Local farms and food are well into their renaissance across the country. The demands now extend far beyond the sweet corn, apple and pumpkin-centric rural excursions of the 20th century. Today people are seeking foraged ramps and mushrooms, odd varieties of broccoli and squash and a vast offering of interesting greens. Grains on the other hand have been slower to resurge, and for understandable reasons. For one, a freshly picked strawberry is clearly superior to any supermarket offering, but the same comparison cannot easily be made for grains. Secondly, its quite difficult to farm grains on a small scale especially in the economic world we...
There's been a couple of cool articles in Scientific American about the great diversity of corn grown by family farmers in Mexico. These hyper-local varieties maintain a large genetic diversity that could help corn adapt in the future. A case in point is the second article here, which describes a strain grown in Oaxaca that fixes most of its own nitrogen. Nitrogen dependence is corn's Achilles heel, and the main reason that we need to fertilize it. The author even speculates that we may have accidentally bred out corn's ability to fix nitrogen a long time ago, and that...
Solar roasted a test batch of wild Chicory root today. Chicory grows in disturbed soil all over North America, the blue flower is easy to identify. The root makes a coffee like beverage that has hints of roasted marshmallows.
Thanks to everyone who helped fund our Kiva loan to expand our rooftop solar array! The cool thing about Kiva is that they don’t take fees from their lenders or borrowers; every dollar you give goes to the recipient, and you get it back in full. Kiva covers their operating expenses from separate donations. Interest free lending is a great way to make a difference, and there are lots of worthy projects there to check out. https://www.kiva.org