Thursday, August 13, 2009

Local/Regional Agriculture, Building, & Education

Hi Susan,

It is a pleasure to converse with thee.

The primary source of nitrogen fertilizer is from the air, synthesized by burning, preferably natural gas because it is the petrochemical that burns the cleanest.

I had a seasonal job once delivering fertilizer to mostly dairy farms in Western New England. The alternative source of nitrogen was blood meal (yes, from slaughter houses). Now, we both know about legumes and their nitrogen fixing capabilities and crop rotation, but I'm wondering how that would be applied to organic gardening and extended organic gardening (that is what I call true organic farming). I don't know. Many years ago (about thirty give or take a few), I subscribed to Rodale's Organic Gardening and Farming Magazine (among many others) and had in my posession their Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening. I used to know more about such things back then or at least had an excellent reference material at my fingertips.

Corvallis, eh? The Aggie School. Let's put them to work. They have a very healthy "Urban Farm" at the U of O, here in Eugene. But honestly, it is a garden, not a farm.

An interesting story about Corvallis. I almost went to school there for a second Bachelor's degree in Construction Engineering and Management (my first Bachelor's degree was in Environmental Studies. Part of my family comes from the building trades.). But, when I studied the curriculum at OSU, I recognized that it was strictly geared toward "heavy construction" (i.e. roads, bridges, dams, power plants, institutional buildings, large scale development, etc). My interest was along the lines of "light construction" (i.e. passive solar design and construction, retrofitting, carpentry, greenhouses, adapting common community space, solar water heating, etc.). I decided not go, there were other reasons, but that was the primary one.

Instead, I studied Planning and Economics and eventually got a MBA. How many socialists can say the latter?

It would be nice to put Corvallis, Eugene, UC Davis, and the like (AND COOPERATIVE EXTENSION), regional and inter-regional cooperation as favored contrasted with State, to work in helping the transition to a true organic agriculture, rather than an absurd, inhumane, inequitable, and unhealthy agribusiness of today.

Same for the building trades and related industriousness, and our transition to a fundamental demand side management plan with respect to natural resources, particularly fossil fuels, of course coupled with the concerns of inclusion. equity, humanity, quality of life, and yes, peace, elusive peace.

What think?

Mike Morin

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