[p2p-research] The one thing depleting faster than oil is the credibility of those measurin...

Stan Rhodes stanleyrhodes at gmail.com
Thu Nov 19 10:43:09 CET 2009

It's currently on my list, with small bites already in motion.

I'm talking to some farmers here--that produce the best product to be found
in the entire Portland Metro area--about me and a few others doing some
part-time documenting of the farmers' knowledge and practices (and problems,
of course), and building a regional pool of content from soil to table.
FLOS, of course, so that everyone may benefit, and as painless as possible
for the farmers.

The biggest problem for entrant farmers is land and after that, water.
Would-be farmers can't get land, and the banks won't provide a loan for a
farm.  We need some sort of equity-based agrifinance, with a sizable pool.
Maybe I should go to every food-crisis movie and Michael Pollan reading and
take pledges while people are incensed, but I don't think it would be

The complexities of agricultural economics dovetail with urban economics and
urban planning.  Portland is pursuing new policies, such as not extending
the urban growth boundary, and having "rural reserves" made from the best
farmland. Reduces the speculation concerns, and there's plenty of usable
commercial and industrial land inside the boundary.  Rural reserves are a
good step, but young and capable hands just don't have the capital to get
started on that land.

A city is the only place to pool the capital and provide the market for the
goods raised.  Ken Meter might not agree, but I'm pretty sure Ed Glaeser
would.  The West Coast has a powerful agriculture and food scene in Seattle,
Portland, and Bay Area.  I'm pretty sure Portland is the place to make an
epicenter, and it's not just because I like the place.  We need some sort of
FLOS-y-combinator that can create a giant capital pool from nodes of
capital, and the educational opportunities to draw and nuture human skill.

Those of us on the West Coast should consider some cross-mojo-nation on
these issues.  Meanwhile, I'll continue to take small bites.

-- Stan

On Wed, Nov 18, 2009 at 9:21 PM, J. Andrew Rogers
<reality.miner at gmail.com>wrote:

> Let me add that I think there is a significant opportunity for organic
> production of very high-quality agricultural goods on large scales. In
> fact, it is fairly high on my list of things to work on sooner rather
> than later and a pet interest of mine. Let's raise food quality and
> diversity for the world.
> I'm a huge fan of clean, organic, sustainable, and efficient
> agriculture. I believe that is the future of food generally. At the
> same time, I am keenly aware of the economics involved and many of
> these issues cannot be ignored.  We still have to feed 6-7 billion
> people on this rock at the end of the day, so it can't be done in a
> silly wasteful fashion if it is to work out at a scale that people in
> the lower strata of society will benefit from. It will require clever
> technology, efficient logistics, and deeply pragmatic engineering
> because the margins are small enough that wishful thinking is a
> suicide note.
> --
> J. Andrew Rogers
> realityminer.blogspot.com
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> p2presearch at listcultures.org
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