AgriCulture: A Tale of Two States

Newbanner 2 596x151  TURKANA FARMS, LLCGreen E-Market Bulletin October 15, 2023Two in OneTwo in One by Antoinette Schultze. Israel and Palestine? Photo by Eric RouleauBlind Rage: A Tale of Two StatesHi All, Mark here.This bulletin is generally intended to be a chronicle of my life through the prism of the farm; sweet tales of caring for animals and growing plants, while I tangentially remind you to buy the farm’s products. But I haven’t been mentally engaged with the farm this week. Instead, I have been obsessively following the awful events in Israel and Gaza.I address that situation knowing well that much ink has already been spilled, and you may find it not my place to chime in. I have the sort of visceral connection to Israel that comes from having a father who was a Holocaust survivor. When my parents married in 1948 (the year the state of Israel was founded) they debated moving there. But not only did I end up American, I have never even visited Israel.I also know that any expression of my views is likely to offend someone. All week I’ve had an heated debates with my friends. But those are hardly as anguished as the debate with myself that’s been ping-ponging in my brain all week.When I first heard of Hamas’s horrific pogrom, my white hot rage led me to say “bomb them to smithereens.” Within a day, I did an about face. Horrified at some Israeli rhetoric about reducing Gaza to rubble, I told myself “It’s wrong to respond to war crimes with bigger war crimes, like putting the civilian population under siege. And it’s stupid, because It erodes Israel’s legitimacy.”But then I asked myself if I was ignoring the lessons of history. “Passivity can be suicide. If someone attacks you, hit back twice as hard, or you will be eradicated.” You won’t eradicate Hamas’s ideology with force, but you may deter more such pogroms. So yes, hit back hard, but how?With each new snippet of news or opinion I had more questions to ask myself. Were Hamas’s actions explicable as a natural reaction to years of oppression? No, I decided, there is nothing inevitable about barbaric savagery. National liberation movements can succeed without committing heinous crimes. Look at India or South Africa.Is this all about positioning for the terms of a two state solution? No, it seems neither party leading this fight wants to achieve that end, even if substantial numbers of Israelis and Palestinians do. On the Hamas side, I see banners decrying “75 years of occupation.” That says it all. What was founded 75 years ago was a smaller Israel than the one with 1967 borders that on which all two state proposals have been based, so it is really the existence of Israel itself that is claimed to be an “occupation.” For its part, the Netanyahu government has been doing everything in its power to make a two state solution impossible by grabbing ever more Palestinian land, and several cabinet ministers advocate annexing the West Bank.Thus, the war is being led on one side by an organization that wants to push the Jews into the sea and on the other side by a faction constantly scheming to push Palestinians off the land. The fears they engender feed off each other. No wonder both extremes believe that the only solution is for the other side not to exist.I not only debated myself but had imaginary confrontations with the progressive activists (my otherwise natural political allies) on elite college campuses who horrified me by celebrating Hamas’s atrocities as “acts of resistance” before Israel took even the first step of retribution.They seem to advocate dismantling the Israeli state because it is a European colonizing settler entity. That strikes me as ignorant, prejudiced and hypocritical.Ignorant, because most Israeli Jews are not of European origin, but originate rather in the Middle East and North Africa. They came when Israel was founded because they were unwelcome or persecuted in their native lands. In that sense, the Palestinian Nakba was part of a redistribution of population internal to the region, a version of a not very pretty process that occurred widely in the 20th century as the empires that kept a lid on inter-communal tensions broke up (e.g. Turkey and Greece, Pakistan and India). Sure, substantial numbers also immigrated from Europe generations ago, but the current population of Israel was mostly born there.Prejudiced, because the dismantling of Israel means the surrender by Jews of their right of self-determination as a people. The neighboring countries in the Middle East are mostly ruled by Islamic super-majorities, who impose religiously inspired laws to the substantial prejudice of religious minorities. Yet these campus progressives only demand that Jews, and none of their Islamic neighbors, surrender their right of self-determination.Hypocritical, because we here in America are the ultimate European colonizing settler state, requiring the indigenous inhabitants to live according to our laws, but I haven’t heard any serious proposals to dismantle our government or hand the land back to the First Nations. Nor do I see how the objection to European Jews seeking refuge in Israel is consistent with the progressives’ more laudable view that being a safe haven for refugees from around the world is a proper national endeavor, particularly for our nation.By the end of the week, my head was spinning. Thankfully, in Friday’s New York Times I found articulated opinions that really spoke to me: one by an Israeli reservist returning to fight for his country while refusing to regard Palestinians as his enemy; the other by UN Secretary General Gutteres, eloquently making the case why Israel’s response cannot ignore the international law of war. I commend them to you.With others articulating for me opinions I felt I could adopt, I could finally focus my mind back on the farm. Today, observing my flocks of turkeys and sheep, it occurred to me that neither flock ever breaks down into warring tribes. If the human proclivity for tribal warfare reflects evolution at work in the human brain, I’m not sure that evolution has really made us more evolved.Material EnergyMaterial Energy by Peter Barrett: Precarious balances. Photo by Eric RouleauWHAT’S AVAILABLE THIS WEEKIn the red meat department, recently back from the processor, frozen lamb:Butterflied legs of lamb $16/lb
Rib or Loin chops (packs of 2) $14/lb
Small racks of lamb $14/lb
Riblets (breast of lamb) $8/lb
Lamb shanks (packs of 2) $12/lbIn the greens department:Swiss chard: $3/bagGreen bell peppers: $1 each
Frying peppers: 2 for $1
Jalapeno peppers: 3 for $1
Small hot chili peppers 6 for $1
Horseradish root: $2/lb.
Sorrel: $3/bag
Spearmint and regular mint $.75 a bunch
Garlic chives $.75 a bunch
Green Shiso leaves 10 for $1 (10 cents each)In the yellow and white palette: Eggs: $6/dozenpiano 2 WHAT ELSE IS AVAILABLE THIS WEEK –
AN 1878 SQUARE GRAND PIANO FREEThat’s right folks, I have finally as of July 27 received a Department of Environmental Conservation permit to transfer this antique piano, with its ivory keys. It has a venerable history and I want to find it a good home. You’d just need to come get it. Please email me at or call at 917-544-6464 if you’d like to make it yours.RESERVING YOUR THANKSGIVING TURKEYTURKEY RESERVATION FORM 2023
110 Lasher Ave
Germantown, NY 12526
Please check here if you would like to receive email offerings in season:______________HERITAGE BREED TURKEYS: This year we are raising Holland Whites, Chocolates and Blue Slates, which will range from 7 to 18 lbs. Fed on organic feed, pastured all day once they get big enough to go out, protected on perching bars all night. Slaughtered the Sunday or Monday before Thanksgiving, delivered fresh, not frozen, in Lower Manhattan, at points along the Taconic Parkway, or at the farm. $12 lb plus $5 off premises pick up fee. Note: These sell out early.Number desired: ___________ Approx. weight ________
Pick up place: ___at the farm; ___Lower Manhattan___a point along the Taconic Parkway
Please send a deposit of $40 per bird to hold your reservation to Turkana Farms, 110 Lasher Ave., Germantown, NY, 12526. Make check out to Turkana Farms, LLC.(Yes this luddite farm still uses checks). The balance due will be paid at the time of the pick up.pineappleFARM PICKUPS:Email us your order at, and let us know when you’d like to pick up your order. It will be put out for you on the side screened porch of the farmhouse (110 Lasher Ave., Germantown) in a bag. You can leave cash or a check in the now famous pineapple on the porch table. Because I’m now here full time, we’re abandoning regular pick-up times. Let us know when you want your order any day between 10 and 5, and unless there are unusual circumstances we’ll be able to ready it to your convenience. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to call or text at 917-544-6464 or email.Robin Hood logoHEAR OUR SHOWIf you’d enjoy hearing these bulletins out loud instead of reading them, we broadcast them on Robin Hood Radio, the nation’s smallest NPR station. You can find it on FM 91.9, AM 1020, WBSL-FM 91.7 “The Voice of Berkshire School” or streaming on the web at, where podcasts of past broadcasts are also available under the title AgriCulture in the “On Demand” section. FM 91.7 “The Voice of Berkshire School”can be heard from just south of Pittsfield to the CT border. You can hear the station on WHDD FM 91.9 from Ashley Falls, MA down through the Cornwalls and in NY from just south of Hillsdale down to Dover Plains. You can hear the station on AM1020 from Stockbridge, MA to Kent and from Poughkeepsie to Pawling to Kent, Goshen, Torrington, Norfolk, and Ashley. Recently added for those in the Route 22 corridor from Ancram down to Pawling is FM frequency 97.5 And of course you can listen in our own neighborhood of Southwestern Columbia and Northwestern Dutchess County, where it is being broadcast from Annandale on Hudson, 88.1 FM.Imby logoFOLLOW USThe bulletins may also now be found in written form on line as well, at the Germantown, NY, portal of ©2023 Turkana Farms, LLC | 110 Lasher Avenue, Germantown, NY 12526


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