Friday, March 26, 2010

Seeds of Deception

I have a few friends whom I consider very smart and adept and they are recommending I read these books.

One is Seeds of Deception and another is Seeds of Destruction. My friend Jim sent me the second link and I was commenting on my friend Daniel's blog when this link to Maria Rodale's book showed up on the top of the screen.

I read Robert Rodale's Organic Gardening for years and practice it in my garden. I never practiced it fully on my farm although we share many similar principles in crop nutrition. Maria must be his daughter? One time a bunch of county extension agents loaded up a van and traveled to their research farm in Emmaus, Pa.

I must admit our own vegetables beat anything I ever bought. There is a difference. People know it. There has been a large surge to grow your own. But that pesticide thing, it is just too easy to control pest with low doses of them. The LD50 tells me I am more likely to get hit by a bus than die of overdose of them.

The organic people were considered a bunch of kooks in agriculture and still are. But now they have a whole produce section of organic vegetables in our local Kroger store 6 miles west of us. I never thought that would happen.

I mean, every farmer uses chemicals, right? No, not all.

Suddenly one corporation gets our government to change the Plant Variety Protection Act for their genetically modified seed. That was 16 years ago. Today they rule the seed industry as seedsman after seedsman sold out or gave up to them. Do you like those RoundUp commercials to kill the weeds in the cracks of your driveway?

I remember taking my ag students to Monsanto corporation for their tour on the way to our National FFA Convention in Kansas City Missouri. I remember the early gene gun which was a wooden 22 caliber pistol they actually used to push genetic material through growing plant cells. Man was starting to manipulate creation right there and probably before? Man is more sophisticated in his gene transfer now.

I have nothing against Monsanto Corporation, they patented the business of making money with seed. I still have a small choice to not increase their bottom line if I want to plant another GMO or none at all.

I still have the choice as a farmer. But they rule the roost for sure. Some say that roost has more than chicken manure on it.

I am just a lowly farmer, what would I know.

Ed Winkle


  1. We have organic farmers here too and they claim to be making good money although their crops are weed infested and don't appear to yield half what a conventional farmed (chemical) crop does. I'd prefer to go chemical free but not ready to make the commitment required to go full organic. So I'm a slave to the chemical companies for now anyway.

  2. Pretty is one thing, profit and presperity is another. I admit Grandpa's farm was not as pretty as mine but he was more prosperous? In nature, weeds are flowers. Trying to do this right is tedious. I don't see how I can go chemical free, as in pesticides but the cover crops are a clue we can get closer. Jon S has a good picture