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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Presidents Day Blizzard (and other snow jobs)

OK. This is officially getting old. I've lost count of how many “record weather events” we've had in the last six months. I expect that even that number is itself a record.

I worked the morning shift at KDMA-AM on Sunday. When I got there the station parking lot was mostly bare, with no snow falling and no real wind. Still, there was that slight electrical tang in the air that Minnesotans know means a big storm is coming. I set up the studio news computer to continuously show weather radar and road condition maps.

As the morning progressed the “big blue blob” on radar crept nearer and the road conditions deteriorated. The phone rang constantly with church cancellations. I started to get nervous, since I live 20 miles from the station. I found someone from town to cover and left early- an hour later and I'd never have made it home. Carol and I hunkered down for the duration.

The next morning a four-foot drift lay in front of the door to our garage and greenhouse, and the south face was buried five feet deep. It took quite a bit of digging just to get inside.

Once inside, we found-

plenty of happy greens, part of our lunch reward for hard work.

The moral of the story is the triumph of the Garden Goddess Greenhouse. It's withstood the worst that the prairie can throw at it and kept on producing. We don't get Seasonal Affective Disorder. We don't get the blahs from eating stale long-distance vegetables.

We're all going to need many more such greenhouses, and soon. Besides the obvious health and economic benefits, crazy weather and unworkable fuel prices will soon seriously endanger our food system.


Speaking of endangering the System, like everyone else we're watching the situation in Wisconsin. It's clearly another sign of the Social Contract breaking down, as is the shrill tone of most political discourse today. You may be tempted to see the marches and sit-ins as like the protests of the 1960s, but they're radically different, pun intended. The folks marching in the streets today are a kind of reverse mirror image of the hippies and students fifty years ago.

Back then, the country as a whole had a positive attitude. The “rebels” operated from Love, simply wanting us to apply that attitude to living up to the promises of our founding values.

Today, people are afraid, made so by constant harping on their worries. Today's rebels have gotten themselves elected to many offices, crusading in Fear and Hate, believing that “only people like us must triumph.” They don't realize that their fears have made them cat's paws of plutocrats

The Local Foods Movement is rooted in those older values of acceptance, diversity, and community mutual aid. The antidote to political and societal madness is coming together to create the “Beloved Community” spoken of by Doctor King, to take care of each other's needs. We have to- the Big Guys won't. In a world going crazy in so many ways all we have is each other. We can do more than we think we can.

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