From Shelby Gebenc, in the Denver Post:
Shelby Grebenc has been raising chickens for both eggs and meat at her family’s Adams County farm. (Cyrus McCrimmon, The Denver Post)
“…Thing No. 1 that I have learned about farming: People talk a lot, but it does not mean much. I have people who want lots of eggs tell me to deliver a certain amount every week. I have to save up the eggs to do this, and then they change their minds and don’t want them.
Thing No. 2: People all say words like “farm fresh,” “sustainability,” but they don’t want to actually pay for what it actually costs me to make it. Almost everyone tries to talk me into lowering my price or asks me to give my eggs away for free. Continue reading
From his unique vantage point as a prosecutor of food poisoning cases, Bill Marler has a greater than normal awareness of deficiencies in the American industrial food system. So it’s really no big surprise that he chooses to raise a few chickens so he can get his eggs direct from his own hens, rather than going through the industrial food system.
But even the few hens he has produce more than his own family can use. So he shares them with his neighbour. This is such ground level common sense stuff that people didn’t used to have to think twice about it. In fact it’s a commentary on how far we’ve come collectively, away from our roots, that such arrangements are now considered noteworthy.
Sadly though, the regulatory mindset seems stuck in the fantasies of the late 20th century, in which it was thought that the green revolution of factory farming would feed the world and we could all happily vege out in front of our televisions after coming home from a day at the office. Folks who live in more urban or less pemissive municipalities than Bill Marler would be getting themselves into a load of trouble doing what he’s doing. Continue reading
From David Rider, in the Toronto Star:
Trish Tervit holds Pippi, one of her pet hens. Tervit got into backyard chicken farmng as a fun educational exercise for her daughters, and loves the fresh eggs. ANDREW FRANCIS WALLACE/TORONTO STAR. Click image to go to the Toronto Star story.
“Trish Tervit is a friendly mom, an executive with a buzzing iPhone and an outlaw urban farmer collecting eggs on borrowed time.
Her hens — Pippi, Mabel and Elli — peer through a sliding-glass door, schnauzer-like, into Tervit’s Upper Beach semi-detached home.
“I blame my daughter’s Grade 6 teacher,” who brought cute chicks to class, triggering the inevitable “Can we get chickens?” plea from both of Tervit’s daughters. Continue reading
Underground sources report that U.S. food safety legislation is already being implemented. Here are a few snippets:
S510 is going into effect. For those who supported it, arguing it was needed and wasn’t going to destroy local farmers and food producers, here is the reality.
This radio show gives detail. Listen to the podcast at: http://www.derrybrownfield.com/tracks/042511.mp3
They are using it to try to shut down Mike Callicrate and/or people doing the same work he is, with HACCP. He produced raw beef and delivers it fresh every day, within just hours of grinding it (or cutting, too?). They are imposing a “test and wait” rule, in which ground beef (or other kinds, too?) has to be tested daily (sent off for tests?) and then held for test results (for days). This would kill the business of anyone producing fresh meat. Continue reading
According to a recent CBC news story from March 18, a Prince Edward Island couple who operate a small bed and breakfast on the island were visited by a health inspector who forbade them to continue serving meals made with eggs from their own hens. The story goes on to say that the inspectors assert that the regulations behind their action are not new but have been on the books for a long time. The couple, Paul and Jean Offer, are so upset by the whole thing that they are going to close their B&B rather than buy supermarket eggs for their guests.
Perhaps it’s no surprise that the same sort of things go on in other jurisdictions. One Ontario farmer that I know was upset when he first heard several years ago about new requirements for eggs to be graded before being sold to customers, and so he called up the government department responsible for the ruling and asserted that he was going to break the law and that they should come and arrest him. Guess what. They declined to do so. They apparently didn’t want a fuss kicked up when the law was introduced, and the best way they saw to do that was to not enforce it for a while. Now that case was a few years ago, and more recently the enforcement of such regulations has been ramped up. Continue reading
Robert Cribb at the Toronto Star:
“Tens of thousands of illegal eggs — some covered in fecal matter and feathers — have emerged in a crackdown on GTA food retailers and wholesalers, prompting public health concerns and pending charges against nine companies so far.
The investigation, led by Toronto Public Health, York Region and the provincial natural resources ministry, discovered ungraded eggs “in very bad shape” across the region. In Toronto, at least six food establishments have charges pending:…” Continue reading