Musing for a Sunday Morning…

Leon Hale’s weekly column this morning reached back to before my birth…But, he touched a chord even so. The final lines though really rang true…

I guess what got me going on television is that just lately we installed a new set in the old country house at Winedale. One of those flat-screen jobs that everybody but the Hale family has had for years.

And I did have my doubts. Up there in the woods, far from any cable outfit? I figured the picture wouldn’t be much better than the image of that rolling snow storm I saw in ’49, there on Shepherd Drive.

But a man came and bolted a big metal dish up on the roof and tuned it to a satellite and gave us a TV picture far better than anything we ever had inside the Loop at home.

I was amazed.

I’ve even gone back to watching football. And thrilling documentaries showing antelopes getting grabbed by crocodiles in Africa. And movies? Movies are brought to us in slick little packages by the rural carrier and left in the mail box up by the front gate.

This is progress, folks, against the days when we sat and watched the Channel 2 test pattern and delivered wisdoms like, “One of these days, they’ll have all this stuff in color.”

Leon Hale: TV has come a long way since the test-pattern days.

Go read the column if you would like to hear about television coming to Houston…

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A while back I linked to Michale Pollan’s letter to the “Next Farmer-In-Chief”, here is a response from a farmer…Andy Griffin grows vegetables organically in the Bay Area of California. He has a CSA, a newsletter, and I’ve been reading and linking to his writing ever since I stumbled across him during the spinach crisis a few years back.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not dissing you. But…

Ok. If I ever have the fortune to meet you again, I’ll buy you a drink, or maybe even a whole meal. I owe you. Nobody else, besides Alice Waters, has done so much to promote the sort of small-scale, sustainable farms that people like me are trying to create. Take our CSA program, for instance. CSA stands for Daisy Chains and Milkmaids; An Open Letter to Michael Pollan at The Ladybug Letter. The basic idea is that a community of people who want local farms to survive put their money where their mouths are and support those local farms by underwriting their production costs. In return for their faith and investment, the farmer pays them back with weekly “share boxes” of the harvest. The consumers get food they can trust and they get to know that they’re doing their part to preserve the vitality of their own local foodshed. And the farmer? Well. Besides having committed customers to count on, CSA means that we can do an end run around the banks, and these days, when a gun in hand isn’t even enough to get a loan from a bank, that is some powerful ju-ju. But, Michael, you know all that.

Daisy Chains and Milkmaids; An Open Letter to Michael Pollan at The Ladybug Letter.

The whole point of Andy’s muse though is in all of our talks about how our food ecology needs to change, we overlook the farm workers…

You write, “Post-oil agriculture will need a lot more people engaged in food production– as farmers and probably also as gardeners.” You say this will create “tens of millions of new green jobs.”

I read that, and paused. So I read your essay again. You never mention farm workers.

It’s different to be a farm worker than a farmer or a “green worker.” I know. I was a farm worker for years before I ever became a farmer. I understand “green worker” to be someone employed in the emerging green technologies and practices. To me, “green” sounds “whiter,” than farm labor, almost “white collar.” But even if everyone with a yard ripped it out and put in a garden it would still take millions of farm workers to keep our agriculture going, and right now an overwhelming number of them are from Latin America, and most of those are undocumented. These “aliens” have no legal right to work to feed us, and yet we count on them every day. Farm workers are seemingly invisible, even apparently to you, and whatever exposure they do get is usually when they’re invoked as scapegoats by right-wing talk radio hosts who should know better than to spew invective with their mouths full.

Andy makes a hell of a point, one that gets lost every time politicians start talking about imagration.

Take the time to go read both these guy’s writings…

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Here is another shot from Friday’s sunrise…

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