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20130721 Late July Garden Update

Biointensive gardening is really paying off for us.  The weather has been great and the plants are really starting to produce!

#24 Dealing With Issues Like Monsanto and GMOs; Actions That Might ACTUALLY Work

I’ve seen alot said about the problems people have with Monsanto and other such big agri-biz companies. I have many of the same problems with them as do you. Where I differ with most of you, is in the solutions.

I don’t think waving a placard and writing my “representative” in the capitol, is going to change anything for the better. Waving a placard may raise awareness about issues; but in order to really accomplish anything of merit, you must also take action. I don’t consider “political action” and placard waving to be action.

Real action is taken in the market: your purchasing decisions and quite possibly, your own contributions to the market. Did you ever stop to think that there may be a better way to produce food than what the Monsanto farmers are doing? If you are right, there is a business opportunity; one that might just make you alot of money, or at least defray your food costs and make it so you, at least, know where your food is coming from.

Here are some resources to learn more:

Recorded on 06/03/2013

Late May 2013 Garden Update

Many of the beds are now double dug and planted, also the pots are planted. We’re a little behind; but have made it in time to take advantage of most of the post-frost growing season. This is our first year trying grow biointensive gardening. We still have alot to learn about biointensive; but I think we’re on the right track to experience significant improvements from what we know already.

Saving Resources With Gray Water Recycling Systems

Gray water is the kind of water which comes out of your shower, sink or washer. It is one of the untapped resources in the conventional home design. Usually this water is wasted, by being sent into the sewage drain; however, this water can be reused for a variety of purposes in which non-potable water is useful.

Typically there are two uses for gray water: irrigating lawns/gardens and flushing toilets. Since most individuals are already doing these things; gray water can replace the need to treat water and sewage, creating a tremendous long-term environmental and economic benefit.

Gray water systems can be installed by individuals without specialized knowledge. The price of systems starts as low as $200 for a very basic system which reuses water from the washing machine for lawn/garden irrigation. Higher end systems filter and/or treat the water for reuse in toilets and other applications which require cleaner water.

How to Implement a Greywater System for Your Garden

Google Tech Talk
May 12, 2010

Presented by Laura Allen and Gregory Bullock.

Laura Allen and Gregory Bullock describe how Greywater can green an increasingly parched California, and what Googlers can do to help. Are there such things as waste, or just resources that are currently misplaced? Greywater (water that comes from sinks, showers, and washing machines) turns wasterwater and its nutrients into irrigation water, saving time, money, and fresh drinking water. Whats more plants love it, especially fruit trees, berries and vines. Last year California rewrote its greywater code, making simple greywater reuse legal and affordable. Learn the why and hows of greywater reuse, and how to transform your household plumbing into a greywater irrigation system.

Laura is a founding member of Greywater Action and has spent a decade exploring low-tech, urban sustainable water solutions. She has a BA in Environmental Science, a teaching credential and a masters in education from New College of CA. She is a co-editor of the anthology Dam Nation: Dispatches from the Water Underground. Laura leads classes and workshops on urban ecological sanitation technologies of rainwater harvesting, greywater reuse and composting toilets. Laura also works with the Greywater Alliance to help remove institutional barriers to sustainable water use.

Greg is the founder of Bang for your Green Buck, an environmental enterprise that designs sustainable, productive landscapes that grow food through greywater irrigation and rain harvesting. Having built a successful career as a management consultant principally focused on increasing talent, performance and organizational development within Fortune 500 companies, he decided to leverage these nurturing skills to focus on converting wasteful lawns into orchards and positively addressing the water crisis of California. Greg is a graduate of the first Greywater Installers Certification Course, and is also a sustainable landscaper. He also holds a Masters Degree in Business Strategy and Marketing.

Video Podcast #1: Indoor Gardening

Here’s a 20 minute tour of what we are doing to be more self-sufficient and eat better as the spring approaches. In the video I explain why I feel it is important to start your own seeds, what we’ve done to get our seeds starting, what to do when the seedlings have sprouted their leaves; as well as how to grow some of your greens in sprouting jars.

Podcast #1: Overview of What’s to Come

This is the first of many MyStrangeMind podcasts, which gives an overview of the kinds of topics we’re going to get into over the coming weeks. The primary focus is:

What can we do to improve our lives? What can we do to improve our health and our well being?

From that question, we look into ways in which we can improve our everyday lives by being more aware of our habits and the effect they have on us. What kinds of projects you can do around your home, to improve its ability to be a safe and healthy environment, promoting a healthy routine that you can carefully craft to meet your goals.

We’ll get into all of these ideas and more in today’s podcast. Please have a listen and feel free to drop some feedback so I can improve it.

Open Letter to Congressman Griffith (D-AL) Regarding HR 875

Congressman Griffith,

I am writing to voice my opposition for HR 875, the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009.

This bill unnecessarily encumbers small to medium sized farms with excessive regulatory demands, which may even put many community farms out of business.

The Federal Government is already too involved in agriculture.  We need to allow the free market to work, in order to serve us best.

Putting smaller community farms out of business with unnecessary legislation will not make our food supply any safer.  In fact it will make it more dangerous, because consumers will be even further separated from the source of their food.

If a farm is producing unsafe food, then let the legal system take care of them.  The farmers can be liable for the penalties that are already in place under existing laws; no new bureaucracy is necessary.

I hope you will consider this when voting on this bill.

Chris Case

Edible Landscape: Turning Barren Suburban Lawns Into Food and Aesthetic Beauty

When driving through suburban streets, do you ever get the feeling that something isn’t quite right?  Maybe there is something that we can do with our land to make it more than just a place for useless, allergen producing, grasses to grow; but instead a place where we can experience beauty and create a wide variety of fresh foods in the process.  Then it is time we realized that we can have beauty and productivity on our land, it is up to each of us to create it and it isn’t as difficult as you might think. Read the rest of this entry »