Archive for December, 2009

The Big Farmer

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

Several years ago, Ed De Boer wrote the following essay which, so far as I can remember, was never published.  We’ll fix all that right now by presenting it here on Ed’s blog! ~ Walter Stormont

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By Ed De Boer

Good morning, sir!  How are you?

“Well, things are tough…  you see, I’m farming.  A fellow used to make a good living on 300-400 acres, but those days are long gone.  Nowadays, you have to get big or get out.”

How many acres are you farming?

“We’re farming 6,000 acres.  Some of my neighbors are thinking of getting out, so before long, we may be farming 10,000 acres.  Maybe we’ll finally start making some money!  At least that’s what the government and the bankers tell me.   You know, there’s a lot of money in farming, but actually getting that money, that’s the problem.  The bankers, the fertilizer man, the pesticide people, the seed man, the water and fuel and power men… they all get theirs.  If the weather is against us, we’ll be hard-pressed to make a buck.”

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My dear farmer friend: You say it is tough to make ends meet on 6,000 acres, your neighbor is qutting with 4,000 acres and you are contemplating taking over his acreage, hoping to make it on 10,000 acres.

One sure thing — you’ll double your work.  What seems to make more sense to me is to cut your work in half and make it on 2,500 acres.  If you concentrate on that and increase your yield per acre by 10%, you’ll be making more money on 2,500 acres than on 10,000.  In farming, “bigger” and “better” don’t go together.  We have more big farms and less farmers; what we should have is more farmers and smaller farms.

In my lifetime I’ve seen many changes but very little improvement, certainly not in the soils.  Sure, we’ve got big tractors and big implements and can farm large acreage, but we’re using more chemicals and pesticides.  And the outlook is not encouraging.

The chickens are coming home to roost.  The big corporations are now trying to take total control of U.S. agriculture with their genetic engineering; and with the help of the law they’re suing the farmer for patent infringment… for using his own seed that was contaminated with GMO’s due to cross-pollination!

Genetic engineering in plants is going to fail just as surely as social engineering.  Just give it some time.  The longer it lasts, the greater the disaster.  To paraphrase the Bible: “If it is of man it comes to naught, but that which is of God endures forever.”

Claiming this to be “One Nation Under God” and then tinkering with His creation to “improve” on it is pure foolishness, the work of men who have no faith in God and no faith in the Uniteed States or creation.  We should look back to where we came from, where we are and where we’re headed.  We will come to the realization that there is no future in what we’re doing today.

Bigger farms, bigger tractors, bigger implements, bigger pesticides, bigger bank loans and bigger bills do not have a future.  Smaller farms, more farmers, better yields, no pesticides and no bank loans offer a brighter future.  A prosperous farmer creates a thriving and healthy community with healthier people and a positive economy that’s not running on perpetual debt with an ever-sagging dollar that now has the purchasing power of less than a 1940 nickel.

Somewhere down the line there will be a moment of truth where the devil will collect his due.

“You cannot establish security on borrowed money.” ~ Rev. William J. H. Boetcker (often — mistakenly — attributed to Abraham Lincoln… although I think it’s safe to say Lincoln would have agreed with it.  ~W.S.)


You Can Quote Me

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

“I live every day as if it’s my last one… someday I’m going to be right.”

Ed De Boer shared that sentiment with me as we met for lunch on July 29, 2009. Five weeks and a day later, Ed was right. And he was right about living every day as if it were his last… fighting the good fight until the very end.

No one loved a good quotation more than Ed Ed Boer. His conversation and writings were sprinkled with some of the best. I’ve mined the archives and found this essay in which Ed makes his point with plenty of backup, duly quoted. ~Walter Stormont

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By Ed De Boer

I don’t know how it all started. Nevertheless, it was well-planned, since nothing can happen without a cause. We can philosophize, debate and surmise well after the cows have come home, but it is all conjecture. All we know is that it happened, and once we study how it functions, we may learn how to treat it and make it work to our benefit and to the benefit of those who come after us.

“We did not inherit it from our parents. We are borrowing it from our children.” ~ Amish proverb

I’m talking about the mantle of life that covers the earth… the SOIL. If we continue to abuse it, somewhere down the road there will come a time when it will not be capable of supporting life on earth. Once we kill the mantle of life, we destroy the soil, and it becomes dead dirt.”

“Dead dirt makes poor farmers make poor dead dirt poorer.” ~ Author unknown

Foolish men and women in the Hallowed halls of Higher Learning have taught us to use chemicals and pesticides to grow crops and protect them from insects that attack our deficient crops — deficient because we failed to understand the laws of nature and proper husbandry of the soil. Our perverted genius is the cause of the destruction of our soils.

“A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself.” ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

What makes you think that there is no correlation between sick soils, sick crops and sick people? Deviant behavior cannot be cured by mind-bending drugs, so why do we have Levitra, Viagra, Cialis, Valium and a myriad of other pharmaceuticals, vitamins and health foods? Need I go on?

“Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food.” ~ Hippocrates

Today, the people who are growing our food are going broke doing it. To stay in the game, they get bigger… but bigger and better don’t go together in farming.

“The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living on a small piece of land.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

We have a choice: living soil or dead dirt. Dead dirt cannot produce health and prosperity, only disease and death. Living soil produces healthy crops, healthy animals and healthy humans, which makes pharmaceuticals, health foods and vitamins unnecessary. Healthy, living soils absorb all dead plants, animals and humans.

Mother Nature is never satisfied. On the other hand, she is the foundation, the supplier and the provider of life, health and prosperity. She needs our help — our total commitment — in order to continue producing all that is good for us and for those who come after us.

“There is something quite spiritual about a healthy, living soil.” ~ Ed De Boer

The Christian Dilemma

Saturday, December 5th, 2009

The late Ed De Boer pulled no punches when discussing any topic, and that was certainly true of the church. Although Ed had a strong faith, read his Bible daily and communed with the Lord in prayer, he was not a churchgoer in recent years. “Where’s the fruit?” he would demand. If I mentioned examples of the church doing God’s work, it wouldn’t convince him. He held his ground in his belief that the church is not doing its job and bears much of the blame for America’s downhill slide. The following commentary, aired on Ed’s “Return to Eden” radio broadcast of June 6, 2009, is vintage Ed. ~ Walter Stormont

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This is like treading on holy ground. A lot of Christians will take issue with this subject matter. All I want them to do is look at where we are as a nation and where we are heading.

We were told to be the salt of the Earth, and “ye are the light of the world.” Well, the salt is flat and the light is out. That is purely my assessment.

In 1988 there was a large reader board in Caldwell, Idaho which stated, “The Romans used to feed their lions with Christians. If practiced today, the poor lions would starve.” That was 21 years ago. Have things improved in the meantime? I should say not.

Oh yeah… we have Bible studies and play church on Sunday. Other than that we may resist evil here and there — we sure preach against it — and we feel pretty comfortable doing the Lord’s work. The other side says the same thing while this nation slowly but surely is sinking into a sea of red ink and corruption. Everybody has the best of intentions. Come to think of it, isn’t that the pavement on the road to hell?

Not being a churchgoer, and being criticized for it instead being asked, “Why not?”, let me take this occasion to inform you: if there is still a church where the salt is not flat and the light is not hid, I would like to know. I am constantly reminded by the words of the Good Book, “Many shall come to Me in that day saying ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name, and in Thy name cast out devils, and in Thy name done many wonderful works?’ We all should know the answer, and if you don’t, someday you will. A compromise is what nobody wants but everybody gets… until the next compromise. Until we reach the end of the line, it is not “fish or cut bait,” it is fishing for men, not money, “for no man can serve two masters.”

~ Ed De Boer