Archive for the ‘In the News’ Category

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.

Read More Here:

The Future of Food Safety

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Looking Into Not-Too-Distant Future, Joel Salatin Sees the Spectre of Animal Rights Haunting Small Farms

Dear Readers, I found this piece, based on an article from Good Housekeeping, on another website and wanted to share it with you. I don’t know what your experiences have been or what your thoughts might be concerning this issue. Agree or Disagree. But, it certainly is food for thought – pardon the pun – and something we may very well have to deal with in the future.

Believe it or not, there’s a food issue lurking out there beyond food rights and food safety. Joel Salatin, the Virginia farmer-author-activist is worried that that next issue is animal rights. He’s already seeing evidence of it at Polyface Farm, his own farm in the Shenandoah foothills. During a tour of his farm Saturday for 150 attendees as part of a fundraiser for the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, Salatin said he’s been reported to his local animal control officials by area residents who have had concerns about the treatment of his cattle.

In one case, someone reported him because one of his steers was limping. In another case, he was reported because his cattle were “mobbing”–hanging out close to each other as a herd in a new pasture. In each instance, “We had to spend two days with local vets explaining what we do”…and he was off the hook.

His view of animal rights as an emerging issue for owners of sustainable farms rates a chapter in his upcoming book, Folks, This Ain’t Normal: A Farmer’s Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People, and a Better World. It’s due out in early October.

During the Saturday farm tour, Salatin wondered aloud what other problems the animal rights people might find at his farm. He pointed out how, during recent heavy rains, the chickens (who stay outside in mobile structures) got pretty wet, which isn’t unusual. “We have days when our chickens are out here in the rain and cold and shivering. I know there are people who would like to go out and buy them L.L. Bean dog pillows.” Read the rest of the story »

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-small © by quantumbutterfly

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.

Another Heirloom Seed Company

Saturday, September 3, 2011

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.

National Heirloom Expo

Sunday, August 28, 2011

I was so disappointed when I found out that the California Mother Earth News Fair had been cancelled. According to MEN staff, there wasn’t enough interest in the fair to continue with its planning. I question that. I think California is in dire need of informative workshops and festivals on sustainable farming/gardening, self-sufficient and self-reliant living, and living a more simple less consumer intensive lifestyle.

I mourned the loss of a few days spent with like-minded people that I could connect with and talk with and possibly build friendships with. But, my grief was short lived. Like a beacon in the dark. Like quenching a parched body, I found a wonderful (maybe even better) replacement – The National Heirloom Expo.

Slated for September 13, 14 & 15 at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds, this event will include not only heirloom fruits and veggies, but a heritage livestock show as well. The schedule is chock full of speakers, workshops, vendors, heirloom displays, music and art, all there to help us learn to live a more authentic fulfilling life. What more could a farm girl ask for!

Strange Weather

Saturday, August 27, 2011

As our friends and neighbors on the east coast batten down for hurricane Irene, we on the west are experiencing our own bizarre climate changes. Our pleasant temperate summer bolted into a heat wave yesterday, driving temperatures into the high 90s. What’s more, we are having a bout of humidity which is even more unusual than the cool weather, and light showers here and there.

All this shifting and changing managed to produce a glorious sunrise this morning. I snapped this photo a little after 6am as I was strolling through the farm and feeding the chickens.

I don’t think our cloudy weather has anything to do with tropical storms, but it did give me a glimpse into what my mid-west and eastern friends go through every day—muggy, sticky, sweaty.

As I watched the news today, I can only pray that lives will be saved and damage will be minimal. Seems small and trite, but it’s all this homesteader has, being 3,000 miles away.

Heart & Soil

Thursday, August 4, 2011

What a great way to spend a summer evening. “Heart & Soil”, a sustainable agriculture documentary will take you on a journey into the lives of southwest farmers, energetic farmer’s market and vibrant school lunch programs. The farmers are an inspiration for us all to dig more, grow more or to support those who do.

To learn more about the mission of “Heart & Soil” and their desire to promote local agriculture check out their website at

Peak Oil

Friday, April 29, 2011

I never intended this site to talk about militia tactics, conspiracy theories or post-oil survivalist ways, but it is becoming increasingly impossible to be involved in homesteading and the local food culture and not be at least aware of, if not affected by, the topic of Peak Oil.

I take solace though that the more I read and learn about energy issues the more content I feel that I have chickens who give us eggs, lambs who provide us with meat, a garden, berry patch and fruit orchard that supplies us with fresh produce and the where with all to combine those ingredients into a satisfying meal for my family.

If this topic is new to you or you’ve never heard about it before you may want to ask yourself these simple questions. What is Peak Oil? Do you think Peak Oil is fact or fiction? Do you or your family base decisions based on the future of oil?

Do you think the current boom in small farming and homesteading is the result of worries about peak oil, the food supply or energy issues in general, or is it just a fad? I’m sure our readers would be curious to know what you all think.

The Peak Oil clip above is a quick 3 minute video visually explaining Peak Oil, what oil is used for, and what the future may hold with regards to Peak Oil.

To learn more about Peak Oil check out this YouTube video by VideoNation, or simply plug Peak Oil into your browser window for more videos and articles.

A New Generation of Farmers Emerge

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

In an age when people want to feel more connected to their food than they can at a grocery store a younger group of farmers have emerged. Young people in their 20s and 30s who have chosen farming as a career. Influenced by punk rock bands and a “foodie” culture this new generation of farmer is embracing the connection between what they grow and who ultimately consumes it; bringing back the trust between them.

Garry Stephenson, coordinator of the Small Farms Program at Oregon State University, said he had not seen so much interest among young people in decades. “It’s kind of exciting,” Mr. Stephenson said. “They’re young, they’re energetic and idealistic, and they’re willing to make the sacrifices.”

Though the number of young farmers is increasing, the average age of farmers nationwide continues to creep toward 60, according to the 2007 Census of Agriculture. That census, administered by the Department of Agriculture, found that farmers over 55 own more than half of the country’s farmland.

To read the entire New York Times article click here.

Victorian Farm – BBC documentary series

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Victorian Era in England saw an agricultural revolution spread across the country. Old world traditional ways sat along side new modern technology and machinery. Like Frontier House and Colonial House before them Victorian Farm is a realistic documentary about a group of people who step back in time and live, work and eat as they did in rural Victorian England.

Working for a full calendar year, Ruth, Alex and Peter rediscover a lost world of skills, crafts and knowledge, assisted by an ever-dwindling band of experts who keep Victorian rural practices alive. Each month and season brings pressing priorities, from tending livestock and repairing buildings to raising crops, preparing food and crafting furniture and tools. Can they make a success of farming the Victorian way?

The 36 You Tube episodes are chock full of useful information for up-and-coming and seasoned farmers alike. For those who have just recently decided to live more self-sufficiently the series is a priceless addition to their research and knowledge, even though it is based in the English countryside.

If Victorian Farm draws you in, watch BBC channels for Edwardian Farm airing this fall.

New and used DVD sets and companion books are available through However, the series is in a European format and will not work in U.S. DVD players.