Tag Archives | Farming

Japan To Open Robot Farm In Disaster Zone

s57bA century or two from now, pretty much most of the world will be a flooded/radioactive zone being farmed by robots. The Telegraph reports:

The project, masterminded by the Ministry of Agriculture, will involve unmanned tractors working the fields of the farm on a disaster zone site spanning 600 acres. Robots will then box produce grown on the farm, including rice, wheat, soybeans, fruit and vegetables as part of the “Dream Project” scheme.

An expanse of farmland in Miyagi prefecture, northeast Japan, which was flooded in last year’s tsunami, has been earmarked by the government for the project. Miyagi was one of Japan’s three worst hit prefectures in the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, which left more than 19,000 dead or missing and triggered the world’s worst nuclear crisis in decades.

Farming was hit particularly hard by the disaster, with tsunami water leaving soil laden with salt and oil deposits, as well as radiation contamination as a result of the leaking Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

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Alabama Looks To Replace Immigrant Workers With Prison Labor

JO3ND00ZA draconian law passed earlier this year has resulted in an exodus of illegal (and legal) immigrants from Alabama, and as a result, crops are rotting in fields on farms across the state. The solution? A return to chain gang days, reports AFP:

Alabama farmers have proposed using prisoners to work their fields to replace migrants who fled the state after it passed the country’s harshest anti-immigration law, officials said Tuesday.

The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industry officials met Tuesday in Mobile with farmers to discuss their proposal. A statement by the department said the meeting with the farmers was convened “to help solve the chronic labor shortages created by Alabama’s new immigration law.”

Known as HB56, the new law requires local police to verify the immigration status of anyone they have a “reasonable suspicion” of being in the country illegally.

The law touched off an exodus of mainly Hispanic workers who moved to other states because of fears of being deported, prompting complaints by farm and construction industry groups of a shortage of workers in one of the poorest US states.

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Farm and School

Denver Green SchoolAre schoolyard farms the best way to counteract the increasingly industrial food provided by school lunches? Via Denver’s ABC affiliate:

DENVER — Just eight months ago, a one-acre plot at the Denver Green School was an unused athletic field, but now that land has come to life with food-bearing vegetation.

“We have harvested over 3,000 pounds of produce from this ground. Lots of salad greens and root vegetables, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers,” said Megan Caley, the programs and outreach coordinator for Sprout City Farms.

Each week during harvest season, the farm produces 150 pounds of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables that end up in the school’s cafeteria.

“Kids are eating healthier,” said Frank Coyne, lead partner at the Denver Green School. “They are excited to eat the tomatoes on the salad bar, they are excited to eat the cucumbers.”

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Baby Boomers Returning To The Commune

then-and-nowAbout 100,000 people in the United States lives in so-called “intentional communities.” Via the Atlantic, as mainstream society atrophies, Anna Spinner looks at now-gray hippies migrating back to the utopian communes they left 40 years ago, to live out their days:

In late June of this year, Kathy, now 50, and her 62-year-old husband Bob drove with their 28-year-old daughter Joyce from Charlotte, North Carolina, to the Farm. Kathy visits about three times a year, but this was a special visit. It was the Farm’s 40th reunion, but it was also, more importantly, the visit when Kathy would finalize plans to build the home where she and Bob planned to spend the rest of their lives.

On the drive down, Kathy’s phone buzzed with texts and updates from the Farm Facebook group. Friends were posting photos and status updates. It was a big party and Kathy couldn’t wait to get there.

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Soy Protein Present in Egg Yolks and Chicken Tissues

Raw EggVia Health Freedoms:

There is a growing market today of consumers trying to avoid soy in their diet. Many people have developed soy allergies, and a number of people are concerned about the plant estrogen properties of soy protein. Soy protein is linked to the rise in hypothyroidism, early puberty in young girls, and lower testosterone levels in men, among other problems. Much of this research is documented in Dr. Kaayla Daniel’s book The Whole Soy Story.

What most people do not realize, however, is that due to the predominance of soy in animal feeds, soy protein is probably present in your food even if it is not listed as an ingredient anywhere. Very little testing has been done to determine if the soy protein from the animal feed is passed into the end products we consume. Most laboratories do not even have tests available to test for this.

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UK Family Faces Jail Or Eviction From Farm For Living ‘Off The Grid’

2971416The Mason family purchased an abandoned orchard and moved out of public housing. Their self-sustaining lifestyle has baffled local authorities however, who have ordered them to give up their property or face jail time. This Is Devon writes:

A family living an “off-grid” lifestyle say they face prison unless they move from their own land in Willand and return to a [regular] existence. Stig and Dinah Mason bought Muxbeare Orchard after a sudden windfall allowed them to quit their impoverished lives on a Hertfordshire council estate two years ago.

The Masons have transformed what they described as a derelict four-acre plot into a haven of self-sufficiency boasting a 400 sq m allotment, a polytunnel and greenhouses to grow fruit and vegetables, chickens for egg production and an orchard they have regenerated by planting around 14 new apple trees of various species. Dinah was bequeathed money from the sudden death of her aunt and £47,000 was spent on the land to create the smallholding where wood burners and solar panels provide their energy needs.

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The Raw Food Conspiracy

Courtesy Counterthink.com/NaturalNews.com

Courtesy Counterthink.com/NaturalNews.com

SWAT teams assaulting farmers for conspiring to distribute raw milk? Who wrote this fantasy, Aldous Huxley? Actually, no, it’s an all too real event from California, reported by Mike Adams for Natural News:

The raid on Rawesome Foods by a combined force of agents from the FDA, LA County Dept of Agriculture, CDC and the LA County Sheriff’s office wasn’t the only SWAT-style armed raid that took place today. Sharon Palmer, a mom and owner of Healthy Family Farms was also arrested and taken to jail. A third woman, Victoria Bloch, the LA County liaison for the Weston A Price Foundation (www.WestonaPrice.org) , was also reportedly arrested, NaturalNews has learned.

Sharon Palmer is being charged with “mislabeling cheese,” NaturalNews has learned. (Yes, mislabeling cheese! This earns you an armed raid in America today, even while the real crooks in Washington run free…) This is on top of the conspiracy charge which has been leveled against all three (James, Sharon and Victoria).

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Monsanto Monster Weeds Spreading Fast

MonsantoMichael J. Coren warns that Monsanto’s Roundup was supposed to make it easy for farmers to get rid of weeds, but it’s working on fewer and fewer plants, including some monsters that can grow three inches a day and destroy farm equipment, for Fast Company:

For decades, farmers had it relatively easy when it came to weeds infesting their soil: apply herbicides, wait for the weeds to die and grow more crops. Those salad days, alas, are coming to an end.

A new series of studies released by Weed Science this month finds at least 21 weed species have become resistant to the popular herbicide glyphosate (sold as Monsanto’s Roundup), and a growing number survive multiple herbicides, so-called “super-weeds.” The same selection pressure creating bacteria resistant to multiple antibiotics is leading to the rapid evolution of plants that survive modern herbicides. If the trend continues, yields could drop and food costs climb as weeds grow more difficult to uproot.

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Food Ark: Will Seed Banks Save Our Sources of Food?

“Experts estimate that we have lost more than half of the world’s food varieties over the past century”. Charles Siebert writes in National Geographic:

Svalbard Vault Mountain (Cutaway). Illustration: Global Crop Diversity Trust

Svalbard Vault Mountain (Cutaway). Illustration: Global Crop Diversity Trust

A crisis is looming: To feed our growing population, we’ll need to double food production. Yet crop yields aren’t increasing fast enough, and climate change and new diseases threaten the limited varieties we’ve come to depend on for food. Luckily we still have the seeds and breeds to ensure our future food supply — but we must take steps to save them.

Six miles outside the town of Decorah, Iowa, an 890-acre stretch of rolling fields and woods called Heritage Farm is letting its crops go to seed. It seems counterintuitive, but then everything about this farm stands in stark contrast to the surrounding acres of neatly rowed corn and soybean fields that typify modern agriculture. Heritage Farm is devoted to collecting rather than growing seeds.

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Toxin From Genetically Modified Crops Detected In Canadians’ Blood

bigredbarnUntil now, scientists and multinational corporations promoting GM crops have maintained that Bt toxin poses no danger to human health as the protein breaks down in the human gut. But the presence of this toxin in human blood shows that this does not happen.

Eating GM corn, soy, and potatoes is perfectly safe, provided you don’t mind having a powerful toxin swirling in your bloodstream. Oh, and your unborn baby’s bloodstream as well. So says a debbie-downer peer-reviewed Canadian study, India Today reports:

Fresh doubts have arisen about the safety of genetically modified crops, with a new study reporting presence of Bt toxin, used widely in GM crops, in human blood for the first time.

Scientists from the University of Sherbrooke, Canada, have detected the insecticidal protein, Cry1Ab, circulating in the blood of pregnant as well as non-pregnant women. They have also detected the toxin in fetal blood, implying it could pass on to the next generation.

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