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  1. #26
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    Small scale direct market is commercial, no?

    Strip farming is a form of polyculture aka intercropping. See Using Diversity as a Pest Management Tool (2105):
    Spatial crop diversity can be achieved through crop rotation and various forms of polyculture, e.g., strip cropping, multiple cropping, or interplanting of plant species or varieties.
    ETA: Successful Commercial Polycultures (2017)

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeezerSteve View Post
    Small scale direct market is commercial, no?

    Strip farming is a form of polyculture aka intercropping. See Using Diversity as a Pest Management Tool (2105):

    ETA: Successful Commercial Polycultures (2017)
    Technically it would be commercial. Like a kids lemon aid stand or in the same sence how a local band getting $50 a gig could be considered professional musicians.

    But the fact is that small farms produce next to nothing. More food is wasted in our food system every year than what they produce as a whole every year.

    Look the farm examples in your link. Only two of the three list their size but they are 1.5 and 5 acres and both had a average ďturnoverĒ of 20K Euros. I assume turnover is gross?

    Compare the ďturnoverĒ to what the average farm worker makes in the USó> $23.5k or 20,330 euros in todayís exchange. The workers boss AKA the farm manager averages around $75k because his job is full time.

  3. #28
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    Sorry I missed the point. Commercial vs. direct market aka you sell it to the consumer.

    You canít get insurance or funding on perishables unless you have a contract.

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by steepconcrete View Post
    Can you name a crop that is not grown as a monoculture?

    Damned hard to think of much.

    Gets done for critter food some. Turnips with wheat or other small grains for grazing. Some people grow soybeans between the corn rows to chop for silage.

  5. #30
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    Squash and corn apparently benefit each other when grown together, I've heard of that being done on smallish (by western standards) farms in the east

  6. #31
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    steep, I concur that nearly all modern industrial U.S. farming is monoculture (i.e., the legacy of Earl Butz). I was responding to your question. There is an emerging trend of experimentation with polyculture, including some (strip/rotation farming) in our area. Farm direct to market is on the rise too. But yeah, polyculture is currently a sliver of all commercial farming.

    Quote Originally Posted by steepconcrete View Post
    More food is wasted in our food system every year than what they produce as a whole every year.
    No doubt about that. I've read estimates of U.S. food waste ranging from 25% to 40%, and up to 50% of produce. A climate change expert on NPR yesterday opined that cutting U.S. food waste by half would do more to abate climate change than every American going vegan.

    Very little food waste in our household. We hate to throw anything out, and the little we do gets composted. We stew all our bones to make stock once a week.

  7. #32
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    Iím a little cynical due to all my years doing the farmers market/co-op thing.

    All the money is in selling the dream, selling the set up/inputs and the selling the certifications.

    I canít even count how many people Iíve seen move out here to the country who are convinced that they are going to make a descent buck off a few acres in thier spare time. 90% give it up after 3-4 years and most donít make it thru the second.

    These are not stupid and/or lazy people whatsoever but they have bought into the idea that small farms can save our so called ďagriculture problemĒ.

    Sad fact - small farms canít help. On a per acre/unit of food basis they are
    1- more expensive to buy, set up and run,
    2- they are very inefficient and
    3- they take a shitload of labor.

    Further the whole idea that industrial farming is bad is meh IMV. Yea it has problems that need to be addressed. It always has and we continue to address them. But the fact is that our food system has never in modern history been this safe, this efficient and this environmentally friendly.

  8. #33
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    Dec 2012
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    Perhaps you need to be fully integrated into the farm to table restaurant thing. Lose money on the farm and make it up at the table by charging $25 for an organically grown hand- washed beet appetizer. Plenty of fools will part with their money if you offer them a unique setting in which to consume your goods.
    "timberridge is terminally vapid" -- a fortune cookie in Yueyang

  9. #34
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    Weíve thought about doing that for the prestige and to fit in with all the wineries in the area. Keeping up with the Jonesís so to speak. But itís far too much work.

    The market and co op is enjoyable. We donít depend on it in any way. Itís a social community building thing for us.

    I really just feel for the people who spend more on a home in the country that they can really afford thinking they will make it up by doing a CSA, farmers market or growing lavender.

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by steepconcrete View Post
    Further the whole idea that industrial farming is bad is meh IMV. Yea it has problems that need to be addressed. It always has and we continue to address them. But the fact is that our food system has never in modern history been this safe, this efficient and this environmentally friendly.
    Hey, I hear ya, except maybe about the "environmentally friendly" part. Big Seed monopolization/tying is a problem, but you can't blame farmers for that. Shitty nutrition for the masses happens at the secondary (processing) level, so you can't blame farmers for that either. And, yeah, U.S. food is super safe clean, moreso than any time in world history, thanks to [ahem] strict government regulation.

  11. #36
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    Environmentaly friendly per unit of food.

    Seed monopoly is a issue but luckily weeds adapt very fast so farmers are forced to rotate not only crops but herbicides/brands/monopolistic corporations in order to stay ahead of resistance.

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