agriculture

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Tag archives for agriculture

Does Buying Local Matter?

A reader asked me to comment on this video critiquing Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty’s challenge to Ontario consumers to spend ten more dollars a week on local, Ontario produced food.  My first comment is that people who speak like affectless zombies probably should stick to the written word, rather than making videos, but that’s more of…

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.…

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…

I try to post this once a year or so, because most of the people who read my blog also play in the dirt, and with playing in the dirt comes minor injuries that you really don’t want to turn into anything nasty.  So, if you haven’t had a tetanus booster in the last decade,…

Regional Food Analysis

My absolute favorite kinds of presentations to give (even though they are by far the most work) are the one’s I’ve been doing increasingly often, giving analyses of regional food security. I focus on both present and prospective food issues in a lower energy, less economically stable and warmer future. in them I set out…

The End of Maple?

We’re very tiny maple producers, and only on a home scale. I boil the syrup down on the back of our woodstove, and collect the syrup from old plastic buckets. Our operation is stone-age compared to our more serious neighbors. We don’t have much of a sugar bush – most of our land was open…

The 2%

Michael Ableman has written a lovely manifesto from the 2% – the tiny percentage of Americans who actually farm: There are far more people in prison than growing our food, more stockbrokers and lawyers than those of us who feed our neighbors. We are the 2 percent we call farmers. There is nothing more central…

Ending “Farmer’s Wife” Syndrome

Fairly often, when someone comes to our farm to make a purchase or do a job, the implicit assumption is that they should talk to Eric. The first time I remember seeing this was when we were farm shopping back a decade ago – we met our first realtor and visited our first farm, and…

What Could the Farm Bill Accomplish?

Kari Hamerschlag has a post up about the upcoming Farm Bill and its potential to move money away from large scale industrial agriculture and towards smaller producers. For most small farmers producing for local markets, the idea is heady – after all, the economics agriculture are tenuous for many of us – we get all…

Disaster Recovery and Big Government

Christian Parenti has a really good article in TomDispatch about the reasons why Climate Change may change people’st thinking about the role of government: Global warming and the freaky, increasingly extreme weather that will accompany it is going to change all that. After all, there is only one institution that actually has the capacity to…