Digest – Opinion & features: Fred Kirschenmann questions, Pat Roberts explained, Wes Jackson expands

Opinion:

Peak soiler: Sustainable-ag visionary Fred Kirschenmann urges Secretary Vilsack to ponder a future in which oil will be $300 a barrel, fresh water resources are half what they are as today, and weather is twice as bad. What kind of agriculture should we be designing? And what could we do to launch a major global soil health restoration effort? (Ames Progressive.org)

Plains speaker: Pat Roberts' recent anti-organic rant on the Senate floor didn't make him any friends in the good-food movement, but the episode reveals that 'the foodies' are getting under the skin of the big ag cabal. (Alan Guebert's Food and Farm File, via Farm and Dairy)

Grain man: Wes Jackson of the Land Institute in Salina, Kansas expands on the idea of the "50 year farm bill" that he and Wendell Berry proposed recently in the New York Times. He says that we need to focus on soil and water, especially as we enter an age of ever-dwindling fossil fuels. One of his great hopes is grain-bearing perennials, which will give us food while also stabilizing and growing the soil. (Alternet)

Commie gardens in DC: Ed Bruske blogs eloquently about his idea to create a civic-minded community garden in Washington, DC, more like a Community Supported Agriculture farm. (The Slow Cook)

Cook it forward: Parke Wilde discusses the benefits of making life changes (such as cooking and sharing unprocessed foods) that pay off in unexpected ways. (US Food Policy)

Farmers called upon: Columnist John Schlageck urges farmers and ranchers to tell people the real story about agriculture, although he doesn’t say exactly what the real story might sound like. (Emporia Gazette)

Features:

Rabbits of the air: If you can't raise chickens in your backyard, how about pigeons? They reproduce rapidly (one egg per month), can be allowed to fly free for most of the day (and also find food), and apparently taste pretty good. David Kahn of Sustainable Habitats tells how he does it. (KCRW's Good Food)

Heavy PETA-ing: The animal-rights organization makes a steamy (and banned) commercial claiming vegetarians have better sex. Or at least look better in lingerie. (YouTube)

Teff enough: Missourian in search of ancient grain teff finds it growing in Kansas. (Columbia Tribune)

Old ways still apply: Kansas woman puts self-sufficiency into practice. (Iola Register)
Running on used oil: Universities across the country are converting used cooking oil into biodiesel for campus use. (Newsday)

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