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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
FARMER'S FORUM / Grant Funding for Small Farmers
« Last post by Little Feather on March 11, 2015, 04:13:04 AM »
If you’re like many small-scale beginning farmers, you've stared at a certain piece of your property longing to build a greenhouse, pond or a commercial kitchen, but haven't had the funds to make it happen. One solution to this problem is to seek out grants that will give you the access to capital needed to further your farm operation.

State and federal governments, along with colleges and other institutions, set aside funding to help farmers afford the things they need. Some of these grants are geared towards specific types of projects while others allow you to invent the project yourself. Some pay the full amount while others share the cost with you. Either way, there’s money out there waiting to help you get your project going—the big question is where to find it. The sites and organizations below are good places to start.

1. Local Extension Agent

One of the best places to start your grant search is with your local cooperative extension agency. Every county has one available, and their services are primarily free. The county extension agent is a person appointed to assist farmers in finding USDA loans and certain agricultural grant programs. If you are at all interested in getting grants, this should be the first person you check with.

For many state and federal grants—especially those from the USDA, Environmental Quality Initiatives Program (EQIP) and Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS)—the extension agent can tell you what’s available now, what will be available in the near future, and how best to prepare yourself so that when grants do come available, you're ready. Although some people hesitate inviting the government into their operation, wait to pass judgement on these programs until after you've spoken with your extension agent, as some grants are less invasive than others. Even if none of their grant opportunities appeal to your needs, the county extension agent is an excellent person to remain in contact with for other farm help.

2. Grants.gov

The federal government has set up an entire website dedicated to helping people find grants. To get grant leads, sign up for the Grants.gov newsletter, which will give you reports on agencies like the NRCS, USDA, private organizations, and other farm and agriculture-related institutions. The beauty of these newsletters is that they not only tell you what the grants are and give you a variety to choose from, but they also send you the press release with the specific goals for those grants, helping you determine if it’s the right fit for your operation. To choose the type of email alerts you want to receive, click "Manage Subscriptions" at the top of the home page.

3. Farm Aid

Well-known for fundraising concerts put on by Willie Nelson and other famous musicians, FarmAid.org is a network of more than 700 family farms across the U.S. and offers great resources through their Farm Aid Resource Network. Visit their website to peruse information on grants, loans, legal advice and much more. Interested farmers can sign up for their emails, call their hotline (1-800-FARM-AID) or email them directly at farmhelp@farmaid.org.

4. Philanthropy News Digest

Philanthropy News Digest constantly updates their site with grant release information and sends out customizable alerts. As with Grants.gov, you can register with the site and select which areas appeal to you. They will update you periodically when suitable grants come available.

5. Google Alerts

Last, but definitely not least. Myrisa Christy of the Kentucky Center for Agriculture and Rural Development suggests that anyone wanting to find grants sign up to receive Google Alerts. Google Alerts is a customizable program set up by Google to send you emails about whatever phrase or keyword you're interested in, such as "grants for farmers." You also get to choose the frequency with which you receive them—daily, weekly, et cetera—and can even further customize them to fit your specifications (so you're not receiving emails about people named "Grant Farmer"). Make your notifications as specific as possible so you’ll receive updates about grants within your state or even within your region, as there will inevitably be grants available in your area that are not available elsewhere. "If you don't know how to sign up for Google Alerts, Google it," Christy joked. Indeed, Google will take you right to where you need to go.

Ohio's Largest Food and Farm Conference Features Three Pre-Conference
Regenerative Agriculture, Poultry, and Dairy Herd Health Sessions Will
Provide In-Depth Knowledge to Farmers and Veterinarians

The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) will host three
full-day pre-conference workshops in Granville, Ohio on Friday, February 13
as part of its 36th annual conference, Sustainable Agriculture: Renewing
Ohio's Heart and Soil.

“These events feature some of the country's top experts, and are designed
to provide ecological growers a deeper education than short workshops or
webinars can,” said OEFFA Program Director Renee Hunt. "This year, we're
also offering a session geared toward livestock veterinarians so they are
better positioned to serve organic dairy clients. These practices can be
used in non-organic dairy systems as well."

During this pre-conference workshop, John Kempf, founder of Advancing
Eco-Agriculture, will help farmers learn regenerative farming principles
which allow soil and plant health to improve, not degrade, over time. Using
these techniques, growers will discover how they can produce disease- and
pest-resistant crops, which are healthier and more nutritious. An Amish
grower from Middlefield, Ohio, Kempf is an internationally recognized
lecturer on biological agriculture, plant immunity, mineral nutrition, and
soil microbiology.

Jim Adkins of the Sustainable Poultry Network will discuss effective and
profitable strategies for sustainable poultry production during this
pre-conference workshop. For the past 30 years, Adkins has raised more than
50 breeds and varieties of chickens, ducks, geese, and turkeys. A licensed
poultry judge, he established the International Center for Poultry in 1992
and has taught at field days, workshops, and conferences. Designed for
poultry producers of any scale, this session will explore the unique
advantages of sustainable production systems while exploring the history of
traditional heritage breeds and the transition to hybrid breeds and
industrial production models. Growers will walk away with an understanding
of the breeding, feed, forage, facilities, and care required for different
size production models, and how to make their poultry businesses profitable
through effective financial planning, marketing, and consumer education.

During this pre-conference workshop, veterinarians Dr. Päivi Rajala-Schultz
and Dr. Luciana da Costa from the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine and
Organic Valley staff veterinarian Dr. Guy Jodarski will help dairy
producers and veterinarians serving organic dairy farmers learn how
practical management and mastitis control practices can improve milk
quality and farm profitability. Attendees will learn the basic requirements
for good udder health, strategies for managing clinical mastitis, and more.

Thanks to funding from the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture
Research and Education(NCR-SARE) Professional Development Program, a
limited number of scholarships are available for veterinarians to attend
the dairy herd health pre-confrence event at no cost. To request a
scholarship, or to nominate a veterinarian who would benefit from this
opportunity, contact Eric Pawlowski at (614) 421-2022 Ext. 209 or

All pre-conference workshops will be held from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Friday,
February 13 at Granville High School, 248 New Burg St, Granville, Ohio.
Pre-registration is required and costs $75 for OEFFA members and $90 for

The pre-conference workshops will be offered as part of the state’s largest
sustainable food and farm conference on Saturday, February 14 and Sunday,
February 15, an event which draws more than 1,200 attendees from across
Ohio and the U.S.

In addition to pre-conference events, this year’s conference will feature
keynote speakers Alan Guebert and Doug Gurian-Sherman; nearly 100
educational workshops; a trade show; activities for children and teens;
locally-sourced and organic homemade meals, and Saturday evening
entertainment. Separate registration is required for all conference events.

For more information about the conference, or to register, go to
FREE-RANGE POULTRY / New ATTRA Tip Sheet Lays Out Poultry Basics
« Last post by Little Feather on October 13, 2014, 05:12:25 AM »
ATTRA Tipsheet Lays Out Poultry Basics

Chickens are becoming more and more popular, both for farms and backyards.
And there i€™s no mystery why: besides the tasty eggs and meat and the income
they can generate, chickens can build soil fertility and help control pests.

A new ATTRA publication, Poultry Basics Tipsheet complements the more
in-depth information from ATTRA about poultry production, including the
Poultry Production Systems resource list. It includes some helpful pointers
for choosing chicken breeds, caring for a flock, and raising a flock in the

Poultry Basics Tipsheet is the latest in a series of similar ATTRA
publications addressing production for various crops and livestock.
They are available at the ATTRA website: www.attra.ncat.org

Poultry Basics Tipsheet Table of Contents
•   Introduction
•   Key Questions Before Getting Started
•   Raising a Flock in the City
•   Chicken Breeds
•   Basic Chick Care
•   Basic Chicken Care
•   Mobile or Permanent Pen?

ATTRA €”National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service €”was developed and
is maintained  through a cooperative agreement with the USDA€™s Rural
Business-Cooperative Service  by the National Center for Appropriate
Technology, a nonprofit organization headquartered in Butte, Montana.

ATTRA has been the nation’l leading resource for information on sustainable
agriculture since 1987, covering a wide range of topics, including reducing
pesticide use on cropland, promoting food safety in sustainable production
systems, reducing farm energy use and costs, enriching soils with the use of
cover crops, and providing technical assistance in the growing areas of
local farmers markets and urban gardening.

In addition to hundreds of sustainable-agriculture publications, ATTRA€™s
other popular offerings include a free sustainable-agriculture telephone
helpline and the €œAsk an Ag Expert€ť feature on the home page.  It has an
archive of webinars and videos generated by NCAT and partnering organizations.

ATTRA also maintains numerous popular databases, including
sustainable-agriculture internships and apprenticeships, and is a source for
the day’s agriculture news, among other features.

Since 1976, the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) has been
helping people by championing small-scale, local and sustainable solutions
to reduce poverty, promote healthy communities and protect natural
resources. In partnership with businesses, organizations, individuals and
agricultural producers, NCAT is working to advance solutions that will
ensure the next generation inherits a world that has clean air and water,
energy production that is efficient and renewable, and healthy foods grown
with sustainable practices. More information about its programs and services
is available at www.ncat.org or by calling 1-800-ASK-NCAT.
Click the Image Below to learn about Herman Beck-Chenoweth's Best selling Book & DVD Combo at Back 40 General Store:

Recipes / Turkish Sumac Salad
« Last post by Little Feather on October 07, 2014, 06:40:31 AM »
This is a healthy and tasty dish for the adventuresome.


1 large cucumber, diced small
4-6 fresh tomatoes, diced small
1 Red Spanish onion, diced small
1/2 bunch onion greens, sliced finely
1 bunch parsley, sliced finely
1 Tablespoon ground sumac ( available here:  https://www.etsy.com/listing/176115311/wildcrafted-sumac-powder-rhus-glabra-r?ref=sr_gallery_3&ga_search_query=Chenoweth+Collection&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_type=all )
Juice of 2 lemons
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

The key to this salad is to have all ingredients diced and sliced small or fine.  Mix together, sprinkle with Sumac, dress with lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil, chill and serve.  Bon Apetit!

Real Life / Healthy Eating by the Season
« Last post by Little Feather on September 29, 2014, 06:33:53 AM »
Eat According to the Seasons & the Land

Fall and Winter
Fall or Autumn is a time to enjoy the harvest
and to prepare for the winter months.
Cooler weather brings hunting season,
some which is dried or smoked to save for
winter. Squash, tubers (like potatoes,
yams and carrots), corn, apples and
other fall harvested fruits and vegetables
and nuts (acorns, etc.) are
collected and many are stored for
winter use.

Colder Weather increases the need for heavier
foods such as meat (venison, buffalo),
it’s naturally occurring fat (like lard) and
starches found in potatoes, winter squash
and wild rice (and other foods which can be
stored over the winter months). This might
also include dried jerky (pemmican),
dried berries, corn (hominy),
canned goods, etc.

Spring Time
is a time of renewal. Fish, eggs,
fresh shoots (such as horsetail and
cattail sprouts) and tender greens (such as
lambs quarters which is also known as wild
spinach, dandelion, plantain, purslane, mint,
wintergreen, nettles, wood ferns, and
creeping snowberry leaves) help us to
cleanse our systems from the heavy
winter foods.

In the Summer Time we tend to be more active and
need more high energy foods like
berries, nettles and fish. An abundance
of fresh greens and vegetables from
gardens are available now to be enjoyed,
some are canned for winter use. Summer is
not a good time to hunt game because of
ticks, bacteria and it’s too warm to hang
the animal. In late summer wild rice is
harvested and prepared for
winter use.

Shop How-To DVDs at Back40GeneralStore:

Eating the foods that
are grown in the soil
and climate that you
live in is very important.
These STAPLE foods provide the
specific nutrients your body needs. The
Creator has given us everything we
need literally within walking distance
from where you live (wild rice, fish, deer,
corn, various greens, and the other traditional
foods mentioned above.) How else
could people have survived without
modern transportation? ... and they did
so for thousands of years.
While citrus and other
tropical fruits may be a
healthy treat for us, their
nutrition is better geared
for those who live in the
regions they are grown in. If the Creator
would have thought we needed bananas
or pineapple or coconut he would have
had them grow here, but they cannot.
This does not mean we cannot ever
enjoy them, they simply should be eaten sparingly.

Real Life / Wild Moon opportunity in North Carolina, USA
« Last post by Little Feather on September 23, 2014, 07:33:02 AM »
Hi.  I'd like to forward info about a Wild Moon my friend Matt is organizing in North Carolina.  He's visited the TD, though he never did any of the programs here.  I've hung out with him quite a bit, over the years, and can vouch for his awesomeness.  Let me know if you are interested and have questions.


     I'm writing you-ins to invite you and announce this
        coming falls' month long. come at any time and be involved for
        as long as you would like, though it would be great to have a
        group starting and ending together. t'would be awesome for this
        to be as multifaceted and skilled as possible, kids and elders
        definitely needed. this will be an annual event, so if not this
        year maybe next.


        where: white oak flats, madison county n.c.


        when: hunters moon, 10-22-14 thru 11-22-14


        who: anyone willing, safe, and yearning to co-create a community
        based on ritualized wilderness living.


        what: all hunted/scavenged/gathered diet cooked on a fire
        started by friction living in impromptu structures using hand
        tools of metal, stone, shell, bone, fire, wood, found objects to
        meet our needs as efficiently (calorically speaking of coarse)
        as possible, coming together at least twice daily to share a
        meal and tell stories and share life in a meaningful way.
        inquire and create within. we will all be teachers and learners.
        the things i'm interested in pursuing are tracking, awareness,
        conditioning, knapping and use of stone-tools, napping, hunting,
        trapping, non-verbal methods of communication, primitive living
        skills, bio-remediation and exploration. i can teach basic
        skills but am not interested in making this your normal
        workshop, but being a participant in experimental living.


        cost: free if you bring yer share of food to share. "build our
        larders" is the motto, maybe. i'll have extra food for trade or
        $. food donations welcome. a few weeks before will be a
        "roadkill, nuts are falling camp" for people to work together
        and harvest food for the immersion.


        food: if interested in being involved for the entire month think
        70,000 calories needed, minimum. a five gallon bucket of
        wilderness rices has roughly that. we'll be able to scavenge
        some greens, mushrooms, bulbs and hopefully nuts and fruits.
        dried is better than canned. fat will be the food source most
        needed and difficult to obtain. two of us went thru at least a
        quart of rendered fat a week last fall. our diet was super
        diverse with many complex flavors, we joked that each one of our
        meals would cost fortunes if we were eatting on a white table
        cloth instead of the ground.


        what would you want from something like this?

        thank you. matt hansen


        email me if interested: mhansen17@hotmail.com

Shop How-To DVDs at Back40GeneralStore:
Herm & HannaH's Herb Discussion / Sumac Tea Recipes
« Last post by Lady Beetle on September 11, 2014, 07:01:44 AM »
Sumac Berries

Wildcrafted sumac(h) berries (rhus Glabra).  This herb, high in vitamin C, put an end to scurvy on long ocean voyages.  Native Americans used these to flavor food (powdered) and to make “Indian Lemonade” a healthful,l tasty treat in winter as well as summer.  They are also used as an ingredient in our herbal smoke mixtures at www.ManySmokes.com (Clickable Link)

Sumac Tea, cold
6 Tablespoons of Sumac Berries
2 Quarts warm water
Sweetener to taste: (suggestions)
For starters  ˝ cup white or brown sugar, ˝ cup honey, or stevia tincture, powder or crushed leaves.

Put berries in a 2 quart jar with other ingredients and fill the jar with warm water.  Leave on the counter for a few hours shaking the jar 5-10 times before putting in refrigerator.  Do NOT pour boiling water over as it destroys the naturally occurring vitamin C.   Drink hot or cold.  You’ll find this a refreshing and satisfying and healthful beverage.
Spiced Sumac Tea
3 TBS Sumac Berries
1 Quart hot water
1 Cinnamon stick
10 – 12 cloves
   Put berries and other ingredients in a sauce pan and steep for 15 – 20 minutes.   Serve any of the above sweeteners on the side and let everyone sweeten to their own taste.  Perfect for festive occasions, and has a wonderful aroma.


You can order berries from www.ETSY/ChenowethCollection
www.ManySmokes.com or www.store.B40GS.com
or by calling 573.858.3244

These Berries have been wildcrafted, dried and packaged by Nature’s Pace Sanctuary, an income-sharing Intentional Community located in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri.

Herm & HannaH's Herb Discussion / Now is the time to Gather Sumac for Tea & Spice Use
« Last post by Lady Beetle on September 11, 2014, 06:47:36 AM »
Now is the Time to Gather Sumac for Tea & Spice Use

By Herman Beck-Chenoweth

Sumac is a common, well-known and easily recognized feature of the rural North American landscape. These small trees with thick twigs and an almost tropical appearance are familiar to most country dwellers. Their shape and large cone-like, dark red berry clusters are distinctive and their bright red autumn foliage is hard to forget. Yet few people know that these little trees have provided a delicious and refreshing summer drink throughout much of the world for thousands of years.

Sumac forms large patches called clones; what looks like many trees or shrubs is actually a single plant, like a patch of rhubarb or asparagus. Large clones are tallest in the center, getting gradually shorter towards the outside, creating the illusion of a gentle hill where there is none. In such a sumac clone the trees often have the habit of bearing leaves only at the canopy, so that when one ventures underneath he is struck with the impression of being under a gentle dome painstakingly coaxed into existence by some master gardener.

All of the true (edible) Sumacs have dark reddish or purple fruit borne in erect, tight clusters. (On some of the western species, the clusters are pretty small and may not be as tight as on the eastern species, but they are still distinctly red.) The surface of the fruit is fuzzy or grainy.

The seed heads are easily harvested by using pruners to nip off the Drupes.  The trees are low growing but you may need a short ladder to reach the best heads.  For the best taste and most vitamin C berries should be harvested as soon as they are TOTALLY dark red.  Rain washes out the flavor so take advantage of a cool and dry day as soon as the heads are ready. If storage space is a problem you can always thresh the seeds off of the seed heads and store in a container.

For cold tea pour one quart of water over 4-5 seed heads (or 5 TBS of berries off the seed heads) and allow to sit at room temperature for a day or so.  Every time you pass by the container invert it.  After 12 - 24 hours put it in the fridge and when cool serve over ice.  It will be very tart and refreshing.  If it is too tart for you sweeten it to taste with stevia, honey, maple syrup or cane sugar.  If using the berries once you can refill your container and make another batch that is nearly as good.

If you are the fussy sort you may want to pour your tea through some cheese cloth.  You can also make a nice hot spicy tea that is perfect for holiday celebrations.  I'll post that recipe later.

If you don't want to or can't harvest your own Sumac my Wildcrafted Sumac berries are available from Herm and Hannah's Herb Department at the Back 40 General Store.  Mediterranean Sumac Seasoning Powder is also available there as well.

Click to Visit the Back 40 General Store Herbs Department:
Herm & HannaH's Herb Discussion / Organic Catnip now available on Etsy
« Last post by Lady Beetle on September 11, 2014, 06:45:00 AM »

Herm 'n HannaH's organic catnip is raised by 2 folks that have 5 cats currently and have been farming catnip for over 20 years. The potency and euphoric effects have been personally tested and approved by Fluff, Emmie, Molly, Mark and CornChip, our feline quality control team. This is from the 2014 crop and dried in our professional herb dryer to maximize it's potency. Ships in a 2.0 oz. resealable plastic pouch.

Click here to visit the Chenoweth Collection Page:  https://www.etsy.com/listing/176362307/organic-dried-catnip?ref=shop_home_active_10
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