Sunday, December 14, 2008

I Want a Secretary of Agriculture that Supports Organic Ideals - Do You?

I've been writing about organic gardening since 1972 (admittedly for a school paper, but it was a start!) and organic agriculture since the mid 70's. In the 1990's I wrote Organic Gardening magazine asking why they didn't have a "Zone 10" (South Florida) writer and they asked me to write for them. I've started several community gardens that asked for (we couldn't demand) the gardeners to use only organic methods. The first was in 1976 in Riverside, California, at the married student housing center. So you can say I really have a decent resume in promoting organic gardening and farming methods, but this is the first time I've ever been fired up about the United States Secretary of Agriculture. Too often, we've only had tools of the ag chemical industry in that position, but hopefully this time we might get a voice for organic agriculture and hopefully (because I never stop hoping) sustainable agriculture.

A fellow on Facebook posted a link to this site on my wall there earlier today, and I'm passing it along. Seems the folks at the Organic Consumers Association have ranked 10 "good, bad or ugly" candidates replete with a shortie resume and lots of links for you to follow to make up your own mind. At the bottom of the page, under the candidate they deem "probable" you'll find a link to Democracy in Action page where you can fill in a form asking that Obama pick a "good" guy. Don't know if this kind of thing really works, but it does give you - well, me at least - a warm and fuzzy feeling that perhaps it might have an impact. Even if you don't fill in the form, at least you can bring yourself up to speed on the candidates and follow your own path to making your voice heard.

I source organic aromatics whenever possible because the pesticides used in conventional farms do "come over" in the extraction process and wind up concentrated in the final essential oil or absolute. Of course, I'm lucky that I can grown and extract many of my own organic essences because Anya's Garden really does exist, but I still do depend on outside sources for many of my aromatics that go into my perfume, and I'm sure you do, too. Then there's the whole spectrum of sustainable agricultural practices that go into a holistic view of growing that need to be considered, and I'd love to see more sustainable ag being promoted.

This is a critical time, and yes I must emphasize A Time for Change.

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