Lambing was over, and our flock had given us another very good year, our 6th consecutive year for a 200%+ lamb crop! We were ecstatic! Highlights were, Big Mumbo at 9 years of age had quads, but one fetus was being reabsorbed. Big Jumbo, also 9 years, slacked off to having twins this year. However, some of our younger ewes were coming into their most productive years and picked up the slack!
On the one hand, I can say that Organic Consumers Association was being opportunistic by broadcasting their message – COOK ORGANIC NOT THE PLANET – at the “Forward on Climate Rally” to stop the Keystone pipeline. On the other hand, it felt great to be met by the smiling faces of OCA, who stationed themselves as “meet-and-greeters” when we got up to street level at the Smithsonian metro station. OCA was there in solidarity to join forces with Sierra Club, 350.org, the Hip Hop Caucus and more than 90 other organizations.
What does farmland protection have to do with what’s on your dinner table? Or maybe it should be put this way: What does what’s on your dinner table have to do with farmland protection? Think about it… Today, the typical American prepared meal contains, on average, ingredients from at least five countries outside the US. What if we had to grow our food “back home?”
Take a drive north on Highway 97 and you will pass along the Columbia and Okanogan Rivers between tiers and tiers of orchards growing all kinds of fruit, from stone fruit – apricots, nectarines, and peaches – to apples, pears, and cherries, and the occasional quince. Just a few miles north of Tonasket WA you’ll find River Valley Organics. What’s is it that makes River Valley Organics so special? A unique combination of karma and heart.
Walk into any supermarket and what do you find? Bins of shiny red, yellow, and green apples. What seems like an abundance of apples is an illusion. Just 11 varieties of apples make up 90% of those grown, sold, and eaten in the US. What’s more, 40-plus percent of apples sold are only one variety: Red Delicious. The apple industry has succumbed to the same consolidation and specialization affecting the rest of the food industry. As a result, the number of apple varieties has plummeted.
In mid-June, beginning farmer Dayna Burtness was delivering her farm’s vegetables to clients in Minneapolis when she got the call: the rain that had started at mid-day had not let up for hours. Things were looking bad back at Laughing Loon Farm.
This comprehensive report extols the multiple societal benefits of organic farming in North America. To partner with stakeholders who share in these benefits, OFRF produced this document for policy makers, educators, researchers, healthcare professionals, business leaders and families, like yours and mine.
Jim Riddle is the Organic Outreach Coordinator for University of Minnesota – Southwest Research and Outreach Center. He answers the question: “What does it mean when produce and meat products are labeled organic?”