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Separating the Tweet from the Chaff

Agricultural Innovation with John-Paul Maxfield

John-Paul founded Waste Farmers with $9,000 and a belief that idealism and capitalism can coexist. Waste Farmers has evolved into an innovator respected by leaders in the global community for developing simple solutions to the complex problems of modern agriculture and food security.


We can’t all be Noam Chomsky or Ayn Rand or Wendell Berry or Bingo Pajama,¹ but that doesn’t mean each and every one of us can’t get the hint. We need a new story. Maybe even a new myth. We need to rediscover imagination.

The Future of Urban Farming

Some sights in the neighborhood were so common that I had stopped noticing them; but then one day they came into view. While driving down Harold Street on the way to my cousin’s house, I noticed a vacant lot on my left and then, just a block down, I saw two large vacant lots on my right.

Reader Interactions


  1. Well said Woody! As a former journalist who long ago was required to find 2 reliable sources before writing anything, I suspect a tweet wouldn’t have qualified back in the day. Wise words to all the media. I hope they listen.

  2. There is a reason why people do not trust journalists. It’s because they have forgotten, long ago, what the goal of the profession is. The reason why they report tweets is because it has become their custom to report whatever the “boss” says. The “talking heads” are also reporting what their boss says. I hear very little clear thinking on TV or other news outlets. Very little sounds fresh, new, or even clear. It almost all sounds canned and designed to manipulate thinking rather than to educate, enlighten, or inform. Since their goal is to manipulate, tweets are a pretty good format. Thought is not required or expected.

  3. Thank you Woody. My father worked for the AP office located under the golden dome in Montpelier, VT. Ehyup, the capital. I’m tired of the Chaff not being separated. Nice visual Woody. I want to thank you, and the first journalist who stands up and starts reporting like a journalist should. What’s journalism anyway? What did happen to investigation, research, and analysis of the subject. Currently, I don’t listen to or watch TV. Currently, I don’t read the paper. I’d like to make the bread for you and the TV Journalist who has the courage and wants to speak the truth. Now that would be fun.

  4. Wise words indeed from Woody as always. I try to limit all that tweet & FB noise and focus on facts from trusted sources, campaigns and helping in a practical way eg belonging to a refugee support group, makes the news on Syria still hard to bear but less so. Buying organic artisan bread from a small business – a small buffer against Monsanto – and it tastes wonderful!

  5. A editorial yesterday connected the invasion of Iraq with the rise of Trump. One of Trump’s consistent messages was, “we don’t win anymore!” This resonated well with his audience. This message fit very well with the ongoing disaster in the Middle East- started by our war with Iraq. Most journalists supported that war. The NYT ran many pieces of fake news supporting that war. Colin Powell told the UN that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and showed them photos to prove it. The media reported this implying what Powell said was true. If journalists are unable to do their job, they rightfully lose their job- just like everyone else.

  6. If the media are unable or unwilling to discover what is true; if they are unable or unwilling to call out leadership when it states falsehoods for its own designs, then it forfeits its right to exist. Trump has recognized this. He sees the failure of the press to tell the truth and he sees the frustration of the population who are at the mercy of falsehood. His tweets bypass the press and expose the press as a fax machine for power. This situation challenges the press. If it wants to continue to exist, it must assert itself as an entity independent of government. It may yet do this since it’s being openly attacked. It may be forced into the position of telling the truth. This will save it. If it is unable to do this, it will be indistinguishable from the chaos on the internet and will be buried.

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