Category Archives: Economic Crash

I haven’t been posting because …

I haven’t been posting for a while. A … little thing happened to me that turned my world upside down. There’s many words you put to why … but lets just say, the Holy Spirit knocked me off my horse. I’ve been trying to blog about food and alternative, healthier ways of living, and I will continue to do so … but … I can’t do it anymore without mentioning Spiritual Food from time to time.

I was studying Vipassina Buddhist Meditation (… be still and hear My Voice…) and then, like in every spiritual tradition I’ve attempted to undertake …. I “stopped too soon.” Initially I went deep, but after getting in touch with deep regions of my “Body-Mind”, I failed to get with a teacher or join a spiritual community (Sangha). The result of not changing? Well … you’ll never believe it unless you too know how Paul saw a bush on fire … a bush that only he could see … and the bush wasn’t consumed. That said, let’s get back to the reason for this post.

I strongly encourage each and everyone of you to view, Food, Inc.” I put a copy on hold at the local public library. This video isn’t “Republican” nor “Democrat”. (As if those labels actually meant something anymore…) Everyone has to eat, and food has changed more in the last 50 years than it has in the last 10,000.  (View the trailer link)

All around us signs point to economic disasters, natural disasters, social problems, and now, the reality of this Corporate Dictatorship called, the New World Order. Good outcomes are derived from making good decisions based on quality information. Naturally, you don’t have to take the word of a small blogger from Oakland … no … what I’ll do is point you to creditable sources so that you can decide what to believe in, and where to place your energy now that “business is no longer … as usual.”

I’ll start off with an interview with Peter Schweitzer, founding member of The Farm intentional community in Tennessee, and Director of Plenty International. This may well be a glimpse into the future. (Here is a link to their blog.) Below is a link well worth looking at and take a moment to view the video. Allow them to be … “food for thought…”

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Urban Farmer Wins $500,000 “Genius” Award

At 6 feet 7 inches tall of urban Farmer Will Allen commands attention when he speaks. “The next generation of farmers aren’t going to come from rural family farms because those farms don’t exist anymore. The next generation of farmers are going to come from the cities,” states Allen.  When we think of the current economic crisis and the “fact” that jobs aren’t coming back the way they used to be before the housing bubble burst, one is faced with the frightening dilemma of actually being free.

“Stop looking for a job and MAKE a job for yourself. That means doing what you love most … and what better cause than to “feed my sheep” or teach others how to create healthy food for themselves, how to commune cooperatively with greater quality of life.

Will Allen grew up on a farm outside Washington, D.C., played professional basketball for a time after college, mostly in Europe. In 1993, he left a job with Procter & Gamble and bought a roadside farm in Milwaukee’s economically depressed north side — the last remaining registered farm in the city — and got local teenagers involved.

Two years ago, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant. The grant recognizes Allen’s work bringing affordable fresh produce and quality grass-fed meats to the urban poor and educating communities about sustainable farming. The Chicago-based MacArthur Foundation awarded Allen $500,000 over the next five years to use however he wishes. Allen, 60, also received $100,000 in 2005 from the Ford Foundation on behalf of urban farming work. co-founded Growing Power in 1993 in Milwaukee to help teach inner-city kids about the origins of their food.

This may be one of the most important Post I’ve discovered. Please … please … visit YouTube and view some of the short videos about various projects taking place at Growing Power:

YouTube Video: Meet Will Allen

YouTube Video on:  Vermicompost
Website:  Vermicompost

YouTube Video on: Aquaponics
Website: Aqualponics

YouTube Video on Clean Water & Aqualponics <click here)

Paying and Volunteer Farm Jobs – U.S. and Abroad

I ran into this interesting website that discusses traveling and working abroad. Transitions Abroad is packed full of ideas and opportunities to enrich your life through working with others in different countries. There are links to real, paying jobs in agriculture and other career … fields… as well as information about Internships, Au Pair jobs, student work and summer schools, teaching English and many other thought provoking ideas for the restless.

This is a great time to be young. It’s also a great time to be either retired, or in search of a new way of living. Spiritually, “Sloth” is the sin of refusing to enjoy all of God’s bounty. There’s too much out there to ignore. You decide … take the red pill and stay where you are … forever, or take the blue pill, and prepare to smile!

Dreams Change

“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.”

Buy and Sell Organic Produce … FREE?

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.

Urban Farming In Cleveland

Everything that initially looks bad … ain’t always bad. Sometimes it turns into a blessing. Take Cleveland for instance …  read how yet another city is coming up with creative ways to solve their problems of declining quality of life  (orignal story here).

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Cleveland Council approves urban farming, teardown of foreclosed homes

Posted by Henry J. Gomez/Plain Dealer Reporter February 02, 2009 22:05 PM Real Time News CLEVELAND –

The City Council on Monday approved two measures aimed at reshaping the city’s urban landscape.

In short, the Cleveland City government has realized it’s time to demolish abandoned homes and buildings and allow residents to grow their own food on the unused land.

Decades of population drain, industrial death and, most recently, the foreclosure crisis have left about 3,300 vacant acres in the city, and at least 15,000 vacant buildings.

The other ordinance sets guidelines for how Mayor Frank Jackson will spend $25.5 million in federal neighborhood improvements funds. The bulk of the money will be used to tear down abandoned homes left behind by the foreclosure epidemic.

One ordinance will allow residents to raise and keep farm animals and bees. It’s a step, proponents believe, toward finding innovative uses for vacant land. “We want people to be able to grow their own food,” Cimperman said.

The ordinance allows residents to keep chickens, ducks, rabbits and beehives but not roosters, geese or turkeys. A typical residential lot could have no more than six small animals and two hives

Urban farmers face opportunities and obstacles

“You don’t need a ton of infrastructure to produce food,” she said. “You need access to land, water, sun and know-how. That’s not a lot of barriers to entry compared to other start-ups,” said ordinance sponsor, Councilman Joe Cimperman.

Customers at the ever-expanding number of local farmers markets are snapping up so much of what grows in the city that the gourmet chefs who also demand local produce can scarcely get enough.

Small Farming for Profit and Stewardship

Alan Nancy HicksHere 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: fhacasa@verizon.net.

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