Laboring With Less

Laboring With Less

Food Supply
I thought this article was worth a mention. It is a problem that is growing without much support or solution in sight. There has to be a way to We support Local Harvest by using their online store to sell our botanicals. Please use the LocalHarvest search engine to find local farmers, farmer's markets, CSA's and real local food. Let's talk frankly about the state of agricultural labor in this country. Don't worry, the US is not alone in this dilemma- it is happening in countries all over the world. Despite a growing human population, we have fewer people who want to be farmworkers. And those that do want to do the work may not be located in the countries that need the workers. It is a mismatch of global…
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Not at Home on the Range

Community, Food Supply, Soil & Compost
Subsidized Fracking Hits Colorado This is an interesting article documenting the connections between tax subsidies, oil and gas fracking, and harms to the public health. And this article indicates that this kind of extreme oil production is NOT a free market activity, but is possible/profitable only because of subsidies. Repeat: this kind of extreme energy exploration is NOT a free market activity. Yes, this affects soil fertility. Yes, this is a gardening issue. Yes, this is a food issue.
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Right to Farm Equals No Right to Grow Food

Right to Farm Equals No Right to Grow Food

Food Supply, Small Scale Farming
Yesterday, Missouri passed by a .03% margin an undemocratic constitutional amendment cynically called "right to farm." Big Ag is pushing this in Oklahoma. This is for the benefit of multinational meat companies (Tyson) and chemical companies (Monsanto). They want it to be impossible for local citizens to exercise any control over these global corporations. Practices and products of these companies have been destructive and dangerous for farming and ranching and for our food supply. Now they are attacking our democracy. In the past 50 years these companies' monopolistic practices have: (1) driven nearly all U.S. farmers and ranchers out of business; (2) eliminated nearly all but the largest 3 meat packers; (3) eliminate nearly all but the largest seed/chemical company - Monsanto; (4) crippled rural farm economies; and (5) made…
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40 maps that explain food in America

Food Supply
The future of the nations will depend on the manner of how they feed themselves, wrote the French epicurean Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin in 1826. Almost 200 years later, how nations feed themselves has gotten a lot more complicated. That’s particularly true in the US, where food insecurity coexists with an obesity crisis, where fast food is everywhere and farmer’s markets are spreading, where foodies have never had more power and McDonald’s has never had more locations, and where the possibility of a barbecue-based civil war is always near. So here are 40 maps, charts, and graphs that show where our food comes from and how we eat it, with some drinking thrown in for good measure. There's a map for every interest. Check it out. 40 maps that explain food…
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Organic Garden Yards – Oh the Controversy

Organic Garden Yards – Oh the Controversy

Community, Food Supply, Healthy Eating, Sustainable Landscaping
If you are not allowed to grow and eat your own food, then the legality of any other basic right is up for grabs. While it seems to be a new concept in the United States, it is not a new concept; who controls the food supply, controls the people. I have sat on my hands regarding this topic for some time now... but this heartbreaking story, explains a situation that is becoming disturbingly common in America today. Will they be coming for your lemon verbena and catnip next? Where will they draw the line, you can't grow squash because the squash bugs will become a neighborhood nuisance? In case you are not aware of Karl Tricamo, from Ferguson, Missouri, USA, he was involved in a Front Yard Garden Controversy…
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Using Root Cellars to Preserve Food

Food Storage, Food Supply
With cold weather upon us, everyone should be working to save your harvest, either by storing or preserving. Canning, drying, and freezing, are good ways of preserving your crops such as beans, corn, peas, peppers, summer squash, and tomatoes. They need to be done immediately after picking, while crops are fresh and tasty. Whether you cold-store or preserve your produce depends on the type of food you've grown, your facilities, and your family's eating preferences. Cold storage of vegetables such as cabbage, beets, carrots, potatoes, squash, and turnips can give you the best tasting and healthiest food of the four methods, and may even be the least expensive in the long run. And you can eat every one of these garden-fresh even 4 to 6 months after they've been harvested!…
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How to Store Root Crops

How to Store Root Crops

Food Storage, Food Supply, Self Sufficiency
Learn how to store your root crops. Don't lose a single plant to waste by learning how to store them safely and with the most taste intact. Have your fall garden of root crops mature as late as possible by planting as late as possible. Cold weather sweetens the roots and you'll be putting the freshest produce into a cool root cellar, garage or back porch. Leave your last planting in the ground until the roots are fully mature; they'll store better if they're protected by a thicker skin. Whether you're going to eat most of your vegetables fresh, or you intend to freeze, can, or store them in a root cellar, a good rule of thumb is to harvest as close to the time you're going to eat or…
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Growing Carrots and Food Security

Growing Carrots and Food Security

Food Supply
Gardening is about food security. I don't talk a lot about varieties, I grab seeds from the Farm Supply store, read about them seed catalogs, and various websites, and work very often with trial and error. That is the sum total of how I write, how my garden works. You can read and read, but nothing in the world prepares a person to grow their own food like hands on growing. Like Nike said, "Just do it!" It is the only way. However, rather than get off on a long discourse on the necessity of organic gardening, let me write simply about getting started. Much could be said about gardening. When I read, then review books for this website, I often think that next to love and religion, this is…
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Growing Communities

Community, Food Supply
Imagine a city in which every neighborhood is filled with healthy street trees, attractive parks, and productive gardens; where the air and water are clean; where neighborhood youth take an active role in improving their environment; and where diverse residents come together to build their city stronger through community stewardship. America's urban environments have become our most important ecosystems. In addition to the fact that more than 75% of us live in cities, the condition of the urban environment affects our economy, our culture, our society and our natural resources on local, regional and national scales. Garden Simply is taking action to improve public education and bring to attention this urban environment to help revitalize our urban communities. Community gardens empower individuals, knit together a stronger community, beautify local areas,…
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Pesticides for Potato Beetles

Food Supply, Organic Gardening, Organic Pest & Disease Control
Okay. It's a really pretty beetle. (Click on it and look at it up close if you don't believe me) Even if you don't really like bugs, if you leave that part out, and really look at it with open eyes, it is really colorful and quite perfect. It is sort of like a little baby bunny rabbit. It's just cute. But the damage it has done to the world's food supply is, simply put, inestimable; unable to be estimated or assessed. Why? Because of their great ability to reproduce? Maybe. But according to the sources cited in the article, Colorado Potato Beetle ... Since 1864, hundreds of compounds were tested against the Colorado potato beetle, and insecticides still remain the foundation of the Colorado potato beetle control on commercial…
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