Sunday, May 19, 2024
Chris Judd

Beyond our control

At one of the several free courses on improving our mental health and improving suicide prevention that many of us had the opportunity to take, we were told that a very large percentage of what we worry about, we have no control over. We were also advised, not to worry about what we had no control over. If we just did that, most of our worries would be gone and our mental state would be greatly improved.
Recently we have been bombarded with price increases and except for reducing the use of or looking for a better deal on food, interest rates, rent, fuel, fertilizer, all repairs, wages, and a dozen other things that we have very little or no control over. We are told that only about 60 per cent of the food grown by farmers is consumed by us. Everything from field losses to leftovers that are thrown out contributes to these losses.
Many of the things we complain about today our grandparents didn’t have to worry about because they didn’t even exist in grandpa’s time. Much of the affluence that we try to afford and enjoy today wasn’t a problem that grandma had either.
Many decades ago, while a good farmer friend of mine and I were admiring a new, bigger tractor that he had just purchased he said; “It don’t matter how big a tractor that you have, you still have to sit in the seat to get the work done.” The same work ethic applies today. Whether you use a hammer or an air nailer, whether you use a pencil or the newest computer, if you don’t go to work then the advances in technology will not result in efficiency.
We are almost sick of hearing about how the gradual warming of our planet is slowly but surely killing our planet and will make it impossible for our future generations to survive. However, with the increase in foods, wildfires, wild swings in weather and just my own experience as a farmer seeing crops that only 50 years ago were grown in the US or the most southerly part of Canada now being grown in northern Ontario and Quebec and the prairies.
Our farmers have been given access to more efficient sprays, chemical fertilizers and new seeds that only work well if used with certain specific sprays that were made by the same company that marketed the new spray.
Farmers have also noticed that in the past few decades, the soil has become more compacted, there is more water runoff when it rains and both organic matter and the micro biological life in the soil has declined.
Some of those great new chemical sprays were also patented as bactericides that not only kill off some of those microscopic animals that live in the soil, but also leave residues in the crops that they were sprayed on. If enough of those residues are consumed on the grains, or forages by all animals that use them, the bacteria necessary to maintain a healthy digestive system are reduced in numbers. Some of those chemicals also chelate or lock up some very necessary minerals that can affect the efficiency and reproductive systems of animals. There are more micro biological little animals in one shovel of a healthy topsoil than there are people on earth.
Soil is man’s most important asset. Maintaining a healthy soil is the future of our planet. Giving our farmers the education and means to improve life in our soil is the key to the survival of our planet. Plants and animals have lived in symbiotic relationship to keep our planet healthy and alive for thousands of years. Surely our scientists can help us maintain it for our next generations. It is up to everyone to buy sustainable food and goods to help this happen. We cannot and should not worry about what we have no control over, just do our part to give our grandkids a chance.

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