I Will Be Teaching Organic Gardening Class -- ???

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by MsPacMan, Sep 16, 2006.

  1. MsPacMan

    MsPacMan Well-Known Member

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    I will be teaching a two hour class in Organic Gardening for the local agricultural extension service. It is part of the training that prospective Master Gardeners go through before they graduate and become Master Gardeners.


    I am bound to get questions on WalMart's entry into what they call the "organic" market. Any of you who know anything about true organic growing KNOW that big business (Cargill, Monsanto, Tyson, and other big agriculture companies) bought the opportunity to write the regulations necessary to get government "organic" certification, and that they wrote it in a way that benefitted factory farm growing operations (and thus are lessening the quality of the food produced in their mass farm operations) and hurt the TRUE organic growers who produce high quality food.


    I know there are several websites out there that expose what has been done. If you know of any, can you post them here so I can go read them and (if needed) research the validity of their claims?


    Also, I don't want to come off as a rabble rouser (which I am not). I want to inform the students of the facts, but I don't want to come off sounding like I am one of these who thinks everything government does is bad.


    How can I approach this topic -- and teach the truth behind the certification process -- without sounding like some kind of whiny grouch or anti-government "female dog"?
     
  2. suburbanite

    suburbanite Well-Known Member

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    Tell this as the history of organic farming. Start at the beginning of the movement, then go on to, "more recently there have been some regressions in the organic food movement. As the products became more popular and the market grew, the market became large enough to attract the interest of corporate farming. Rather than abiding by the existing traditions of the industry, these farms used their political power base and money to change the laws to suit themselves." However you word it. I don't think it sounds paranoid, it just explains what happened.
     

  3. suburbanite

    suburbanite Well-Known Member

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    BTW, I think that the traditional organic farmers need to come up with a 'professional society' to offer its own 'organic certification' and that uses the old rules to determine that certification. Or maybe call their produce something other than 'organic', since 'organic' has been redefined to mean squat. If you do it as a 'professional society' certification, then you are not at the whims of politicians, though then you do need to come up with the money to enact inspections for certifications and such-you'd need dues. But if your seal gives advantages in the marketplace, then you'll be able to do that.

    you'd have to establish a distinctive name for such an endeavor though--one not easily confused with the knock-off counter-agencies that Big Farming would come up with.

    As an example of 'knock offs', consider Consumer Reports, a non-profit agency run on donations from individuals that refuses corporate donations, has no advertising, and which mercilessly tests consumer products to give as unbiased a rating as they can about their relative quality.

    There is another magazine of a similar visual layout called "Consumer Digest", which does similar 'ratings' but which is owned by the whims of its advertisers and whose ratings are little more than press releases from its Big Corporate masters. When Consumer Reports changes its look, Consumer Digest copies the new look. Clearly the idea is to confuse the magazines in the eye of the consumer so that they will mistake the corporate pap for the unbiased evaluations.

    I'm serious, you organic farmers really need to 'grange' or something to fight these guys. I'm trying to rely on my own garden, but I'd like to buy food that won't kill me when my own tiny crops fail.
     
  4. Zebraman

    Zebraman Well-Known Member

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