Monday, May 5, 2008

Agriculture or Agribusiness?

Much of what I hear about these days has to do with agriculture, but what is unsaid is that it is really agribusiness. I think of agriculture as the cultivation of crops for personal use or for your community. Agribusiness is that overarching mentality of having to make a dollar on whatever it is that you do. Most of the US is in agribusiness; we grow things that we can sell to feed others. In an article I read today by Michael Pollan titled "Why Bother" from the New York Times I found the statistic that the old "Victory Garden" supplied Americans with up to 40% of their produce a phenomenal idea. If you have property, grow a garden! According to Pollan, the benefits far outweigh the costs. It adds to the idea of sustainability, makes your life closer to a subsistence lifestyle. Heck, I'm even considering it, so I can have zucchini to give away! Beans, corn and squash have been the magic trio of vegetables on the Turtle Island for hundreds of years, why stop now? With global warming, I think I can even get a good crop of corn here in Montana. I pay electricity for a freezer I usually fill with frozen veggies, why not fill it with my own? I'm ready to get off my duff and grow something, even with the WORK involved. Saves electricity, gas, I will get some much needed exercise, spend time making my family weed the darned thing, and spend time with them, I think it's a great idea.
Agriculture instead of agribusiness, it's your choice.

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