Joel Salatin on a forgiving food system

rich/ April 10, 2009

Joel Salatin is gearing up for the media push for the movie Food, Inc, which I read somewhere is going to be a combination of Omnivore’s Dilemma and Fast Food Nation. That should be fun This is just a quick Chelsea Green clip of him speaking recently I’m a little skeptical of Joel’s energy analysis…tripling of energy prices would have

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Know thy farmer… farmers’ markets, integrity, and consumer choice…

val/ April 9, 2009

Mother Jones has an interesting article about farmers markets in its March/April edition. The article’s thesis is that farmers markets may not be all they are cracked up to be, and that the food that customers are buying at farmers markets may be overpriced versions of exactly the same produce (even grown by the same farmer) that could be bought

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Want to know where your food comes from? Too bad…

val/ March 30, 2009

The US Dept of Health and Human Services recently conducted a study on food source traceability (thanks to the Oregon Independent blog for the tip-off about this study), and found that they could only trace 12.5% of the items. Wow. To turn that figure around, they couldn’t identify the source of 87.5% of the foods they tried to trace. They

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A farm for the future

rich/ March 28, 2009

I saw this link a while back, and finally found an hour to watch the video… The Oil Drum also has a good commentary on it…the comments there are always worth a visit.

Soylandia, II

rich/ March 23, 2009

In more Soylandia news, farmers who illegally planted genetically modified Roundup Ready soybeans are now going back to conventional soy after finding that the Monsanto product gave poor yields. Unfortunately, the final paragraph is the stomach-sinker: “Companies have been focusing their research on GMO soy more than on conventional ones. So in 10 years we could have 100 percent of

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Oppose funding for National Animal Identification System

val/ March 16, 2009

The U.S. House Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy and Poultry held a hearing on NAIS, the National Animal Identification System a few days ago. I was alerted to this by Shannon Hayes of Grass-fed Cooking. It appears that the Omnibus Appropriations bill includes funding for NAIS, which is a program that if mandated, will have terrible impacts on farms such as

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2009 Farm newsletter

rich/ March 10, 2009

Here’s a link to our 2009 newsletter, with recipes, musings, and our plans for the year. Enjoy! (note that we’ve heard of some problems opening the PDF with old versions of Adobe Reader. If you have problems, update your software for free here)

New farmers

rich/ March 8, 2009

In the vein of What is a small farmer, Yes magazine has a short profile of a series of new young farmers

Chicken Feed

rich/ March 6, 2009

Time to dredge up the past again. There’s been another surge of interest by several Oregon farmers to get into growing some of their own grain for feed. No wonder, as feed prices have more than doubled since we started doing chickens, and while the commodity insanity of the last year is taking a breather, there’s no reason to think

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Vilsack, et al

rich/ March 1, 2009

Following up on my mention of the new USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, and Scott’s comment therein, there’s some additional, more promising news on Vilsack’s new tenure. This article talks about Vilsack’s newfound progressive take on the future of agriculture, acknowledging the importance of food to all Americans.  Not so different than Nicolas Kristof’s call for a Department of Food, and

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rich/ February 24, 2009

The weather has been pretty fascinating these days…last week, we got our annual February banana belt, with sun and highs around 60.  This week, it’s still warm-ish, but there’s a lot of rain showers to be dodged. Some farm views these days…click for bigger fence in progress 3 year old planting is looking like a forest Our trees are looking

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Small farm economics

rich/ February 17, 2009

Melissa has a good post up on financing a startup farm. When you add it to Katie’s financial post and our rundown of starting a farm, beginning farmers can get a pretty good dose of the realities of making it happen.

Grassfed beef study followup

rich/ February 17, 2009

Following up on my post a month or so ago on Oregon State’s flawed farm to school study, the Oregonian today has an article that basically reiterates all of my points.  Nice to see that that the media can come through for us on these things.

What is a small farmer?

rich/ February 6, 2009

To hear Senator Pat Roberts (R Kansas) tell it, a small family farmer: is about 5′2″…and he’s a retired airline pilot and sits on his porch on a glider reading Gentleman’s Quarterly — he used to read the Wall Street Journal but that got pretty drab — and his wife works as stock broker downtown. And he has 40 acres,

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Hello world!

rich/ February 5, 2009

Hello, and welcome to 2.0.  !  We’re officially at our 5 year blog anniversary, so it seemed like a good time for a change of scene. Actually, it’s not so much a change of scene, because we tried to keep with the same general theme as our original blog, but the engine that powered it, Movable Type, was great

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Blog for Food month

rich/ February 1, 2009

From Good Stuff NW: One of your elderly neighbors said, “It’s either buy food or take your medicine. It’s a real hard choice.” You can choose to listen, or you can ignore them. But these are real Oregonians facing real choices, and it’s time for those of us who can to take real steps to do something about it. “These

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Flawed grassfed beef study

rich/ January 23, 2009

Recently a study was done by Oregon State University to evaluate the appeal and cost effectiveness of bringing grassfed beef into the local school system. This is a great step, and I was excited to see that the effort was being made. Unfortunately, once I dug into the details of the study, I was disappointed to see that they didn’t

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The fundamental rethink

/ January 1, 2009

In a fascinating convergence, Tim O’Reilly has a post up about Wendell Berry’s essay ‘In distrust of movements’. Fascinating because while Tim is a pretty visionary hi tech guy, you don’t often find that crowd crowing about the nitty gritty of our food system. That, plus the fact that he also mentions Dmitry Orlov’s recent work shows just how deep

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happy birthday to me

val/ December 19, 2008

The view this morning… It’s now sunny and beautiful – I’ll try to post another photo later today. I think our biggest worry now is the fact that with 12 inches of snow on the ground, the wire keeping the steers in is much closer to the ground than before. Hopefully some of the snow will melt a bit today

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