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Monday, November 24, 2008



And what actually happened was overwhelming, poignant and more than just a bit scary:


An estimated 40,000 people showed up and 600,000 lbs of food were picked clean in one day forcing the farm to essentially cancel the Sunday event.
There has been a frenzy of talk about bank bailouts, the stock market issues, but an almost peripheral focus on PEOPLE being impacted.
You see a blip here and there about the banker walking parts of downtown NY with his resume on a billboard, and of course LOTS of news about unemployment RATES, and foreclosure RATES, but rates aren’t people.

Gets spooky when you read stuff like this. And we aren’t talking about a fancy food give-away, we talking spuds, carrots, onions and leeks.

The farm owners decided to do this “…after hearing reports of food being stolen from local churches and it was meant as a thank you for customers.” [AP November 23].

Sorry but it shakes me up more than just a little when you hear about stuff like this.

This summer I offered our surplus blackberries for free picking to folks who wanted to treat their kids to some fresh fruit but couldn’t. There are acres of land behind and along-side us loaded with blackberries. I posted it on a local ‘freecycle’ list no strings attached just asking that the people who contacted me REALLY need that. I had over 100 families contact me and literally it too was picked clean. I wound up taking the tractor out and mowing paths through the brambles to keep access available.

I have no idea where we as a country are heading as the economy does what it is doing, but when you hear things like ‘When he takes office, President Elect Obama will come out swinging because there is no time to wait’, I keep struggling with one HUGE question.

IF there is no time to wait, WHY is Congress and all the people who are STILL IN CHARGE of running this country, willing to continue to let the American people in a very, very, very real micro sense wait and watch their individual worlds deteriorate faster than they can adjust? It is an obscenity.

I made the mistake of reading a news article about a comparison to unemployment issues in the GREAT DEPRESSION vs what is projected to be a bottom line before anything even begins to turn a corner in this country now. Unemployment reached an estimated 25% during the depression, and it is suggested by some that it will hit ONLY 8-10% before things settle out. So lets do the math just for perspective. Estimate population in 1929 in this country was about 122 million people. 25% is 30.5 MILLION people. Current population estimates place us at over 305 million people. SO….10% is still TA-DA 30.5 MILLION people.

YABUTT that still means lots of people are working so it’s not that bad. UNLESS you happen to be one of those who aren’t, unless you happen to be the child of one of those out of work, unless you happen to be the wife or husband of one of those out of work. Unless you are trying to figure out just how tomorrow’s bills will be paid, unless you are looking at the gallon of milk in the fridge half empty and there is no half full, half empty philosophy- the damned thing is half-empty and it will run out.

There just is NO TIME TO WAIT. I am not a political creature by nature, but its beyond obvious that the next Administration and the NEXT Congress in both houses are going to wait. They have announced PUBLICLY and PROUDLY that on January 21 PRESIDENT Obama and his cabinet and staff WILL announce a major, dramatic, overwhelming and decisive attack on the economic turmoil slamming this country.

I am also not an economist, but the time left between now and then [January 21] is about the same amount of time it took the entire banking, stock market, unemployment, and auto industry crisis to unravel. THERE IS NO TIME TO WAIT.

The people who own Miller Farm knew that, the people who run food banks, and staff unemployment and job search offices know that, so why is our governmental leadership so willing to continue to let PEOPLE continue to try and struggle just to make it to tomorrow?

Ah yea, one last thought before ending this diatribe. Retailers, big, small and everyone in the middle live and die based on what happens in their sales revenues between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Well that happens long before January 21. Anyone want to bet on the outcome?

But will it work?
Not about llamas.

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