A friend of mine, Joan Ifland, draws strong parallels between how the tobacco industry conducted its business for decades, and how the food industry is conducting itself today.
I have some sympathy for you, my readers, who must be wondering, wtf? If not for the reduced level of posting, then for the apparent veering away from what seemed to be the blog's theme of energy efficiency, green-building issues, etc.
Jim Wilson, the fourth-generation farmer at the helm of Wilson Farms in Lexington, likes to note the distinction between good farmers and good businessmen, and listening to him during a 90-minute tour last week, it's clear he claims membership in both cohorts. Considering the thriving concerns his family operates both in Lexington and in southern New Hampshire, there should be no argument, either.
Not for a second do I believe Monsanto's response page to the movie "Food, Inc.," even though I scored a perfect 7-for-7 on its facts quiz it deploys to help carry its attack against the film.
I'm way late on passing on information of a new endeavor by an old acquaintance, Rosemary Jason. Years ago for the Globe magazine, I wrote about her Pocket Rides, small, laminated cards with suggested routes for cyclists.
Now she's come out with Hungry Nomad Maps, which Jason says concentrate far less on distance and far more on destinations — farms, farmers' markets, wildlife refuges, beaches, and conservation land.
I am dismayed to read about Collin Peterson, the Minnesota Democrat who is chairman of the House Agriculture Committee and was lovingly profiled by the Times a couple of days ago.
"Peterson says he does not set out to be a contrarian," the story says, but based on some of his comments, I begin to wonder if he sets out to be a bonehead, instead.
The facet I like most about Charlie Radoslovich's Rad Urban Farmers business model is that he is a farmer without any land. From the top, you know he's either a wacko or on to something significant. I'm thinking it's the latter.
He told me he didn't devise the ideas, but he's certainly on the front edge of the wave. If he's successful, think how much land under lawn-grass cultivation could be converted to productive use.
I don't have anything to add to this, from Time mag via Yahoo. It's just worth sharing. Four mass animal deaths in four months in Chile.
Another in a series of miniprofiles of sustainability-minded people who are working to reduce humankind’s footprint on the planet. To recap, they're "mini" not only because they're short, but because all the questions are 10 words or less, and the answers are requested to match. Please, no counting.
GABRIEL ERDE-COHEN, 24, Jamaica Plain Green City Growers
I usually synopsize what the subject does, but this time, I thought Gabriel said it so well, I'd just let him speak: "We build and maintain backyard farms on people’s private land for the benefit of them and their family. It’s like having a personal CSA. [CSA, as in "community supported agriculture." Generally, farms sell shares of their output before the growing season to lessen their market risk.] "We also acquire and do bioremediation on brownfields [land tainted by past industrial activity] in the city of Boston for the purpose of turning them into city farms and educational centers. "Our newest program is consulting, designing, and building urban homesteads, which are completely sustainable homes and communities within the city. That’s the dream."
We've embarked on another green endeavor, both literal and punny, at home.