Summertime…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
Down 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
June 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
There is state in the west you can call the house of the rising sun. It has been a garden for many a transplant, and gosh I know I’m one.
I moved here in the early 80s and went straight to work in organic agriculture. I loved that it typically rained here only six months of the year. During those six months the state received three or four good soaking storms from the Pacific that filled the aquifers and reservoirs for the entire year. A good portion of the year California is known for its sunny skies and sublime weather. It is the perfect place to frolic and surf, or go wine tasting after hot air ballooning. It is also the perfect place to grow food. Continue reading
There are signs that the rights of consumers to know what is in their food may be coming to a revolutionary climax. With Vermont ushering in the first unencumbered GMO state labeling law, the skirmish has broadened its fronts from the halls of Washington DC to the fields of Iowa and homes in Oregon. Continue reading