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Why Do You Need Agriculture?

March 19, 2013

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs we noted yesterday, agriculture is entrenched in our lives, our economy and out communities. It is so vast it can be overwhelming. So let’s think small. That’s right – scale it down.

You see, when we think about agriculture it brings up images. Beef, dairy, hogs, chickens, turkeys, corn, soybeans, maybe cotton come to mind. These are major production industries in agriculture.

Others may think conventional vs organic or ‘factory farms’ vs small farms or politics or the many issues that swirl around agriculture. Some might consider those processors and inspectors that seem to come to mind only when they do their job and find food safety issues before someone gets sick, or who make an error and someone loses their life because of it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThese are common parts of agriculture that overshadow the thousands – yes thousands! of other products. Vegetables from peppers to artichokes, nuts from almonds to pecans, pasta makers and a host of others just in the vegetable and nut world. Fruits are also wide ranging, then there’s other beverages – from orange juice to wine. These things are so prominent and yet often overlooked.

For the farms growing it, however, it’s all consuming. They, like farmers and ranchers of ‘bigger’ products, seek to produce the best food that they can.

Now scale it down more. Basil, herbal teas, herbs dried and used in herbal remedies – from burdock to stinging nettle. Yes these are weeds to many, but there is a demand. Mushroom growers, blueberries, edible snails, compost for spring gardens in urban areas,

When you’re cooking the next few days, think of this article and pay attention to what exactly is in your meals. Not just the burger or chicken or vegetable stew but the salt and pepper, the cheese, the ingredients for the bread or croutons and the wide range of seasonings that are only part of the meal but make it so much better.

Here’s 15 that you might not think of, but someone did and is growing it!

1. Lemongrass

2. Calendula

3. Lavender

4. Alfalfa (for people not livestock!)

5. Honey

6. Rabbit

7. Paprika (peppers)

8. Duck

9. Walnuts

10. Sorghum

11. Geese

12. Popcorn

13. Guinea hens

14. Sunflower seeds

15. Flowers

These may be specialty crops, but agriculture is present when you send someone a get well flower arrangement or enjoy a honey drizzled snack or sit down to a meal of rabbit or duck for a special occasion.

For those that produce these things, it’s very much a focus. They may not have the volume of the modern beef industry, but for the farmers, processors and sales outlets handling it, it’s very much a part of farm and life choices!

And, on agriculture day or every day, that is worth celebrating!

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