Wednesday July 6th 2022

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Cover Crop Seeds


Peter Molenaar

From time to time, readers of the alley are reminded that Wendell Phillips, our neighborhood”™s namesake, was an abolitionist. I will assert here that, were he still alive, he would be opposed to the ongoing oppression of the Palestinian people. Now days, this opposition to all forms of oppression circulates via this paper in surrounding communities, including the Land Stewardship Project (LSP) which maintains an office in the Powderhorn Neighborhood.

The LSP is splendidly adept at mingling strains of progressive rural thought with the corresponding urban strains. Our nation”™s soil health is an overriding issue for the LSP.

Why bother? Well, an estimated 1/3 of our topsoil has already washed away. The applied math does not bode well. But hey, just add more chemicals”¦ right? Wrong. Actually, the world”™s supply of phosphate is nearing exhaustion. (Note: President Biden has initiated a supply chain analysis for all vital commodities.)

Moreover, cover crops are the key to a ”˜regenerative agriculture”™ which is poised to sequester enough carbon to seriously stem the tide of climate catastrophe. However, any mandate that our farmers comply with this strategy will be deemed by “conservatives” and well armed “patriots” to be a “socialist tyranny”.

So, seemingly light years ahead of most Republicans, Biden has proposed to compensate farmers who convert. However, another reminder: cover crops are grown from seeds (!) which ideally would exist ahead of time (i.e., prior to launching the full scale program, our government must contract for an adequate initial supply)”¦ But oh, gosh golly, would not such thoughtful planning constitute yet another “tyranny”? “Market forces” will handle the matter in due time. Right?

Note: Cargill Inc., one of the world”™s largest procurers of agricultural commodities, is a family-owned company with facilities seen along Hiawatha Avenue. The annual dividend distribution to the family is considerably over a billion dollars.

Question: how big should government be? Answer: big enough to serve the people.

Meanwhile, our new Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is not happy that $7 trillion in taxes has gone uncollected from the wealthiest Americans. Yes, Biden”™s proposal to beef up the IRS appears to be a good one!

Who will pay for the cover crop seeds, so vital to our nation”™s future? Farmers? I think not.

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