Tags: farming

In other goat news: As urban homesteading continues its rise, city backyards are booming  with agrarian dreams: chickens peck near privacy fences, milk-producing  goats bleat greetings to overflying airplanes, and tomato and pea plants  stretch toward the smoggy sun. But coupled with these well-intentioned  back-to-the-earth efforts is a dark side, says E Magazine’s Jodi Helmer, as the farm animals we bring to the city get short shrift.
“For many urban agrarians, chickens and goats are the perfect  addition to a backyard farm,” Helmer writes, “but when the novelty of  having a chirping chick wears off or adorable kids turn into grownup  goats that eat the landscaping, the animals are often surrendered to  rescue groups or abandoned.”
Keep reading …

In other goat news: As urban homesteading continues its rise, city backyards are booming with agrarian dreams: chickens peck near privacy fences, milk-producing goats bleat greetings to overflying airplanes, and tomato and pea plants stretch toward the smoggy sun. But coupled with these well-intentioned back-to-the-earth efforts is a dark side, says E Magazine’s Jodi Helmer, as the farm animals we bring to the city get short shrift.

“For many urban agrarians, chickens and goats are the perfect addition to a backyard farm,” Helmer writes, “but when the novelty of having a chirping chick wears off or adorable kids turn into grownup goats that eat the landscaping, the animals are often surrendered to rescue groups or abandoned.”

Keep reading …

The agricultural heartland of India has turned into a suicide belt over  the past two decades: Every 90 minutes, a small-scale farmer kills  himself. It’s a shocking statistic that reflects an era of mass  agricultural production and steep competition.
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The agricultural heartland of India has turned into a suicide belt over the past two decades: Every 90 minutes, a small-scale farmer kills himself. It’s a shocking statistic that reflects an era of mass agricultural production and steep competition.

Keep reading …

The Crockpot: A Weekly Link-Digest
A diamond is a girls’ best friend—because that’s what the diamond industry has decided.
Ten ironic ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day.  Example A: “Wait in the park, and when couples pass by in horse-drawn  carriages, spatter them with glue, yelling, ‘No one cares where last year’s horse went, do they?!’”
Illegal baby names from around the world.
“You are an idiot and a disgrace.” The Believer writes about the flood of outrage that is the result of saying absolutely anything on the internet.
Be inspired by this story of an actress who was propositioned by a famous casting director. When she refused to sleep with him,  he told her “You’re never going to get anywhere in this business. You  should go home and marry a Jewish dentist.” (Hint: She got somewhere.)
Is godlessness is the last big taboo in the US?
French parenting is like French cooking: It comes in smaller portions.
Could cyber-gardening be the new urban-gardening?
Factory farming is creating a new breed of hellacious superbugs.
On the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens’ birth, Slackbridge, Gradgrind, and Jarndyce still have something to say about contemporary society and politics.
Manufacturers have found a new way to appeal to eco-friendly consumers: Brown it.

The Crockpot: A Weekly Link-Digest

  • A diamond is a girls’ best friend—because that’s what the diamond industry has decided.
  • Ten ironic ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Example A: “Wait in the park, and when couples pass by in horse-drawn carriages, spatter them with glue, yelling, ‘No one cares where last year’s horse went, do they?!’”
  • Illegal baby names from around the world.
  • “You are an idiot and a disgrace.” The Believer writes about the flood of outrage that is the result of saying absolutely anything on the internet.
  • Be inspired by this story of an actress who was propositioned by a famous casting director. When she refused to sleep with him, he told her “You’re never going to get anywhere in this business. You should go home and marry a Jewish dentist.” (Hint: She got somewhere.)
  • Is godlessness is the last big taboo in the US?
  • French parenting is like French cooking: It comes in smaller portions.
  • Could cyber-gardening be the new urban-gardening?
  • Factory farming is creating a new breed of hellacious superbugs.
  • On the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens’ birth, Slackbridge, Gradgrind, and Jarndyce still have something to say about contemporary society and politics.
  • Manufacturers have found a new way to appeal to eco-friendly consumers: Brown it.
A 21st-century land rush is on. Driven by fear and lured by promises of  high profits, foreign investors are scooping up vast tracts of farmland  in some of the world’s hungriest countries to grow crops for export.
As the climate changes and populations shift and grow, billions of  people around the globe face shortages of land and water, rising food  prices, and increasing hunger. Alarm over a future without affordable  food and water is sparking unrest in a world already tinder-dried by  repression and recession, corruption and mismanagement, boundary  disputes and ancient feuds, ethnic tension and religious fundamentalism.
Keep reading …

A 21st-century land rush is on. Driven by fear and lured by promises of high profits, foreign investors are scooping up vast tracts of farmland in some of the world’s hungriest countries to grow crops for export.

As the climate changes and populations shift and grow, billions of people around the globe face shortages of land and water, rising food prices, and increasing hunger. Alarm over a future without affordable food and water is sparking unrest in a world already tinder-dried by repression and recession, corruption and mismanagement, boundary disputes and ancient feuds, ethnic tension and religious fundamentalism.

Keep reading …

Are Farmbots the Future of Agriculture? Lots of people think that farming has gotten too industrialized. But there are others who believe it’s not nearly industrialized enough—such as the Iowa inventor who envisions armies of robots growing our food in the future.

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“Why would someone spend their limited leisure time shoveling  horse-shit into a compost pile?” wonders Jason Mark, co-manager at San  Francisco’s Alemany Farm, which hosts community workdays twice a week.
More and more, people are clamoring to join in the urban  farming movement and get their hands dirty. There’s no doubt that urban  gardening has graduated from fledgling trend to part of our cultural  landscape, with vegetable gardens taking root everywhere from tiny  backyards, to college campuses, to the White House grounds, to fire-escape terraces.
Keep reading …

“Why would someone spend their limited leisure time shoveling horse-shit into a compost pile?” wonders Jason Mark, co-manager at San Francisco’s Alemany Farm, which hosts community workdays twice a week.

More and more, people are clamoring to join in the urban farming movement and get their hands dirty. There’s no doubt that urban gardening has graduated from fledgling trend to part of our cultural landscape, with vegetable gardens taking root everywhere from tiny backyards, to college campuses, to the White House grounds, to fire-escape terraces.

Keep reading …

The biggest pumpkin ever grown weighed 1,810.5 pounds. It was planted in  the spring of 2010 and cultivated through the summer by Chris Stevens, a  pumpkin enthusiast and cross-breeder extraordinaire, from New Richmond,  Wisconsin. Stevens’ gargantuan gourd was anything but a fluke found in  the thicket. He used very specific agricultural techniques (including  pumpkin-tailored crop rotation, selective breeding, and climate control)  to beat out his competition—a collective of hobbyists and extreme  gardeners from western Minnesota to upstate New York.
Keep reading …

The biggest pumpkin ever grown weighed 1,810.5 pounds. It was planted in the spring of 2010 and cultivated through the summer by Chris Stevens, a pumpkin enthusiast and cross-breeder extraordinaire, from New Richmond, Wisconsin. Stevens’ gargantuan gourd was anything but a fluke found in the thicket. He used very specific agricultural techniques (including pumpkin-tailored crop rotation, selective breeding, and climate control) to beat out his competition—a collective of hobbyists and extreme gardeners from western Minnesota to upstate New York.

Keep reading …

The world’s farmers need a pay raise, or else, come mid-century, the other 7 billion of us may not have enough to eat.
As the Earth Policy Institute notes, the world produced more grain than  it consumed throughout the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s. Today, those surpluses  are gone. While the world harvested 20.4 million tons of grain between  2001 and 2010, it consumed 20.5 million tons. In October 2009 the United  Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported that world  food production would have to increase 70 percent by 2050 to adequately  feed the planet’s growing population. In developing nations alone, this  would require an investment of $83 billion a year. And, the organization  noted, “farmers and prospective farmers will invest in agriculture only  if their investments are profitable.”
Keep reading …

The world’s farmers need a pay raise, or else, come mid-century, the other 7 billion of us may not have enough to eat.

As the Earth Policy Institute notes, the world produced more grain than it consumed throughout the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s. Today, those surpluses are gone. While the world harvested 20.4 million tons of grain between 2001 and 2010, it consumed 20.5 million tons. In October 2009 the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported that world food production would have to increase 70 percent by 2050 to adequately feed the planet’s growing population. In developing nations alone, this would require an investment of $83 billion a year. And, the organization noted, “farmers and prospective farmers will invest in agriculture only if their investments are profitable.”

Keep reading …

In the investigative documentary Food, Inc. viewers learn that  corporate agriculture harasses and intimidates farmers who try to save  patented soybean seeds. This makes it difficult for local growers to  develop their own crops, which requires that seeds from the strongest  plants are saved year to year. As if in response, a small number of  public libraries around the country are beginning to do for seeds what  they have long done for books.
Keep reading …

In the investigative documentary Food, Inc. viewers learn that corporate agriculture harasses and intimidates farmers who try to save patented soybean seeds. This makes it difficult for local growers to develop their own crops, which requires that seeds from the strongest plants are saved year to year. As if in response, a small number of public libraries around the country are beginning to do for seeds what they have long done for books.

Keep reading …