Sunday, September 26, 2010

Getting Political

I was invited this weekend to attend an event hosted by a local CSA farmer and other concerned citizens.  The event was to promote Francis Thicke as the next Secretary of Agriculture in Iowa.  Unfortunately, due to a crazy, hacking cough, I decided that I would be obnoxious in a crowd, likely causing people to fear for their lives as I coughed and sputtered as politely as I could.

But I took the time to visit the candidate's web page.  And I liked what I saw.  Thicke's banner sports those most mesmerizing of modern metallic flowers: wind turbines.  The peace I get from watching those huge blades speeding through the air is indescribable.  I find them beautiful, serene and inspiring simultaneously.

Thicke advocates farmers owning mid-sized wind turbines, used to power their farms.  Any excess energy could be sold back to the power companies as a credit towards the purchase of the turbine.  Sign me up!  I want one!  Besides that, when the wind comes howling through my yard in the dead of winter, we'd likely not lose power due to a downed line miles away.  I bet those blades would crank out some real wattage in the middle of a storm...

His website talks of bringing fruit and vegetable production back to Iowa, something that could go hand in hand with the crops already harvested in the state, saving millions in transportation costs and increasing jobs in the state.  This is something that is important to me -- although I plucked 60 radishes from my garden today, why should my neighbor have to buy hers in the store, brought in from California?  As a side note, anyone want some radishes?  I'll have a bushel by the end of the week...

One of the other ideas Thicke suggests is developing and allowing the technology which would enable farmers to produce their own bio-fuels to power their equipment.  Wouldn't I love that?  Sure, my tiller uses a gallon and a half of gasoline a season, so bio-fuel for my hobby farm may not make sense, but my neighbor?  The one with the hundreds of acres?  Well, that would make a heckuva lot of sense for him.  Plus, he could sell me the 1 1/2 gallons I need for my tiller.

I have no idea why I was invited to this event, other than more and more frequently my blog is being discovered under the search term "organic."  Perhaps someone out there stumbled across one of my posts talking about my passion for locally grown food or describing our fledgling attempts at homesteading.  I'm not sure, but I do know that I feel strongly enough about the CSA movement to put a candidate's name in my blog, to come out vocally in support of local food.  I guess I believe that if agriculture is the leading industry in the state -- shouldn't we, as Iowans, be leading the agriculture industry?

1 comment:

Collins said...

Some good point written.
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