Recent Posts

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 10
In the News / 90 percent of Americans would die in two years without electricity
« Last post by Little Feather on November 17, 2015, 06:13:34 AM »
90 percent of Americans would die in two years without electricity, warns EMP commission

November 12th, 2015, by Greg White

If the power grid were to go out on a national scale, it would be lights out for America, in more ways than one. The bulk of the nation’s infrastructure, including cell phones, computers, hospital equipment, credit card readers, gas pumps and refrigerators would cease working. This is one of the greatest threats to potentially plague the United States, and yet, it scarcely makes news headlines.

An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack would plunge America into darkness overnight. Given how dependent society is on technology, very few would be equipped to survive in a world without gadgets. In fact, tech guru John McAfee wrote in a recent article that approximately 90 percent of the population would be dead within two years if such an attack were to take place.

“Experts agree that an all out cyber attack, beginning with an EMP attack on our electric infrastructure, would wipe out 90% of the human population of this country within two years of the attack. That means the death of 270 million people within 24 months after the attack,” he writes.
Recipes / Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes
« Last post by Little Feather on November 16, 2015, 08:57:55 AM »

"This is a super-easy way to cook these vegetables if you've never tried them before and by far my favorite. Jerusalem artichokes, or sunchokes, are starchy tubers like potatoes and turnips. When roasted, the skin becomes flaky and the flesh becomes tender, but the taste of a sunchoke is slightly nutty and sweet. Cooked sunchokes are best when eaten within 2 days. When raw, they store well in your fridge's vegetable bin, wrapped loosely in a paper towel. Enjoy!"

    1 pound Jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes)
    3 TBS olive oil
    2 tablespoons dried thyme
    1 tablespoon minced garlic
    sea salt to taste


    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). (Can also be sauteed on stove)
    Scrub Jerusalem artichoke tubers and cut out eyes. Cut tubers into 1-inch pieces.
    Mix olive oil, thyme, garlic, and sea salt together in a large bowl; add Jerusalem artichoke pieces and toss to coat. Arrange coated pieces in one evenly-spaced layer on a baking sheet.
    Roast in the preheated oven until Jerusalem artichokes are tender, 35 to 45 minutes.

Jerusalem artichokes are available for sale at farmer's markets.  If you prefer to grow your own they are available here:


MARKET FARMING & GARDENING / Jerusalem Artichoke tubers for sale
« Last post by Little Feather on November 16, 2015, 08:50:35 AM »

These healthy, tasty tubers can bring nice profits to your market garden.  Ready now for fall planting and ready for sale next fall and winter.  For sale now at http://shop.b40gs.com/Jerusalem-Artichokes-also-known-as-Sunchokes-NPSJA.htm for just $22.00 per pound.  Back40General store.  Clink the link for more information.
Herman Beck-Chenoweth
Real Life / Paw Paw
« Last post by Little Feather on November 04, 2015, 12:47:50 PM »
Is The Pawpaw Making A Comeback?
This North American native fruit might not have ever gone away for some, but it's making a big comeback.

Have you ever tried a pawpaw? The fruit is native to North America, which means every American should have tried it at least once, right? Many of us haven't, though. Admittedly, I have not. The pawpaw hasn’t really been on my radar, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be, and according to author Andrew Moore, the pawpaw should be part of all of our diets.

Moore recently wrote Pawpaw: In Search of America’s Forgotten Fruit, wants Americans to incorporate the pawpaw—which tastes like a combination of mango and banana—in our meals again. According to Michigan Radio, Moore says that the pawpaw was a staple in Americans’ diets when we foraged for food, but it has since been replaced by fruits like apples, oranges and bananas.

His suggestion? Plant some pawpaw trees. The fruit is high in niacin and potassium, as well as vitamins and antioxidants. The trees are pyramid-shaped, and in the fall, the leaves turn a bright yellow—a gorgeous addition to your farm. However, the best part is that it can be organically grown.

"Thus far, it doesn’t have pests and disease like our apples and peaches do, so it can be grown without the use of chemicals,” Moore told Michigan Radio.

Moore says the pawpaw is also great for local farmers markets.

What do you think of the pawpaw?
MARKET FARMING & GARDENING / PawPaws as a promising crop: An NPR Interview
« Last post by Little Feather on October 10, 2015, 03:29:08 PM »
NPR Interview:  ( Have your sound turned on): https://soundcloud.com/nprdancharles/reviving-the-pawpaw

PawPaw, Commercial Uses, Chris Chimeil, Back 40 Forums

Recipes / New Old Cookbook: Your Family Will Love These Authentic Amish Recipes
« Last post by Little Feather on October 10, 2015, 05:41:25 AM »
Review by Herman Beck-Chenoweth

By the Reader's of Family Life Magazine. What a cookbook! Amish Cooking is into it's 15th printing. Published by Pathway Publishers, an Amish-owned company, it includes authentic Amish recipes taken from the pages of Family Life, a monthly Amish Magazine. These days it is rare to find a cookbook that is based on "from-scratch" techniques, but this book is a wonderful exception. Over 1000 recipes are included: fresh produce and meat, deserts, hearty soups and stews, homemade lunch meats, crackers, and even household mixes, soaps, lotions and cleaners. Inexpensive and sturdily bound in a durable cloth hardcover binding; sure to become a family favorite! 6" x 9", 330 pages, Hard Cover, $12.00. To Purchase from Back 40 General Store click here: http://shop.b40gs.com/Amish-Cooking-AC-1.htm

Authentic Amish Recipes, Amish Cooking, Pathway Publishers, Back 40 General Store
Recipes / Great Summer and Fall Recipe: OKRA and TOMATOES
« Last post by Little Feather on October 10, 2015, 05:28:02 AM »

Servings 6
Units US

    1 1⁄2 cups sweet onions, chopped
    2 1⁄2 cups okra (tender, 3" or smaller), sliced
    3 medium tomatoes, chopped or 14 ounces diced tomatoes
    salt & freshly ground black pepper
    hot sauce (optional)


    Place all ingredients in a dutch oven and cook over over medium heat until onion and okra is just crisp tender or done to your liking. (Note: USE the juice from the tomatoes as well.).
    Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.
    NOTE: Do not salt before the okra and onion are done to your liking. The salt seems to add to slime. Also, stir only as much as you need The more you stir the slimier it can get.
    Serve with Hot Sauce if desired.
    NOTE: This freezes well in any quantity desired. Simply reheat when needed.
In the News / Don’t look to crickets to feed the world just yet
« Last post by Little Feather on May 27, 2015, 07:28:09 AM »
Don’t look to crickets to feed the world just yet, study cautions

April 16, 2015

Crickets are not all that they’re cracked up to be as an alternative, global source of protein in the human diet to supplement or replace livestock consumption, according to newly published research at the University of California, Davis.

Worldwide, statistics show that crickets are the most widely cultivated insects for the human diet and are considered the “gateway bug” for people who choose to eat insects. Crickets are touted as highly nutritious and much better for the planet — environmentally and financially — than livestock, due to the comparatively efficient rate at which they convert feed into body mass.

But the issue is far more complex than that, say UC Cooperative Extension agronomist Mark Lundy and horticultural entomologist Michael Parrella, a professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, in research published April 15 in the journal PLOS ONE, published by the Public Library of Science.

"While there is potential for insect cultivation to augment the global supply of dietary protein, some of the sustainability claims on this topic have been overstated,” said Lundy, who headed the research at UC Davis while seeking his doctorate in agronomy. “Our study demonstrates that the sustainability gains associated with cultivating crickets as an alternative source of protein will depend, in large part, on what the crickets are fed and which systems of livestock production they are compared to.”

“Insect cultivation is more likely to contribute to human nutrition at a scale of economic and ecological significance if it does not rely on a diet that competes with conventional livestock, but more innovation is needed for this to become a reality,” Lundy said. The goal will be to design cost-effective processes to feed large populations of insects on underutilized organic waste and side streams, he said.

Crickets efficient at converting feed

It's widely assumed that crickets and other insects are efficient in converting feed to protein compared to conventional livestock, Parrella said. However, there is very little data to support this, and the story is far more complex, he said.

The researchers measured the biomass output and feed conversion ratios of crickets (Acheta domesticus) that were reared on foods ranging from grain-based to high in cellulose.

They found that the biomass accumulation was strongly influenced by the quality of the diet.

The measurements were made at a much greater population scale and density than any previously reported studies. For populations of crickets that survived to a harvestable size, the feed conversion ratios were less efficient than those reported from studies conducted at smaller scales and lower population densities.

Crickets fed a poultry-feed diet showed little improvement in protein conversion efficiency compared to the industrial-scale production of broiler chickens.

Crickets fed on processed food waste grew to harvestable size with conversion efficiency similar to broiler chickens. But crickets fed on minimally processed, municipal-scale food waste and diets composed largely of straw had more than a 99 percent mortality before reaching a harvestable size.

High-quality feed sources needed

Bringing crickets into the global protein supply will depend on collecting and using relatively high-quality waste side-streams that are not currently being used for livestock production, the researchers said.

Lundy, who received his doctorate in agronomy from UC Davis in 2013 and his master’s degree in international agricultural development from UC Davis in 2010, admitted to eating some of his experimental subjects — after weighing them for the research, of course. He dusted them with cornmeal and Cajun seasoning and fried them in olive oil. He has also snacked on protein bars made with cricket flour.

“I'm all for exploring alternatives, and I am impressed by the amount of innovation that has sprung up around insect cultivation and cuisine in the last few years,” Lundy said. “However, I also think we need to be clear-eyed about what the sustainability gains are and aren’t, and focus our innovative efforts and limited resources to where they will have the most lasting impact.”

Crickets are readily available in pet stores as food for turtles, frogs and other pets. Part of many human diets, they are considered delicacies or snacks in many countries. Cricket flour is now commonly found in protein bars, baked goods and protein powders.

Media contact(s):

• Mark Lundy, UC Cooperative Extension, melundy@ucanr.edu<mailto:melundy@ucanr.edu>
• Kathy Keatley Garvey, Entomology and Nematology, (530) 754-6894, kegarvey@ucdavis.edu<mailto:kegarvey@ucdavis.edu>
• Pat Bailey, UC Davis News Service, (530) 752-9843, pjbailey@ucdavis.edu<mailto:pjbailey@ucdavis.edu>

Small Farm Guide to Selecting and Purchasing Equipment

Tuesday, June 9, 2015
3:00 p.m. EDT

The goal of this webinar is to assist operators of small and beginning farms in selecting and acquiring safe and appropriate agricultural equipment that will increase their likelihood of successfully meeting personal and production goals. The presenter will discuss how to ask the right questions during the search phase of purchasing equipment and avenues for researching equipment in selecting what will best suit the needs of specific enterprises. The webinar will also discuss the many sources and formats for buying equipment, be it new or used, and key things to look for before buying that allow producers to make an informed decision.

Our Presenter:

Shawn Ehlers is a doctoral student in the department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN, where he also earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees. He is from southeastern Indiana where he is the sixth generation of his family’s grain farming operation. Shawn has worked as a mid-range mechanical development intern engineer at Cummins Engines in Columbus, IN., an instructor at Ivy Tech Community College in Lafayette, IN., and a teaching and research assistant at Purdue University, all while maintaining active involvement in his family’s farming operation.

Shawn’s current research focuses on agricultural safety and the implementation of assistive viewing technology. He is evaluating the effectiveness of assistive viewing devices, such as cameras, to increase visibility of the surrounding area of self-propelled agricultural equipment – primarily focusing on the area to the rear – for operators with and without impairments to their range of motion. Shawn’s research also entails the use of similar devices to monitor high risk locations such as confined spaces to assist in minimizing human exposure.

A question & answer period will follow the presentation.

To participate in this free webinar, click here:  https://purdue.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_5iqDaEQPJOybkYR  to access the online registration form by Friday, June 5. Instructions for accessing the session will be sent to registrants by Monday, June 8. Please pass on this invitation to others you believe may be interested. Contact AgrAbility at 800-825-4264 or email agrability@agrability.org if you have questions or if you would like us to run this webinar again at a later time.

Eat Well / World's most popular weed-killer labeled 'probable carcinogen'
« Last post by Little Feather on March 23, 2015, 08:12:51 AM »
One of the world's most popular weed-killers — and the most widely used kind in the U.S. — has been labeled a probable carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer..

The decision was made by IARC, the France-based cancer research arm of the World Health Organization, which considered the status of five insect and weed killers including glyphosate, which is used globally in industrial farming.

The glyphosate-containing herbicide Roundup is a mainstay of industrial agriculture.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which makes its own determinations, said it would consider the French agency's evaluation.

The French agency has four levels of risks for possible cancer-causing agents: known carcinogens, probable or possible carcinogens, not classifiable and probably not carcinogenic. Glyphosate now falls in the second level of concern.

 It is hyperbolic to say that glyphosate is being "sprayed into our air supply" or that "they are soaking the earth with it." Also, trusting Monsanto with one's health is not analogous to trusting Iranians with uranium. It is analogous to trusting the Geronmeadelaurence

at 1:56 PM March 23, 2015

The new classification is aimed mainly at industrial use of glyphosate. Its use by home gardeners is not considered a risk. Glyphosate is in the same category of risk as things like anabolic steroids and shift work. The decision was published online Thursday in the journal, Lancet Oncology.

According to the French agency, glyphosate is used in more than 750 different herbicide products and its use has been detected in the air during spraying, in water and in food. Experts said there was "limited evidence" in humans that the herbicide can cause non-Hodgkins lymphoma and there is convincing evidence that glyphosate can also cause other forms of cancer in rats and mice. IARC's panel said glyphosate has been found in the blood and urine of agricultural workers, showing the chemical has been absorbed by the body.

Monsanto and other producers of glyphosate-containing herbicides strongly disagreed with the decision. "All labeled uses of glyphosate are safe for human health," said Monsanto's Phil Miller, global head of regulatory and government affairs, in a statement.

The EPA's 2012 assessment of glyphosate concluded that it met the statutory safety standards and that the chemical could "continue to be used without unreasonable risks to people or the environment."

The French agency's experts said the cancer risks of the weed killer were mostly from occupational exposure.

"I don't think home use is the issue," said Kate Guyton of IARC. "It's agricultural use that will have the biggest impact. For the moment, it's just something for people to be conscious of."

Associated Press

Copyright © 2015, Chicago Tribune
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 10