If you are concerned, like we are, with wellness and healthy eating, eliminating GMOs from our diet, reducing the risk of getting sick, cutting back on sugar, lightening our carbon footprint, eliminating non food additives from our diet…here is a good article with just two suggestions to do so.
From Ground Truth, Pesticide Action Network’s publication
“It’s official. EPA and USDA have both evaluated Dow Chemical’s new line of 2,4-D-resistant seeds, Enlist — and have approved both the seeds and the accompanying pesticide formulation for market.
This is a turning point, not just for grain production but for food production in the U.S. and internationally. The introduction of Enlist corn and soybeans, and the widespread adoption of this new seed line, will have pervasive impacts on farmer livelihoods, public health and control of our food system.
This is a decision that our regulators should not have taken lightly. And yet, it seems they did. Both USDA and EPA set up an intentionally narrow scope for evaluating the potential harms posed by 2,4-D resistant crops — one that ignored the biggest problems and held up irrelevant factors as evidence of safety.
As small farmers brace for the impact of pesticide drift that will hit with the introduction of Enlist crops, it is time for us to look forward. It’s time to demand a regulatory system that takes a rigorous approach to pesticides and genetically engineered crops, one that values small farmers as much as industrial agriculture — and public health as much as corporate profit.” Read the article.
Ex-Biotech Scientist Theirry Vrain, gives a TED Talk on the Dangers of GMOs. Thierry Vrain is a former research scientist for Agriculture Canada. He now promotes awareness of the dangers of genetically modified foods. When the first GMO crops were introduced in the mid-1990′s, they were marketed (and received) as ‘magic’ — a perfectly safe, practically water-like substance that erased pest problems without changing the quality of the food. However, Thierry explains the rising phenomenon of super weeds, genetic pollution, antibiotic resistance and food allergies, all attributable to GMO agriculture.
Our garden team got the hoop house up and planted today with broccoli, kale, kohlrabi, carrots, beets, and lettuce. They also began an experiment in “soil solarization” in one half of the planting area. For a brief intro to soil solarization read this Wikipedia article. In summary, clear plastic is used to heat the soil which, in turn, will destroy plant pathogens and reduce weed seeds. Our experiment is a bit different in that a) we’re not doing it at the height of summer and b) are not employing the layer of mulch (in order to transfer as much heat as possible to the soil given the cool temps and decreasing daylight.) This side of the hoophouse will then be planted in the Spring and the other side will receive a proper soil solarization treatment and we will be able to compare the two different variations on the theme.
The National Good Food Network recently published an enlightening and encouraging report directed to food industry executives on the importance of regional food hubs to help smaller farms and supply consumer demand for local food. Read the report: Small-Farm Aggregators Scale Up With Larger Buyers
The Rodale Institute recently released finding from their research that show the importance of organic agriculture to reversing the trends of climate change.
“…from farming systems and pasture trials around the globe [studies] show that we could sequester more than 100% of current annual CO2 emissions with a switch to widely available and inexpensive organic management practices, which we term “regenerative
organic agriculture. These practices work to maximize carbon fixation while minimizing the loss of that carbon once returned to the soil, reversing the greenhouse effect.” (Rodale Institute, 2014).
More than a third of all the food we eat is dependent on pollination, and all flowering plants and trees in the wild need to be pollinated. Around the world, honeybees and other pollinators are dying at alarming rates. Read why.
Fox Haven’s American Chestnut Tree research orchard is a lively learning area on the farm. We have students young and old come out to learn the history of this awesome tree, its impact on the Appalachian region’s economy and cultural history, as well as the blight that all but wiped it out. Students in elementary school learn the basics of tree identification, nut production, and the history of the tree. Middle school and high school students, as well as adult students, are taught the complexities of genetic back crossing and about the research we are doing with blight inoculations of some of the trees and hand pollination, as well as more down to earth methods used to kill the blight fungus – like mud-packing trees.
The team is committed to reforesting the NE Coast with blight resistant American Chestnut trees. Scientists Sara Fitzimmons and Matt Brinkman work in the Fox Haven Chestnut Tree orchard alongside the scientists and volunteers of the Maryland Chapter of the American Chestnut Foundation. Darryl Johnson is our orchard steward and is happy to meet with students and provide tours – he is also delighted to accept volunteer help. Scouting groups have been a huge help during orchard clean up days.
We had a wonderful group come to a workshop too; read about it in the Frederick News Post.