Tag Archives: Food Security

BC Urban Farmers start off on right foot!

A few Sundays ago, in fact, the only nice Sunday we’ve had so far, 40+ of us from the BC Urban Farmers group sat around tables and hashed out a strategy for forming an organized collective.

After 6 hours we came up with the beginnings of a plan to get our message out, and firm up who we are and what we stand for.

Not all the members farm in urban areas. I do both. Both have different models and different varieties based on space available. It is in these findings that we can come together and compare notes, making us all the more wiser. Intensive agriculture is not new, but it is making a comeback as it feeds a large number of people, has multiple markets, and you can earn a living wage from it.

I have posted our “conclusions” from our first meeting for you to look at: (January+30+Urban+Farmer+Meeting+Summary). Feel free to join us. Even if you have a smaller garden, everyone’s experience here counts. All gardening has value. Especially today…

Feb 8 is the Day We Support All Farmers (Or Not)!

URGENT Action Alert: Please Distribute Widely –
SEND A MESSAGE TO YOUR MP BY FEB. 8th VOICING YOUR SUPPORT FOR BILL C-474

Help Protect our Farmers
Support Bill C-474

A simple action today could stop genetically engineered (GE) seeds from causing chaos on Canadian farms – lost markets, lost crops and livelihoods, and permanent crop contamination.

Private Members Bill C-474 is currently scheduled for a vote at third reading in Parliament on February 9th. The Bill could effectively stop GE alfalfa and GE wheat from being commercialized in Canada. It would require “an analysis of potential harm to export markets be conducted before the sale of any new genetically engineered seed is permitted.”

GE Seeds and ‘Market Harm’
With greater scrutiny of GE crops in Europe, Canadian flax and alfalfa farmers stand to lose their traditional export markets if these crops are commercialized in Canada. Late last year, Canadian flax exports were found contaminated with a GE variety not approved for our export markets. Canadian flax farmers are paying a heavy price, with some facing the prospect of no markets at all for their crops.

They recognized the potential threat, and in 2001 farmers even took steps to remove GE flax from the market. But despite their best efforts, contamination occurred, creating market uncertainty and depressed prices. Farmers are now paying to test and clean up their seed supplies. They may yet need to abandon their farm-saved flax seed and buy certified seed – all unnecessary and preventable costs.

Allowing for the commercialization of GE alfalfa and GE wheat could also lead to similar problems. Please protect Canada’s farmers and support Bill C-474.

ACTION

Write a letter to your MP instantly. Our friends at CBAN have made it simple. Take action by February 8!
Find out more about this issue and share it with your friends and families by visiting cban.ca or Parliament of Canada.
Learn about the importance of crop diversity and food sovereignty at www.usc-canada.org and at www.seedmap.org.

For more action options and information visit cban.ca or contact:

Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network by Email (coordinator@cban.ca) .

Your actions make a difference!

Thanks for your support of this important issue!

Raw milk should not be a crime!

I’m going – anyone want to join me? I may be a bit noisy….

Curtis Stone – Spin Farming is in and profitable!

For those that don’t know who Curtis Stone is, he spin farms in Kelowna (Green City Acres), and has learned how to take 1/2 an acre and turn it into gold. He gets calls from all over the planet from doctors and lawyers on how to make money farming. This is why I want to introduce you to Curtis. If we can show a viable and profitable industry and hungry market for fresh local food (I believe it’s here: demand is higher than supply) then we can change the landscape for monoculture and mass factory farming. I’m not saying get rid of it: I am thinking it needs a bit of revision. We should not be paying farmers peanuts from our tax dollars (middle men take money from us and the farmer). They should profit without subsidies, as all farmers should. And live a good life.

Continue reading

Community Dan Jason on Seed Saving: How to Organize for a Resilient Future

Dan Jason from Salt Spring Seeds came to Richmond for a talk on Friday January 21. This was the overview of his comments – we all must start to save seeds NOW. This is how:

Communities are talking a lot about local food security these days because of the increasingly uncertain times in which we live. Many people have even started using the term “food sovereignty” instead of “food security” because it conveys the idea of becoming self-reliant in food rather than simply having stockpiles of dubious food shipped from far away.

A fast growing movement that’s spreading across the globe involves people organizing together in “transition towns” to address the challenges of climate change, peak oil and economic instability. You can get more background at transitionnetwork.org or you could google transition Salt Spring, Victoria, Guelph or Peterborough, for examples. The aim of these transition towns is to create the ability to manage one’s own affairs in the midst of the huge transitions we are facing. Not surprisingly, every transition community lists locally grown food as a first priority.

Continue reading

Adopt a family farmer

What is adopting of a “Family Farmer”

Acquiring or adopting a family farmer is analogous to but different from having a family doctor with the common theme of health promotion in both of them. Both are kinds of business partnerships arrangements of contacts. It is time that everyone worked on adopting a “family farmer.” More importantly, It promotes not only the health of the Earth`s ecosystems but also the personal health. This is becoming more and more important for protecting our all ecosystems, water security and food security through conscientious agricultural practices. There are several advantages to this procedure as listed below. A technical term used  for this adopt a farmer is Community-supported agriculture (in Canada it is called Community Shared Agriculture) (CSA) which happens to be a socio-economic model of agriculture and food distribution.  A CSA consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation where the growers and consumers share the risks and benefits of food production. CSAs usually consist of a system of weekly delivery or pick-up of vegetables and fruit in a vegetable box scheme, and it may even include dairy, poultry and meat.

Benefits of adopting of a “Family Farmer”

Continue reading

The USA is Going Mad: Part 4: S510 May Mean 10 Years in Prison for Farmers

April: Misbranding a product, part of S510 (read below), should just about take out all corporate food systems, since most of them greenwash and outwardly lie in their ingredient lists, and continually lobby for being able to “brand” their foods “natural” and “healthy”. But not likely…

There are arguments for and against S510 in the US, but reading between the lines, any bill that’s endorsed by Big Ag is not a good bill. At least not for small farmers. The US seems to be a nursing ground for stupidity in corporate agriculture policy. Keep Vandana Shiva’s words in the front of your mind: “Some laws are just too stupid to follow…”

Your Farmer Behind Bars?

What S510 Could Do

By Stanley A. Fishman, Author of Tender Grassfed Meat

There are many reasons to oppose S510, the so-called “Food Safety” bill that will come up in the Senate after the election.

It will do nothing to improve actual food safety, relying almost totally on burdensome paperwork.

It will drive small farmers out of business, because they do not have the resources to comply with the crushing burden of meaningless paperwork that will be required.

Continue reading