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Living on a farm in the city

Many of the people who read this blog are interested in self-sufficiency, growing their own food, making food from scratch and raising animals for meat or fiber, if space (and laws) allow. However, many of those same readers also, like myself, live in the city. We enjoy the benefits of both worlds, adding in the […]

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Gardening for your survival (Part 2)

Why’s Gardening So Important Now? (See Gardening for your Survival Part 1) There are at least five reasons why more of us should take up spade, rake and hoe, make compost and raise good soil and garden beds with a vengeance, starting this spring and with an eye toward forever. 1) Peak oil. Most petroleum […]

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Gardening for your survival (Part 1)

Spring has sprung—at least south of the northern tier of states where snow still has a ban on it—and the grass has ‘riz. And so has the price of most foods, which is particularly devastating just now when so many Americans are unemployed, underemployed, retired or retiring, on declining or fixed incomes and are having […]

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Seven Things to Know when Buying Eco-friendly Food

More and more people these days are choosing eco-friendly and organically grown foods — instead of or in addition to — the conventionally grown food they’re accustomed to buying. Nowadays, even regular grocery stores stock organic food brands. However, just by buying a product whose label says “Organically Produced” doesn’t necessarily solve anything. Here are […]

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Organic Farming: as productive as conventional and better at building soil

“Organic agriculture is a fine luxury for the rich, but it could never feed the world as global population moves to 9 billion.” That’s what a lot of powerful people — including the editors of The Economist — insist. But the truth could well be the opposite: It might be chemical-intensive agriculture that’s the frivolous […]

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Eco-farming can double food output by poor: U.N.

Many farmers in developing nations can double food production within a decade by shifting to ecological agriculture from use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, a U.N. report showed on Tuesday. Insect-trapping plants in Kenya and Bangladesh’s use of ducks to eat weeds in rice paddies are among examples of steps taken to increase food for […]

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How can farmers adapt to climate change? Get ‘climate smart.’

A new “climate smart” tool can help farmers reduce production and operating costs, improve profitability by reducing energy and water consumption, generate new products from agricultural waste, and ensure more efficient use of fertilizers. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, agriculture is one of the leading causes of climate change, responsible for 14% […]

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Organic Food May Become a Thing of the Past

Since the mid-1990s just five biotech giants – Monsanto, Syngenta, Bayer, Dow and DuPont – have bought up more than 200 other companies between them to dominate our access to seeds. Graphic illustrates how just five biotech giants have increased their control of the global seed market, promoting monoculture farming and making it harder for […]

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What do “free range,” “organic” and other chicken labels really mean?

Pastured, organic, natural … these buzzwords are a marketing bonanza. Here’s what to really expect from them When I started my messy breakup with cheap chicken, one of the immediate complications I found was, well, how do you define “cheap chicken”? (And, by extension, what is “good” or “sustainable” chicken?) By cheap chicken, I meant […]

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