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.[optin-cat id=2074]
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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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Growing Carrots and Food Security

Growing Carrots and Food Security

Food Supply, Growing Food, Organic Gardening
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 the most written about subject…
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The Garden of Ethics

Organic Gardening
America's environmental wake-up call is increasingly evident in our own backyards, especially when it comes to our gardens. Through more conscientious gardening such as organic methods, native plantings, and a renewed interest in growing our own food, we're restoring a critical link with the land and even, with ourselves. For too long, and for too many of us, our link with the land has been lost. For millions of years, and as recently as a hundred years ago, most people lived off of and with the land. But in the blink of the geological eye, we went from relying on a sustainable relationship with the land to practically severing the alliance completely. Today, some of us are returning to our roots--and creating new ones. We're regarding land as a precious…
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Florida lawmaker wants to make farm photos illegal

Chickens, Farm Animals
Along with mountains of oranges, tomatoes, and sugar, Florida's branch of Big Ag Inc. is a reliable producer of bad news. Whether it's the fight over proto-slavery conditions for its tomato workers, the push to perfect genetically modified oranges, or the outrage of the crony capitalist "solutions" to the environmental degradations of sugar plantations, it seems like there's always something rotten in the state of Florida. Oh, and did I mention that Florida also has a shockingly low number of organic farms? So I am not surprised to learn that a creative (not to mention unconstitutional and idiotic) solution to the grave problems with factory farms should arise in the Sunshine state: SB 1246 by Sen. Jim Norman, R-Tampa, would make it a first-degree felony to photograph a farm without…
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An Affair Worth Ending: Fuel and Food

Food Supply, Sustainable Living
Food. Lets face it, who doesn't love good food? We love to eat it, grill it, serve it and share it with love ones. Every thing from the famed Thanksgiving meal where the table is sagging with the weight of hot delicious foods, to summer picnics with cold salads and sandwiches, food in many ways defines our lives. But its not as simple as we would like it to be, once just a story about land and a farmer, it is now an epic tale dripping all along the way with oil. Not so long ago, food was grown just outside of town, often organically, picked by hand and delivered at the peak of freshness to small grocery stores. Today its a much different process for most of our foods.…
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Why Garden Organically?

Organic Gardening
As recent as 25 years ago, the idea of organic gardening was considered quite a radical concept.  How in the world were gardeners expected to control the weeds, the bugs, and the animals that could threaten a thriving garden without the use of man-made chemicals?  When you think about it, organic gardening is a really simply theory.  For years, people have been growing things without the use of chemicals. The early settlers of our country didn’t have Miracle-Gro or Sevin Dust and they made out just fine.  It only makes sense that we should be able to apply the same techniques and get the same results as they did today.  We should grow food using Mother Nature's ingredients rather than concoctions born in a chemist's laboratory for the good of…
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Criminalizing Organic and Home Growers

Emergency Preparedness, Food Supply, Healthy Eating, Organic Gardening
UPDATE: Many people were unable to get the text for this bill, or it was simply unavailable. We have obtained the full text and can be disseminated here: H. R. 875 Food Safety Administration Full Text This bill is sitting in committee and I am not sure when it will go to the floor. One thing I do know is that very few of the Representatives have read it. I know it is difficult to read so many laws that go through, but something as important and far reaching as this bill should be read. And we should be encouraging our congressmen to vote against it... So often, when pressed for time, they take someone else's word for what the bill contains. HR875 Bill proponents will be counting on it.…
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H. R. 875 Food Safety Administration Full Text

Emergency Preparedness, Food Supply, Growing Food, Healthy Eating, Organic Gardening
Full Text of the Bill The government site consistently times out and is virtually impossible to find through regular search.. http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/C?c111:./temp/~c111ipZe4Q HR 875 IH 111th CONGRESS 1st Session H. R. 875 To establish the Food Safety Administration within the Department of Health and Human Services to protect the public health by preventing food-borne llness, ensuring the safety of food, improving research on contaminants leading to food-borne illness, and improving security of food from intentional contamination, and for other purposes. IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES February 4, 2009 Ms. DELAURO (for herself, Ms. ESHOO, Ms. DEGETTE, Ms. SCHAKOWSKY, Mr. ENGEL, Ms. CASTOR of Florida, Mr. MURPHY of Connecticut, Ms. SUTTON, Mrs. LOWEY, Ms. SLAUGHTER, Mr. HINCHEY, Mr. MCGOVERN, Ms. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ, Ms. HIRONO, Mr. GRIJALVA, Mr. SCHAUER, Mr. NADLER of New…
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