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Posts Tagged ‘Farm Sustainability’

In most states the sale of raw milk is illegal.

Raw milk has been linked to certain illnesses over the course of history, however, raw milk, especially goat milk, has acted as a “wonder drug” according to those that drink it.  Many report lowered cholesterol, improved blood sugar, and children that thrive on the milk as well, with overall allergies tremendously lessened.

I read an article this morning, posted to the Wisconsin State Journal regarding the safety of raw milk.  All the while thinking, so many illnesses are blamed on certain types of food.  Take the big spinach scare – the problem was not the spinach, it was likely the water in one location that was contaminated.  One farm, one isolated problem…not the spinach itself! You might find this article in The Atlantic interesting as well, re:  Why Small Farms Are Safer, it touches on the food safety issue as well.

I make no bones about it.  I drink raw milk.  I am not a huge milk drinker, but I feel safe in knowing where my milk came from…what went into it…what did not go into it.  If I were to sell raw milk, I would definitely want it to be tested, for the peace of mind, safety for others. 

As the article from the Wisconsin State Journal mentioned, why can tobacco be sold? Tobacco has been tested.  It has no healthy benefits.  It has been proven to cause deadly health issues on a consistent basis, unlike raw milk, yet, it is one hot commodity.  Hmmm?

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I have been working on inventory in the shop. Today, I announced on the news page of our website that we will not be holding an Odds and Ends soap sale. Instead, I will be installing clearance sections into our online soap store. My goal is to have this completed by 1/12/09.

Onto a different, and very important topic…last night a friend forwarded an article to me out of one of our local newspapers. My friend, Bob, knows that I am very much interested in agriculture, small business, and ways to support others (beyond monetary). From reading the article, the brain wheels started turning. It is amazing what we think of when we really put our minds to work.
How many times have we had such a bounty of vegetables grow from our gardens, even after canning and freezing, that we have turned to giving extra food items away before they spoil? We give the food to neighbors, friends, co-workers, but how often do we give the food to the homeless, shelters, or food banks? And I began thinking this goes beyond perishable vegetables, what do we do with our unwanted soap products? We might think that the bar of lemon soap, for example, is way too lemony for us, or way too lemony to sell, and perhaps too ugly. But who says that small and ugly soap would not help inspire a person in the shelter to see a brighter horizon? Or what if that soap puts a smile on that person’s face for one day?
To keep this article within reasonable length, I am going to insert bits and pieces and links of what I have read today.
Meetings are going to be held locally regarding the aspects of development of a local community garden, put together by volunteers, with the produce being given directly to local ministries and related organizations (the last sentence really touched my heart):
“Sugartree Ministries is likely to receive the greatest amount of produce from the farm, based on the heavy community involvement and its central location, said Swindler. “I’m very excited about what this could mean for feeding people in Wilmington,” said Willoughby. And, he said, for the people themselves. Just imagine a sign over a mound of fresh produce, reading something like this: grown especially for you, by your neighbors.”
I did a Google search on charity gardens. Americans may have a lot to learn from our friends across the seas. Entities such as the following have been around for quite some time:
“Few people realize that through this we raise £2 million each year for nursing, caring and gardening charities. Since 1927 we have raised over £40 million (£22 million in the last 10 years). Our office is small so most of the money goes straight to the charities we support.”
I found good links for ways to share your local harvest, and if I had the time just this very moment, I would imagine there are many more links on the internet. These are now bookmarked, and I will be reading more! Here is one example:
“Rather than alienate friends and family with the results of your exuberant gardening turn to those who would truly appreciate it- the needy poor in your community. When your neighbors lock their doors, and your family shuns your tomatoes- look to your neighbors elsewhere in your community so that your efforts will not go to waste but uplift the hearts and souls of people in need.”

Amen!

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We do not eat many meals out these days. Everything seems to taste pre-frozen, boxed, processed, salty, and very expensive to boot.

I have been doing quite a bit of reading on farm sustainability and supporting the local farm. In my readings I stumbled across The Farmers Diner site. They seem to have a great concept started for bringing back a network of restaurants that utilizes locally grown food. What an ingenious way to make money (through their own idea) and to help bring the local economy(s) back as well!

What a mission statement!

Quotes from the Farmer’s Diner About Us page:

“The Farmers Diner. Food From Here. We’re a great diner based on a simple idea: prepare and serve hearty meals with fresh ingredients from area farmers and small-scale producers.”

“Our goal is a national network of The Farmers Diner restaurants, serving typical diner food sourced from local area farmers and producers. We expect The Farmers Diner to be a leader in family/casual dining because local fresh food tastes superior, customers prefer to support their neighbors and communities, and we will always provide great service at reasonable prices.”

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