Sleeping in on a Saturday morning

This old man was up later than usual last evening waiting to pick up the youngest from her job at the Taco emporium (Texas style fast food) so I really looked forward to sawing logs right on into the daylight hours. The plan might have had some semblance of working had there been any daylight. Instead, ‘long ’bout half past 6 the band started warming up. You know the ones, they played at the Highland Games last year on Grandfather Mountain. They came from Scotland and they have an over abundance of percussion.

Boom ta da boom, boom boom ta da BOOM, BOOM BOOM BOOM…I loved the band but wasn’t expecting a command performance outside my bedroom window.

Oh…That’s not Albannach, that’s thunder. Ok, Ok I give up, I’m up…

That was a couple of hours ago. As I sit here in my kitchen by the window we are experiencing a lull in the downpour. Good thing too, there is at least three inches of water over most of my yard and the ditch is full…

The view from the front porch…and the kitchen window

This is the same view from last week.

Sleeping in on a Saturday morning

This old man was up later than usual last evening waiting to pick up the youngest from her job at the Taco emporium (Texas style fast food) so I really looked forward to sawing logs right on into the daylight hours. The plan might have had some semblance of working had there been any daylight. Instead, ‘long ’bout half past 6 the band started warming up. You know the ones, they played at the Highland Games last year on Grandfather Mountain. They came from Scotland and they have an over abundance of percussion.

Boom ta da boom, boom boom ta da BOOM, BOOM BOOM BOOM…I loved the band but wasn’t expecting a command performance outside my bedroom window.

Oh…That’s not Albannach, that’s thunder. Ok, Ok I give up, I’m up…

That was a couple of hours ago. As I sit here in my kitchen by the window we are experiencing a lull in the downpour. Good thing too, there is at least three inches of water over most of my yard and the ditch is full…

The view from the front porch…and the kitchen window

This is the same view from last week.

10 Reasons to Buy Local Food

This list came from Julia and Andy’s Website. I discovered them last year during the spinach and e coli problem. Andy wrote an article about why he took himself out of the packaged greens distribution network. I liked the way he wrote and signed up for their newsletter. These are headings from the list, if you are interested in the body of each topic, use the link at the end.

10 Reasons to Buy Local Food

  1. Locally grown food tastes better.
  2. Local produce is better for you.
  3. Local food preserves genetic diversity.
  4. Local food is GMO-free.
  5. Local food supports local farm families.
  6. Local food builds community.
  7. Local food preserves open space.
  8. Local food keeps your taxes in check.
  9. Local food supports a clean environment and benefits wildlife.
  10. Local food is about the future.

©2001 Growing for Market. Permission to print and photocopy is granted.

Source: Ten Reasons to Buy Local Food

10 Reasons to Buy Local Food

This list came from Julia and Andy’s Website. I discovered them last year during the spinach and e coli problem. Andy wrote an article about why he took himself out of the packaged greens distribution network. I liked the way he wrote and signed up for their newsletter. These are headings from the list, if you are interested in the body of each topic, use the link at the end.

10 Reasons to Buy Local Food

  1. Locally grown food tastes better.
  2. Local produce is better for you.
  3. Local food preserves genetic diversity.
  4. Local food is GMO-free.
  5. Local food supports local farm families.
  6. Local food builds community.
  7. Local food preserves open space.
  8. Local food keeps your taxes in check.
  9. Local food supports a clean environment and benefits wildlife.
  10. Local food is about the future.

©2001 Growing for Market. Permission to print and photocopy is granted.

Source: Ten Reasons to Buy Local Food

Sustainable Forestry?

I have been following Fred’s posts on sustainable forestry (links here and here)the past week or so, so when I say a link to the following on The Appalachian Voice Front Porch Blog it forced me to follow the story…to Greensboro, North Carolina. Eric Schaefer wrote the story for the News & Record there.

“Why not selectively cut?” I asked, “That way you leave the canopy at least partially intact and preserve some of the integrity of the forest as well as its beauty. There is not too much uglier than a fresh clear-cut.”
They explained to me that the problem was twofold: First, to a timber company, selective cutting means taking out the most desirable trees and leaving behind crooked trees or species that aren’t marketable. If you go that route, what you’re going to have left is a forest that is never going to produce marketable trees. Second, it is expensive and sometimes impossible to find someone to selectively cut.
Part of the job of the Forest Service is to produce forest management plans for private land owners, and Tate and Gibson told me they would gladly come up with any kind of plan the land owner wanted. If a land owner wanted forest that would be attractive to warblers and not cowbirds, woodpeckers and not starlings, trout lilies and not dandelions, they could do that, but if you want to have your land assessed as forest you have to have a timber production plan. And since they can’t recommend selective cutting because of the consequences for the future timber production, you must clear-cut to get a forest assessment.
A forest assessment, similar to an agricultural assessment, means that the land in question is assessed differently than residential property and can mean big tax savings. If farmers were assessed the same as other land owners, many of them would go out of business. So to ensure we don’t lose our farms, farmland is assessed differently and the same is true for forest land. However, you must be actively engaged in farming or forestry to get these assessments, and what that essentially means for forest land is periodic clear-cutting.

As you can read from the story, it’s easier for the lumber companies therefore

  • the Forest Service won’t recommend any other form of timber management.
  • without the Forest Service timber management you don’t get a forest assessment.
  • without the forest assessment you don’t get the lower tax rate.

What’s wrong with this picture? Essentially, the Forest Service is forcing landowners to have their forest clearcut. Go read the article…From here it looks like another holdover from the turn of the past century is still making it easy to strip the resources off the earth… This whole story reinforces what the Healing Harvest Forest Foundation is trying to do.

To first take out the injured and dying trees, the introduced species making room for the more valued trees to grow. And doing it in a way that doesn’t destroy what you leave is the very essence of sustainable. It just takes time and above all patience.

Source: News-Record.com – Greensboro, North Carolina: Sports: Clear-cutting question really isn’t clear cut

TGIF – 2772

A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions. – Oliver Wendell Holmes..

I am sitting here looking at a blank screen and finding I have no ideas this morning. I have made my way through my emails and other than the White House slowly burning to the ground, nothing causes me to jump out here with a comment.

Random Reading Links

  • Marie has posted a new spring photo at Blue Ridge Blog.
  • Fred has been battling armies(?) of mice marching through the night at Fragments From Floyd
  • “The seed has no idea of being some particular plant, but it has its own form and is in perfect harmony with the ground, with its surroundings … and there is no trouble. This is what we mean by ‘naturalness’. ” Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind from Beyond the Fields We Know

Check back later maybe I’ll find my muse…

Spring brings thoughts of gardens…

“Perhaps the truth depends on a walk around the lake.” – Wallace Stevens

Barbara Damrosch has a new column out. It seems to be timed to remind all the gardeners out there to start thinking tomatoes. Particularly the small pop’em in the mouth kind.

Cherry bombs, the exploding kind, must have been named after cherry tomatoes, the edible kind, which burst in your mouth with a charge of candy-sweet juices. Pop one in and another must follow, whether you’re raiding the shopping bag in your car or gorging your way down a garden row. The outdoor route is pure luxury, when the little orbs are warmed by the sun, their vitamin C at magnum force.

I can remember a time not many years ago when I couldn’t help but wonder at my lack of luck with these little ruby colored jewels of the garden. My plants were beautiful, flowered profusely, even set little green fruit in large numbers. For some reason though, there were never more than a handful of ripe tomatoes. Then one day I spotted youngest son in the garden by the cherry tomato plants, and as I watched he stripped all the ripe ones off the plant to eat right there in the garden. I quit wondering then and there and the next year I planted more plants…

Source: A Stalk on the Wild Side – washingtonpost.com

Reading Barbara’s column led me back to her and Eliot’s website
where I reread Eliot’s “Authentic Food – Authentic Farming” article from The Mother Earth News.

The label “organic” has lost the fluidity it used to hold for the growers more concerned with quality than the bottom line, and consumers more concerned with nutrition than a static set of standards for labeling. “Authentic” is meant to be the flexible term “organic” once was. It identifies fresh foods produced by local growers who want to focus on what they are doing, instead of what they aren’t doing. (The word authentic derives from the Greek authentes: one who does things for him or herself.)

Eliot goes on to lay out specific standards for the term “Authentic” to be used as a descriptive label for food products. He has spent a lot of time in the Organic movement and a lot of thought has gone into his standards. He closes the article with this statement…

“Authentic” growers are committed to supplying food that is fresh, ripe, clean, safe and nourishing. “Authentic” farms are genetically modified organism-free zones. I encourage all small growers with local markets who believe in exceptional food to use the word “Authentic” to mean “Beyond Organic.” With a definition that stresses local, seller-grown and fresh, there is little likelihood that large-scale marketers can steal this concept.

Go spend some time with Eliot and Barbara, it’ll be time well spent.
Source: “Authentic Food – Authentic Farming”

Spring brings thoughts of gardens…

“Perhaps the truth depends on a walk around the lake.” – Wallace Stevens

Barbara Damrosch has a new column out. It seems to be timed to remind all the gardeners out there to start thinking tomatoes. Particularly the small pop’em in the mouth kind.

Cherry bombs, the exploding kind, must have been named after cherry tomatoes, the edible kind, which burst in your mouth with a charge of candy-sweet juices. Pop one in and another must follow, whether you’re raiding the shopping bag in your car or gorging your way down a garden row. The outdoor route is pure luxury, when the little orbs are warmed by the sun, their vitamin C at magnum force.

I can remember a time not many years ago when I couldn’t help but wonder at my lack of luck with these little ruby colored jewels of the garden. My plants were beautiful, flowered profusely, even set little green fruit in large numbers. For some reason though, there were never more than a handful of ripe tomatoes. Then one day I spotted youngest son in the garden by the cherry tomato plants, and as I watched he stripped all the ripe ones off the plant to eat right there in the garden. I quit wondering then and there and the next year I planted more plants…

Source: A Stalk on the Wild Side – washingtonpost.com

Reading Barbara’s column led me back to her and Eliot’s website
where I reread Eliot’s “Authentic Food – Authentic Farming” article from The Mother Earth News.

The label “organic” has lost the fluidity it used to hold for the growers more concerned with quality than the bottom line, and consumers more concerned with nutrition than a static set of standards for labeling. “Authentic” is meant to be the flexible term “organic” once was. It identifies fresh foods produced by local growers who want to focus on what they are doing, instead of what they aren’t doing. (The word authentic derives from the Greek authentes: one who does things for him or herself.)

Eliot goes on to lay out specific standards for the term “Authentic” to be used as a descriptive label for food products. He has spent a lot of time in the Organic movement and a lot of thought has gone into his standards. He closes the article with this statement…

“Authentic” growers are committed to supplying food that is fresh, ripe, clean, safe and nourishing. “Authentic” farms are genetically modified organism-free zones. I encourage all small growers with local markets who believe in exceptional food to use the word “Authentic” to mean “Beyond Organic.” With a definition that stresses local, seller-grown and fresh, there is little likelihood that large-scale marketers can steal this concept.

Go spend some time with Eliot and Barbara, it’ll be time well spent.
Source: “Authentic Food – Authentic Farming”

Dozens dead after Iraqi police go on killing spree | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle

And we need to stay here why? When the police start killing people in revenge…

BAGHDAD — Shiite militants and police enraged by massive truck bombings in Tal Afar went on a revenge spree against Sunni residents in the northwestern town today, killing as many as 60 people, officials said.

The gunmen began roaming Sunni neighborhoods in the city, shooting at residents and homes, according to police and a local Sunni politician.

There is no law and order, there is only rage. The only thing we seem to have accomplished in Iraq is to release the pent up hate of generations and re-supplied the ammunition  needed to carry on a civil war that is rapidly degrading into un-civil genocide.

Source: Dozens dead after Iraqi police go on killing spree | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle

Dozens dead after Iraqi police go on killing spree | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle

And we need to stay here why? When the police start killing people in revenge…

BAGHDAD — Shiite militants and police enraged by massive truck bombings in Tal Afar went on a revenge spree against Sunni residents in the northwestern town today, killing as many as 60 people, officials said.

The gunmen began roaming Sunni neighborhoods in the city, shooting at residents and homes, according to police and a local Sunni politician.

There is no law and order, there is only rage. The only thing we seem to have accomplished in Iraq is to release the pent up hate of generations and re-supplied the ammunition  needed to carry on a civil war that is rapidly degrading into un-civil genocide.

Source: Dozens dead after Iraqi police go on killing spree | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle