Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

Occupy Henbogle

February 28, 2012

The Rain Forest Action Network organized a day of social media action today around food supply issues, calling it Occupy Your Food Supply.  Although I’m crazed with work this week, I still decided I wanted to participate in some way.  Thus, I decided to cook as nearly 100% local meal as possible and blog about it. So here we are at Occupy Henbogle headquarters with tonight’s dinner:  Spicy Shrimp and Grits.

The grits were made with stone ground Painted Mountain Corn grown just a few miles away at Fairwinds Farm.  It was seasoned with Maine sea salt and some of my Cowboy Candy, finely diced, and graced with some delicious Hunter’s Seriously Sharp Cabot Cheddar.  The local Maine wild-caught shrimp were made with sea salt, my garlic, local beer, local bacon from Ruit Farm North, and chile and pimenton from unknown lands.  Served with a fried eggs from you guessed it, my backyard.  If I’d planned better, I would have added spinach from my backyard, but opted instead to keep it local.

Knowing my readers, I’m preaching to the choir about the need to re-diversify our food supply, support local farms and farming, pay fair prices for locally produced foods, protect farmland and our environment, and keep our supplies of seed secure and safe.  But if you don’t know much about these issues, the link above to Occupy Your Food Supply is a great place to start, and your next stop should be your local farmer’s market or a nearby farm/csa program.

Oh, and dinner?  It didn’t photograph well, but man was it tasty!

Laughing through my tears

November 5, 2010

Check out this brilliant You Tube video: Hello Paul LePage

Thanks Daphne for helping me fix the link.

Monsanto, part xvii

February 10, 2010

Monsanto is at it again, pleading their case to the USDA that they be allowed to sell GE alfalfa, which OF COURSE will contaminate non-GE alfalfa.  See Leslie Land for a brief description of the problem, a link to the USDA comments page, and some language you can use to leave a comment.  Damn Monsanto.  I think Voldemort is their CEO.

A poultry tidal wave– chickens in Brunswick

October 20, 2009

IMG_4657First Portland, then Bangor, Waterville, Camden, and now Brunswick.  Maine cities are seeing the light and passing ordinances allowing city residents to keep chickens!  Spread the chicken love.

We are trend setters here at Henbogle, beginning our hen adventure way back in 2006.  Perhaps we need to set up a consulting business, teaching people henkeeping skills?

Another compelling reason to buy local food

October 5, 2009

An article in the New York Times outlining the beef inspection process and e-coli contamination highlights why choosing locally produced beef is so important.  I won’t get started now on the absurdly contradictory process the USDA uses to license local meat processors.  I’ll just say I can’t imagine ANY local processor is worse than the system described in the article.

Help for dairy farmers?

September 21, 2009

According to the Portland Press herald, the Justice Department will investigate plight of dairy farmers.

The head of the U.S. Justice Department’s antitrust division said on Saturday she has launched an investigation to determine whether giant milk processors are unfairly squeezing the nation’s dairy farmers, who are experiencing their lowest prices in more than a quarter century.

U.S. Assistant Attorney Gen. Christine Varney, testifying at a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the current crisis in the dairy industry, said she wanted to find out “why our cooperatives are the captive of one distributor.”

Let’s hope it isn’t too late for Maine’s beleaguered dairy farmers.  In the meantime, I encourage you all to chose locally produced dairy products whenever you can.  I’m a big Oakhurst fan for their attempt to stand up to Monsanto over rBGH labeling.

Thanks Dan for sending me this link!

The 3/50 Project

September 20, 2009

Eagle-eyed Dan spotted news of this project at the Freeport Knife Store.  The 3/50 Project is a simple way to promote supporting local businesses buy spending retail dollars at local businesses.  In short:  Pick 3 businesses you would miss if they closed, and make it a point to stop in and make a purchase.  If half of the employed population spent $50 a month in independent, locally owned businesses, it would generate over $46 billion in revenue.

The website goes on to say that for every $100 dollars spent locally, $68 remains in the local economy through taxes and payroll, etc.  Only $43 of every $100 spent at a big box store remains in the community.  I can’t vouch for the numbers, but I’ve heard similar figures reported over the years, and I believe them.

I mean really, we all know that most Maine Walmart employees earn so little they qualify for Medicaid, or in other words, I, through my middle class taxes, am paying for their health insurance, and Walmart not, they are instead busy convincing the next rural community that they bring good jobs to the area as a result, they need a big tax break to come to the area and open a new store, which will in turn, really threaten the locally owned businesses.  It is a vicious cycle.

I’ll have to think about which 3 are my pick (does it have to be just 3?) but I’ve probably already spent my $50 this month, shopping at farm stands and the farmer’s market, and independently-owned natural food stores, and the locally-owned nursery/garden store.  Have you?

Foodshed mapping

July 16, 2009

I came across a fascinating use of Google Maps today via Mark Bittman in the NY Times.  Parke Wilde, a food economist at Tufts, posted 10 Google maps of food/agriculture sites in the U.S., showing sites as diverse as pineapple plantations in Hawaii to giant feedlots in California and North Carolina.  Amazing and frightening.

In contrast, I’ve located on the map below the farm along the Kennebec River where we recently picked strawberries.

Who owns the seeds that feed the world

June 29, 2009

A thought-provoking graphical look at who owns the companies that produce the seed that feeds the world.

Seed Industry Structure 1996-2008

PDF: Seed Industry Structure 1996-2008

Theese and several other really interesting graphics were created by Philip Howard, an assistant professor at Michigan State University in the Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies department.

Michelle Obama breaks ground

March 19, 2009

on the White House vegetable garden tomorrow on the South Lawn.  According to the NY Times, “almost the entire Obama family, including the president, will pull weeds.

The article includes a plot map, and goes on to say it will be organic,  made up of raised beds, will include 55 different fruits and vegetables, and that the “total cost for the seeds, mulch, etc., is $200.”  Somehow I find that difficult to believe.  Whatever, I am just ecstatic it will happen.