“Cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens.” Thomas Jefferson knew the important role farmers and producers play in our great Nation. With the security of America’s energy sources slowly dwindling we must focus on ensuring the sustainability of our great Nation.” ~www.rcdnet.org
Created by God
I haven’t been posting much lately. The reasons are many … but the main reason… is that I discovered time had run out on my dream of owning a farm. I’ve always been a very active guy with a lot of energy. But I’m 56 now and I have to be realistic. While growing fresh fruit and vegetables replenishes my body-mind, I have to ask myself, how much more manual labor do I want to do as I age?
Urban Farming is more of a realistic goal for me now. There are so many ways to do it. There are even grants for it. The rewards can be as small as insuring the health of you and your family, to building a small cottage industry. Perhaps that’s another reason urban farming is so attractive … the reality that wherever there’s a problem, if you think a few steps past “the problem” and look for a solution, you can get paid!
Manufacturing comes out of agriculture. All the “value added” products that farmers and ranchers produce created the foundation for the industrial revolution. People needed shoes and cowhides supplied the leather. Urban dwellers needed fresh lemonade so bottles were made and artist were hired to create the labels. Trucks were bought to fill the store shelves. Carpenters built the stores, and so on …
My only worry is that as we enter this newest period of “change”, huge, greedy corporations like Monsanto will be able to close the doors before the open. Obesity is the second greatest cause of cancer in the world today. The potatoes in your big chain grocery stores today have so much sugar in them, that you cannot even cook the same potato-based recipe that you could just 13 years ago!
Monsanto created Roundup. [<-Please read the Slate.com Roundup article] You know, the herbicide that kills weeds and grass? Yeah. Well, they found a way to insert RoundUp into the plant growing in the field, making it resistant to insects and other pests. The only small problem is that WE’RE EATING IT. [SEE: Millions Against Monsanto ]
Think Genetically Modified Food is no problem? Tasteless tomatoes and other gas-ripened food that sit on selves like wax time bombs waiting for trusting, uninformed mouths to gobble them down … is that what you really want? Monsanto created Agent Orange! You know … the “herbicide” used in Vietnam that eventually killed thousands of former G.I.s who walked through the stuff? They didn’t even eat or drink that product and cancer ran rapid through their ranks. HOW in the world are we feeling so secure about eating yet another of their products simply because “they” put it on the local store self?
Grow your own food. You’ll be healthier, wiser, more spiritually alert, and … you’ll find ways … to “get paid.”
Posted in African Americans, Agent Orange, Agri-Business, Agricultural Marketing, Back to the land, black, Black Economy, Cancer, careers, Cleveland, Co op Farming, Diabetes, Economic Crash, Farm Fresh, farming, food shortage, Gardening, Genetically Modified, Green Jobs, Health, Home grown, Monsanto, My Organic Acres, New jobs, Ohio, Organic food delivery, Roundup, Urban Agriculture, Urban Farming
Tagged Agent Orange, Agri-Business, Back to the land, black, black Americans and food, Cancer, Change, Cleveland, Diabetes, Farm Grants, Gardening, Green Jobs, Health, Home grown, Hunger, Lifestyle changes, Manufacturing, Monsanto, Monsanto and cancer, Oakland, Obesity, Obesity and cancer, Ohio, Roundup, Urban Farming, Value Added
What do you do when time, the economy, and practicality way-lays your “Organic Farming Dream?” Improvise, and plan. I didn’t know it earlier, but there’s a saying that goes:
“If you don’t plan, then plan to fail.”
I always thought that if I got the next degree, license, or certificate, then all would be fine. But I’ve lived most of my life in the up-and-down economy of California. So, like Buddhism, I working on a “Middle Path.”
11 or 25 acres out in the hot, mosquito infested country may not be feasible for me at this time in my life, but a cheap little foreclosed home financed by the Veteran’s Administration is. Hell, growing a garden in the back and flowers in the front may well be just as rewarding. Now, to the newest idea I’ve come across:
My Organic Acres appears to be one answer to Monsanto and Agri-Business’ move to own all farming and feed us crap that makes us fat and unhealthy. (For instance, the Russet potatoes being sold in Safeway, Lucky’s or Kroger’s TODAY are so genetically loaded with sugar that you can’t even make the same lower calorie recipes you could make 13 years ago. You have to buy the smaller ones.) No wonder Diabetes and Cancer rates are off the charts.)
My Organic Acres promises to deliver you with fresh, organic produce that YOU CHOOSE. Plus, you can get more from other farmers and either sell at the Farmer’s Market of your choice or their, online Farmer’s Market. You can even donate the produce to the poor as a tax write off.
Posted in African Americans, Agri-Business, Agricultural Marketing, Cancer, careers, Co op Farming, Diabetes, Economic Crash, Farm Fresh, farming, food shortage, foreclosure, Gardening, Green, Green for All, Green Jobs, Grow Organic, Health, Home grown, Homesteading, Internet Marketing, Monsanto, My Organic Acres, New Media Marketing, Organic business, Organic food delivery, Small Farming, Tax Write off, Urban Agriculture, Urban Farming
Tagged Farm Fresh, home shoppers, internet business, online business, organic, organic food for sale
Food Among the Ruins
by Mark Dowie
Reprinted from Guernica: http://www.guernicamag.com/spotlight/1182/food_among_the_ruins/
“Detroit, the country’s most depressed metropolis, has zero produce-carrying grocery chains. It also has open land, fertile soil, ample water, and the ingredients to reinvent itself from Motor City to urban farm. Mark Dowie’s immodest proposal…
‘Were I an aspiring farmer in search of fertile land to buy and plow, I would seriously consider moving to Detroit. There is open land, fertile soil, ample water, willing labor, and a desperate demand for decent food. And there is plenty of community will behind the idea of turning the capital of American industry into an agrarian paradise. In fact, of all the cities in the world, Detroit may be best positioned to become the world’s first one hundred percent food self-sufficient city.’
Right now, Detroit is as close as any city in America to becoming a food desert, not just another metropolis like Chicago, Philadelphia, or Cleveland with a bunch of small- and medium-sized food deserts scattered about, but nearly a full-scale, citywide food desert. (A food desert is defined by those who study them as a locality from which healthy food is more than twice as far away as unhealthy food, or where the distance to a bag of potato chips is half the distance to a head of lettuce.) About 80 percent of the residents of Detroit buy their food at the one thousand convenience stores, party stores, liquor stores, and gas stations in the city. There is such a dire shortage of protein in the city that Glemie Dean Beasley, a seventy-year-old retired truck driver, is able to augment his Social Security by selling raccoon carcasses (twelve dollars a piece, serves a family of four) from animals he has treed and shot at undisclosed hunting grounds around the city. Pelts are ten dollars each. Pheasants are also abundant in the city and are occasionally harvested for dinner. (Click here to read more about Glemie Beasley)
Detroiters who live close enough to suburban borders to find nearby groceries carrying fresh fruit, meat, and vegetables are a small minority of the population. The health consequences of food deserts are obvious and dire. Diabetes, heart failure, hypertension, and obesity are chronic in Detroit, and life expectancy is measurably lower than in any American city.
Not so long ago, there were five produce-carrying grocery chains—Kroger, A&P, Farmer Jack, Wrigley, and Meijer—competing vigorously for the Detroit food market. Today there are none. Nor is there a single WalMart or Costco in the city…..” (Click here to read entire story)
Posted in Agricultural Marketing, Co op Farming, Green, Urban Agriculture, Urban Farming
Tagged A&P, careers, Costco, Detroit, Detroit gardening, Farmer Jack, Hunger in America, Kroger, Manufacturing, New jobs, Philadelphia, produce in Detroit, Safeway, urban diet, Urban Farming, WalMart, Wrigley
Blogging is interesting. Sometimes people you’d never meet in life stop by and say, “hi”. That’s one of the biggest things that attracts me to a rural or semi-rural life … the possibility of unpretentious neighbors.
Sure, people are people no matter where you go … and there’s crime and drugs everywhere, but if you do your homework, you can GREATLY decrease the likely-hood you’ll run into the same kinds of problems you will in most major cities.
A woman named Kristeva Dowling is just the type of person I’m talking about. She and her husband … well … let her tell it:
“… I live on a small mixed farm on the west coast of British Columbia in a remote First Nations village town. In 2008, I quit my job, returned to the farm and committed to a project that I have dreamed of attempting for several years. That is, to provide all the food we will eat for a year. This will entail growing vegetables, raising meat animals, fishing, and learning to hunt. I do not have an agricultural background, but know that farming is in my blood. It is almost all I can think about. If I won the lottery, I would buy a large farm or ranch and spend the rest of my life spending the money farming!”
Here’s her blog. Lots of real life stories of new farmers making a new kind of life for themselves. Extremely interesting. Have fun … and send her some comments if any come to mind.
Grow A Farmer
Cultivating The Next Generation
“There’s a revolution underway–from inner city farmer’s markets to community to community supported agriculture (CAS), to school cafeterias that serve locally grown locally grown food, people across the country AND THE WORLD are rejecting industrial food and farming in favor of local, organic, community-scale systems. Now the most critical challenge is ironically, the lack of with the training and knowledge to produce and market fresh, delicious organic food while caring for the land AND THE COMMUNITY they work and sell to.” (from the Grow A Farmer website)
Look at the signs of the time … With President Obama signed onto the Green Economy, the entire grid of the United States is going to have to be re-built. The day of 18-wheelers transporting crops from one cost to another also has a “time-date” stamp marked on it. The only constant in the universe is change, and the way we grow food is no different.
AgicultureCareers.com states that the Department of Labor Employmment and Training Administration for direct farm workers are:
Today’s agriculture offers over 200 rewarding and challenging careers. 32% of these openings will be in science, engineering, and related specialties like Marketing, merchandising and sales. Many of the position are located in urban areas. See: AgricultureCareers.com
Opportunities are abundant for minority candidates. According to the 1990 census:
African Americans accounted for only 3.1% of employed foresters
and 6.9% of employed forestry technicians
Industry sources would like to increase those numbers by three to four times in the near future.
The University of Santa Cruz has an internationally respected, SIX-MONTH small, organic farming program. Click here to read more.
YouTube Grow A Farmer and check it out for yourself.
Here are two people who decided to do whatever they needed to do so they could do what they WANT to do. That means stepping out of the box, defining what their dream life really looks like, what is essential for them, and then partnering to get it done.
North Carolina farmer Alex Hitt and his wife Betsy have worked their 26 acre farm in Graham, N.C. into an environmental gem and profit center. “Over the years, Hitt has reduced acreage and labor by improving their soil with cover crops, concentrating on high-value crops that grow well in the area. What he has not reduced is profit, thanks to direct marketing through the Caroboro Farmers Market and Weaver Street Market, a cooperative grocery store in the area.
“Each acre returns a minimum of $20,000 annually, while four high-tunnel greenhouses (that shelter young or delicate crops) bring in $1,000 per crop. The Hitts embrace their small scale, growing 80 varieties of 23 vegetables along with 164 varieties of cut flowers on just three acres. Alex and Betsy were winners of the 2006 Patrick Madden Award for Sustainable Agriculture from Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program.” (~Reprinted from “Small American Farm” magazine”, January 2007 issue.)
Alex and Betsy Hitt delivered the keynote address at the January 12-13, 2007 “Future Harvest Alliance Conference” in Hagerstown, Maryland. Learn more about this and other Future Harvest-CASA information on their website at: http:/www.futureharvestcasa.org/, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In rural areas where the average income is between $13,000 and $18,000 annually, the Hitts are making $64,000 (!!) by doing their market research and making money in ways that people raised in urban areas might seem unorthodox. Yet, who wouldn’t relish spending a day selling products they’ve grown and produced on their own land? It isn’t hard to make organic Cheese … and you can use milk from the little, gentle cow mentioned on: “Small Cow Farm.com“
Posted in Agricultural Marketing, Back to the land, Co op Farming, Economic Crash, Green, Green for All, Homesteading, New Media Marketing, Small Farming, Uncategorized, Urban Farming