the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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act now to prevent the soon-to-be largest chemical and gmo seed company in the world

If you thought Monsanto was bad, this could be even worse: Chinese chemical giant ChemChina has begun a $43 billion merger with Swiss-based seed and pesticide company Syngenta to create one of the largest chemical and GMO seed companies in the world.

This proposed merger could have huge ramifications in the U.S. and across the entire global food system, where only six companies now control 75 percent of the world’s seed and agricultural chemical business.1 Further consolidation would put our food production system in the hands of even fewer multinational corporations, with the potential of unchecked use of more toxic chemicals and GMOs in our food supply.

A bipartisan group of members of Congress is calling on the Obama administration to more aggressively scrutinize the merger, with the potential of stopping it from moving forward.2 We must act now to pressure the Obama Administration to stop this dangerous merger before it’s too late.

To act, click HERE.


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ugly fruit is especially nutritious

Eat Ugly Apples Picture

Source: Eliza Greenman (elizapples.com)

Greenhorns blogger Eliza Greenman is featured on NPR, the Weather Channel and Food&Wine this week in regards to her work on #eatuglyapples!

Food&Wine: Bruised and scabbed apples have more antioxidants and sugars because they’ve fought off natural stressors.

Grocery shoppers don’t generally make a beeline to the scabbed and blemished apples. But maybe they should. New research shows that trauma to the fruit—stresses from fighting heat, bugs, and fungus—forces apples to produce antioxidants such as flavonoids, phenolic acids, anthocyanins and carotenoids. And these compounds have all kinds of nutritional value.

Orchardist (and Greenhorns blogger) Eliza Greenman recently performed an informal test on pocked and dimpled fruit and found that they were 2 to 5 percent sweeter than unblemished apples from the same tree. That led her to wondering if plant stress creates natural superfruits.

It looks like it does; her results align with several previous studies on antioxidants. In one published paper, researchers concluded that organic produce—free of pesticides—contains 20 to 40 percent more antioxidants than conventional produce. In another study from Nature magazine, the authors found that organic apples have higher antioxidant phenols and fruit acids compared to non-organic apples. And it is these antioxidants and fruit acids that help prevent illness and metabolic disorders.

This theory—stress is good for the fruit—has also been tested with grapes. When grape leaves have been infected with fungi, or exposed to a lot of ultraviolet light, they contain surprisingly high levels of resveratrol—an antioxidant that has cardiovascular value.

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DARK Act Comeback

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This just in from the Organic Consumers Association newsletter:

DARK Act Comeback?

Everybody loves a Comeback Kid—unless that “kid” is the DARK Act.

In March, the Senate voted down the DARK Act, the bill that would Deny Americans our Right to Know about GMOs.

Since then, Monsanto and its front groups, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) have been using their power, influence and, most of all, money to ram some version of the DARK Act through Congress before Vermont’s first-in-the-nation GMO labeling law takes effect on July 1.

Reliable sources say that the DARK Act will soon be up for another vote.

Last time, Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) didn’t have the votes to pass his bill to take away states’ rights to label GMOs. Many of those who voted against the bill were pro-GMO Senators who take campaign contributions (and their talking points) from companies like Monsanto. But realizing they would take a lot of heat from their constituents, they voted no in the hope that a more palatable “compromise” bill might come along.

The Senators who voted against the DARK Act last time could easily flip their votes to support a “compromise” (capitulation) to block Vermont’s law and replace it with a weak federal standard, because of—what else?—pressure from the big corporations who profit from toxic pesticides and GMO foods.

TAKE ACTION: Stop the DARK Act Comeback! Tell your Senators: Protect Vermont’s GMO labeling law. 

Dial 888-897-0174 to tell your Senators to vote against any compromise that would block or delay Vermont’s bill from taking effect.

Help us protect Vermont’s GMO labeling law


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food hubs in the rural west

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Can food hubs boost rural farming economies?

Lyndsey Gilpin, 21 April 2016, High Country News

Their idea was to use the building as a community food hub: Local farmers pay a fee to the organization to bring their food to the school building, where it’s sold wholesale at an affordable price for consumers. That way, the hub can compete with chain grocery stores.


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sounds like institutional racism within the usda

March 17, 2016

Eddie and Dorothy Wise continue to live at the Deluxe Inn in the Rocky Mount area.  As I write this today, they are on the property packing and removing all of their personal belongings.  The Federal Marshals are giving them only one day to remove everything.  One has to wonder how you pack up a lifetime in just a few hours.  No time to sort or anything else.

Eddie has been frustrated that he cannot get in contact with Federal Marshals to get onto the property to get his personal belongings out of the house. Also, trying to find out what happened to his dogs.

When I spoke with Eddie on Wednesday (3/16/2016), and this has been true since their removal on January 20, 2016, he was still concerned about his dogs and what has happened to them.  He feels really sure that they have been “put down” because it was over a week before the marshals office informed him that the dogs had been sent to the “pound.”  Such an incident as this is stressful enough without the additional constant worry of what has happened to your “best friends,” your dogs “who certainly provide unconditional love,” Eddie said.

We did finally get in touch with Congressman G. K. Butterfields’ office and the congressman has offered to do what he can to assist the Wises, even in trying to help them find housing once they are ready.

Many people have come to the aide with suggestions and support.  However, nothing, yet, has put any kind of stop or even slow down on this case.  The farm is set to be sold at auction on Thursday, April 7, 2016.  At this writing, I am not sure just where.  We do know that there have been several “white folk,” Eddie’s terminology, that have been after the property for a very long time and Eddie believes that they are pushing so they can get the property.

To read more, click HERE!

 


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the rich get richer: 50 billionaires got federal farm funding

Think federal farm subsidies only help out struggling family farmers? Think again.

Fifty members of the Forbes 400 list of the richest Americans  – banking tycoon David Rockefeller Sr., Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, stockbroker Charles Schwab and dozens of other billionaires – got at least $6.3 million in farm subsidies between 1995 and 2014, according to an EWG analysis. And these fat cats likely received even more subsidies through the federal crop insurance program.

EWG matched EWG’s Farm Subsidy Database with the Forbes 400 list.  We found that the billionaires who received farm subsidies between 1995 and 2014 have a collective net worth of $331.4 billion, based on Forbes’ estimates of their wealth.

Some of the other notable members of the 1 percent who got farm subsidies include Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, the owners of three professional sports teams, and the founder of the Bass Pro sporting goods empire.

Of the 50 billionaires, 46 grow corn, soybeans, sorghum, cotton, rice and barley – commodities that are eligible for both traditional farm subsidies and crop insurance subsidies. Only two of the billionaires exclusively raise livestock, which aren’t eligible for subsidies but qualify for disaster assistance.

To read more, click HERE


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Ojai CITRUS HAPPENINGS next weekend!

Starr_061231-3025_Citrus_reticulata
Hey Greenhorns…What is the Future of Citrus? Have you been wondering? We’re sponsoring two great events this weekend in Ojai related to this question.
 
Saturday 23rd April
2pm Community Rights Workshop at Oak Grove School
with Javan Briggs
Sunday 24th April
2pm Citrus Grafting working at Poco Farm
with John Valenzuela RSVP HERE.
Specifically, we’re asking:
All these commodity oranges that grow in our valley, where to they go?
Can our region afford to water these trees?
What is in all these spraying regimes?
What is the history of the Sunkist cooperative and how can the industry adapt to drought?
What is the future of citrus in southern California?
Join Greenhorns special guests to discuss and explore the future of fruit 
from an ecological, community health, and resilience perspective.
We will learn how to organize to protect ourselves from poison drift
We will learn how to graft citrus trees from one variety to another.
We will discuss strategies other drought-stricken regions have used to adapt to new conditions.
 
Events are FREE! and scheduled to align with Ojai Earth Day at Oak Grove School
where international eco-hero Vandana Shiva will be speaking.
MORE DETAILS AFTER THE BREAK//

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