The Planet Whimpers

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Amazon.com

It never occurred to us that it might not be a bang, but a whole bunch of whimpers that would do us in: too many cars and too many smokestacks and too many suburbs and too many malls and too many inner cities and too many toxins and too many sneakers made in too many sweatshops and too many mortgages and too many hamburgers and too many antibiotics and too much N-P-K fertilizer and too much pesticide and herbicide and too many rural communities collapsing and too many small and midsize farmers giving up the ghost.”

Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money: Investing as if Food, Farms, and Fertility Mattered by Woody Tasch

From the introduction:

We have to find a new form of economy, an economy that knows how to govern its limits, an economy that respects nature and acts at the service of man, a situation where political and humanistic choices govern the economy and not the other way around. We have to discover new economic relationships that move at a more natural pace.

The Culture of Agriculture

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Amazon.com

It is a struggle to keep the “culture” in “agriculture.” The modern era is replacing “culture” with “business,” producing a high-yielding hybrid activity called “agribusiness.””

“For multigenerational farm families who have a visceral attachment to and intimate knowledge of a certain piece of land and certain way of life, or, even, a certain variety of peach, the march toward larger farms and larger markets and larger machines comes at a cost for which no financier can compensate.”

“They are the humans who care for the humus…without them, not only soil health, but also cultural health, indigenous culture, and local economies—the social and environmental relationships that promote the health of families, communities and bioregions—all are at risk.”

Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money: Investing as if Food, Farms, and Fertility Mattered by Woody Tasch

From the introduction:

We have to find a new form of economy, an economy that knows how to govern its limits, an economy that respects nature and acts at the service of man, a situation where political and humanistic choices govern the economy and not the other way around. We have to discover new economic relationships that move at a more natural pace.

Importance of Dirt

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Amazon.com

Beyond a small number of geologists, environmentalists, and organic farmers, the idea of Peak Soil seems as inconceivable today as global warming seemed two generations ago. One is tempted to ask with all incredulity: Could we really run out of dirt? Which leads us back to Question Two in the Terra Madre of All Final Exams. The question is not only a question of erosion, it is a question of fertility.

Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money: Investing as if Food, Farms, and Fertility Mattered by Woody Tasch

From the introduction:

We have to find a new form of economy, an economy that knows how to govern its limits, an economy that respects nature and acts at the service of man, a situation where political and humanistic choices govern the economy and not the other way around. We have to discover new economic relationships that move at a more natural pace.

Farmers Economics

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Amazon.com

“We need to make entrepreneurs more like farmers, not make farmers more like entrepreneurs.”

“Want to talk about returns? At 1,000:1 in four months, a tomato seed makes even the highest fliers seem paltry.”

“I prefer butter to margarine, because I trust cows more than I trust chemists.”

Staring the Pig in the Face by Woody Tasch

Eggs in Baskets

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Amazon.com

“We need a conversation not only between investors and farmers and fiduciaries and entrepreneurs, but a conversation between those very parts of ourselves—between the part of ourselves that is beholden, as we sit here, to Buy Low/Sell High, and the part of our selves that is trying to mature into a more responsible and engaged participant in the Great Economy.”

We can keep putting all our eggs in the basket of venture capital and high-tech and globalization. Or, we can begin putting some of our eggs in the basket of nurture capital, an industry that doesn’t quite exist yet but which I believe we are in the process of seeding.”

Staring the Pig in the Face by Woody Tasch

Economic Violence

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Amazon.com

“…inherent economic violence gets expressed in people and places that are made expendable.

“…we are all working in the soil of a new economy, an economy that strives to be based less on extraction and consumption and more on preservation and restoration.

If the United States consumes some 25 percent of the world’s resources but has only 5 percent of the world’s population, we can hardly call the modern industrial economy efficient

Staring the Pig in the Face by Woody Tasch