither. Sailing away to a far corner of the world would escape nothing. It was time to get busy.

Nine months later:

We are well past the time for talk. Talk at this point only puts one further into the deficit of lack of preparation and lack of adaptation. This deficit will have consequences for many. I really think it is high time to have serious, honest, and introspective conversations about the reality that is coming our way. Make a commitment with the results of that conversation. Then get busy. All in all, a lot can happen pretty fast once that commitment is made.