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Monsanto

Monsanto

Why is our food being held hostage by the world’s largest manufacturer of herbicides and pesticides?

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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

Green Collar Jobs

daveradio1Green-Collar Jobs Provide Pathways Out of Poverty

Most Green-Collar jobs require more than a high school education, but less than a four-year degree. Hence, they are well within the reach of lower-skilled and low-income workers.

As long as a person has access to effective training programs and appropriate supports … it’s really not that big of a deal to get “job-ready” training in a reasonably short period of time.

Felon? Recovering Addict or Homeless?
Here in the California Bay Area, there are even “Green” programs designed just for you. (SEE Van Jones’ book, “The Green Collar Economy.”)

Green-Collar Jobs are GOOD jobs. Like blue-collar jobs that often allow a person to earn a higher wage, quicker than recent grads with bachelors and sometime masters degrees, Green jobs pay “family wages” and provide opportunities for advancement along a career tract of career tract of increasing skills and wages.

It’s time to begin moving away from the model that to live well, one HAS to have a college degree and live in the middle of a crowded city.

With the high cost of tuition and other fees continually rising, college for many has already reached a point of diminishing returns.

The bottom line is that we’re going to have to start doing things differently. As the old saying goes, “The only constant is change.”

Click on the link to view your FREE copy of “The Green Jobs Guidebook.

Urban Farming

Lizzetta LeFalle-Collins

Lizzetta LeFalle-Collins

Food prices soar … and will continue. Even if you have a tiny backyard, you now have a defense against supermarket bankruptcy.  As a truck driver, I travel from New York City to Crystal Springs, Mississippi and on out to Portland, Oregon.  The signs are everywhere … GET  SOME LAND AS SOON AS YOU CAN.

I don’t care if it’s that vacant lot next door, or 100 acres in the country, the current “economic crisis points to a new conventional wisdom that those who grow their own food will be healthier and economically more secure than those who will continue to depend on big agri-business to supply what they put into their bodies.

“Every problem is an opportunity in work clothes.”
-Henry J. Kaiser

Six months ago, the Real Estate forecasters were saying that housing prices will continue to deflate as foreclosures increased. Then, about two years from now, prices will rise again. Some also warned that Real Estate Speculators are doing with farm and rural land what they did to home prices in urban and suburban areas all over the country. Buying up as much as they can and speculating. Hence, when the economy does resurrect, they will be in position to capitalize on everything Green.

A friend of mine just sent me a link to a site called, “Little Homestead In The City.” Have a look. (Click on active link.) It’s chocked full of ideas about how to live self-sufficiently while living in the city.

Great News! $500 million for Green Jobs!

Green Hardhat(Posted Tuesday, February 17, 2009 at 5:53pm on Facebook.com )
President Obama just signed the FINAL version of the economic recovery bill. And guess what?  $500 million for green jobs training is included in the package!

This is a huge victory. And together, we’ve been fighting for it for more than a year.  Thank you for all you’ve done to get $500 million for green job training into the recovery bill!

Read more: Green For All Blog

This is a Great Time

CornelWestblackboard In “Race Matters”, theologian Cornel West wrote:

“The greatest problem facing the black community today is nihilism. Nihilism is … the live experience of coping with a life of horrifying meaninglessness, hopelessness, and (most important) lovelessness.”

Until the early 1970’s black Americans had the lowest suicide rate in the United States, but now, black people lead the nation in the rate of increased suicide.

“… There is a change…” In fact, MAJOR changed occurred. African Americans now have some of the highest suicide rates in the nation.

The changes that have influenced culture and class over the last 25 years did not occur by accident.  The resulting black on black terror, the disruption of the black business community, mass addiction, and the general distruption of black social life was very effectively designed.

The proper reaction? Self-pity is just another clog in the wheels of addiction and disempowerment. Anger? Pure foolishness. Far better to remember the quote:

“Every problem is an opportunity in work clothes.”
– Henry J. Kaiser

This blog will look at not the problems … but the MANY opportunities that are currently staring us in our collective faces. Greenfreed believes that opportunities are currently boundless. Not just for blacks, but for all of us.

  • Instead of blaming the illegals, let’s look at what they’re teaching us.
  • Instead of blaming whites or Jews or Asians … greenfred encourages a higher, more spiritual step … link, network and befriend as many people as you can. Isolation leads to poverty.
  • Instead of crying about the loss of industry in a given area, lets look at the fact that the infrastructure is still there! The gas, water, and plumbing is still there. Working with unimaginative City Councils to open up existing green space for urban farming is just one of the MANY opportunities that can bring new revenue to communities and empower people.

…. Besides … “it’s ALL spiritual…”
Have fun, be happy, create love, and if you look two steps beyond any problem, you can get paid.

Peace