Alfalfa is an insect-pollinated crop. There is no way to prevent contaminating other organic and non GMO fields of alfalfa. What does this mean??
It certainly spells some measure of doom for organic agriculture! Organic dairies must feed their livestock only organically grown hay. They risk losing their certification and their income if they (even inadvertently) feed grass which has been cross-pollinated with a GMO crop.
The very idea of owning a plant is problematic to begin with. Nature of necessity is prolific, and does not seem to spread seeds and regenerate with any eye to patents or private property. Monsanto has already crushed many a small farmer who has dared to save seeds from his own crop...because the crop was within distance of a Monsanto crop, such that the wind caused cross pollination, and the resulting seed was considered thus, property of the Agri-Giant. Does this alarm any of you?
Monsanto has engineered a crop which is resistant to it's weed killing chemicals. But the use of these chemicals is resulting in the evolution of "super weeds" which will pose problems for organic and conventional farmers alike down the road. My advice to the farmer with the hay field is to consider his few weeds a delicious fodder crop, and not worry about them, since by the time the field is cut, the alfalfa has had its head start anyway.
The more you wake up and pay attention to what is going on in Agriculture the easier it is to feel like there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. The deluge of irresponsible farming is so enormous, our little efforts at sustainable agriculture seem too minute. The myth that organic agriculture cannot feed the world continues to be perpetuated by people too old to want to throw themselves into any new effort, and too tired to research and read the facts behind the way soil works as an organism, and plants propagate. Organic agriculture results in higher yields per acre of fruit, veggies, and grass. It requires a higher level of involvement on the farmers part...there is no driving through the thousands of acres twice yearly on a tractor...and talking about it for the rest of the year...and it also calls for more hands. But that is one of the beauties of organic agriculture, it puts people back to work on the farms. No more the lone farmer and his cousin farming hundreds of acres between just the two of them, with no work or money to support a son or two or three. Organic agriculture requires more human participation, and fosters small town communities.
Don't think you don't have a choice in all this. Where you choose to put your money, there will the politicians rally for policy. You can do better than supermarket beef. You don't have to settle for artificially enhanced vegetables. You can put your money back into your local economy, and drive prices down by making it more regular and possible for the small farmer, with a thriving local market.
It may seem like childish thinking to source your food directly from a farmer. But it is childish in the sense of simple, immediate to the senses, obvious to the thought. We complicate things with our elaborate and on-demand food system. We denigrate our small towns and farmers when we ignore them for the fluorescent halls of the grocery store.
Saving the world is much too big a thought for one person, one family.
Putting responsibly raised meat and veggies on the table for dinner is so much more doable. And by the time dessert has rolled around...you'll turn around and find that the world just got a whole lot more saved....one forkful at a time.
If you think this is not your responsibility do some research yourself on Monsanto, the effects of GMOs, and conventional agriculture. This is an issue that goes far beyond liberal and conservative politics. Ask yourself "what am I eating?" and "Why?".
More crazy stuff: www.grist.org/industrial-agriculture/2011-04-19-usda-to-let-monsanto-do-own-environmental-impact-studies-on-gmos
Meanwhile what are we doing at Little Flower Farm and Eden Farm?Well...shearing sheep, planting out 37 flats of tomatoes...cleaning the veggie acreage of rocks and more rocks, embracing the wheel hoe, building new paddocks for our pastured lambs, making butter and cheese, milking a Nubian, milking a jersey, tilling in cover crops, and making manure teas.
In the face of Agri-Giant's like Monsanto and huge conventional farms we are just a wee sprite of a David...at times it definitely doesn't seem like enough.
But there is nothing like a yard filled with Spring Lambs, or a field filled with laughing, working children that will turn heads...which is our slingshot. Big Agriculture doesn't want to attract attention...it hopes you will go on with your busy lives without a thought as to what your eating and where it came from...after all, you have so much on your plate already...to have to worry about...what's on your plate...
Here we are working hard at providing you the story behind our farming, and along with it, we hope you will also discover for yourselves all of the facts too. Facts about the soil, the animals, the grasslands, the vegetables, the grains, the dairy products. Stories which inspire your soul, facts which fuel your mind, and food which fills your body with good health and cheer.
There. I'm done. I feel better already. If you don't, sign up for one of our farm shares
We still have shares available. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for info and application. Shares begin Mid-June.