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SHIRE33's Photo SHIRE33 Posts: 955
1/15/12 5:34 P

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True! :D


“The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living on a small piece of land...” - Abraham Lincoln

"Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself.
Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but instantly set about remedying them--every day begin the task anew."
- St. Francis de Sales


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SHARJOPAUL's Photo SHARJOPAUL Posts: 31,131
1/15/12 12:03 P

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GREBJACK
Go ahead with your political tears, it saves some of the rest of us from getting on our soap boxes.
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BLOORP's Photo BLOORP Posts: 608
1/15/12 8:39 A

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I am glad to know I'm not the only odd ball. You can't eat or live on jewellery!

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GREBJACK's Photo GREBJACK Posts: 3,499
1/15/12 4:45 A

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SHIRE33, you're right of course, about animals. I seek out ruminants' manure for my garden, and no amount of kidney beans and iron supplments keep my hemoglobin up as high as a single serving of fish or andouille each week. I tend to overstate the need to eat lower on the food chain because I live in a culture that eats a lot more burgers than leafy greens, and that's both bad for our health and takes a larger planetary footprint.
1234MOM - my overstocking of the squash was my attempt to eat local when I live in a part of the world where almost nothing grows for more than half the year. Winter squash usually keeps really well for me, and I'm not sure what I did wrong this time. :-(
As for African ignorance of farming practice, I am struck that the Bantu people took over the stripe from Cameroon down to Mozambique because the Bantu were just better farmers than the various peoples who occupied the land before them. In a mere half a century of civil wars (that targeted the intelligencia and elders - the keepers of knowledge) 3000+ years of expertise was lost. Now they are being retrained in western machine and pesticide and fertilizer based agriculture by USAID.
When we no longer know how to grow our own food (or have the right to save seeds) Montanto will own us.
Whew, I'm on a political tear this morning, aren't I? I'll try to tone it down a bit next time...

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SHIRE33's Photo SHIRE33 Posts: 955
1/14/12 10:03 A

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I admire the WORK that you all put into that -- it's one thing to get the kids involved, but to work, it takes some dedicated hours of hard labor.


“The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living on a small piece of land...” - Abraham Lincoln

"Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself.
Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but instantly set about remedying them--every day begin the task anew."
- St. Francis de Sales


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SHARJOPAUL's Photo SHARJOPAUL Posts: 31,131
1/13/12 4:27 P

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BROCCOLIROSE
WOW What a wonderful job. I was a specia ed. teacher at a treatment facility for adjudicated youth and used gardening as a teaching tool. I had people working there tell me that they didn't see what gardening had to do with education. (DUH) Starting with having to read read the seed packets to know how/when to plant the seeds. Counting the number of seeds we started inside for various types of tomatoes and peppers etc, then graphing the resulting number of plants that we got and writing up the results. GEE that's the 3R's, reading, writing and arithmetic. While using the tomatoes we were growing one year as a demonstration of pollination which they had just studied a 15 year old made the comment "Gee, Miss Shari, we're growing green tomatoes instead of red". And that's not education?
We produced hundreds of pounds of produce each year, which the students and staff all enjoyed eating as well as donating some to a local food pantry. Yes it was all done organically. Many of the students took a lot of pride in what they did especially when some of the food they produced was on the menu at some of the dinners we had forvisiters from out of state.

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1/13/12 10:34 A

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My job, before I retired, was at one of the largest Food Banks in the Southwest. We had an entire department dedicated to Organic gardening. The Food Bank purchased about 5 acres of land and spent an entire year prepping the soil for planting. While all that was going on we had Organic Gardeners on our staff that would go to the local schools and teach kids how to garden in their back yards. And while the kids were learning about where their food came from they planted a garden at the school. Those children that were very motivated and showed interest we sent one of the Gardeners to their homes to check their soil and then help the family plot their garden. We provided them with seed, plantings and tools to grow their own food. The large garden we harvested crops from there and utilized them in the Summer Meals programs at the schools. It truly was a win, win situation. The children learned, their love for gardening was started, they ate organic, we helped get an entire generation hooked on gardening and helped them make their families food secure. It also kept a lot of the kids out of trouble because they had something they enjoyed doing and the exercise factor was just a side benefit. It was/is a very successful program.

"When you can no longer "stand" life.....KNEEL!"

"Success is not an accident. It is sheer hard work. There are no short-cuts. You have to take the stairs and you have to start from the bottom" - Rita Zahara


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SHIRE33's Photo SHIRE33 Posts: 955
1/12/12 7:23 P

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Wow! So do I! :D


“The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living on a small piece of land...” - Abraham Lincoln

"Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself.
Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but instantly set about remedying them--every day begin the task anew."
- St. Francis de Sales


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GARDENGIRL54's Photo GARDENGIRL54 Posts: 801
1/11/12 1:43 P

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Sounds great Shire. My sister works with sustainable agriculture through a local university here. They recently took groups of women farmers to Uganda to work together on improving farming practices there. Sometimes I want her job!!!!

Gardengirl54

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KSROMAN's Photo KSROMAN SparkPoints: (446)
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1/11/12 1:01 P

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That is SOOOOO cool Shire33.

I have seen women looking at jewelry ads with a misty eye and one hand resting on the heart, and I only know what they're feeling because that's how I read the seed catalogs in January.

Barbara Kingsolver - Animal, Vegetable, Miracle


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SHIRE33's Photo SHIRE33 Posts: 955
1/11/12 10:21 A

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I'm part of a fledgling business here in Ohio that's putting together seminars for women farmers and women who want to be farmers and older women who inherit farms and don't want to sell them off. So there is something going on for farmers who happen to be women! :D



“The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living on a small piece of land...” - Abraham Lincoln

"Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself.
Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but instantly set about remedying them--every day begin the task anew."
- St. Francis de Sales


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GARDENGIRL54's Photo GARDENGIRL54 Posts: 801
1/9/12 1:46 P

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Sounds like something we could use in every town in America!!! emoticon

Gardengirl54

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1/3/12 2:56 P

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A friend of mine works for HI Cameroon. Not only do they teach people how to garden/farm and give them animals, but in order for them to RECEIVE this help, the men MUST attend classes to show them the value of women in their society. Awesome!

I have seen women looking at jewelry ads with a misty eye and one hand resting on the heart, and I only know what they're feeling because that's how I read the seed catalogs in January.

Barbara Kingsolver - Animal, Vegetable, Miracle


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GARDENGIRL54's Photo GARDENGIRL54 Posts: 801
1/3/12 7:49 A

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I love to watch and support the work done my Heifer Project International. The sustainable practices they take to numerous nations world wide needs to be expanded in my opinion. I also think of the victory gardens planted during WWII and how sensible that was. Many of us could accomplish that sort of thing today, yet many folks don't even know how to crack into a vegetable to turn it into a meal - let alone GROW it!

Pretty sad in just one generation..... All in the name of progress..... emoticon

Gardengirl54

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SHIRE33's Photo SHIRE33 Posts: 955
1/2/12 9:46 P

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I agree completely, Grebjack. I'd only add that animals do have a place in the system, esp. in places where people just can't grow row crops but can support animals on pasture. A friend of mine in Vermont lives in an area where there's granite ledge about 12" down on her entire property. Very common. So while I don't support feedlot meat production, I do think there's a role for animal raisers to trade with grain and vegetable growers to make an interdependent community. : )



“The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living on a small piece of land...” - Abraham Lincoln

"Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself.
Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but instantly set about remedying them--every day begin the task anew."
- St. Francis de Sales


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1234MOM's Photo 1234MOM SparkPoints: (142,631)
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1/2/12 9:28 P

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So I guess it is time to not stuff your pantry with food so you can keep better track of what you have to eat. Eating on a whim also contributes to waste...my husband is guilty of that. I prefer to eat those leftovers first.

¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•´ *Linda¸.•*¨)
2011




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GREBJACK's Photo GREBJACK Posts: 3,499
1/2/12 9:08 P

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Shire beat me to the peak oil idea: regardless of how many people organic can feed, it will eventually be the only kind of farming we have when we run out of petroleum based fertilizers, so it would seem wise to me to be figuring out ways to maximize organic production and build up the soil now while we still grow more food than the world needs (and we just don't do a very good job of sharing it, between Americans like me who throw way too much in the compost after it grows fuzzy in the back of the fridge, and the truly destitute who die of starvation).

Organic is more labor intensive (a hoe is a great tool for killing weeds!) so it's more expensive in the industrialized west where labor costs more than machinery, but in much of the world labor is cheap and possessions are not, so if we would just stop pushing the developing world to grow cash crops for export to the wealthy west, the planet could feed a lot more people.

There are questions of how many people can be fed by an acre of land if its planted in native grains and vegetables for human consumption, or if that land is growing crops to feed to animals or biodiesel digesters. At least for now, the issue isn't that we've maxed out the abundance of our beautiful planet, it's a shortage of concern for our fellow human beings on the part of rich folks like me (who just threw out a couple butternuts today because I let bugs get in to them - I bet the average cook in Lesotho is just way more careful to guard her pantry).

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SHIRE33's Photo SHIRE33 Posts: 955
1/2/12 7:13 P

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I do know that Rodale is primarily non-profit. Of all those reports, I'd trust them the most.

http://www.rodaleinstitute.org

Check out their "New Farm" link. They've been developing equipment and techniques to enable sustainable agriculture on a larger scale. They have long-term research to support their claims that it is not only possible to farm that way to feed billions, but that, indeed, it's the only way we will be able to in the face of peak oil.

emoticon emoticon


“The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living on a small piece of land...” - Abraham Lincoln

"Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself.
Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but instantly set about remedying them--every day begin the task anew."
- St. Francis de Sales


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KSROMAN's Photo KSROMAN SparkPoints: (446)
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1/2/12 3:34 P

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I only "breezed through" the article, but my question ALWAYS is . . . who's paying for it?

"Kopperud, who is a lobbyist for agribusiness interests in Washington, D.C." = paid by commercial farmers.

"Written by professors from seven universities, including the University of California, Iowa State University, and the University of Maryland" = who gave the grant money for the research?

"Rodale Institute is an unequivocal supporter of all things organic. But that's no reason to dismiss its 2008 report" = they are "supporters" of organic, but who PAID for the report?

I teach Square Foot Gardening (SFG) which takes only 20% of the land of a conventional garden so people can grow their own food. For larger scale growing, there's the SPIN (Small Plot INtensive) method which can support a good number of people. Both can be accomplished using organic methods with little land.

So for these types of articles, I take the findings of each side with a grain of salt. Although personally I take the side of the organic.

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I have seen women looking at jewelry ads with a misty eye and one hand resting on the heart, and I only know what they're feeling because that's how I read the seed catalogs in January.

Barbara Kingsolver - Animal, Vegetable, Miracle


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SHARJOPAUL's Photo SHARJOPAUL Posts: 31,131
1/2/12 3:11 P

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Those of us who beleive in organic growing are probably going to agree that organic farming and gardening can feed the world.

Getting big business, not just agribusiness to go along with that will be an uphill battle. The multi-billion dollar businesses involved in agriculture and related business will not want to give up their profits easily. They continually put it back on the organic community to prove that organics can feed the world, while doing nothing to show that manmade chemicals to show that can do any better.

I could go on and on about this subject, but I think you get the idea.

GARDENGIRL54's Photo GARDENGIRL54 Posts: 801
1/2/12 1:08 P

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Happy New Year!

In searching for a CSA to join (to augment my own backyard food production) I ran across this thought provoking article. Would love to have anyone's feedback on this.....

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archiv
e/2011/12/organic-can-feed-the-world/2
49348/

Enjoy. emoticon

Gardengirl54

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