Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Woman is our name; farming is our game

Since farming is the oldest profession for women & they continue to play a vital role in it globally, there’s a whole other meaning to that “biology is destiny” thing: woman is our name; potatoes & alfalfa are our game! This proud lineage persuaded me I should at least learn to grow a tomato plant without killing it so I signed up for a farming course. The course is mostly women growers who know all about soil analysis, fertilizers, & tilth. Me, not so much. Today, the instructor said peanuts are not nuts but legumes. When I responded with my Rose Nylund/Betty White-like, “Really!?”, she said, “You are amazing” and not in a tone that flattered. I didn’t give her a chance to tap the full depth of my ignorance by asking, “What’s a legume?” Anyway, the soil analyst today discussed long-term damage done to agriculture by pesticides & chemicals & confirmed that nutrient density of organically grown produce is significantly higher than chemically grown produce. There aren’t even earth worms in chemically treated soils & their presence is a sign of organic life. This puts Monsanto & the entire agribusiness industry at odds with agricultural science. Dr. Don Huber, professor emeritus of plant pathology at Purdue University, has done research showing connections between nutrient deficiency in soil to human illness (such as Alzheimer’s) & environmental damage. Google our man, Huber, & you can find a raft of useful info. (Photographer of woman farmer not identified)

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