Building Permit and RAPe


Corner of Main Street & State Street in Montpelier, Vermont

P R O J E C T   P E R M I T

Dear Selectmen,

I would like to let you know we will be building a small shed to store the ore on our land.

:

What ore you ask? Yes, we will be building a small shed to store the ore on our land by the road next to the railroad tracks.

:

What railroad tracks you ask? Yes, we will be building a small shed to store the ore on our land by the road next to the railroad tracks we will use to bring out the material from the tunnel.

:

What tunnel you ask? Yes, we will be building a small shed to store the ore on our land by the road next to the railroad tracks we will use to bring out the material from the tunnel we’re digging under the mountain so we can reach the lake.

:

What lake you ask? Yes, we will be building a small shed to store the ore on our land by the road next to the railroad tracks we will use to bring out the material from the tunnel we’re digging under the mountain so we can reach the lake where we’ll grow the freshwater whales.

:

What whales you ask?! Yes, we will be building a small shed to store the ore on our land by the road next to the railroad tracks we will use to bring out the material from the tunnel we’re digging under the mountain so we can reach the lake where we’ll grow the freshwater whales to harvest their puke.

:

What puke you ask?!? Yes, we will be building a small shed to store the ore on our land by the road next to the railroad tracks we will use to bring out the material from the tunnel we’re digging under the mountain so we can reach the lake where we’ll grow the freshwater whales to harvest their puke to make perfume.

:

Oh, I wasn’t asking for a permit or your permission. This is agricultural and on-farm. I was just letting you know, as required by statute.

Sincerely,

Farmer Jeffries

And that is how to permit perfumed puke projects.

This sort of exchange may go the way of the Dodo bird in the future as the central planners in our capitols implement more and more top-down, pencil pushing, arm-chair agricultural policies like the new RAPe Rules. Sigh a big sigh as the small farms of the future are consolidated and eliminated, making it ever more difficult for new young farmers to break into the business of raising food sustainably and properly. In a hundred years when historians look back and wonder where all the farmers went then maybe someone will pin it on the excessive government interventions at the wrong scales. Or maybe not. As the old saying notes, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. The new Vermont RAPe Rules are a near perfect example as they crush small farms with paperwork, high testing costs and destroy the composting efforts while ignoring the real problems polluting the lake.

File this in letters never sent… It is pure satire and very tongue in cheek – a ridiculously extreme, a funny example that you could almost put to music. Think something along the lines of 99 bottles of beer but by Arlo Gunthrie protest song.

When I do a project I am very careful to know exactly what the regulations are and which ones I need as well as where the regulatory twists, turns and exemptions lay along the path that let us do innovative things like composting the offal to return organic wastes to our poor mountain soil and using bottles of thermal mass plus stored winter to do much of the chilling our building instead of electrical power from the grid. Both of these are true green examples that save resources, reduce consumption, cut waste and keep more money in our local economy, specifically my pocket. Green comes in many colors.

Knowing the regulations completely is why it only took a year to do the permitting for our butcher shop. The government inspectors are delighted with the end result but if central planners had their way I never would have been able to do it because they stifle creativity by forcing all of us round and oddly shaped pegs into square holes.

It should be an interesting next hundred years. Realize that in the last 100 years we went from over 50% of the American population being involved in agriculture to under 1% of the people farming today. In the past our learless feeders encouraged victory gardens as being patriotic and good for the nation while today they attempt to zone and regulate out any deviation from the land. Currently the USDA has a big marketing campaign promoting Know Your Farmer with one hand and with the other hand the government is blaming small farmers for problems like the Lake Champlain pollution when the real problem is runoff from suburban lawns, parking lots and a few large farms. Blame is shifted to the easy target – a tyranny by the majority. Small farmers are vastly outnumbered and so they are easy to scape goat.

You as a consumer can make a difference, if you care to have food in the future that doesn’t come out of laboratories and factories. Now is the time to write your state and federal representatives to stop the over regulating of small farms, and small businesses in general. Tomorrow will be the next time. And the day after that too… It is a never ending process and one with many opportunities to take action. [/RantOff]

Outdoors: 21°F/48°F Sunny, 2″ Snow
Tiny Cottage: 56°F/60°F

Daily Spark: Some might like my solution but as a herdsman I cull hard. I cull often. I cull wide. If an animal can’t thrive and produce copious viable offspring then I cull them to meat. Every week some go to butcher. Better the lesser than the greater. I’m always culling so that I can breed the best of the best and eat the rest. It’s how I improve my herd genetics over time. This is the lesson Mother Nature teaches. She’s a harsh mistress but she’s right.

There is no such thing as waste. “Waste is a verb, not a noun.” in the wise words of Karl Hammer of the Vermont Compost Company in Montpelier, VT.

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Building Permit and RAPe

  1. aminthepm says:

    Appropriate for today.

  2. Yes, this started out as my usual silly April Fool’s day post but then I realized this one might trick too many people… :)

  3. Stephanie says:

    Bless you! Couldn’t agree more. Terrifying really. Thank you so much for putting this in your words & humor. It was very well said. Perfect balance of truth, history, & wit. Also, thank you for the years of illustration & innovation. You can add “inspir-er” to your title :)

  4. Glenn Warren says:

    It’s not just farmers who are over regulated; the whole society is over regulated… always with good intention, but always with larger adverse consequences. Small government is the best government; smart moral people the best way to advance a healthy society. You are examples of the later. Now if only we could replicate your grand experiment. Let freedom ring.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This Blog will give regular Commentators DoFollow Status. Implemented from IT Blögg