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By lambert strether of .
As I was shoveling out the man cave in preparation for firing up the woodstove for the first time, I came upon the Fedco Tree Catalog. For non-Mainers, , a co-operative, is one of the companies at the heart of Maine’s slow, very unheralded, and very successful agricultural renaissance*, and the day of the “Fedco Tree Sale” is a very big deal, like Homecoming except in the mud season and for hippies and others who have trucks. So I searched YouTube for some talks on FedCo, and found this by Russell Libby, of Maine Organic Farmers and Gardener’s Association, a key figure in that renaissance (and a member of Fedco’s board). So here’s a talk by Russell Libby on food:
Food, and political economy. The talk is deceptively simple; for example, Libby describes a certain variety of apple that will keep through the winter in a root cellar and be ready for eating in February, without refrigeration. Why, one wonders, would Libby be preparing for a future where the power to freeze at the flick of a switch is no longer a given?
Here’s the last bit of the speech:
So what’s our strategy? I’m kind of with the poet Lou Welch. So Lou Welch was one of the Beat Poets. He wrote this poem, this Chicago poem, about the evils of the industrial city. I’m not going to give you the whole thing, but I’ll give you the end of it:
I don’t know what you’re going to do about it
but as for me, I know what I’m going to do about it.
I’m going to walk away.
Maybe a small part of it will die
if I’m not around ing it any more.
So part of what we have to do is stop supporting the things that we don’t believe in. We have to just step away. And so what does this new economy look like, the one that’s kind of beyond ‘The Roadrunner Economy’? Well, if we can get Wile E. Coyote to slow down a little bit, and be really clear about where it is he’s going, and, when he starts to fall, when we start to fall, there’s someone there to pick us up? That’s what we all need.
Hmm. “New economy”? “New economy?”
NOTE * I pause here to give thanks that Maine is not cursed with oil.