“TRACY, Calif. — Investors and entrepreneurs behind some of the world’s newest industries have started to put their money and tech talents into farming — the world’s oldest industry — with an audacious agenda: to make sure there is enough food for the 10 billion people expected to inhabit the planet by 2100, do it without destroying the world and make a pretty penny along the way.
Silicon Valley is pushing its way into every stage of the food-growing process, from tech tycoons buying up farmland to startups selling robots that work the fields to hackathons dedicated to building the next farming app. Continue reading
Seems the UN is not all “Agenda 21”. From AltHealthReport.com:
Click image to download the full UN report (5.4 Mb)
Even as the United States government continues to push for the use of more chemically-intensive and corporate-dominated farming methods such as GMOs and monoculture-based crops, the United Nations is once against sounding the alarm about the urgent need to return to (and develop) a more sustainable, natural and organic system.
That was the key point of a new publication from the UN Commission on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) titled “Trade and Environment Review 2013: Wake Up Before It’s Too Late,” which included contributions from more than 60 experts around the world.
The cover of the report looks like that of a blockbuster documentary or Hollywood movie, and the dramatic nature of the title cannot be understated: The time is now to switch back to our natural farming roots.
The findings on the report seem to echo those of a December 2010 UN Report in many ways, one that essentially said organic and small-scale farming is the answer for “feeding the world,” not GMOs and monocultures. Continue reading
While we do our best, here at the Bovine, to cover the Canadian raw milk scene, along with other food politics and food rights stories, we don’t often get much news from Quebec. Now we’ve heard how fewer French people starved during the second world war because France was a nation of gardeners. And we know that Quebec has passed laws legalizing soft raw milk cheeses. That was a few years ago. The French heritage in Quebec no doubt helps people there maintain a stronger connection to the land and to food quality, than may be the case elsewhere. So it’s great to get this story, via Karen Selick, of a man who’s doing something in Quebec to stem the tide of industrialization, that threatens authentic and healthy farming everywhere:
From Dominc Lemontagne, via Karen Selick:
The Impossible Farm is a profitable homestead, about one percent the size of your average Québec farm, which has slowly been outlawed through years of legislative constrictions. It is, for example, 2 cows, 200 hens and 500 broiler chickens, grass-fed together on the range from early spring to late fall. It’s this small scale, plural agro-business, which manages it’s own slaughter, processing and marketing. In a nutshell, it is the beginning of a mom-and-pop’s driven regional revitalization effort that favors direct (and often local, farmers market driven) sales, thus promoting resilience rather than dependence.
From Lindsey Lusher Shute on TakePart.com:
Future local organic farmers of America? The 2012 crew at Lindsey Lusher Shute’s New York farm. (Photo: Hearty Roots Community Farm) via TakePart.com
“In the past year, the mainstream media featured more than a few stories critiquing America’s local and organic foods movement. The New York Times and others swallowed the findings of a Stanford study debating the value of organic foods hook, line and sinker; Time and Dr. Oz declared, “Organic food is great, it’s just not very democratic”; and NPR recently reported that growing local food doesn’t pay. Continue reading
What’s it like starting out from scratch to take care of a cow on your own? From the Promised Land Farm blog:
Image from The Promised Land Farm blog.
“We welcomed our first family milk cow to our farm in 2010. We had never ever milked a cow before… by hand or machine!
Elsie, our first Jersey milk cow, was dropped off one evening and the next morning she calved… aaahhhh! What do we do now?! (Click HERE if you want to watch the birth).
I’ve documented our journey with our milk cow to help you get started milking your own family milk cow, goat or sheep!
Let me give you the secret to success with a family milk cow, goat or sheep… it’s DESIRE. We’re now in our fourth year milking a family cow, AND WE LOVE IT!
From Evaggelos Vallianatos at Independent Science News:
Abandoned farmhouse, Washington. Photo: Homini
The plutocratic remaking of America has a parallel in the countryside. In rural America less than 3 percent of farmers make more than 63 percent of the money, including government subsidies.
The results of this emerging feudal economy are everywhere. Large areas of the United States are becoming impoverished farm towns with abandoned farmhouses and deserted land. More and more of the countryside has been devoted to massive factory farms and plantations. The consequences, though worse now than ever, have been there for all to see and feel, for decades. Continue reading
From Gayl Creutzberg on the Biodynamics blog:
“…I had a very personal experience at the Biodynamic Conference. Although I have gathered with BD farmers for over 10 years, I had never been able to capture the undercurrent, the pulse, the energy, or the understanding that is BD farming. I therefore remained detached.
A few weeks before attending the conference, I attended a BD 101 workshop at the farm of one of the conference speakers. Ah-hah! I get it! I acquired a basic understanding of the workings of BD. I learned about the importance of the cow, about intent, about silica, and about horn manure. This started to satisfy my scientific mind.
In case you haven’t heard of fracking, which is a way of extracting natural gas using underground explosions, check out this trailer for the recent documentary, Gaslands. You can watch the full movie on Netflix, in Canada at least. Netflix U.S. has a bigger choice so they probably have it too.
WARNING: If you click “read more”, you’ll see GROSS PHOTOS of cancerous lesions on wildlife.
Nicole Foss SW Ontario Tour Nov 26 to Dec 2nd
Food, Farms and Family: Building Resilience within Limits
A Century of Challenges: Energy and Finance
What can families do to increase their resilience to upsets and breakdowns in the food and farming system? What can farmers do to keep our food supply secure, healthy and local?
Nicole Foss lives on a farm near Ottawa, is trained as a biologist and in environmental law, She consults on energy and financial issues, See www.theautomaticearth.org.
Her Food, Farms and Family talk will address food production in the future and the related health time bomb in this era of industrial foodstuffs. Our farming system has critical dependencies on fossil fuels, superhighways, large scale mono-cropping and genetically engineered seed. Continue reading
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