Whither the Farm?

“This implies a rapid and significant shift from conventional, monoculture-based and high-external-input-dependent industrial production toward mosaics of sustainable, regenerative production systems that also considerably improve the productivity of small-scale farmers,” the report concludes. ~ TechnologyWater Years ago, I traveled extensively across the country, and enjoyed stopping in bars to try out the local beer. Living […]

New Walls and Old Tricks

“We are being told to eat local and seasonal food, either because other crops have been transported over long distances, or because they are grown in energy-intensive greenhouses. But it wasn’t always like that.” ~ Kris De Decker Back in the old days, everyone that could had a garden. Our lot, created in the 1850’s, […]

The Forest Garden

Over the years, a vine has grown up under the aged eave of the tiny frame house to form a large ball of dead leaves and branches. Facing east, it catches the morning sun, but by afternoon is in the shade. Most of the time, it is chock-full of sparrows — flitting, chirping and dropping […]

Take the Shot

Vaccine hesitancy, a reluctance or refusal to vaccinate or have one’s children vaccinated, has been identified by the World Health Organization as one of the top ten global health threats of 2019 … Hesitancy and debates have occurred since the invention of vaccination, and indeed pre-date the coining of the terms vaccine and vaccination by […]

Fresh Meat

The destiny of the other items (in the freezer) was indistinct. They were for the consumption of the various occupants of the house, the whole food chain — bird, amphibian, beast and beetle, reptile, arachnid, man. A sign over the kitchen sink read, “EAT MORE POSSUM” in black on Chinese red. ~ John McPhee I […]

Huntin’ Ain’t a Bad Way to Grow Up

“Well now,” he continued, “a gentleman starts down at his boots and works up to his hat. A gentleman is, first of all, polite. A gentleman never talks down to nobody, or even to anybody that says ‘anybody’ instead of ‘nobody’. A gentleman ain’t greedy. A gentleman don’t holler at anybody else’s dogs. A gentleman […]

Lettuce Prey

As part of my pre-Thanksgiving dinner preparations, I made a big salad for lunch instead of the sandwich or hot dog I usually have. The romaine was still fresh, sweet onion, some left-over cooked beets, a little celery and a carrot from the garden. Some smashed up tortilla chips for croutons and probably a little […]

Thanksgiving Feast

Thanksgiving is truly a celebration of America. Our turkey probably came from North Carolina, Arkansas or Missouri. The stuffing from California, along with the celery, and the onions probably from Texas or Washington, but possibly from Colorado. The sweet potatoes were probably grown in North Carolina, Louisiana/Mississippi or California. The cranberries are likely from California […]

Valuable Mutants

He rolled the dice again. This time, he was mimicking what he and his colleagues have been doing quietly around the globe for more than a half-century — using radiation to scramble the genetic material in crops, a process that has produced valuable mutants like red grapefruit, disease-resistant cocoa and premium barley for Scotch whiskey. […]