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Saturday, July 9, 2011

It's corny but.......

It may sound corny, but maize is very near to being a perfect plant. Every inch of the stalk and seed pods are used for everything from corn-on-the-cob to candy bars. But, boy does it take a lot of nutrition out of the soil to store it in those tall plants. Around these here parts, they not only put down artificial nutrients or natural in the form of shit direct from the animals or sludge from waste treatment plants (therein lies considerable controversy), but they use the good old alternating crops regime: corn one year, soy beans the next. Lucky for the farmers around here, this was a corn year. Good for them. Now maybe they won't need all those subsidies (that really only help the big guys anyway). But standby for the rapidly rising price of food to continue (even as the government tries to figure out how to measure COLA without factoring in food, which would then only leave the price of iPods as the measurement of record--and that cost keeps going down).
Our daughter and family raise a few pigs and/or a steer at a time on their farm for family consumption. The price of feed has been making it close to a losing proposition in recent years (but at least they know where the meat came from). The grandkids have adjusted like farm kids have for centuries. Even to the point of naming the animals and then referring to their meat as Pinkeyburgers, etc. The circle of life.
With famine making its way around the world in turn--now its east Africa and, I think, Australia--it would be nice to get ahead of the game. Close the land banks! Anyhow, got too many mouths to feed and the numbers rise despite the best attempts of despots to kill as many people as they can. Therein lies another unheralded problem in this country: We continue to convert farmland and potential farmland into housing tracts and shopping malls. Fortunately, cities like Deetroit are working on tearing down buildings and creating urban agriculture. Soon we'll be raising corn on the flat tops of skyscrapers to feed the Chinese.
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