attention to it. That’s because its
funding is slated for BIG cuts, and 11 research centers around the country face closure. In her column this week Barbara Damrosch blasted the $3 million cut in store for the premier agricultural library in the world – in Beltsville, MD, an address that’s revered by hort folks around the world. The plan for saving that pittance is to stop sending printed food-growing information to people who need it, one of whom for the last 30 years has been Damrosch’s famous food-growing husband, Eliot Coleman. So starting next year, the resources will only be available in person and a global resource will become merely local. Poor farmers in developing countries without access to the Internet will be the hardest hit, according to Damrosch. Here’s the story.
Sure, with food shortages, concerns about food safety, a growing interest in local food and finally some growth in gardening in America – of edibles – what better time to stop helping people learn to grow food? Makes sense to me!
Another venerable institution slated for crippling budget slashing is the National Arboretum, whose plant collections and breeding programs are a global resource. So, collections will be abandoned, public programming canceled, and so on ad nauseum. Adrian Higgins recently reported this depressing news and the Washington Post ran the story on page 1 above the fold. (So I take heart that somebody in the mainstream media thinks it’s more significant than the latest bloviation from Jeremiah Wright.)
While you still can, take a virtual tour of the collections and gardens. The lower photo is from the Gotelli Collection slide show.