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Archives for September, 2012

Not Quite 100 Million, but It Is a Start

A few years back Stuart Staniford, (who is one of the most brilliant people I know) and I had a lively debate about the future of small scale agriculture over at The Oil Drum. Stuart argued that agriculture would continue to get bigger and more industrialized, because its fossil fuel dependency really wasn’t that great.…

Yet Another Wave of Global Unrest?

From Simon Black at Business Insider: The researchers’ analysis went a step further, though; they modeled the relationship between food prices and social unrest to reach a simple conclusion– whenever the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO)’s global food price index climbs above 210, conditions ripen for social unrest. Read more: http://www.sovereignman.com/expat/two-no-brainer-ways-to-play-rising-food-prices-8900/#ixzz27moSPcTK We’re currently at 213.  Read the whole thing,…

The Songs We Know Best

Behold her, single in the field, Yon solitary Highland Lass! Reaping and singing by herself; Stop here, or gently pass! Alone she cuts and binds the grain, And sings a melancholy strain; O listen! for the Vale profound Is overflowing with the sound. No Nightingale did ever chaunt More welcome notes to weary bands Of…

50 Years After Silent Spring

It is the nature of popular books to inspire people to wildly overstate their importance.  The most stunning example is Abraham Lincoln’s statement upon meeting Harriet Beecher Stowe in 1862 “So you’re the little lady who wrote the book that started this great war.”   While _Uncle Tom’s Cabin_ was an incredibly important book, one that…

Books, Belated and Forthcoming

So I know that some contributors and book giveaway winners are still waiting for their copy of _Making Home_ and I offer you profuse apologies.  When I was out of town and a friend really wanted to sell copies at an event, Eric gave her some books.  Actually, all the books.  He didn’t realize there…

And on Outrunning the Boom…

In 2011 I wrote an essay about how the convention of escape undermines our thinking about the environmental crises we are facing.  A kind reader of mine emailed to tell me about how she uses that essay “Outrunning the Boom” in her classroom,  and her wonderful students responded with this video.  Apparently, outrunning the boom…

Mothering for Money

Most of the comments people make about our slightly changeable and somewhat odd family are lovely.  Like all parents my husband and I love hearing how beautiful our kids are, how well behaved (even when it isn’t always true), how nice it is to see us all together, what fun it is to see a…

The No-Waste Food Preservation Plan

40% of all food produced worldwide, and nearly half of all food produced in the US goes to waste.  When you break down the realities of food waste, you see that in the developing world, much of the waste is due to lack of ability to preserve food – no refrigeration means that sheep you…

What’s Up Here

I have more to write, but it may get done tomorrow, or maybe after Rosh Hashana, depending.  Right now I’m just recovering from the frantic compulsive worrying and cleaning the preceded my annual home inspection to remain a foster parent. I shouldn’t have worried, but I do – our way of life is sufficiently different…

Shockingly (or not so much, if you read here regularly), despite the supposed improvements in the economy, more and more American families are struggling to put meals on the table.  The USDA reports a record 46.7 million American households are on food stamps.  17.9 % of American households (up 700,000 from 2010) didn’t have enough food…