Commercial Farms in NorthWest Ohio
Yesterday we drove through Ohio to visit relatives in Napoleon Ohio. Once off the four lane highway, we were driving past commerical farms on the left and right.
There were only two crops: field corn and soybeans.
Every field looked exactly the same, except for differences in the seed/chemical branded signs at the ends of the rows.
The only farmers I saw working were using huge machines, some visiably spewing exhaust.
Only one farm house I observed had a personal garden.
The only wildlife I saw were a few birds on lines and two deer.
This all made me think of the state of farming in our state and country. What does it mean for our society that farmers are now most skilled at machine operation? What discounts and rebates are offered to display those agrichemical signs? What are farmers earning from the government to grow corn and soy, whose biproducts unnecessarily infiltrate nearly every processed food? What are the costs to the environment and wildlife of these mega farms?
I don't have all the answers. Farming and farm policy is complicated.
I do know that driving by all these farms made me feel sad. Mega farms are not beautiful in the way I know gardens can be. The farms clearly did not attract wildlife and possibly poisoned it away. The crops are only questionably useful. I am disappointed that farmers have adapted their skills towards mechanization so much that most don't even bother with a hand tended family garden anymore.
As this little blog grows, I hope to explore more philosophical issues like this.