Archive for the ‘In the News’ Category
In an unprecedented “brain fart” on the part of the Obama Administration and the Department of Labor, governmental officials try to regulate the chores kids can do on their own family farm. The family farm section was part of a sweeping labor bill mainly directed at farm labor contractors hiring under aged youth to work in Ag related entities without proper training or protection. But, as with most governmental interference, what started out as a good intention quickly lead to an overreaching intrusion into American farm life and the way we choose to raise our children.
“A proposal from the Obama administration to prevent children from doing farm chores has drawn plenty of criticism from rural-district members of Congress. But now it’s attracting barbs from farm kids themselves.” from The Daily Caller Read more:
Due to public outcry, this really stupid idea was withdrawn by the Obama Administration
“Under pressure from farming advocates in rural communities, and following a report by The Daily Caller, the Obama administration withdrew a proposed rule Thursday that would have applied child labor laws to family farms.” from The daily Caller
But—we’re not rid of them yet. Unfortunately, the DOL will now help teach us about working on a farm and with livestock.
“Instead, the Departments of Labor and Agriculture will work with rural stakeholders – such as the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Farmers Union, the Future Farmers of America, and 4-H – to develop an educational program to reduce accidents to young workers and promote safer agricultural working practices.” Read more:
WONDERFUL!!! The government is going to teach our children how to properly and safely catch a hog. This I’d like to see.
Moreover, the Obama Administration and the DOL can’t possibly know anything about 4-H or FFA or they’d already know that “educational programs” is what these two youth organizations are all about. There is a reason that the 4-H motto is “Learn By Doing” and the FFA motto is “Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve”. These organizations TEACH…all the time and with every project!
Remember this in November, folks, otherwise we are doomed to more stupidity.
I recently found this article “Are “DIY Slaughter Hobbyists” Destroying Your City?” in an Oakland, CA newspaper and wanted to share it with you.
We all know that the practice of farming in the city, homesteading a suburban lot, growing your own food on a condo balcony, is not everyone’s cup-of-tea, but to promote the practice as harmful and elitist is nothing short of ludicrous. I’m sure many people have had run-ins with uneducated neighbors, people who are ignorant about where their food comes from and how it is produced, and wish to remain that way. But, exactly how does raising animals qualify as harmful? And, when exactly did growing your own food, for food safety sake become an elitist activity that separates us from the less fortunate people in our neighborhoods. It begs the question.
Up until WWII it was commonplace for city dwellers with any amount of property to have a small flock of hens for eggs and meat, a garden for fruits and vegetables, all the while making soap and candles in their backyards to boot. The practice was even encouraged by city fathers as a way for people to eat better and more regularly without impacting or over burdening the food supply.
But now commonsense and self-reliance has left most people. And what has filled the void is dependence on others to feed us, ignorance about where food comes from and how it gets to us, but most of all, complete laziness about taking care of one’s self. Most people would rather put the responsibility of care for their family on other people – farmers to grow the food, processors to make into something that can be thrown in a microwave because people no longer cook, trucking companies to get the food within a few miles of them and a government to give it away for free when people no longer feel like fending for themselves.
Backyard farming is not a practice that should be run out of our neighborhoods, but one that should be encouraged and supported, not only by our fellow neighbors, but by city governments as well. There is so much good, besides good food that can come out of backyard farming, like education and the interconnectedness of man and animals and plants, connection with the natural world, healthy exercise, and an understanding of how our small farm fits into the bigger picture of world agriculture.
Fortunately for me my neighbors are kind, understanding and often times curious about what we do and why we do it, which has led to many great conversations and even a few new flocks of chickens on the street. Even so — I think I’ll give them a carton of eggs just to be safe.
Good news for cash-strapped economy weary Americans. This year, entrance to our wonderful national parks is gratis on several days in 2012: January 14-16 (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day weekend), April 21-29 (National Park Week), June 9 (Get Outdoors Day), September 29 (National Public Lands Day), and November 10-12 (Veterans Day weekend).
I KNOW you’ll have a blast exploring some of what our country’s got to offer. After all — they don’t call it America the Beautiful for nothing — do they.
Seen the parks in your home state? Why not hop the border to a neighboring one?
Right in the Champlain Valley of New York, a new generation of farmer is helping to redefine agriculture in America. Local farms are at the forefront of a movement taking shape across the nation. Filmed at three upstate New York farms — Essex Farm in Essex, Fledging Crow in Keeseville, and Asgaard Farm in AuSable Forks — the documentary follows these unique farms through an entire growing season. This inspiring film is a co-production of photographer/director Ben Stechschulte and Mountain Lake PBS.
The weatherman is calling for high winds, like 60 – 80 mile an hour gusts, and lower temperatures over the next few days. That can only mean one thing…damage…and lots of it. Anytime we hear news like this we immediately go into batten down mode. We’ve been through enough windstorms to know the damage they can cause and the discomfort we will feel if not properly prepared.
Several years ago, on a cold January night, a storm blew through our area with the force that can be described as a gale. Brianne and I were living on the ranch at the time and the fierce winds uprooted over 500 trees, which knocked down power lines, broke the well pump, smashed windows, tore the roof partially off the barn and damaged a corner of our house. One tree even fell, front to rear, over my truck crushing it 6-inches. Needless to say, it was totaled.
We were pretty well stocked and prepared though. Living in an earthquake zone is a constant reminder that Mother Nature can strike unexpectedly. But, it was this particular storm with its power outage that lasted for more than a week that convinced me even more that we should never be without stores, water, light and a source of heat.
With the weatherman’s prediction we set about preparing. Read the rest of the story »
The Farmer and the Horse is a feature-length documentary film that tells the story of young farmers in New Jersey with an old-fashioned passion: farming with draft horses. Award-winning journalist and filmmaker Jared Flesher follows farmers Tom, Matt, and Aubrey out of the suburbs and back to the land. Way back.
The Farmer and the Horse is a film that digs into difficult questions about sustainability, self-sufficiency, and why we do the work we do. Flesher’s film goes beyond the usual platitudes of smiling organic farmers talking about the good life. Farming is hard work, especially if you don’t use a tractor.
I ran across this article in my saved file. Something I meant to post weeks ago, but never did. After re-reading it and considering the fact that we are about a month away from the biggest turkey holiday of the year I thought it only right to go ahead and post it.
It makes me pause and wonder, with amount of turkey’s recalled this summer, how does that bode for our Thanksgiving holiday. It also makes me glad to know that I could grow my own – if I liked turkey enough. Our Thanksgiving centerpiece will be a 10-pound roaster raised on our farm and butchered this past spring.
Picking up where FRESH and FOOD, INC. left off, FARMAGEDDON explores why Americans’ right to access fresh, healthy foods of their choice is under attack and answers the question: “Why is local food pricey and hard to find?”
This hard hitting documentary by filmmaker Kristin Canty will answer that question and make the viewer think about who owns their body and what kind of terror do America’s food polices inflict on heritage food providers?
Farmageddon highlights the urgency of food freedom, encouraging farmers and consumers alike to take action to preserve individuals’ rights to access food of their choice and farmers’ rights to produce these foods safely and free from unreasonably burdensome regulations. The film serves to put policymakers and regulators on notice that there is a growing movement of people aware that their freedom to choose the foods they want is in danger, a movement that is taking action with its dollars and its voting power to protect and preserve the dwindling number of family farms that are struggling to survive.
Destined for demolition, raised to a new day, the Comstock, Ferret & Co. celebrated its 200th anniversary of selling quality heirloom seeds this past June. After much negotiation this time capsule of American agricultural history was purchased by the Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. in 2010.
Now open for business, Comstock Garden Seeds will continue its tradition of selling a variety of heirloom seeds to New Englanders and the rest of the country.
If only Connecticut wasn’t so far away, I’d plan a trip to their historic gardens and growing farm, soaking up the past from the treasures that were pulled from the attics and storerooms.