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Showing posts from September, 2013

Food Preservation

There are a number of methods for preserving ones harvest. For the sake of this particular article I am going write about those that I have had involvement in in one regard or another. This of course does not mean that these are the only methods worth pursuing. For example I will not be speaking about a root cellar in this article but it would only make sense to do so if the opportunity is available to you. Personally my basement is far too damp to successfully store any item, let alone food. My Great-grandfather, like many from his generation, was a very thrifty man. I remember as a youth going to his house to pick up peppers that had been stored in half-gallon milk containers in the freezer. Fruit was frozen in old bread bags. I like to think of him when I stock the shelves and though I hardly match his output hope that he would proud. One of the first methods of food storage that my wife and I attempted was dehydrating our food. We ended up dehydrating everything from tomatoes to z…

How To Measure Success In The Garden

As the chill damp winds of fall begin to appear in the hills of southern New York I begin to reflect on the success and failures of this years gardens. In truth there are a number of ways to gauge the outcome of a years worth of hard work. Some grow for profit, others to stock the cupboard and freezer for winter. Some grow simply as a hobby, an excuse to dig in the dirt. I'm sure those of you reading all have your own reasons for taking part in the optimism associated with putting a seed in the cold ground each spring.

This year my focused changed a bit. My small plot was rather neglected last year due to politics and similar pursuits. Over the course of the last two years I kept track of nearly every ounce of produce that came out of our garden and compared cost to that of the USDA's going rates. This year though it struck me that I am missing the real reason for gardening. Of course there are a number of financial and health benefits associated with such a pleasurable past…

Book Review (Manifestos On The Future Of Food & Seed)

For my 40th birthday some close friends of mine gave me a gift certificate to an online book store, we should all have such good friends. I have been interested in reading literature by Vandana Shiva for some time so I took the opportunity to purchase “Manifestos On The Future Of Food & Seed” by South End Press (www.southendpress.org). Vandana Shiva is not the only contributor. Individuals such as the American author and activist Michael Pollan and the founder of the Slow Food Movement Carlo Petrini are featured as well.

I would recommend this book for a number of reasons. To begin with if you are not familiar with Vandana Shiva you should be, she is brilliant, in fact that may be an understatement. She has a bachelors degree in physics, she pursued an M.A. in the philosophy of science and has her Ph.D. in philosophy.

Another reason I would recommend this manifesto is because in America we vote with our dollars. Most people have no idea what they are voting for when they walk int…