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Re: NFC: Communique from the combat booted one.

A little more food for thought:
I have always had an interest/affection for draft
horses, from sleeping with them as a babe to logging
with them and just enjoying them, there is an
excellent mag devoted to them, The Draft Horse Journal
surprising as that might sound(good website). A few
years ago one of the editors had an article done at
Ohio State University on the economics of horse
farming using the NE Ohio Amish and Mennonite farmers
for their study and 
nearby conventional dairy farmers to compare with.

The study showed a number of things that were
expected, that more of the Amish farmers participated
in the farm operation, that they had smaller capital
costs, smaller dairy herds and smaller checks. What
wasnt expected was that the Amish farmers were able to
retain a larger percentage of their milk checks, and
most surprising that the Amish farmers had more free
time to do with as they wanted then their neighboring
'modern' farms.

The media and the rest of us have adopted the image of
drudgery sold by the tractor companys of working with
horses, wheras the truth is that working with horses
promoted a lifestyle that gave more leisure time. In
order to pay for the tractors and other equipment the
'modern' farmers had to farm more land leading to more
debt and more labor to clear it with higher interest
payments taking more of the milk check before they
could realize anything from it.

The other fact brought out involved members of the
family who opted to stay in farming, the Amish and
Mennonites as a matter of course start their children
out in their own farms with livestock herds that they
have grown out themselves as teenagers and begin
viable farming operations wheras the 'modern' farmers
had a high rate of farm failures due to credit
problems  and lastly, the Amish and Mennonites farmers
regularly outlived their modern neighbors. 

Lastly, subsequent studies have shown less pollution
of the land from fertilizer of streams and lakes
adjoining horse farmed operations then the megafarms.

"Progress' needs to be looked at closely to see if it
really is progress. 

BTW, store tomatos are raised for shipping ability not
flavor. The Brandywine tomato, an Amish heirloom
tomato is my choice as THE best in the world, and
whats in my garden.

--- Arlus Farnsworth <arlusf at cwnet_com> wrote:
> Brute force will not accomplish our goals, of
> course... how silly of me.
> Doing nothing will accomplish... nothing also. What
> we need to do is
> figure out what our policy is, and stick to it.
> Obviously sitting in the
> front row of a voyeur extinction show is not to my
> taste, and is not
> likely to engender any mass movement to
> preservation. The first thing is
> to understand we are really talking about self
> preservation, and how we
> would like to be treating ourselves. Next we need to
> exhibit will power
> and not back down off our position, once it is made.
> This is the crucial
> part, and the trick is to allow enough feedback as
> the process unfolds
> and yet not unwind our doings inadvertently. I think
> there are many
> excellent studies and opinions developed that point
> the way to where we
> need to go. 
> 1. Find a method of food production that does not
> damage the
> environment.
> 2. Find a method of clothing, transportation and
> shelter that does not
> damage the environment.
> 3. Convince everyone that this is the desirable way
> to live.
> Ok, tall order. Well, what would stop this from
> happening? Easy, the
> seven mortal sins.
> Let's get down to business...
> A. Food has gone downhill. It is becoming
> increasingly difficult to
> purchase a decent tomato out of the grocery store.
> Fact. People are
> paying top dollar for tomatoes that actually
> resemble a home grown
> tomato, but still aren't quite as good quality. Most
> produce is like
> this. Fact. The meat you eat is fed all kinds of
> nasty stuff you would
> never consider eating... you name it, someone is
> selling you something
> they fed it to. Ok, so there is room for
> improvement, and there are
> people willing to spend top dollar to get it.
> Therefore, if you can
> produce awesome food, chances are it will make a
> decent living for you.
> It will take some work and possibly some law changes
> to allow locally
> produced high quality food to become available.
> B. Transportation and energy... well, you all know
> all about this
> already, but don't want to spend any money on it to
> get the industry
> going. Shame on you. And me.
> C. There is no easy way out. There are not enough
> things you can buy
> that will distract you from this simple truth.
> Conclusion: There are a few ways everyone can help
> turn the tide. I have
> mentioned planting your property with plants native
> to your particular
> locality, particularly those that help support
> endemic and migratory
> wildlife by providing food and shelter for them.
> Become involved in the
> knowledge of your natural surroundings as we have
> here about our fish.
> Plant your own vegetable garden, learn about
> companion planting
> (allelopathy) and other time honored techniques from
> your elders and
> companions before the information is lost to the
> winds of time. There is
> a technology now called "aquaponics" that is used to
> raise fish and
> vegetables together in a closed system, people are
> developing large
> scale and home production versions of this right now
> as I type this.
> What else do you have to do? Make a million bucks?
> Whatever, sounds
> clever. Doesn't sound very enjoyable, chasing the
> buck... I'd rather
> chase a real buck, and make sure there are plenty
> for my children to
> chase around also. Rounding out the conversation
> back to fish, if there
> becomes any amount of commercial demand for native
> aquaria species,
> these should be farmed, not wild harvested.
> Incidental take as a hobby
> must be supported by local fish and game
> departments, and they also must
> be locally based, for instance not blending one
> variation in with all
> the waters in a broad region. More small fisheries
> will generate more
> jobs. Besides, with all the enthusiastic, hopeful
> people participating
> in a better future, the economy is likely to purr
> along like a lap cat.
> Sounds good to me, I haven't heard any better ideas
> recently... or ever.
> People were not meant to perform as depressed and
> sickened drones, it is
> not our nature. They don't buy lots of product with
> vigor and zeal under
> those conditions, do they now?
> So, this has all been heard before you say? As any
> good advertising exec
> worth their salt will tell you, it is the repetitive
> beat of the drum
> that pounds the message home. Heck, we start to
> think we enjoy all the
> drivel that comes over our radios hour after tedious
> hour at the
> unbearable job. We are not allowed to enjoy our own
> musical preference,
> we sit isolated in traffic jams relishing the chance
> fender bender that
> punctuates the monotony and listen to our walkman
> during transit instead
> of striking up conversation with a neighbor. We are
> a rather drab
> version of the savage natives who rip the hearts out
> of captive
> sacrificial victims, convinced that eating our own
> heart out is
> empowering to our personal vain individuality. Ok,
> I'm done for tonight.
> Dang, only two spelling errors in all that, quite
> remarkable, really.
> Tread lightly upon this earth, and go in peace.

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