This just in from Michigan where urban farmers are trying to tell the state they want more control over agricultural ordinances because urban farms should not be regulated in the same manner as rural (larger) farms.
This is a BIG DEAL in local food production and distribution. Right now, people cannot readily grow vegetables and resell them to neighbors because the insurance cost is insanely high.
There are developing systems, like Ed Dowding’s SUSTAINATION.UK which is now up and running in London to connect all the dots in local food production and distribution.
I am dealing with this issue with Garden Up—I want to help people monetize what they grow with our units!
I wish them well but intensive and diversified crops for local and regional consumption will in the long run carry them further. If the market for turmeric gets glutted, they suffer. If too much turmeric is grown in the same area, the risk of blight and crop failure increases and the farmers suffer.
As early as 7000 BC native Indians in the New World were eating the wild “chiltecpin” (piquín) pepper. This is a small and very pungent chile eaten like peanuts today only by the brave. It is believed that chile peppers were domesticated between 5200 and 3400 B.C. by nomadic Indians dependent on the harvesting of wild plants for more than half of their food.
Chile peppers were first cultivated in South America around 2300 BC by the Incas who called them “Uchu” in the Quechua language and “Huayca” in the Aymara language. The Incas worshipped the chile pepper as one of the holy plants and used it to represent the teachings of the early kings.
Before 1500 B.C. chiles travelled north into Mexico and gained the reputation as a spicy condiment, becoming an important part of the native diet. Around this time the Olmecs, one of the first agricultural tribes, settled in what is now Veracruz in Mexico.
At about 500 B.C. the Monte Alban culture of the Zapotec Indians from the valley of Oaxaca, Mexico, began exporting to neighbouring tribes the “Suchilquitongo” bowls that resemble the handheld mortars or molcajetes. These bowls are believed to be the first evidence that people crushed chiles for chile powder.
When the Mayas reached the peak of their civilization about 500 A.D. in southern Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula. They were growing many different varieties of chiles, an important ingredient in the Mayan diet. They used chiles in almost every meal, from breakfast, which was a hot cereal of ground maize spiced with chile peppers called atole or pozol, to the evening meal of various stews spiced with chiles.
The Aztec were the last agricultural tribe to arrive in the area of Mexico City around 1200 A.D. The marketplaces of the Aztec overflowed with chiles of all shapes and sizes and many colours. They called this pungent fruit “chillis” in the Nahuatl language, which referred to both the red and green chile peppers.
What’s an ocean worth? The world economy can’t do without it. We use our oceans for oil drilling, to catch mackerel and tuna, or for a carefree week of sailing. For centuries these vast stretches of water seemed inexhaustible, but now it’s clear that there are limits to their resilience.
Relying on coyote trapping, poisoning, and shooting also has other nasty side effects, not the least of which is the potential for other wildlife, including people’s pets, to be killed and injured. In fact, just last week residents around Oregon State University’s Sheep Research Center revolted over coyote snares set along the university’s fence line, which has snared not just coyotes, but pet dogs and other animals.
This is not an isolated incident; dozens of pets have been injured by Wildlife Services traps and poisons. Predator Defense, one of NRDC’s partners, just released a powerful video about Bella, a pet husky who lost a leg to an unmarked Wildlife Services snare in the Boise National Forest.
There’s a better way for Wildlife Services to do business with your tax dollars: proven nonlethal methods to protect sheep and other livestock from predators, such as guard dogs, electrified fencing, changes to feeding schedules and other animal husbandry techniques that don’t rely on preventative killing. Besides, as Ken Cole points out, when it comes to livestock losses, killing coyotes may ultimately do more harm than good.
"It is a tragedy for any farmer to lose livestock, but its even more of a tragedy when you feel like there is nothing you can do," he said. "How can you get rid of all the midges? "The new lambing season will be on us soon. We can only pray that the we don’t see a new wave of cases then." George Risse, 40, from the town of Warstein, lost 16 new lambs to the virus. "I was in tears when I went into the lambs’ stalls on New Year’s Day and found the young ones dead or dying," he said. "You know, you do everything right, you do everything you are supposed to do and there is a certain pride and expectation and joy knowing that the new lambs will be coming. "And then you see these creatures like something out of a horror film. It just breaks your heart. It made me fearful of breeding them again in case it comes back." The loss is enough to threaten his farm, with its flock of 500 sheep, which he has spent 25 years building up. Some lambs survived birth but have deformed bones and joints, which vets put down to the virus. Mr Risse said he and farmers like him feel they are suffering in isolation. There have been no visits from EU officials, no advice on what to do and no offers of compensation.
Know the feeling about doing what you believe to be right and then struck by events you cannot control. Cannot be put on industrialized farming by these folks but wonder if other industrialization has caused the development of the new disease.
President Robles and Fried left the meeting with management Thursday and began calling laid-off workers, asking them to come to the plant. At 2 p.m., the end of the shift, 50 workers met to discuss their options. Robles presented them soberly: Do nothing, or fight—stay and occupy the plant again. Without much hullabaloo, matter-of-factly, the members voted unanimously to occupy. They had no food, no sleeping bags. Workers and leaders immediately started to phone fellow workers, allies, and the media. They called the local alderman and asked others to alert the mayor’s office. Occupy Chicago came with tacos. Stand Up Chicago arrived. Workers from other UE locals, including recently organized railroad van drivers, were there. Republic workers who’d never been called back to Serious but who still came to union meetings were there. The crowd inside grew to 65 and outside to 100.
A Kansas House tax committee passed a bill in which anyone making less than $25,000 a year — roughly half a million of the state’s 2.9 million residents — will pay an average of $72 more in taxes, while those making more than $250,000 — about 21,000 people — will see a $1,500 cut, according to Kansas Department of Revenue estimates cited by the Kansas City Star.
The hike would come from the elimination of tax credits typically benefiting the poor.
Gay rights activists and sympathizers can sign a petition to protest Liberia’s “Kill the Gays” bill:
Target: Liberian Senator Jewel Haward Taylor
Goal: To urge Senator Taylor not to push this bill, which would allow judges to punish homosexual acts with the death penalty in Liberia.
In the west African country of Liberia, LGBT couples have been struggling to gain legal recognition. But Senator Taylor, who recently introduced a bill that would make homosexual acts punishable by death, could serve as a huge roadblock to equality. Senator Taylor must stop advocating for the passage of a bill that would essentially take the lives of some LGBT Liberians.
The lesson here: it’s hard to negotiate with people who don’t give a damn. As Augusta Christensen points out, while 130,000 people losing access to reproductive health care “seems like it should be a bargaining chip against anti-choice extremists in Texas’s legislature, those delegates have made it clear that they simply do not care about reproductive health care.”\
Make no mistake: Shrimp farms in South and Southeast Asia are essentially factory farms, with all that implies — including antibiotic overuse.
We eat enormous amounts of shrimp in this country, and 90 percent of it is imported: 1.23 billion pounds’ worth in 2010, according to SeafoodSource.com. Vietnam is 5th-largest on the list of shrimp importers to the United States. Over the past year, Japan has turned back Vietnamese shrimp for containing significant amounts of antibiotic residues. From Tuoi Tre News last month:
Many local seafood exporters are on the brink of halting operation, or even bankruptcy, as their shrimp exports to Japan have recently been found to contain excessive levels of the antibiotic enrofloxacin.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnamese shrimp bound for Japan last year were 56 times detected to be tainted with enrofloxacin residues exceeding limits.
Still smarting from bad conditions in jail and wants to be re-elected… but good idea and he should have thought about it and supported it long ago…
Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca said he supports the idea of allowing illegal immigrants to have driver’s licenses as long as they have been in the United States for a number of years without committing any crimes. Baca’s comments Thursday come as Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck has also expressed support for driver’s license for illegal immigrants.
Human activity is likely a greater threat to coastal groundwater used for drinking water supplies than rising sea levels from climate change, according to a study conducted by geoscientists from the University of Saskatchewan and McGill University in Montreal.
Grant Ferguson from the U of S Department of Civil and Geological Engineering worked with Tom Gleeson from McGill’s Department of Civil Engineering to examine data from more than 1,400 coastal watersheds. What they found was that with the exception of very flat coastal areas that can be inundated with sea water – rare in North America – most coastal aquifers are relatively unaffected by rising sea level.
A Food Chain Radio Release From Metrofarm.Com 18-02-2012
Guests: Farmer John Jeavons, Author of “How to Grow More Vegetables”
Subject: For decades economists told farmers to “Get big or get out!” Others – the heretics of agriculture – told farmers to “Grow small and stand tall!” This divergence of opinion leads us to ask… Which will feed the world: big or small?
Topics include a look at “Get big or get out” and “Grow small and stand tall” agricultures; how Big agriculture requires 30,000 square feet to feed one person, while Small agriculture requires only 4,000 square feet; and how Small farmers can grow so much food in so little space.
French-born artist Louise Bourgeois, whose emotionally powerful and provocative art explored the traumas of her childhood and sexuality, died Monday at the age of 98. Bourgeois had continued creating artwork – her latest pieces were finished just last week – before suffering a heart attack Saturday night, said her studio’s managing director, Wendy Williams. The artist died at Beth Israel Medical Center in Manhattan, where she lived.
The purpose of the research presented here is to examine some of the benefits and potential for urban church involvement with the development and maintenance of community gardens as an effective tool for proclamation of the gospel in urban communities in the twenty-first century. This research includes my experience on how I have acquired an understanding of the integration of spiritual, social and physical environment, community health, and effective strategies for empowerment, development, and health promotion through community and urban church gardening. I will attempt to demonstrate that church involvement in planning, organizing, and facilitating community gardens fosters empowerment; community development; develops social networks; as well as healthy communities as well as an understanding of the relationship potential between community gardens and local food pantries.
Results: Cognitive, emotional and social processes were uncovered, which participants identified as important for their wellbeing. Participants found quilting to be a productive use of time and an accessible means of engaging in free creativity. Colour was psychologically uplifting. Quilting was challenging, demanded concentration and participants maintained and learned new skills. Participants experienced ‘flow’ while quilting. A strong social network fostered the formation of strong friendships. Affirmation from others boosted self-esteem and increased motivation for skill development. Quilts were often given altruistically and gave quilting added purpose.
“He is rigid and a homophobic. He said, ‘I want a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage,’ and they said, ‘Well, what about the people who are already married?’ And he said, ‘Well, they would be nullified.’ I mean what is, what’s human, what’s kind about that? We’re all human beings, we all know or love somebody who’s gay or lesbian so what the hell is that about? To me it’s startling and borders on disgust.”—
“I can’t imagine anything more inhuman, insensitive and unfair. Wyoming people believe in getting the government out of their lives. We cherish the precious right of privacy, and the precious right to be left alone. Why can’t we extend that to all our other fellow human beings?”
If the GOP adopted that line of thinking nationally, it would be a radical step forward.
Orange juice and beef form part of the diet of many people in Mexico and other countries of the Americas. But the traces of antibiotics and fungicides they can contain pose risks to human health, and authorities in the region have begun to address the problem.
In January, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a ban on “extralabel” or unapproved uses of cephalosporin antimicrobial drugs in cattle, swine, chickens and turkeys as of April 2012.
As a result, Mexico will be forced to gradually eliminate the use of this class of antimicrobial drugs in order to continue to export its products to markets like the United States, where the Food Safety Modernisation Act (FSMA) was signed into law in January 2011 by President Barack Obama.
Forcing women to undergo any unnecessary procedures before being “allowed” to have an abortion, is a violation and either an attempt to prevent women from having an abortion or a way to punish them for making the decision to abort. It may be less painful and less icky over the belly. But we have to fight against it just the same.
An early version was released last Thursday by a disgruntled employee of Odesk, Amine Derkaoui, a 21-year-old Moroccan who told Gawker that he was paid $1 per hour to trawl through the reports and determine whether they should be removed from the site or not.
“Two species of bichir from Africa can regrow amputated bony fins with remarkable accuracy, says developmental biologist Luis Covarrubias of the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Cuernavaca. Among the most ancient of the living lineages of ray-finned fishes, a group that includes most fresh- and saltwater species, the Polypterus bichirs share traits such as paired lungs with both modern amphibians and very early four-limbed vertebrates.”—Old-fashioned Fish Regrow Fins - Science News
It’s showing March 6 at the San Francisco Green Film Festival. Also, Shepard Fairey made the poster for the film, so even if you can’t be bothered to get your hands dirty, at least you can support the cause by spending $60 on a print of someone else’s picture with a Photoshop filter applied. Urban Roots shows dedicated Detroiters working tirelessly to fulfill their vision for locally-grown, sustainably farmed food in a city where people – as in much of the county – have found themselves cut off from real food and limited to the lifeless offerings of fast food chains and grocery stores stocked with processed food.
"Dutch who believe humans are exempt from nature!" Give nature a break before it breaks us all!
Huge numbers of geese spend the winter in the Netherlands, where they eat the grass meant for sheep and cows. To reduce the problem, Dutch farmers are shooting more and more of the birds.
In the province of North Holland alone, hunters shoot over 40,000 geese a year, far more than they could ever consume. They think it’s a shame to throw good meat away, so they’ve begun donating it to food banks.
Yesterdays thoughtless and avoidable burning of several Qurans at Bagram air base has sparked a second day of protests across Afghanistan. The repercussions are expected to reverberate for several more days, at least. The demonstrations are a combination of religious outrage, pent-up frustration and groups wanting to stir trouble. It is difficult to predict how bad things will get; this will depend largely on who manages to control - or hijack - the expressions of anger.
Seven years ago a group of people living on Buffalo’s West Side got together to brainstorm around the idea of developing a cooperative garden center in our neighborhood. We wanted to keep our dollars inside our fair city, and we were tired of driving twenty minutes to the suburbs to buy our plants and garden accessories, and at the same time recognized the opportunity for building a business in this up and coming neighborhood five minutes from any yard on Garden Walk Buffalo. In 2005 we started offering “plant swaps,” polled area residents, and collected surveys. In 2006 we held our first plant and bulb sales featuring organically raised heirloom tomato seedlings. In 2007 we opened our doors at 428 Rhode Island Street, and a year later we celebrated our first birthday. Our Mission Urban Roots Community Garden Center is a consumer cooperative business whose mission is to provide quality products for gardening in the City of Buffalo and be an active and enriching member of the community.
American correspondent Marie Colvin and French photographer Remi Ochlik were killed in the besieged Syrian city of Homs on Wednesday when rockets fired by government forces hit the house they were staying in, opposition activists and witnesses said. At least two other journalists and possibly more were wounded in the attack, the Syrian Network for Human Rights said. One of the wounded was named as British photographer Paul Conroy, the other as Edith Bouvier of France’s Le Figaro newspaper. She was said to be in serious condition. A witness contacted by Reuters from Amman said shells hit the house in the opposition-held Baba Amro district of Homs which was being used as a media centre. A rocket hit them when they tried to escape. Colvin and Ochlik were both prize-winning veterans of wars in the Middle East, Asia and elsewhere. The British-based Colvin, who worked for the Sunday Times, lost an eye when she suffered a shrapnel wound while working in Sri Lanka in 2001. In public appearances after that attack, she wore a black eye patch.