Thursday, January 6, 2011
Week of October 4 2010 : Little
(Here is a photo of Nathaniel turning the little compost pile. Its a little farm, so a little boy on a little tractor is a perfect match for the job.)
There are two ends of the continuum with respect to growing capacities. On the small end, there is Mom and Dad growing a tomato plant in a container on the driveway. On the large end, there are the multi-national corporations.
Market farms fall somewhere in between although even the large / successful operations are closer to the Mom and Dad end than the corporate end.
We fall into a particularly annoying spot in this little middle: the hard-to-get-supplies little middle.
If Mom and Dad want tomato seeds, they can drive to any hardware store or greenhouse or landscape center and buy tomato seeds.
If a multi-national corporation wants tomato seeds, they can call the headquarter's technology center who will bioengineer a customized breed.
Again, market farmers fall somewhere in between. We need a larger seed selection than the local hardware store but dont have the labs to develop our own seed.
This problem is amplified by strict organic production requirements.
A particularly annoying example is cover crop seed.
The internet solves the availability problem; we know where to buy cover crops. But how many sites charge a premium for shipping 25# of seeds? Then these same sites offer free shipping on large orders!
BAAH. It's the little middle syndrome.