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Organic rant from unhappy reader; musings from corporate-funded editor

Organic rant from unhappy reader; musings from corporate-funded editor
All farmers — big and small, organic and conventional — learn from each other, not from maligning one another.

Mike Wiedeman, owner of Capay Valley Ranch west of Chico, Calif., is upset with Western Farm Press for, among other things, not publicizing farms like his 40-acre organic spread that sells its produce at the Chico Farmers Market.

We apologize, Mike. Here is the publicity you seem to seek in the form of an email sent to Western Farm Press.

“I wrote the ultra conservative Harry Kline (it’s Cline, Mike) many times but never got a response to even the most simple question about ... oh ... global warming, GMO contamination ... etc.

I am a small scale farmer in Northern California and am wondering why we the actual i.e real farmers in our area are NEVER recognized in your ... uh ... publication. You never feature: Organic farming, small local farming, Farmers’ Markets, small scale production ...

All you show is a bunch of fat old farts whom (sic) have not pulled a weed or an ear of corn in decades!! Why not turn a new leaf and print something useful to family farms (I mean REAL family farms where the family actually works) and get off your corporate funded agenda."

Mike Wiedeman, Capay Valley Ranch


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Mike also has some very tacky, classless things to say about Western Farm Press’ Associate Editor Todd Fitchette that we’ll not repeat.

I recall getting emails from Mike asking about GMO “contamination” and global warming. I drafted responses, but thought better of sending emails since it is rather obvious he is not interested in debating the issues. Just pontificating. His knowledge apparently comes from his nine years of hobby farming.

I am not opposed to organic farming, small family farms, farmers’ markets and the like. I have said before; we need all the food we can produce from the land to economically feed us and the world. My wife and I grow tomatoes each year at our home. I have citrus trees that I relish. I am literally thrilled to watch the trees set fruit and watch the oranges, lemons, limes and mandarins mature to bright orange, green and yellow colors. My lemons are to kill for. I have a small Navel orange tree nestled under a big redwood in my yard that was here when we bought the home. I do not get many oranges because of its shady location, but the tree will be there for as long as I own this home. The oranges are beautiful and sweet.

However, I try not not vilify commercial tomato and citrus growers just because I can raise some of my own food. They are much better at farming than I am by the simple fact they can produce so much more high quality fruits and vegetables than my wife and I can.

It’s the my way or the highway from people like Mike that drives me up the wall and sends me over the edge on organic farming.

I know what you read in Western Farm Press is applicable to all farmers, big and small, organic and conventional. Farmers learn from each other, not from maligning one another.


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TAGS: Agenda
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