Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Do You Want to Eat Genetically-Altered Salmon?

If the biotech industry gets its way, the ground may be cleared on selling genetically-altered farmed salmon to consumers as early as next year. You won't even know that you are eating these frankenfish- labeling of GMO foods is not required. Just one more reason why we are working towards raising our own catfish in our own backyard. No frankenfish on my table!

FDA Considering Approval of First Genetically Modified Food Animal

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is holding a hearing today to allow its medical advisers to assess any potential hazard from a proposed genetically modified Atlantic salmon. AquaAdvantage, which put in an application with the FDA more than 10 years ago to allow its altered salmon to be commercially farmed and sold to consumers, contends that its GMO salmon is identical in every way to wild and conventionally farmed salmon.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Mobile Slaughterhouses: Cutting Costs and Carbon for Local Farmers

This is a much-needed service across the country that will allow for more small local meat farmers. I would absolutely use the services of a mobile slaughterhouse rather than have to butcher my own meat birds. Unfortunately, it is still illegal in many states.

 Everyone loves an ice cream truck. That familiar, jingling ditty resounds throughout the neighborhood, luring kids out of their homes in pursuit of a frozen treat. One truck can service multiple neighborhoods, while parents enjoy the convenience of an ice cream provider that comes to them. No carting car-fulls of screaming youngsters miles away to an ice cream parlor or grocery store — a luxury that saves stress and carbon emissions.

The neighborhood Mister Softee really isn't so different from the latest trend in sustainable meat, the mobile slaughterhouse. And no, I promise I'm not digressing into a plot from a horror film.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Tips for the Lazy Gardener: Composting in Place

Probably one of my most favorite realizations- that I could just layer compost and leave it rather than actively have to combine it. Guess I'm just lazy at heart!

An Easier Way to Compost and Build Nutrient-Rich Planting Beds

Composting food scraps that would otherwise end up in the landfill is a great way to become more environmentally friendly. Not only does it break down biodegradable vegetative waste, but it provides you with a fantastic organic soil amendment that will make your flowers and vegetables grow well and be more productive. Sometimes, however, setting up a composting system can be time-consuming and frustrating. Remembering to turn the composting pile every so often to aerate it and trying to keep critters away from the tasty treats you add to the pile are two examples. 

If you're lazy like me, finding an easier way to compost just makes sense. It gives you a sense of accomplishment without all the work. One of the easiest ways to compost is to compost in place. In other words, add the scrap material to the area where the compost will eventually be used. This method works well for building new planting beds, amending vegetable beds not currently in use, and larger planters. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

How to Turn Your Stale Bread into Delicious Meals

I make almost all of my own bread and I invariably have little ends and crusts left over in the refrigerator. My chickens are now the beneficiary of all of this grainy goodness, but here are some ways to use up bread if you don't happen to have feathered friends:

Everyone has stale bread of some description in their refrigerator. It's either the heels of a loaf of bread long since finished, a couple of biscuits that didn't get eaten at dinner last night, or that loaf of French bread, now hard as a bullet, that you meant to serve with the spaghetti last week. These remnants of meals past stay in your refrigerator because you don't want to be wasteful and throw them out. 

Well, you don't have to. Cooks have been finding inventive ways to use up stale bread since bread was born. If you want to "save up" your stale bread for a time, keep a bag in the freezer with all of your bread ends. Here are some of my favorite uses for stale bread:

Monday, August 23, 2010

Make Your Own Herbal Vinegars: Do-It-Yourself Gifts for the Kitchen

Using herbal vinegars in the kitchen is one of my favorite secrets. They provide a really bright note to many dishes. Here are some tips on making your own using the herbs from your garden:

Gourmet chefs have used herb-infused vinegars for decades to give dishes a deep, rich note or a bright finishing touch. The price of store-bought herbal vinegars is steadily increasing as it is considered a "gourmet" item. 

Luckily, it's easy to make your own herbal vinegar at home. Herbal vinegars make wonderful hostess and holiday gifts but are also indispensable in your own kitchen.


Friday, August 20, 2010

How to Survive an Impending Famine

One common reason for wanting to grow your own food is to ensure that your family can feed itself in the face of an emergency or food shortage. Here are some tips for making sure that you are prepared for the much-reported wheat and rice shortages to come:

Tips to Protecting Yourself and Your Family

It may seem alarmist to be discussing famine in America in 2008, but economists, agricultural experts and politicians alike are watching the markers. The safety and security of our food crops is taken for granted although it takes only a few disasters, either natural or man-made, to upset the balance and availability of crops. 

In March 2008, spring flooding has all but eradicated Arkansas' spring wheat crop and Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri all are reporting similar conditions. Much of the remaining U.S. wheat crop has been pre-sold to foreign countries, therefore it will be domestic supplies that run out first. 


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tips for the Lazy Gardener: Propagating Your Plants

I'm a big fan of getting something for nothing, and I propagate most of my own (and friends') plants this way:

How to Get More Plants with Less Effort

One way to increase the number of plants is through vegetative propagation. Depending on the type of plant, you can vegetatively propagate through the rooting of tip cuttings or by dividing the clump. Each cutting or new division becomes a new plant that you've acquired for free.