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August 1st, 2011

I got this in an e-mail from Food Not Bombs co-founder Keith McHenry and think there's a lot in here of relevance to people interested or involved in a return to the land:


You may have noticed that the global economic, political and
environmental future is in crisis. Fortunately there is a desire by many
to bring our world into balance. Even though poverty is crushing many
families they remain resilient. Every week I meet Americans that have
not eaten in days yet are up beat about having finally found a meal.
Many people are contacting Food Not Bombs to ask for our support. Many
are expressing support for the dedicated volunteers in Orlando resisting
the mayor's laws against sharing meals with the hungry. Our volunteers
are now heading to court after the city made 29 arrests. Most are
contacting us because they need food but others are proposing that we
join them in protest or inviting us to support their tour. These are
some of the actions and tours you can also support.

Keith McHenry
cofounder of the Food Not Bombs Movement

Hope: The Care and Feeding Of by Rebecca Solnit


The Sustainable Living Roadshow is a national coalition of educators
and entertainers who tour the country in a fleet of renewable fuel
vehicles to empower communities and individuals to utilize sustainable
living strategies for a healthier planet.

To educate, entertain, and activate!

This year, our tour's theme is RIGHT2KNOW. The fall tour will culminate
in a march from Brooklyn, NY to Washington, D.C. calling for an
initiative to be put on the ballot in 2012 demanding labeling of GMOs.
Did you know that we are one of two industrialized nations in the WORLD
that do not label GMOs? We think you have a right to know! Not just
about GMOs, but about many other things that go on in this world. We aim
to bring this knowledge to people through interesting and informative

The Sustainable Living Roadshow

Arrange a presentation with Food Not Bombs co-founder Keith McHenry

The Elect to End Hunger and Poverty presentation talks about the
campaign to end the criminalization of poverty and Food Not Bombs
support of the global protest against austerity. Food Not Bombs
co-founder Keith McHenry will share the details of the history,
principles and current activities of the movement.

Most people would elect to end hunger and poverty but many of the
people running for office in 2012 have another agenda cutting social
services and transfer our tax dollars to wealthy military contractors
and their friends. At the same time governments are attempting to ban
Food Not Bombs from sharing meals with the hungry in places like

Volunteers recover, prepare and share vegan meals and groceries in
nearly 1,000 communities, feeding the hungry, supporting nonviolent
direct actions in resistance to the global economic, political and
environmental crisis while implementing a foundation for a sustainable

CALL FOOD NOT BOMBS AT 1-800-884-1136

John Judge Speaks on the Counter Recruiting Movement

REAL DEMOCRACY NOW! Create a new world
Stop the corporate destruction of America - Reclaim Freedom Square in
Washington DC starting October 6, 2011.

REAL DEMOCRACY NOW! (Democracia Real YA) Global anti-austerity protest
- October 15, 2011 -Organize in your community or join the Freedom
Square Occupation in Washington DC

Current Location: The farm
Current Mood: okayokay
Current Music: Iowa Public Radio

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July 11th, 2011

12:01 pm - The Family Farm Defenders
The Summer 2011 issue of "Defender," the newsletter of the Family Farm Defenders is out: http://familyfarmers.org/?page_id=375!
Current Location: the farm
Current Mood: happyhappy

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May 22nd, 2011

09:23 am - The Three Sisters Companion Planting

Hi everyone, Wednesday I got started on a corn patch in southern Iowa, where I plan on doing the Three Sisters Companion Planting of corn, beans and squash. Here is a how to 'zine I made about it last year: http://zinelibrary.info/three-sisters-companion-planting. If you dig the 'zine, please let me know here 'cause the e-mail address in it is no longer good for me. You can also check my journal for progress on this year's planting!
Current Location: The farm
Current Mood: accomplished

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December 31st, 2010

01:32 pm

In the news , there are big moves to make ALL medicinal herbs (so think your St Johns Wort, Echinechea, Vervain, Aloe Vera etc etc etc) , illegal, in spring 2011 across the European Union.

If you disagree with these plans, please see
If you have any concerns about this, sign the petition here: and Contact your MEP here

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November 27th, 2010

08:41 pm - the Garden
I have growing at the moment ..as its early summer here in Kiwi land, Lettuces ,peas ,strawberries, Purple Maori potatos, Zucchinni, New Zealand Native spinach, Yams, rhubarb, silverbeet (chard) Sweetcorn, sweet peppers, Chiilies, celery and herbs, parsley, sage and chives.  The strawberrys are ready to eat. The potatos are flowering which means new potatos for Christmas dinner, and fresh baby peas. Does anybody grow blueberries? Id love to know more about them! Thanks

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January 4th, 2010

04:05 pm - Summer Christmas New Zealand style

Below the Dark cliffs me (Mum) and him (Dad) parked the big wagon. Rata flowered high up, a blood red splatter of flowers signaling Christmas in New Zealand. Down below,  a wide strip of black sand met the waves of the Tasman sea.  It was low tide and sprawled amongst the driftwood and boulders were huge chunky dark pieces of rock glistening with mussels,  washed by gentle waves.  Between the nearest point and where we looked down, a small creek wound down through rocks and was cutting deep rivulets into the black sand. The 4 kids headed off towards it, should I say herded off towards it by the biggest brother who stood safety officer while they splashed , Dad strode down the steep track onto the rocky foreshore with a bucket, He passed the kids and jumped the stream and disapeared between the big rocks heading out to the tide.
I gathered rope and blankets and rugs, teetered down the steep track and dropped it all next to a large rock, then climbed back up to gather the water bottles and the tripod legs and grill for the fire, two big pots and a chilli bin. I staggered down the cliff and threw the load down next to the first one. I puffed back up the mountainous track to the car and brought down the final load of food and the esky drink bottle and a double mattress made of thin foam. I checked the kids and Dad, kids fine Dad had disapeared. I watched for a while then got huffy about him deliberatly drowning himself to spite christmas. I leveled the rocky ground  to a size just right for the rug,  I checked for Dad again, no sign, At one end I left a log of drifwood for a backrest, facing the whole thing into the breeze then I erected a square framework of driftwood and tentpoles. I used a double layer of cotton sheets to make a roof. down the back and over the backrest I hung another sheet . I smoothed the rug out inside then laid out the mattress so it leaned against the log. I covered the mattress with cotton sheets and threw in the pile of blankets the kids had brought, It looked cool and shady and comfy!, I stepped down towards the beach  checked for Dad again  NO sign again) and cleared a place for the fire, I placed it so the wind blew the smoke towards the dead air behind the tent.  I knew the breeze would keep biting insects from the front of the tent but this was to stop them from steathily attacking from the rear. I moved big flat rocks down to the front of the fire to place hot things on and higher up for seats and to use as tables, for the fire i made a channel of rocks in line with the wind, so the wind would fan the fire and take the smoke away without any annoying eddies. I cleared a path around all of this so the kids could walk around safely at a distance. Into my fire I piled small pieces of driftwood broken into finger lengths and a small lump of flax tow, the fibres from a flax leaf, When I lit it the wind blew the flame high immediatly I quickly threw more small wood on, deliberatly keeping the fire small, as befits a fire intended for cooking. I put two large pieces at the back of the fire and threw small pieces as needed into the front. I looked for Dad but only saw something that looked like a bucket bobbing far out to sea.  I Placed a tripod over the fire and the grill on top then a wide bottomed pot with water,  to make coffee. I piled thin pieces of wood onto the fire the water boiled quickly and i used bigger pieces of wood to dampen the fire down while I made coffee. Dad came back with the mussels and the kids came back to look, we sent the oldest down to collect seawater in the second bjg pot and we cooked mussels in this while we drank our coffee. The kids explored the tent, they lay with thier favourite blankets in a heap, sprawled like a litter of puppies. None of them wanted to eat mussels, they ate ham and egg pie out of the chilly bin and drank cold cherry kool aid in the sun . Later we grilled mussels and drank more coffee while the kids ate chocolate trifle and almond cookies. We managed to fit in trifle, then we all lay in the tent out of the sun with stomachs so full. Dad and I walked down the beach while oldest son tended the fire and the little kids . When we came back they were sliding down a suitably angled smooth  rock and playing pirates. Oldest son had the fire well in hand. He grilled mussels and ate a tiny one then another. This was our Christmas day, in summer in New Zealand.

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December 17th, 2009

11:48 am - Butchering Roosters
So today, I along with my wife went out and butchered a few roosters at my in-laws place. My in-laws live in the wilds of Missouri (literally a gravel road in between two cow pastures). I had asked my father in-law how to do it, because as a city kid (I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago) I had no knowledge other than reading books about the subject.  Plus my wife and I had been watching the PBS series Frontier House and Pioneer House and had seen them do it. So it was a "well if these folks can do it why not me thing?"

Its an interesting process and not for the squeemish Vegan/PETA types. I skipped breakfast to do it (just in case I did hurle). While we only butchered 2 of the 4 roosters we had planned to do, since the other 2 escaped. Its not as disgusting as I thought and was a very educational process for me to see it done. While its not the usual style like a mass-market farm is, my FIL showed me how to do it with efficency and also the least bloody way to do it.

The hardest part to me was the actual killing which I missed the killing blow and had to do it several times, with the rooster flailing about, but I did manage to get it after the third blow with a matchete. I dipped it into a scalding water bath and managed to get the feathers off with the help of my wife who really didn't want to do it. I think it brought back a few bad memories since they did this with 4 kids as a group thing. 
My MIL showed us how to finish the plucking and getting to the details. Cutting took a bit of time and was also hard but satisifying work. I brought my pipe and smoked in case I accidently cut into the guts/intestines and the smell can knock you for a loop. We then dressed them in the "Ozark" fashion and now the meat is in the freezer setting up and we'll have it for lunch/dinner in a day or so. 

Overall it wasn't as bad as my wife had made it out from her childhood to be and as long as I had a detatched view of doing the butchering it was actually a fun learning experience for me to do if I need to or asked to. Plus since the wife had been saying that if PBS ever does another House series and she wants to try it, I'm game and won't look like a complete idiot when doing this type of work.  
Current Location: Vichy, Missouri
Current Mood: curiouscurious
Current Music: BBCAmerica

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August 7th, 2009

04:11 pm - Cottage industries.
I was wondering what people on here think about cottage industries. I'm currently working on a farm that has a weaving business for money, and most of the food we produce is for us and our friends.

Tablet woven belt Tablet woven belt

This is a belt I tablet (or card) wove. Weaving in general and tablet weaving in particular is my favorite form of crafting. For anyone interested, here's a set of directions: http://www.primitive.org/weaving.htm.

The main differences I'd add would be, 1. I use a dead deck of cards with holes punched in them for my tablets, I'm all about recycling! 2. I make all kinds of stuff, not just straps, just adding what ever length plus 12 inches to factor in for the fringes and cards, for anything from key chains to belts. More or less cards, and thickness of yarn are factors for how wide it should be.
Current Location: The farm
Current Mood: curiouscurious

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