This page contains news, event information, and other items added by myself, the intrepid farmer-in-process at Old 99. I send out a message every week, but most are set with a delete date about two weeks later. I archive some of the posts if they have content other than weekly availability of produce and meat.
You can send me questions too, which if they are of a general nature, I can post to this Old99 blog.
Lamb Special for Xmas
Special on whole lamb this month. Regular price $6.50/lb wrapped weight, Christmas special $5.85 for about 50lb of lamb, assorted cuts
Old 99 Farm, Week of Dec 1st 2013
I went to the Red Hill Valley Annual Lecture last week, heard Chris Turner, author/journalist on his research and book on Canadian federal government spending cuts. Chilling, not because they are, which I think is a necessity in a postcarbon world, but because of why. Seems on record that the reason boils down to making Canada the most attractive investment location on the planet for natural resource exploration and extraction. The growth at all costs doctrine rules in Ottawa. Check out your high school math about exponential functions: the rule of 70 all that. See http://sustainabilityissues.wordpress.com/exponential-growth/, Prof Albert Bartlett for an easy refresher. We are on track to crash the biosphere, and growth in a consumer/technological society is the driver. Can’t you see that? Just 3% growth in anything, doubles every 23 years. And the total consumption in each doubling period equals all the consumption that precedes it. That’s why I came away so chilled from Turner’s lecture. Check out his book, War on Science, and Leap, How to survive in a sustainable economy. Let me know if you do read any of these links, please. I never know who’s on track with me out there!
Why is it that we and our leaders do all in our power to ignore the obvious limits to growth? Population doubled in my lifetime, it can’t do that again; this Earth can’t take the abuse, without god-awful suffering, and not just to the human species. We tend to ignore the myriad species that co-habitate with us, but shocking, we are in the midst of the largest extinction the Earth has every known. Cuz of us.
See the primer on http://www.theautomaticearth.com/the-world-according-to-the-automatic-earth-a-2013-primer-guide-542/ for what is emerging in the energy descent present.
And now for food, eat well, my friends.
Lots of clean, local, nutrient dense food here at O 99. Yes, including eggs.
American Meat, The film. at Mercola.com
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/11/23/american-meat.aspx. Free vimeo viewing and available for purchase after Am Thanksgiving.
By Dr Mercola…If you put good old-fashioned organically-raised, pasture-fed and finished meat in a nutrition analyzer, you’d find it’s one of the most nutritious foods you can eat. However, many are still in the dark about the vast differences between Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) and organically-raised, grass-fed meats, in terms of nutrient content and contamination with veterinary drugs, antibiotics, genetically modified organisms, and disease-causing pathogens. Differences in the animals’ diets and living conditions create vastly different end products. For example, most CAFO cows are fed grains (oftentimes genetically engineered grains, which make matters even worse), when their natural diet consists of plain grass. If you’re under the age of 40 or so, and have never spent time on a real farm, chances are you have a rather dim concept of just how different today’s food production is from traditional, time-tested farming practices. These differences have monumental ramifications for our environment, for the health and wellbeing of the animals being raised, and for your own health. There are basically two very different models of food production today. The first, and most prevalent, is the large-scale agricultural model that takes a very mechanistic view toward life, whereas the other – the local, sustainable farm model – has a biological and holistic view.
American MeatThe featured documentary, American Meat,1 is “a pro-farmer look at chicken, hog and cattle production in America.” The film features full-time organic farmers Joel Salatin, owner of Polyface farms in Virginia; Chuck Wirtz, a life-long hog farmer; and Dr. Fred Kirschenmann, who manages a family farm in North Dakota. “Beginning with a history of our current industrial system, the feedlots and confinement operations are unveiled, not through hidden cameras, but through the eyes of the farmers who live and work there. From there, the story shifts to Polyface Farms, where the Salatin family has developed an alternative agricultural model based on rotational grazing and local distribution. Nationwide, a local-food movement of farmers, chefs, and everyday people has taken root.” ~ American Meat2 As a physician, it’s obvious to me – and I’m sure most of you viewing this – that the food you eat plays a major role in your health. Sadly, as a society, we’ve strayed so far from our dietary roots and become so disconnected from our food sources that our health is now in serious jeopardy. About 90 percent of the money Americans spend on food is spent on processed foods,3 and the health of the average American is a testament to the abject failure of such foods to support good health. It’s a proven fact that factory farmed and processed foods are far more likely to cause illness than unadulterated, organically-grown foods. Fortunately, more and more people are now beginning to recognize this, and are making efforts to get back to real food – the kind of food grown by the dedicated farmers featured in this film.
Old 88 Farm, Week of Nov 24, 1913
As of Nov 24th, I can offer the following crops: carrots, eggplant, lettuces, parsley, celeriac, sweet potatoes, potatoes, apples, chard, kale (Nero, Darkibor, Redbor), beets and greens, mesclun salad mix, garlic, lettuce (red and green romaine, leaf salat), cilantro, as well as honey, raw in jars and comb.
There is frozen meat: beef, lamb, pork, chicken, duck and goose.
There are eggs.
There is apple cider.
Is that enough?
Ian and Camelia
OLd 99 Farm. week of Nov 17, 2013
We’ve moved the store into the new woodshed as of last week so all is in one place. It’s still rustic, gives new meaning to ‘No Frills’ but it works much better. I have the space downstairs for a cold cellar for roots and fruits, and the freezers and fridge on the main floor.
Greens holding up well, lots of lettuces and mizuna, collard greens, beet tops. Carrot crop is now ready for harvesting over the next couple months. (Depending on how long they last!)
Special on BEEF this week. Buy $50 of steaks, roasts and shank, get 10% off. I posted a recipe for shank stew, check it out.
Peter Bane is coming to our area to do a design consultation for a small farm homesteader friend of mine, Ken Dam and Claire. Dec 7 – 8, at Lynden, 1/2 hr west of Hamilton. Peter has time around that weekend to do other work so maybe you are interested in having him do a walk about at your place. Like a prelim design scoping or overview. If you have land, including citylots, that you would like to adapt to a more sustainable design, with edibles and nectaries, so your household is more self-reliant for food and fuel, this is a golden opportunity to get started.
I’m putting the word out to my homesteading/permaculture, perennial cropping friends in case they can take advantage of this opp. It will help defray the travel expenses for Ken and Claire as well. Peter charges $100/hr for time spent on site or home based research/design/documentation. He and partner Keith Johnson helped me do the design for Old 99 Farm and I have had him here for workshops on three occasions. He is among the best pc instructors/designers in the US, authored Permaculture Handbook, Garden Farming for Town and Country, 2013, and is publisher of Permaculture Activist.
You can youtube him and google him to find out more. I like his style and substance, very able to stay focused on the client needs, unlike some others in this line of work.
His contact info is
PO 5516 Bloomington IN 47407
Home: (812) 335-0383
You can contact him or me directly for more info.
Old 99 Farm Week of Nov 10 2013
sorry everyone, already tuesday, bet you have made your grocery plans for the week!
(Hope that includes a stop here.)
Kale sale over, but pork sale on. Have lots of cuts of Tamworth pork, chops, roasts, sausage, head cheese, ribs and bacon. (I know the bacon is to die for, but I’ll going to limit it to one per customer per week so it will last.) Try the chops and roasts too. Sale is 15% off for orders of pork over $50. Half a hog is about 100 lb hanging weight, (85lb wrapped weight), $4/lb.
Eggs are a mystery right now. I have these new ISA Red layers, but with moving them into the greenhouse and upsetting their routine, not having free choice feeding, they have cut right back to about 2 doz a day. should be at least 6! I’m working on it. Have patience.
Greens are looking wonderful in the greenhouse, hope you try some of the lettuces and mizuna.
Genetically Molested Organisms in our food: good or bad?
I was real surprised when I saw that Joel Salatin, organic farmer el supremo, is debating in favor of no labelling on food we eat. Vs Joe Mercola for the affirmative.
Your chance to hear an honest debate online on Nov 7th, 8pm EST, 32 minute formal debate between these two heavy-hitters. see the link and subscribe to the #GMOdebate Livestream or Encore. This gives you the ability to watch the debate Live from Atlanta this Thursday night at 8pm EST or download the debate anytime between now and December 3, 2013.
The upcoming Joe vs. Joel Debate on the question of whether or not the federal government should mandate labeling will explore these questions and more. Those of us who advocate for change and transparency must consider, in total, the ramifications of whatever actions are taken to curb the spread of Franken-foods and the increased use of toxic herbicides they promote.
Consider this. When the federal government banned DDT, the manufacturers started selling it to farmers in other countries, and then food imports from those countries allowed the dangerous chemical to flow back into the U.S. food supply!
However, GMOs are now present in 75 to 80 percent of conventional processed food in the U.S., according to the Grocery Manufacturers Association. So doesn’t this mean the consumers need to be forewarned about possible toxins behind those pretty labels on the colorful boxes?
On the other hand, if Don Huber’s research (which will be presented at WiseTraditions.org this weekend) on the ill effects of glyphosate use on feed crops is any indication of the tremendous risk to human health posed by these foods, what more important role can the FDA play than to protect citizens from them?
Here’s Your Chance to Educate Your Friends!
This upcoming Joe vs. Joel, The Great GMO Labeling Debate is a rare opportunity for all of us to make up our minds about the best way forward. We can better advocate for public policy changes that make the most sense, and have the least negative impact on our economy and consumer choices.
Joel Salatin will take the No position, that the Federal Government should NOT require labeling. Dr. Joseph Mercola will take the Yes position, that these foods are so treacherous that the government must take action.
Where do you stand on this great debate? Will you change your mind after hearing these GMO opponents duke it out in their verbal boxing match??
Old 99 Farm week of Oct 3 2013
I’m writing you on monday morning, looking out at a frosty landscape, first hard frost of the year, minus 5 overnite. Will be interesting to see what survived in the outdoor garden and how well the new ducting in the greenhouse works to keep the indoor crops growing. Also will a touch frosty on the hands milking this am.
We had a good response to the Kale Sale last week, will continue one more week. Two for one bunch.
Lots of greens, lettuces, mizuna, arugula, chard. Carrots coming on now. Tomatoes, last week for yellow plum type. Sweet potatoes and regulars.
Beef, lamb, duck, goose and chicken available.
Me on youtube about permaculture and the future our children can look forward to.
Ian Graham on Permaculture
ps I wrote this sunday, drat I left it in draft till just now found it.
Ian and Camelia
Old 99 Farm, week of Oct 27 2013
Make this KALE Sale week! I’ve got lots of kale, four varieties. The cold weather is making it more succulent and brightening the colors. So big sale week: buy one, get one free, that is two for price of one bunch. It freezes well.
Lots of beef in the freezer now. Many cuts to choose from.
I’m hosting a farm tour this weekend for folks interested in the Carolinian forest (our region) and specifically growing edible tree crops in this climate zone. It’s on Saturday, 1pm to 5pm, and I extend the invitation to the locallygrown friends of the farm. Pls drop me an rsvp if you’d like to come. We’ll likely be making some cider too!
Ian and Camelia
GMO mini-summit Oct 25-27
I think you are on my list because you care about what you and your family eat.
So, you should know about this.
An online mini-summit of interviews with subject matter experts on GMO, genetically modified (I say molested) organisms in the food chain. Starts tomorrow. Go to http://gmosummit.org/ to find out more about who you will hear, how to sign in, etc. It’s free.
Writes Ocean Robbins, CEO of the Food Revolution Network (100 000 members)-
It hasn’t been a good week for Monsanto and the rest of the biotech industry.
Just three days ago, Mexico banned genetically engineered corn. Citing the risk of imminent harm to the environment, a Mexican judge ruled that, effective immediately, no genetically engineered corn can be planted in the country. This means that companies like Monsanto will no longer be allowed to plant or sell their corn within the country’s borders.
At the same time, the County Council for the island of Kauai passed a law that mandates farms to disclose pesticide use and the presence of genetically modified crops. The bill also requires a 500-foot buffer zone near medical facilities, schools and homes — among other locations.
And the big island of Hawaii County Council gave preliminary approval to a bill that prohibits open air cultivation, propagation, development or testing of genetically engineered crops or plants. The bill, which still needs further confirmation to become law, would also prohibit biotech companies from operating on the Big Island.
But perhaps the biggest bombshell of all is now unfolding in Washington state. The mail-in ballot state’s voters are already weighing in on Initiative 522, which would mandate the labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Knowing full well that 93 percent of the American public supports GMO labeling, and that if one state passes it, many others are likely to follow, entrenched agribusiness interests are pulling out all the stops to try to squelch yet another state labeling effort.
This time, however, things aren’t going quite as planned. On Wednesday, Washington state Attorney General Bob Feguson filed a lawsuit against the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA). The GMA, a lobby for the junk food industry, has been by far the largest donor to efforts to defeat the labeling initiative. The lawsuit alleged that the GMA illegally collected and spent more than $7 million while shielding the identity of its contributors.
The source of the money has now been exposed, and it turns out to be Pepsico, Coca-Cola, NestleUSA, General Mills and a few other junk food companies. The lawsuit revealed that GMA leadership held a series of secret meetings to plot how to perpetrate a money laundering scheme and illegally hide member donations from Washington state voters, in direct violation of campaign disclosure laws.
Unlike the junk food companies that feared consumer backlash, Monsanto hasn’t even bothered to hide the more than $4 million the company has given to the “no” campaign. In fact, GMA, Monsanto and a handful of other corporate donors have now broken a state record by pouring more than $17 million into their effort to stop Washington’s GMO labeling ballot initiative.
Voting is already underway in Washington, and the final ballots will be cast on November 5. The “yes” side is ahead in the most recent polls, but supporters of the right to know fear that a barrage of heavily funded and misleading ads could sour voters to the initiative.
They remember that just last year, California’s Proposition 37 was well ahead in the polls until Monsanto and its allies spent more than $46 million on their campaign in the Golden State.
All this label fighting and money laundering leads to some very significant questions. Why are Monsanto and the junk food industry willing to spend many tens of millions of dollars every year trying to keep you in the dark about your food? What doesn’t big food want you to know? And what are they afraid might happen if you did?
Monsanto tells us that their products are about the best thing to come along since sliced bread. For years they’ve been promising that GMOs would reduce pesticide use, increase yields, reduce water consumption, and offer foods that are more tasty and more nutritious.
I wish they were right.
But in the 20 years since GMO crops first came on the market, studies have found that they have led to higher pesticide use, and no meaningful improvement in flavor, nutrition, yield or water requirements. Instead, what they’ve created are plants that are engineered to withstand massive dosing of toxic herbicides, and plants that function as living pesticide factories. Monsanto’s Bt. corn, for example, is actually registered with the EPA as a pesticide.