What’s News at summer’s End? GMOs

From sea to sea and the over the Rockies, the news is abuzz with GMO activity. Biotech companies are on the run spending millions. They are planning their next campaign to try to stifle the intensely passionate Right to Know GMO movement. Despite their deep pockets, the reports in the media show there is positive momentum growing around the country. It’s not about debating the science, it is about transparency, so consumers know if they are eating and supporting biotechnology. It’s pretty simple! Just label it! Continue reading

Veterans in Agriculture: Why Their Healing is So Crucial for Our Future.

Matt-McCu

Matt McCue

A veteran returns home war weary, sometimes shattered and frayed. Protecting our interests in foreign lands requires focus and tenacity with a different set of rules.  Re-entering civilian life can be difficult because the same rules just don’t apply. A great shift must be facilitated in order to bring the veteran to a place of peace and a meaningful return to life without combat. So too does our agriculture require a shift away from the paradigm of combating the soil, the weeds and the pests. Is it possible that returning veterans who return to the earth and the things thereof can also hasten the paradigm shift we need by returning harmony in agriculture?

 

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Summertime and the Living is Easy…. It’s Gazpacho Time!

Organic Gazpacho1Summertime…the cucumbers are growing and ripe tomatoes are high.

Your kitchen’s hot and your Cuisinart is hungry,

so hush ‘what’s for dinner?’.

Gazpacho―it’s your summer ally!

I am lucky to live just around the corner from an amazing organic farm in the Soquel Hills that cultivates an auspicious variety of summer fruits and vegetables. The farm is nestled in the rich, loamy valley of the Soquel Creek protected by water on one side and redwoods on another. I visit Everett Family Farm almost every other day and choose from the plethora of garden-fresh organic produce, eggs and flowers (it’s still pay on the honor system). I feel assured that everything that I buy there is truly organic because the farm is certified by CCOF. I drive by many a farm stand that claim to be organic but don’t bother to be certified by a USDA third party certifier. They hope to skip the cost of certification even though the 2014 Farm Bill allows for certification cost share. Well, I simply skip right by those farm-stands and choose the local farmer who is certified organic! Continue reading

Ruminations on Seeds and Weeds…

Indigenous SeedsDown on the farm there is simultaneously an explosion of weeds and a retraction of seeds, a waxing and a waning, the yin and yang of Big Ag. These concurrent phenomena are (not coincidentally) caused by the same companies who are striving to control and harness agriculture. They hope to force every last bushel of productivity out of every single acre, achieving yields well beyond those imagined even a few years ago. These companies laid down their financial roots producing toxic chemicals. In days gone by they brought chemical warfare into the fields of battle. Now the battle is being fought in the fields of our farms. Corn fields, soy fields, cotton fields, are all now battle fields, where weeds run rampant and seeds are at a premium. How is it that the proliferation of weeds and the demise of our seeds are entwined? This story begins thousands of years ago… Continue reading

Making our Food Supply Possible – a post from Simcha Weinstein

pollenatorJune 16-22 was National Pollinator Week as designated by the U.S. Department of Interior. The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture signs the proclamation every year. It’s a time to celebrate and educate about pollinating animals, such as bees, birds, butterflies, bats, beetles, and others, which are extremely vital to our ecosystem. Pollinators support much of our wildlife, lands and watersheds. Continue reading