Saturday, November 20, 2010

Happy Tractor

In connection with my fruitless fantasy about working on my own little place in the country, I subscribe to a free magazine called Acres. Acres is a marketing vehicle for New Holland Tractors, but is nonetheless interesting to me and I read, or at least skim, every issue. The current issue came just a couple of days ago and I got around to reading it this morning. As usual, I'm up early on this Saturday morning and I've made a pot of strong coffee and am ready to face the world. Sipping strong dark coffee and reading about "the lives of farm tractors" go together quite well; it's a natural thing.

The current issue of the magazine has a piece about the destruction and resurrection of a town called Greensburg, Kansas, which was literally destroyed...completely a tornado in 2007. The little article, which just happens to mention that the current mayor helped the town recover with the help of his aging New Holland Boomer tractor, piqued my interest. So I did a little research.

Shortly after the town was destroyed by an F5 tornado, its leaders and many of its residents decided it would be rebuilt. The decision was made to rebuild as a "green" town. More on that at That decision has led to a town that has more LEED-certified buildings per capita than any other in the U.S., including a number of LEED platinum certified buildings.

The decisions by the townspeople to rebuild and to do it in a way that contributed to a more sustainable use of resources is inspirational and thought-provoking. While Greensburg is probably FAR too conservative, politically, for me to be happy there, I admire what they've done. It gives me hope, too, that even people who have an entirely different political perspective than I can share my viewpoint when it comes to our stewardship of rapidly-dwindling resources.

Now, if only I could go out and work the land with my tractor this morning, I'd be even happier.

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