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Eating Weeds – Everything You Need to Know!

Eating Weeds – Everything You Need to Know!

At eattheplanet.org we have been eating weeds for a long time. Foraging for wild edibles can be a safe and fun way to strengthen our relationship with the natural world and each other. Eating weeds, in particular, is a great place for a novice forager to begin since weeds are abundant and somewhat familiar. Weeds or wildflowers, no matter which name you choose for them, these plants include some amazing wild edibles.

Whether you’re looking to discover edible weeds and plants that you can forage from home, or just looking for expert tips on how to forage and identify plants, this article will get you started on your journey!

Edible Chickweed and Dandelion (Photo by MurielBendel on Wikimedia Commons)

The idea of eating weeds may sound a little odd to some people at first. Generally, we’ve been taught to consider weeds as a nuisance that grow in areas where they’re unwanted. Whether that’s in-between crops, pavements, or prized flower borders. The literal dictionary definition of a ‘weed’, is an unwanted plant that may compete with other cultivated plants, like garden flowers or crops.

Changing Perceptions

However, once we begin to learn their names, and discover their culinary possibilities, our perception of landscape weeds changes. They become a valuable source of nutrition and food, like a vegetable, and instead of ‘pesky weeds’, they become ‘ingredients’.

Weeds can be incredibly valuable, not just as a vital part of an ecosystem, but as wild edibles for us to enjoy. Over the years their value has often been lost, as the local plant knowledge of our ancestors faded, and mass-produced and imported farm crops took their place. Thankfully, as our preference for organic, local produce grows, more and more people are exploring the world of foraging and eating weeds.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Everything is chemicals: the myth and fear of “chemical-free” gardening

Everything is chemicals: the myth and fear of “chemical-free” gardening

“Chemical-free” – a term I’ve seen several times attributed to many products, especially food and produce at farmers markets and even in gardening circles these days.  This term is often misused to describe plants grown without the use of any pesticide, either conventional or organic. I have my thoughts that I’ll share later on that subject but first let’s talk about this “chemical-free” that gardeners, farmers, and others use and why its not only a myth, but a dangerous one at that.

Ain’t such a thing as “chemical-free” anything

At face value, the term “chemical-free” would literally mean that whatever the label is applied to contains no chemicals.  That the entire item, whether it be animal, vegetable, or mineral is devoid of any and all chemicals.  Factually this can never, ever be true.  Everything that exists is made of chemicals.  Oxygen, water, carbon dioxide, and any simple molecule, by definition, is a chemical.  Plants and animals are organized structures filled with complex chemicals.  Even you and I, as humans, are walking, talking bags of chemicals.  The air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink are all composed of a great mixture of chemicals.  The use of the term “chemical-free” to describe anything is uninformed at best, and intellectually dishonest at worst. But a bigger problem, as we’ll discuss later, is that using the term can cause confusion and even fear of things as simple as food and as complex as science and medicine.

Expert reveals how even natural foods contain chemicals | Daily Mail Online
The “ingredient list” of a peach.
Source

What most people intend to say when they use the term “chemical-free” in relation to plants or produce is that they are produced without use of pesticides or conventional “chemical” fertilizers.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Leveraging collaboration to tap into the potential of local foods

 

salad in a take out box with heart shaped produce cutout

Photo Credit: North Coast Opportunities’ Caring Kitchen Project

With farming being the root of the nation’s food supply, former President Barack Obama’s administration launched a federal Local Foods, Local Places (LFLP) program in 2014. This initiative was designed to help communities develop creative approaches to tap into their own food producers and bolster their region’s economy.

Spearheaded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the program has since provided direct, technical support and expertise on how best to integrate entrepreneurship, environmental management, public health, and other considerations, to more than 125 communities nationwide, to develop specific regional projects targeting access to local food. That includes farmers marketscommunity gardenscooperative grocery stores, and food hubs that improve environmental, economic and health outcomes.

“The program was a real boost for our community,” said Sherene Hess, Indiana County, Pennsylvania commissioner. Indiana County, located in west-central Pennsylvania, was one of 16 communities selected in 2018.

LFLP was born out of the former Livable Communities in Appalachia program, which was established to promote economic development, preserve rural lands, and increase access to locally grown food in Appalachian towns and rural communities. That program halted in 2014 and was replaced by LFLP, which continues the focus to support small towns and rural areas nationwide. Outside of the EPA and USDA, LFLP is supported by the Department of Transportation (DoT), Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), and the Delta Regional Authority (DRA).

There are three phases within the LFLP program: plan, convene and act. In the planning phase, the community and federal agencies develop a steering committee to outline goals for the project and identify other community stakeholders for community-based workshops…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

Food and farming reads of 2021

We share some of the most interesting reads from the past year, on everything from toxic weedkillers to bringing back beavers.


Toxic legacy: How the weedkiller glyphosate is destroying our health and the environment

Stephanie Seneff

Stephanie Seneff is an MIT scientist who has now dedicated her life to debunking the myths around the safety of glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup. Her book, Toxic Legacy, rests on a foundation of comprehensive, objective and accessible science – the credibility of which is assured through Seneff’s impressive academic credentials, achieving four different degrees and publishing over 200 articles.

With a dry wit and powerful sincerity, Seneff takes readers on a meticulous journey that details the toxic impact of glyphosate on people and the planet. First navigating the history of glyphosate and how it works as an herbicide, Toxic Legacy unearths the roots of our glyphosate dependency and extent of our exposure. Seneff then unravels the science exposing glyphosate’s toxicity, exposing its links to the degradation of the microbiome, liver disease, infertility, antibiotic resistance, depression, soil degeneration, water contamination and mass biodiversity loss. Ending on a note of cautious optimism, Toxic Legacy concludes with a call to transition towards organic, regenerative and sustainable agriculture, offering guidance on how to ‘take control’ of our health and protect ourselves against glyphosate’s toxicity.

The tone of Seneff’s writing is understated yet powerful, scientific but accessible, providing a fresh and vigorous review of research on glyphosate. But considering such a wide scope of evidence often comes with drawbacks. While Seneff’s credentials are flawless and the evidence persuasive, Seneff often draws a correlation between rising disease rates and glyphosate use, the relationship of which is unsubstantiated in certain cases…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

World’s Food Supplies In Jeopardy Amid Climate Disasters

World’s Food Supplies In Jeopardy Amid Climate Disasters

Devastating floods in Germany, China, Turkey, and India. Scorching hot weather in the Western U.S. and Canada. Worst frost in two decades across Brazil. These recent weather phenomena are rapidly intensifying and threaten further food inflation already at decade highs.

We documented last week Brazil had some of the worst frost conditions in two decades. Temperatures dropped below zero and delivered a massive blow to farmers across the country’s coffee belt. The result has been sky-high coffee prices.

Back-to-back heatwaves continue to scorch the Earth across the Western half of the U.S. The corn belt, which spans the Midwest, lacks rainfall, and hot weather could negatively impact crop development, leading to an underwhelming harvest.

In Europe, China, Turkey, and India, devastating floods have torn apart towns, damaged farmland, and killed hundreds of people. Torrential rains have the risk of sparking fungal diseases for grain crops.

“All of these events are touched by jet streams, strong and narrow bands of westerly winds blowing above the Earth’s surface. The currents are generated when cold air from the poles clashes against hot air from the tropics, creating storms and other phenomena such as rain and drought,” Bloomberg said.

“Jet streams are the weather—they create it, and they steer it,” said Jennifer Francis, a senior scientist at the Woodwell Climate Research Center. “Sometimes the jet stream takes on a very convoluted pattern. When we see it taking big swings north and big dips southward, we know we’re going to see some unusual weather conditions.”

Source: Bloomberg 

Meteorologists worry whenever those swings and dips form omega-shaped curves that look like waves. When that happens, warm air travels further north and cold air penetrates further south…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Gates Thinning the Heard with a Food Crisis?

Biden is now paying farmers not to grow crops and was perhaps directed by Bill Gates, who has become the biggest farmland holder in the USA. The risk of starvation around the world is rising. The real question is very dark. Is this part of Gates’ idea on how to reduce the population? Perhaps Warren Buffett and George Soros will lead the way and just die rather than clinging to every last breath to screw with the rest of us, the Great Unwashed, for whom they have never had any respect whatsoever.

Some ask if becoming a billionaire creates a new type of disease of assuming they are demi-gods. They certainly seem to lose touch with humanity. They seem to allegedly cheer genocide as long as they can pull it off without a gun or gas chamber. Does having too much money that could never be spent bring out the Hitler in people? I would love to see a physiological study on that subject.

The United Nations, the puppet of Gates and Schwab, is sounding the alarm that the number of people who do not have enough to eat or are starving in crisis countries has reached a five-year high. The corona manufactured pandemic has disrupted the food supply dramatically and is pushing things over the edge. Yes, there are also violent conflicts, economic crises, and extreme weather events that also come into play. With a little luck, Gates will be able to reduce the population as we head into 2027, for already there are around 155 million people that were already in an acute food crisis in 2020, according to the UN. The UN World Food Authority reported at the beginning of May 2021 that the number had already increased by 20 million people more people over 2020 so far this year.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How to Transplant Seedlings Into Your Garden

How to Transplant Seedlings Into Your Garden

Planting your own vegetables and fruits is a big task for any gardener. You’ve put so much time into caring for your seedlings, so moving them from their little pots into your garden is a significant step that takes care and patience.

Some plants do better than others by sowing the seeds directly into the ground. For those plants that need extra care, like tomatoes and peppers, you need to transplant them. Here’s how to transplant seedlings into your garden so they can continue to grow and produce a yield for your harvest.

1. Know When to Transplant

There’s no exact date for when you should transplant your seedlings. Every plant grows at a different rate. However, the general rule is that when a seedling has about four true leaves, you can plant them out in your garden. Another indicator is if you can see the roots growing out of the pot.

Earlier isn’t always better for plants. You need to ensure that there are no more frosts and that the weather stays relatively consistent. Additionally, your plants will need plenty of sunlight, so make sure that the sun is out enough during the day for your plants.

2. Prepare the Soil

Before transplanting your seedlings, you need to prepare the soil. Over the winter, the soil compacts from snow and cold weather.  Add in compost and mulch to raise the temperature so it won’t shock the seedlings.

While preparing the soil, you can harden off your seedlings. To harden them, bring them outside while they’re still in the pots, and gradually increase their outdoor exposure each day.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Marti’s Corner – 23

Marti’s Corner – 23

Marti's Corner at City PreppingHi Everyone,

NOTES:

* I tried to post a video last week that was taken down because the person who created it was just besieged with people wanting to share it! Now, she has created a YouTube video. It is almost 45 minutes long. At the 7:53 mark, she begins to present her data. It is well worth the viewing. If you are on the fence, or not concerned, you will be after watching her video. Famine is coming.  Helena Kleinlein – Feast or Famine? The Coming Food Shortages.

* Garden update – My cucumbers are producing like crazy. I have too many tomatoes to eat, but not really enough to can. I think there are 12 ripening on my counter as I type this. Some kind of fungus has attacked all my potato plants and they are simply dying off. I’ve tried spraying with fungicide, and with hydrogen peroxide, and several other things. No go. Leaves keep turning yellow with brown spots. Ugh. I got little green worms in the lettuce and had to thin that out. (Captain Jack’s Dead Bug Brew to the rescue) I left the shade off the lettuce and it just about wilted to death. Plants do NOT like this extreme heat (106˚ the other day). Getting them in the ground early (February) has been a game-changer. Except for the potatoes, everything has produced some food already. Everything is covered with a shade cloth, and my sweet husband even took a fan out to the garden yesterday to cool off the plants. But, but, but!!! When you cut open that first ripe tomato, or fry up that first squash or eat that first crisp cucumber……THAT’S why I do it. Store-bought food cannot compare in deliciousness!

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Ranchers Sell Off Cattle And Farmers Idle Hundreds Of Thousands Of Acres As America’s Drought Emergency Escalates

Ranchers Sell Off Cattle And Farmers Idle Hundreds Of Thousands Of Acres As America’s Drought Emergency Escalates

In my entire lifetime, this is the worst that drought conditions have ever been in the western half of the country.  During the past 20 years, the amount of territory in the West considered to be suffering from exceptional drought has never gone higher than 11 percent until now.  Today, that number is sitting at 27 percent.  The term “mega-drought” is being thrown around a lot these days to describe what is happening, but this isn’t just a drought.  This is a true national emergency, and it is really starting to affect our food supply.

Just look at what is happening up in North Dakota.  The vast majority of the state is either in the worst level of drought or the second worst level of drought, and ranchers are auctioning off their cattle by the thousands

“Normally this time of the year, we’re probably looking at 400-600 head and a lot of times would be every other week,” said former auctioneer Ron Torgerson.

On Sunday and Monday, more than 4,200 head of cattle were sold at Rugby Livestock and Auction.

Needless to say, ranchers in North Dakota don’t want to get rid of their cattle, but the drought has pushed prices for hay and corn so high that many of them simply have no choice.

One of those that has already been forced to sell a large number of cattle is rancher David Bohl

As the drought continues, the price of hay and corn has gone way up. It’s more expensive for ranchers to try and supplement feed than it is to sell the cattle.

Bohl has already sold 200 of his head in the last month.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How To Start a Pallet Garden and What Vegetables Grow Best With It?

Have you ever been searching through Pinterest and found a project you know you wanted to do? Of course, you have! Last Fall I was looking for ways to expand my garden, and I came across an article on pallet gardens. I just knew that I could add one or two to my garden area and grow winter vegetables in it.

A pallet garden is an easy and frugal way to grow compact vegetables and herbs like salad greens, baby kale, dwarf peas, bush beans, cabbage, and herbs such as parsley, thyme, basil, and rosemary. Another consideration is growing edible flowers like pansies and calendula. Concentrate your efforts on finding vegetable crops and varieties that have shallow rooting systems and grow in compact, bush, dwarf, or miniature form.

But before you get your pallet garden started, here are a few important facts I discovered.

Pallet Gardening in 5 Easy Steps

  1. Locate a pallet – Pallets are quite easy to obtain. I was at our local hardware store buying some vegetables, and I noticed when we drove up, they had a stack of pallets off to the side of the building. When I was checking out, I asked the owner if I could purchase one. She offered to give me as many as I wanted. Score! Later that week, I learned that a lot of businesses that have items shipped to them have available pallets; however, it is important to find out if the pallets have been treated with chemicals because that will contaminate your organic vegetable garden.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Agriculture In A Post-Oil Economy

Agriculture In A Post-Oil Economy

The decline in the world’s oil supply offers no sudden dramatic event that would appeal to the writer of “apocalyptic” science fiction: no mushroom clouds, no flying saucers, no giant meteorites. The future will be just like today, only tougher. Oil depletion is basically just a matter of overpopulation — too many people and not enough resources. The most serious consequence will be a lack of food. The problem of oil therefore leads, in an apparently mundane fashion, to the problem of farming.

To what extent could food be produced in a world without fossil fuels? In the year 2000, humanity consumed about 30 billion barrels of oil, but the supply is starting to run out; without oil and natural gas, there will be no fuel, no asphalt, no plastics, no chemical fertilizer. Most people in modern industrial civilization live on food that was bought from a local supermarket, but such food will not always be available. Agriculture in the future will be largely a “family affair”: without motorized vehicles, food will have to be produced not far from where it was consumed. But what crops should be grown? How much land would be needed? Where could people be supported by such methods of agriculture?

WHAT TO GROW

The most practical diet would be largely vegetarian, for several reasons. In the first place, vegetable production requires far less land than animal production. Even the pasture land for a cow is about one hectare, and more land is needed to produce hay, grain, and other foods for that animal. One could supply the same amount of useable protein from vegetable sources on a fraction of a hectare, as Frances Moore Lappé pointed out in 1971 in Diet for a Small Planet [12]. Secondly, vegetable production is less complicated…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Agroforestry: An ancient practice with a promising future?

How are we going to tackle agriculture’s enormous contribution to the climate and biodiversity crises? One of the few things everyone agrees on is that it won’t be easy, and part of the reason for this is the huge amount of disagreement around the viability and sustainability of many of the proposed solutions. Moving to faster-growing breeds of livestock, for example, could risk delivering carbon gains at the expense of biodiversity and animal welfare. There are, however, some measures with more universal support, and one of the most potentially significant of these is agroforestry.

Traditionally defined as the growing of commercially productive trees and agricultural crops on the same piece of land, agroforestry is, despite its new-found fame, a very old practice –  though one which has sadly been almost entirely lost from our landscape. In contrast to the prevailing mindset around trees and food production, which largely sees these two land uses as mutually exclusive, agroforestry systems are designed in a way that provides benefits to both enterprises, while also generating a range of environmental gains such as improved soil health, reduced runoff, increased biodiversity – and of course, carbon sequestration.

It’s no wonder, then, that agroforestry has received widespread support from many different quarters over recent years. But with a range of different possible approaches and few on-the-ground practitioners, what might its implementation at scale actually look like? Thanks to the pioneering work of the likes of Stephen Briggs and his alley cropping system of apples and cereals, we have proven models that show how agroforestry can work on cropland. But with the exception of some research trials carried out in the 1980s, there has, as far as I’m aware, been very little research done into how agroforestry might be best implemented in grassland areas…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How the World’s Energy Problem Has Been Hidden

How the World’s Energy Problem Has Been Hidden

We live in a world where words are very carefully chosen. Companies hire public relations firms to give just the right “spin” to what they are saying. Politicians make statements which suggest that everything is going well. Newspapers would like their advertisers to be happy; they certainly won’t suggest that the automobile you purchase today may be of no use to you in five years.

I believe that what has happened in recent years is that the “truth” has become very dark. We live in a finite world; we are rapidly approaching limits of many kinds. For example, there is not enough fresh water for everyone, including agriculture and businesses. This inadequate water supply is now tipping over into inadequate food supply in quite a few places because irrigation requires fresh water. This problem is, in a sense, an energy problem, because adding more irrigation requires more energy supplies used for digging deeper wells or making desalination plants. We are reaching energy scarcity issues not too different from those of World War I, World War II and the Depression Era between the wars.

We now live in a strange world filled with half-truths, not too different from the world of the 1930s. US newspapers leave out the many stories that could be written about rising food insecurity around the world, and even in the US. We see more reports of conflicts among countries and increasing gaps between the rich and the poor, but no one explains that such changes are to be expected when energy consumption per capita starts falling too low.

The majority of people seem to believe that all of these problems can be fixed simply by increasingly taxing the rich and using the proceeds to help the poor…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Marti’s Corner – 15

Marti’s Corner – 15

Marti's Corner at City PreppingHi Everyone,

NOTES:

* All of my vegetables are planted in containers. Here is a good article about planting in 5-gallon buckets. Bucket Container Planting Vegetables – Using Buckets For Growing Vegetables These buckets are under $3 at Lowes and Home Depot. Considering the cost of planting containers, and if you don’t mind having buckets in your yard, it might be worth it. We’ve collected a lot of our containers at estate sales and such. I’ve also used those fabric bags. I like the 7-gallon size. They are deeper and seem to give the plants more room to grow.
* I also found this FaceBook page: Tomato Bible. It is NOT just about tomatoes. There are a lot of interesting facts about insects, nutrition, etc. of your garden
* I found this website where you can download a guide explaining 5 steps for getting prepared Listos California | IECF

  • Get official alerts
  • Make a plan
  • Pack a GO bag
  • Build a STAY box
  • Help friends and neighbors

There is information explaining each of these things in more detail.

LONG TERM FOCUS: Eggs

eggs-in-a-basket

So, let’s assume you have run out of eggs, you are allergic to eggs, or you are now vegan and won’t eat eggs.  How do you make your favorite foods?  There are substitutes.  Check out this article, 13 Effective Substitutes for Eggs.  Eight of these substitutes are listed here:  applesauce 1/4 c. = 1 egg; mashed bananas 1/4 c. = 1 egg; ground flaxseeds or chia seeds 1 TB seeds _ 3 TB water until fully absorbed; silken tofu 1/4 c. = 1 egg; vinegar and baking soda 1 tsp soda + 1 TB vinegar; yogurt or buttermilk 1/4 c. = 1 egg; Arrowroot powder (it resembles corn starch.  2 TB + 3 TB water = 1 egg

You can buy dehydrated eggs here: Amazon.com: Augason Farms Dried Whole Egg Product 2 lbs 1 oz No. 10 Can: Sports & Outdoors.

SHORT TERM FOCUS: Peanut Butter

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Food Crisis of 2021 in Europe

We are staring in the face of a serious food crisis in Europe as food prices rise continuously, and with further draconian COVID measures within the EU, they are bringing the food supply chains to a standstill. Our models have been warned that this 8.6-year cyclical wave into 2024 will be one of commodity inflation due to SHORTAGES rather than speculative demand. All the indications that the world is heading for a serious food price crisis are in play. The Food Price Index (FFPI) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) averaged 107.5 points in December 2020, an increase of 2.3 points (2.2%) compared to November 2020, which represents an increase for the seventh consecutive month.

With the exception of sugar, all sub-indices of the FFPI recorded slight gains in December, with the sub-index for vegetable oil again rising the most, followed by that for dairy products, meat, and cereals. For 2020 as a whole, the FFPI averaged 97.9 points, a three-year high, 2.9 points (3.1%) higher than in 2019, but still well below its 2011 high of 131.9 points. It is also interesting that the FFPI in 2002 was still 53.1 points. It only increased significantly from the financial crisis of 2007/08, only to then level off in the 90-point range. Since May 2020 it has increased by 18%.

Our models project that the upward trend in the FFPI will intensify going into 2024. With the coronavirus mutating, as we warned ALL viruses do, as such, we have these various strains from Africa, Brazil, UK, and even California, are inspiring politicians to use this as an opportunity to restrict the population even further. These corona measures have extended to the food supply chains, disrupting them just as we see in electronics…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

armstrong economics, food, food crisis, europe, martin armstrong, food price inflation, food shortages, supply chains,

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