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I'm not really sure how much people know about their food. I'm pretty sure that most people don't even know someone that is a farmer, unless it is from a farmer's market or something similar. As far as I can tell people don't know squat about our food system and not just the normal things like most of the corn and soy that goes into foods any more is genetically modified. I know that isn't really normal, but I think of it as a normal thing to know.



What I find most disturbing is how oblivious everyone is content to be about their food, not know where it comes from and not knowing how to grow any. I'm sure I'm a little closer to the issue than most people just for the fact that my parents have always had a farm and I grew up there. I probably keep my eyes peeled a little differently than most people. But something really disturbing came up when I was talking to them today.


When we first moved to Missouri my parents got a couple of pigs, to raise and butcher, from a neighbor down the road that raised them. After a few years he sold out and we got a few pigs from another neighbor a little further away. This summer my parents decided again to get a few pigs. There were no local farmers that they could get any from so they called a sale barn about 30 miles away that was going to have a feeder pig sale. The sale barn wasn't sure if they were going to have any pigs show up for the auction, but promised that if they did they would buy them for us. Later my parents got a call that there had been four pigs brought in and bought for them.


Now the thing that I find scary is that only 4 pigs were going through the salebarn that day. The county used to have all sorts of pig farms and now only they are left with 4 pigs to be sold for the week. If you don't know all that much about farming you might think that this isn't really all that telling, but here is what I know that means we should be worried about our food supply. The reason that there weren't any pigs to go through the sale barn is because 99% of the pigs left in the county that aren't 4-H projects are owned by PSF. The would be better known as Premium Standard Farms. They contract farmers out to "grow" these pigs for them, but they always own them, unless of course they die and then that's the farmers problem.


My concern isn't that some pathogen will get into these hog houses and kill them all or have them pass something on to us, even though that is fairly likely. It is that even if you want to raise your own animals you won't be able to find any to raise. You would have to keep all of your own breeding stock and populations, but if you needed to start from scratch it would be exceptionally difficult. I'm sure that I'm being even more paranoid that usual, but I think this is something that the public should be aware of. It is something so basic to our food supply lines in this nation. I just re-iterates my belief that people need to know where there food is coming from.

Current Mood:
worried worried
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Ok, so anyone who ever reads this knows that I may be a tad out-spoken about things. All this crap about recession, is something, I find, rather annoying. People are whining that their food costs are rising. Well I've got news for you people, food has been completely under and de-valued in america forever. I'm sorry that you can't have tomatoes completely out of season from thousands of miles away for practically nothing, get over it. If your eggs and bread have gone up .15 and you can't afford that, you've got bigger problems.



The truth, that most people don't admit, even to themselves is that they aren't mad that they have to pay a couple extra dollars every week or two on groceries. They are upset because between gas, which is costing a fortune and food which has gone up very little, they can't afford to buy that extra cheap piece of crap at Walmart. Some stupid little nothing that will make their meaningless existence a little more cluttered and meaningful, at least until they see something shiny on the side of the road.


If people were really concerned with how much food cost they would be discussing things they could do about it. I don't mean shopping at sam's and costco. I mean, maybe, planting a few seeds to get food from your own land or container. Or, god forbid, you go to a farmers market or get in touch with local producers and get food items directly from them. I mean, I guess, these people would only sell whole foods, so you know, the soda and potato chips still cost a lot at the store. It is heartbreaking to think about people having to go without their soda.


This could actually be the best thing to happen to america. If people were forced to buy locally and from farmers only whole foods, it might be the best diet program ever. Farmers would benefit from it as well and we could re-build the economy from the ground up. Well, I've about reached the end of my rant, but I have one more little thing to air out.


Big oil. I just love the little ads that have just been aired that tell you what fantastic people the oil companies are. They have just spent sooo much money on alternative fuels and energy technology while simultaneously supplying us with the petroleum products that this company is so addicted to. What saints, how did we not know this about them before? I would have gladly paid that extra at the pump if I had just realized all of this earlier. But wait, why are the oil companies advertising their greatness all of a sudden. Could it be that they want to waylay our upsettedness (I know that isn't a real word) at the pump by telling us what a big favor they are really doing us. Oh and if you're dumb enough to believe what the ads are telling you, then you probably won't stop and think about where the money to pay for all of those commercials is coming from. (psssstttt, I think that they are using all the excessive money from the gas, fyi.)


Too bad I didn't have much to say on these subjects, oh well, maybe next time

Current Mood:
annoyed annoyed
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Today I started some peas and fava beans in containers with a trellis and did a second planting of lettuces and radishes. We ate our first salad of pea sprouts, baby lettuces, and chickweed today. It was good, but it was hard to cut enough lettuce to amount to anything without feeling like I was cutting all of it. I started seeds in paper towels a few nights ago. I used paper towels that had gotten wet when the basement leaked from all of the rain. I had to re-start the seeds b/c a few days earlier the flats that I had originally planted flipped in a high wind day. I felt quite proud of myself for taking two bad situations and turning them to my advantage. I think the paper towel method will be something I use from now on for starting seeds. They start faster and you can see exactly how far along each type is. You can see if a particular seed that you weren't sure about actually sprouted or if it really was a dud. I'm very pleased with myself for being so clever.



I feel like I'm finally starting to be able to put my diverse interests to rest with each other. It seemed like so long that I felt guilty for playing WoW and that I wasn't out gardening or cleaning. Today I got up, played on the internet for awhile, did my work for the day, did some laundry, did gardening, read a magazine and cooked dinner. While I was gardening I was thinking how it would be nice later on to play WoW. I'm letting everything be what it is, don't worry that it isn't the right thing to do. I enjoy doing all of these things and that is all that matters. I can finally feel at rest with that. It's a nice feeling to have!

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So in the interest of being more environmentally friendly, as always, we got a re-usable lint roller. This is what it looks like. It has opposite sides with bristles facing one direction so that you pick up the lint/hair. It works super fantastic on our amazing shedding white cat's hair. I use it almost everyday on a lazy-boy recliner he likes to sit in. I tried vacuuming, but it didn't work as well or as fast as this thing does. I use it occasionally on close and it works reasonably well, but not super fantastic. But the sticky paper lint rollers only work for about 3 passes anyway.

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So, I think that it has been about several millenia since I posted last and I am going to rectify that right now. Whilst the cat tries to get me to pet him and type. There was actually, what I considered, a useful piece of advice in the Mother Earth newsletter that I have an e-subscription to. They suggested taking bubble wrap spraying it with water and putting on your windows in the winter for insulation. Apparently it cuts heat transfer by 45%, which I think is fairly considerable. I have never heard of this before and it seems like a really easy, cheap, effective way to add insulation. Especially since tons of bubblewrap gets thrown away this seems to be an great solution, a real win-win. Here is the link to the article if you want a few photos of this idea in action or just the formulas they used to figured the heat loss, cost ratio etc.

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I keep wanting to post, but never get my lazy butt to that point. Last night we had dinner with my boyfriends parents. It was really the first time in about 4 years that we had a decent conversation without too many lulls. Of course this comes with a few addendums. We only spent two hours with them the entire night and I was pretty much drunk when they arrived so I sobered up as the evening progressed, but wasn't completely sober until they left. I guess I've figured out how to have a decent time with them, but it is kind of pathetic. Oh well, need to survive however we can.

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Well, things have been busy here. Work has been annoying so I don't get much time to do my gardening, but here are some pictures of what is growing so far. Hopefully today I will get to put in another bed and put corn, melons and beans in it!



Here is my spring garden.

In the front is spinach, center middle nasturtiums (plants that flower and keep bugs away and can be used for salads), right of the nasturtiums, the small seedlings are a plant they call malabar spinach. I have come to find out isn't actually a spinach at all, it is a vine that tastes like spinach, so I'm going to have to erect some kind of monster trellis in an awkward spot. And in the back are peas that the birds keep attacking.



Here are some tomatoes that I started myself. They are starting to grow very well in the Earth box.



These are some pretty purple flowers that the person who lived in our house before us planted.

I don't actually know what they are, but I like them.



This is a little squirrel that came to eat on our porch. The cat was very intrigued by the whole situation. I kind of looks like he's watching tv. The squirrel was not impressed.

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So, a couple of weekends ago I spent my last weekend of freedom before I started working again and a second round Green Corps interview weekend. I don't have much more to say about the situation. If you have read not for profit watch they pretty much summed everything up. I actually felt bizarre afterwards it was like the words on the website had been lying flat and then they felt like they had just raised up 3-D like with no more meaning that before.

As an organization as a whole I'm not sure they are all that worth-while. At the dinner table there was a debate about whether or not a new building of theirs should be built green or as cheaply as possible to put more money into training more "leaders." If they really wanted to they could train 3-11 more classes a year and really get leaders out there instead of forcing people to pay their way to the interviews and then only choosing 1% of them.

I'm glad that I went so that I wouldn't always wonder what I'm missing because I know now that it is precisely nothing. So that is my rant on Green Corps, it is very possible that you have never heard of them and don't care, but I wanted to write it out so if anyone else was wondering about them they would know.

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