December 16, 2015

Good reading: Farmers of Forty Centuries; Permanent Agriculture in China, Korea and Japan; FH King 1911 and the The Culture of Vegetables and Flowers. Sutton, 1913. The Small Farmers's Journal often lists booksellers of Farm Literature and has reprinted some treasures within its own pages. I'll post a list of some great old farming books on the sidebar soon. In the meanwhile, and its not as satisfying as having those beautiful old pages sliding through your fingers, here are a couple of sites online that have great digitalized collections: "The Core Historical Literature of Agriculture (CHLA) is a core electronic collection of agricultural texts published between the early nineteenth century and the middle to late twentieth century. Full-text materials cover agricultural economics, agricultural engineering, animal science, crops and their protection, food science,forestry, human nutrition, rural sociology, and soil science". Free digitalized library on line with a collection of books on holistic agriculture, health and self-sufficient homestead living. An excellent online collection of classic small farm books

December 14, 2015

I was searching google images to find the type of steam tractor that one might find in 1901 for a familial research project and I came across this : from the Saskchewan Archives. Regina Indian Industrial School, J.A. Sinclair photo, 1904

August 20, 2015

Hello friends folks and fellow agrarians! Wish I had the time for many things, like rereading Raoul Robinson's Return to Resistance again and I day dream sometimes about finding a well matched small draft team for work and companionship and go bio-extensive like the Nordell's or one day sailing a day ahead of a biodiesel barge, low in the water with our week's hard work: pyramids of melons, towers of roots greens and salad. Sailing ahead with fliers distributed to villages, resorts, boaters, along the way. (first I learn to sail) But what I do have time for today: hitch up the tiller and work down the unruly remains of beet and salad beds in preparation for fall rye. pick for a market and CSA seed more salad supervise a lovely happy volunteer crew Read this familiar funny old blog and decide to write a little blurb And go "up and up" with Buddy Macteeth where the creek still flows cold and sweet, a sacred vein in a brittle forest And cook up a rib roast with garlic and rosemary and a half pound of chive and basil balsamic and pepper, with 3 colour spuds in butter and a mountain of buttery green chard, but no time for damson plum pudding with cornmeal cakes. Sorry I have to go!

October 14, 2014


Hello you folks still hanging in, Here are a few pics from the season.
I look forward to writing soon. happy thanksgiving

November 5, 2013

James Barber's soft neck garlic

I have planted my garlic in the new beds on our new farm on the island where I grew up. I have recently returned here after 20 years of farming elsewhere. The garlic is the first cash crop I have put in to this soil and it is a blessed auspicious beginning. I looked hard for a source of interesting soft neck garlic because I intend to braid and weave them into edible wreaths for value added sales. I stumbled upon the most precious of strains and now have a rainbow of potential sprouting in composted beds that I visit and contemplate daily. The garlic came from a friend of a friend and has a history. James Barber, was a chef and a celebrity and a lovely man supportive of small farmers in B.C. and fresh local food. He was a pioneer of the local food movement. I used to chat with him on the ferry coming over from the gulf island morning milk run and we would talk about food and farming as the ferry wove its way through the foggy channels.He was also a regular customer at the markets. What I didn't know then was that he had a green thumb himself and bought a little farm in Cowichan when he left the gulf islands. He traveled, and collected garlic, in Sicily, and France, and he loved colour and sought flavour. It is this garlic that I have planted in my garden; saved since his death in 2007 by his son and now secure in my collection. I am going to call it Jbets (James Barber's European Travels Softneck). Thanks James!

GMO.... God Move Over

September 11, 2013

Great link, lots of ideas! ! Farm Hack
Putting the Cartel Before the Horse The ETC Group

August 16, 2012

John Holloway: 'In the Anti-Worlds of Daily Struggles the World Beyond Capitalism Is to be Found'
Published on Wednesday, August 15, 2012 by The Guardian

Marxist sociologist John Holloway argues that a world after capitalism is already being imagined in struggles around the world. In the first of a six-part series, which will see an author's words accompanied by animation by students at Central Saint Martins college, Carolina Aguirre, Lucas Gloppe and Magnus Lenneskog interpret Holloway's words.

June 2, 2012

edible landscape

I am plowing soil and putting seeds in the ground in a zone 7.5 having leased out my zone 4.5 homestead to capable young farmers. Everything is different here: the soil is black and deep by knee high with a gorgeous underlay of volcanic silts sand and clay. I have equipment to work every aspect of the farm and a charge card to buy more. There are no marketing hats to wear, whatever I cut to basket is out the door and on the plate without one littlest saleswomanship effort. The plates look exceptionally appealing. I have a patron. It is his farm. I am paid very well.
It is a little piece of heaven and so sweet to design an edible landscape in a zone where fig and bay and persimmon are possible.

January 31, 2012

Farmer's Challenge Monsanto

A U.S. District Court hearing in downtown New York today could determine the eventual fate of several organic farmers from across the country, including some in upstate New York.

The hearing centered on a "pre-emptive" suit led by the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGTA), against agricultural giant Monsanto. In it, OSGTA says it brought "this action to protect [farmers] from ever being accused of infringing patents on transgenic seed." Monsanto filed to dismiss the case, and today lawyers for both sides made their arguments in front of U.S. District Judge Naomi Buchwald.

Read more in today's Village Voice

And at OSGATA Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association

And Occupy Big Food

January 15, 2012

India to charge Monsanto for biopiracy

An Indian government agency has agreed to sue the developers of genetically modified (GM) eggplant for violating India's Biological Diversity Act of 2002. India's National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) is alleging that the developers of India's first GM food crop—Jalna-based Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company (Mahyco) partnered with St. Louis–based seed giant Monsanto and several local universities—used local varieties to develop the transgenic crop, but failed to gain the appropriate licenses for field trials. At the same time, activists in Europe are claiming that patents on conventionally bred plants, including a melon found in India, filed by biotech companies violate farmers' rights to use naturally occurring breeds. Both these pending legal cases could set important precedents for biopiracy in India and Europe.

read more at Nature Biotechnology

Video from France24 on the Biopiracy suit