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Beet me up: Six summery ways to enjoy the sweetest root vegetable

I peek under our hoop house garden bed to check the progress of the hundred beets we planted early in the winter. The greens look healthy and strong. For two months I have resisted the urge to harvest baby beets early. On occasion, I did harvest a few beets under the auspices of "thinning the bed."...

Shedding light on a permaculture farm: Review of “Bioshelter Market Garden”

As small farmers look for ways to cut costs and increase their profit margins, they focus more attention on the energy used on the farm. Whether they implement energy efficiency measures or find ways to produce home-grown energy (through wind, solar, biofuel, and more), farmers who examine the energy...

Slow what?: Review of “Slow Gardening”

By now, I’m sure that all good Ethicurean readers are familiar with Slow Food and the tenets of this movement: the pleasure of good, clean, fair food and celebrating our many food traditions. The idea of “Slow” has shown up in other organizations and ideas, such as Slow Cities and Slow Money, both of which...

Minding common ground: “Poly-farming” in northeast Ohio

Just about any road I take that leads me out of Wooster, Ohio, very quickly guides me past vast fields of corn or soybeans. Agriculture plays a vital role in Wayne County’s economy, and for several decades now, commodity crops have contributed more than their fair share to our local economy. Smaller farms...

For Labor Day: Farmworkers’ Rights Still in the Toilet

Cross-posted from the TEDxFruitvale blog. (Why? Read this.) Today is Labor Day, a time when most Americans think of barbecues and Mondays off, not so much the people who picked the potatoes in that salad and the peaches in the cobbler, or who slaughtered and processed the steer that became that hamburger....

The Ethicurean lives! An update, in which I come out of my corporate closet

Tap, tap. Is this thing on? Does it still work? Wait, let me clear away the cobwebs from the microphone. Is that better? Can you hear me now? All five of you? (Hi mom! Hi Jack!) What readers remain may have wondered when someone was going to put this blog out of its misery. I certainly have. Unfortunately,...

Helping out the Milk Board’s new PMS campaign

The California Milk Processor's Board, which brought us the Got Milk? campaign, urges men this week to tell their cranky, about-to-menstruate women: "You really need to drink more milk." Men can get their PMS education on a new website "Everything I Do Is Wrong." Women may find the site confusing at first...

Goats: An overlooked pasture-raised animal

Goat meat is already very popular around the world – the Washington Post claims that goat makes up almost 70 percent of the red meat eaten globally – and its popularity could increase in the U.S. because of the convergence of several things:  renewed interest in grass-fed animals; openings of new butcher...

Bounty hunters: A review of two new local-foods cookbooks

As the local food movement expands and the numbers of small farms, CSA programs, and farmers markets increase, so grows the crop of cookbooks aimed at helping people make the best use of that seasonal bounty. Following in the path of Deborah Madison’s excellent overview of America’s farmers markets, Local...

Endangered, eh? Canada Scientists Confirm Bluefin Tuna Are in Deep Trouble

By Catherine Kilduff, Center for Biological Diversity * Updated on June 2, 2011 by Marc R.* It’s official: We really are fishing to extinction a fish that has sustained us for millennia, the bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus). Last week Canada’s scientists declared the Atlantic bluefin tuna endangered, meaning...

Highlights and questions from the Natural Products Expo West trade show

In March I attended the Natural Products Expo West, one of the largest trade shows for the natural products industry. Produced by New Hope Natural Media, the show had hundreds of exhibitors promoting their products — companies looking for new distribution, looking for new buyers, testing new flavors or...

“A beautiful bowl of glory”: Rancho Gordo’s Steve Sando on beans, trade, and the tortilla project

International trade can wreak havoc on small farmers and the global food culture: impoverishing peasants, destroying old ways of cooking, and reducing biodiversity.  Now and then, however, international trade can have the opposite effect, building up farmers instead of rolling over them, preserving heritage...

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