To the Editor,
I agree with Charles Thirkhill (Neighbours deserve proper consideration, Letters, Aug. 9) that urban farming is an urgent issue because we need to produce much more food on Vancouver Island.
I do not agree with his point of view that there must be regulations that would prohibit the importation of raw manure to urban farms.
Importing undigested manure is affordable and farmers typically let it age (naturally digest) for at least a year with plastic over top, otherwise it will cook the crops if applied too early.
We have to realize that the deaths by infected food and the mass recalls are a product of big industry and mass distribution and not from local farmers selling zucchini to their neighbours.
If there is a mandate that urban farmers must only use digested compost, that inevitably will mean they will only be able to buy from a few government approved composting centres, raising costs, homogenizing the crops and leaving our trust to a few that quality standards are met.
More central control means more corporate domination and that is not what the urban farming movement is about. The smell of manure to an urban farmer is the smell of freedom.
There are much worse things than the smell of manure.
Instead of living next to a hobby farm, how would you like to live next to a neighbour who is raising two acres of lawn and obsessively mows and trims for hours throughout the weekend?
How would you like to live next to a couple of party animals who don’t shut it down until the cops show up? How would you like to listen to a neighbour’s noisy and misplaced heat pump all night?
The truth is the industry-standard digested manure and compost smells way worse than fresh cow poop and people should be careful what they wish for.