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We Are (Not) Monsanto!

May 23, 2015
pullets on pasture

pullets on pasture

Today there will be protests, marches and signs made to protest Monsanto. People will say they dominate farmers, they make farmers plant their seed and use their chemicals and that we simply have no choice.

And they’re using farmers to project their views. Every person who chooses Monsanto seed CHOOSES it, deliberately, and signs the contract of stipulations. We don’t have to. There are many other seed companies available, thousands of varieties to choose from, and many options available.

Here – there is none of that. Our seeds came from places like Seed Savers, Puckerbutt Pepper Company, Johnny’s and a few small direct sale producers. We planted, or are planting, things like Bloody Butcher corn, Farmer’s Market Jalapenos, Amish Paste tomatoes and golden zucchini. Alexandria melons, a variety sent from a friend of an acquaintance in a plastic bag, are growing with a half dozen small varieties of peppers. I cannot find a reference to them online and the rare poolball zucchini last year were regular black zucchini. That may be why regulations on seed trading get enforced, not Monsanto. People aren’t honest and want to represent and embellish what isn’t true.

Yesterday I planted black Aztec corn, an heirloom. Monsanto will not harass me, sue me, force me to plant their corn or otherwise even know I have corn in the ground unless they stumble on this post. Today we will plant some popcorn, and possibly some 2nd generation SlowMoneyFarm glass corn- and Monsanto does not care.

Yesterday I went into Dollar General for toilet paper and headed back to the front went down the garden aisle. First thing I saw – a bottle of RoundUp. ONE bottle of RoundUp from a carton…let that sink in for a moment. (If you need help connecting dots, the rest of the box already sold. Not to farmers, but to homeowners and gardeners.)

As ‘millions’ march against Monsanto, tens of millions of people demand products that have a small amount of ingredients from GMO products in them. That, in action, is demand…that is what tells farmers to grow what they’re growing.

Some of the tomato and pepper seedlings

Some of the tomato and pepper seedlings

Here – I transplanted Farmer’s Market Jalapenos and purple cayenne peppers yesterday. A tray of commercial jalapenos awaits transplant – commercial meaning I don’t know what variety they are, but I scooped some seeds from a store bought jalapeno pepper or six and planted them. I don’t look for a Monsanto visit for that either. I don’t think they care.

If Monsanto had half the power that many claim, I can see that they would be a massive threat, but they don’t. The story grows by the retelling, and it’s just not true. Monsanto does not control the food supply – consumers do! That is who sets demand not only for what is produced but how it’s produced.

What if each of those marching against Monsanto today spent a day promoting heirlooms? Now that would be AWESOME!!! Get the media attention on black Aztec corn or Giant Chinchilla rabbits or other rare breeds and varieties. What if the problems (not Monsanto related) of small farms were truly represented? Those millions could bring light and help so many struggling small farms – but alas they are focused on shutting down a company that produces things customers WANT.

Millions are focusing on what they *don’t want* and ignoring what they do. Ignoring the alternatives. And we’re choking with overwhelm trying to get everything done…while those “supporters” would rather talk about Monsanto. What a blessing it would be to have a few people show up saying “we’re yours to help for an afternoon”!

Raised beds awaiting compost and planting, goats grazing, chickens working up new areas.

Raised beds awaiting compost and planting, goats grazing, chickens working up new areas.

Monsanto doesn’t control what we do. Monsanto does not influence what I plant. Monsanto does not control what I feed my animals. Monsanto does not have any input into my daily activities.

Consumers do. We Are (whatever) statements come together when a group or a community are united. We are not the only small place not controlled by Monsanto. They have customers who like what they do. Where’s ours and what are they doing today? They’re busy living life! They’re enjoying a weekend, knowing what they get from us is different.

We Are NOT Monsanto. That’s a choice, not an insult…it’s the seed we plant and what we feed and what we do. It’s what we want in action, not living for what we don’t want. To those who plant Monsanto seed or use Monsanto products – that works for you and is awesome. They produce something that benefits you. We might eat a trace amount of that in food on a busy day.

It’s not worth taking my time from helping Connor build a pen so the goslings can get out on grass! It’s not worth taking time from tilling up beds and transplanting seedlings and working on things here. We are not Monsanto – and that’s ok.

We are SlowMoneyFarm. I like what is done here. I like the increase in songbirds. I like the goldenrod that provides for the bees later in the year. I like the lightning bugs that eat garden pests! My goal is making more of them.

We are not Monsanto. And they don’t care.

 

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 23, 2015 11:41 AM

    Always well done, Jan. Thank you for posting.

  2. May 24, 2015 2:00 PM

    Thanks. We need every farmer to tell their story.

    • May 24, 2015 10:14 PM

      Thank you. There are many ways to provide food and many choices in need of being filled. We can’t feed many, but others can.

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