Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Hopeful Signs of Agrarian Revival

My off farm urbanist business occasionally requires me to be apprised of local news. In the last couple days while searching for local matters on google news I found two encouraging agrarian stories.

Hand mowing contests are returning to  Yankee country fairs. Even the Wall Street Journal  recently noted the Scything revival. 
The first one: of all places, the Wall Street Journal ran a story about Scythes as a superior alternative to the weedwacker. I have two Marrugg Scythes and love them. The article is a bit obtuse about the differences between Austrian style blades and stamped American blades. I would also question whether a scythe instructor is necessary.  Some reading and youtube watching followed by thoughtful practice can accomplish a lot and my mantra in life is the Chesterton quote that "anything worth doing is worth doing badly."  In spite of these small flaws, the fact that a major paper in darkest New York City is doing a story on scythes is pleasantly shocking. 

The second story is from the New York Times and discusses some the the economics of the growing small farm movement.   Apparently among other things, cheap migrant labor is not as plentiful as it once was, and  produce from small family worked plots may become more price competitive. If this trend continues,  my expectation is that large corporate agribusiness will respond by lobbying for more regulations on farmers markets and the small growers (all in the name of "food safety").
For now though, I am just encouraged.

No comments:

Post a Comment