Saturday, June 25, 2011

NY Times Not So Zen Farm

The NY Times has a current article called, "Zen Farm" which is a home & was a working Amish farm. I will admit the property of 150 acres is wonderful to look at for someone into Wabi Sabi, however, that is even incorrect for a description of the place since it breaks the principles of Wabi Sabi by not using what was around.

Yuppie decorating Feng Shui is another way to describe the property, which I don't mind. It's America, it's their place, but on page 17 of 22 there is an image and I quote,

Darrell Frey, a permaculture expert, is the Farm's property manager, resident philosopher and facilitator.

This actually upset me. Not one image showed ANYTHING dealing with permaculture, in fact, it shows the exact opposite. Everything appears to have been trucked in due to being bought off the internet. In a time Permaculture principles are, "Earth Care, People Care, People Share," doesn't mean you are supposed to go out and buy foo foo items to make your place look good enough for the NY Times Home and Garden. I guess this is the kind of depraved depths of Permaculture I will have to deal with in the future.

I utterly disagree with this property being a permaculture property, it's nothing more then someones fancy home, which is their right as Americans... ..and my right to whine about it on the internet.

Stay Free

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Personally Sad Permaculture Solstice

I had envisioned or had hopes for today being peaceful with celebrations for the solstice world wide. Be you pagan, or a Roman Catholic gaming in World of Warcraft all I had envisioned for today was that of one of peace.

Instead I found a very disturbing scientific article about the conditions of the ocean. First of which is a scientists warning of a massive die off in the oceans due to various reasons one of which is directly caused by you and I. However, nature has been through this before, so I have hope for the planet, not so much for mankind.

Here is the article.

However, this article links to another source, which has an even scarier article, one nations leaders should stand up and be concerned about, however it will most likely fall on deaf ears as usual.

According to scientists, the southern oceans of our world are nearly to a point where acidification will cascade in failure and cause a die off. I have already seen the die off in San Francisco's Bay, and the ecology it destroyed literally. Fishermen no longer can catch enough food for themselves let alone to sell at market. The crabs are gone, as are the sturgeon and salmon. Is this the future for all the oceans? The Mediterranean sea is already experiencing massive die offs in areas as well. What will it take for you to wake up to these problems? What is this world going to be like for your child, and his or her children if YOU keep up the destructive practices you are doing today?

Here is the article about ocean acidification.

Modern technology
Owes ecology
An apology.
~Alan M. Eddison

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Win for Farmers & Earth vs. Monsanto!

A Win for Farmers & Earth vs. Monsanto!

As of May 20th of this year, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a summary order concluding a long-standing lawsuit over the impacts of genetically engineered (GE) “Roundup Ready” sugar beets. As a direct and legally binding result, previous court rulings in favor of farmers and conservation advocates will remain!

This includes the order requiring the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to prepare a rigorous review of the impacts of GE sugar beets, engineered to be resistant to Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, before deciding whether to again allow their future commercial use!

This is important to all of us because this stops the increased pesticide impact on the environment and its directly caused Roundup-resistant “superweeds” epidemic in U.S. agriculture as well as world wide. The more US. and other farmers from around the world use petro-chemical products, the more the earth gets "salted" and the more difficult it becomes to grow. Prices will continue to rise also as a result of the price of oil. Do yourself a favor, admit your oil dependence and stop acting like a junkie before its too late.

Here's the article for you to read.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A North American jealous of South America?

Well, yeah! I was raised that we Americans are #1, Aces High, the cream in the coffee, the apple in someones eye. You get the idea. Well, wtf? Why the hell aren't we?

Yeah we got an impressive military as our economy and infrastructure crumble to the point of not even china would want us. However, a few years ago, Brazil declared energy independence from the WORLD, and no other country has since.

Now, Peru, does something equally amazing in my eyes. They banned Genetically modified food crops for the next 10 years!!! Healthy food coming out of Peru for the next 10 years! No glowing tomatoes! No farms being destroyed by Monsanto corn! Why the hell isn't the US doing this?

Here is the article, read it for yourself.

Peru approves 10 year ban on GM crops
Wednesday, 08 June 2011 16:29

1.Peru approves 10 year ban on GM crops - GENET-news
2.Brazilian commission changes its internal statutes to speed up approval of GM crops - GM-Free Brazil

NOTE: URGENT: help keep Bolivia GM free! Please act today:
via GENET-news

SOURCE: Andian, Peru
AUTHOR: Machine translation of the Spanish text
DATE: 07.06.2011

SUMMARY: "The Plenary Session of the Congress, approved the opinion of the law project that declares a moratorium of ten years that prevents the import of Genetically Modified Organisms on the national territory for cultivation, breeding or of any transgenic production."

Lima, jun. 07 (ANDINA). The Plenary Session of the Congress, approved the opinion of the law project that declares a moratorium of ten years that prevents the import of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) on the national territory for cultivation, breeding or of any transgenic production. It was sustained by the president of the Agrarian Commission, Aníbal Huerta (PAP), who declared that in the face of the danger that can arise from the use of the biotechnology a moratorium must be approved to take care of our biodiversity. It received the endorsement of congressmen Elizabeth Leon (BPCD), Franklin Sanchez (PAP), Mauritius Mulder (PAP), Oswaldo Luizar (BPCD), Jorge of Castillo (PAP), Oswaldo de la Cruz (GPF), Luis Wilson (PAP), Yonhy Lescano (AP), Aldo Estrada (UPP), Hilda Guevara (PAP), Gloria Branches (BPDC) and Maria Sumire (GPN). From different viewpoints, they agreed in the defense of the national biodiversity due to our greater climatic diversity, but they differed with regard to the moratorium. Congressman Alejandro Rebaza (PAP), made some precisions to the opinion and, like the colleagues Sanchez and Estrada, proposed a technical commission of prevention and investigation that issues a report in two years. The legislators Raul Castro (UN) and Juan Carlos Eguren (UN) expressed themselves against the moratorium, because they considered that already we consumed transgenic products and that the doors to biotechnology could not be closed because the transgenic production, that is necessary for covering the food needs, has 70% more sale than the organic production. The parliamentarian José Saldaña (AN) remembered that the biologists have asked to file the project in debate because already exists a law on the matter, whereas legislator Yaneth Cajahuanca (GPN) suggested to leave the project for the next session. On the other hand, congressmen Luis Giampietri (PAP) and Édgard Núñez (PAP) said that it is not possible to close the doors to science and that it is possible to decided on a prudential moratorium of five years. Finally, the president of the Commission of Andean Towns, Washington Zeballos (BPCD), informed on the modifications to the opinion and that the term of the moratorium would have to be of ten years. The proposal was approved by 56 votes to favor, zero against and two abstentions and exonerated from second voting by 50 votes to favor, four against and three abstentions. The approved norm establishes a moratorium of ten years, determines as competent authority of the subject to the Ministry of the Environemnt and creates a Technical Commission of Evaluation and Prevention of Risks of Use of GMOs, that in two years will have to issue a report on the subject.
2.Brazilian commission changes its internal statutes to speed up approval of GM crops and hasten the release of modified beans
Update from the GM-Free Brazil Campaign
Brazil | Rio de Janeiro | June 07 2011

On May 17th a public hearing was held in Brasilia to discuss an application for commercial release of the first genetically modified bean variety. Beans are part of Brazil's staple diet, consumed daily by most of the population. The new variety was developed by Embrapa (the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation) for resistance to the golden mosaic virus and is already just waiting for commercial authorization from CTNBio (National Biosafety Technical Commission, the official body responsible for evaluating and authorizing GM crops).

The hearing was held at the head offices of Embrapa itself, the state company making the application. This unprecedented event raised the prospect of CTNBio adopting the procedure of ‘consulting society’ at the premises of all applicant companies, with, who knows, the next hearing being held at Monsanto’s head office. The president of CTNBio, Edilson Paiva, claimed they had been unable to find another auditorium available in Brasilia, hence the choice.

The representative for the NGO Terra de Direitos questioned the confidentiality granted to various sections of Embrapa's report. CTNBio withheld more information than the areas requested by the company, a fact likely to hinder monitoring of the product’s impacts after its commercial release. In this case access to all the data was denied even to the member of the Commission responsible for reporting on the evaluation process.

Field studies were undertaken in just three localities over a two-year period. Interpreted generously this mean that the environmental impacts of the technology were tested in two biomes at most. Brazil's legislation requires studies to be undertaken in all biomes where the modified plant might be grown. As the Terra de Direitos representative pointed out, Embrapa is applying for unrestricted release of the new GM bean variety throughout the country, despite the lack of adequate data.

AS-PTA's representative also questioned the absence of data on the potential impacts of genetic modification on the common bean varieties already consumed in Brazil. All the tests were carried out on a single type of bean, rather than those consumed in the country on a daily basis. At the same time, various parts of Embrapa’s report themselves state that the test results vary according to the type of bean receiving the transgene. Despite these tests not being conducted, the application is for release of the GM variety for subsequent incorporation into other bean plants.

Even more revealingly, only two of the 22 transgenic events generated for resistance to the mosaic virus actually worked. As the evaluation report states, it remains unknown why these produced the expected results while the other 20 events did not. Indeed the report concludes that more studies are needed to understand the transgene in question. In other words, when in doubt, release it. This abandonment of the Precautionary Principle was highlighted at the hearing by AS-PTA.

The representative from CONSEA (the National Nutritional and Food Security Council) stressed that the human right to healthy and adequate food will be achieved through agroecology, not through the development of GM seeds. He cited experiments run by Embrapa over an eight-year period that showed considerable success in controlling the bean plant mosaic virus through organic farming methods and without any loss of productivity.

CTNBio approves changes to rules to speed up commercial releases

The day after the public hearing on the GM bean application, the monthly meeting of CTNBio also began in Brasilia. Opening the plenary session, the Secretary of Research and Development Policies and Programs of the Ministry of Science and Technology, Carlos Nobre, emphasized the importance of the Commission’s work and the need for risk evaluation to be based on the Precautionary Principle, much to the incredulity of many of those listening to him. As soon as the Secretary left the plenary session, the president of CTNBio announced that the vote would be taken on changing the body’s statutes. But after hearing the first question, he immediately announced that the process would be sped up to avoid the ‘obstruction principle.’

The regulations were set to be altered at the meeting following a court ruling that obliged CTNBio to introduce more transparent procedures and allow access to the information received for evaluation, except for data covered confidential business information.

The members of the Commission used the chance to alter the statutes to approve changes to the ritual of the evaluation process. They shortened the evaluation periods, meaning that GMOs releases will be even quicker in practice, reinforcing CTNBio's image as a rubber-stamping institution that has so far never refused a request for commercial release.

The vote to approve the release of GM beans is set to take place shortly.

Meanwhile, I am going outside, gonna plant more food, improve my soil, and enjoy some nice warm tea.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Can ancient ingenuity be more profitable?

Here is one man's view of how ancient technology has been more profitable & useful then more modern techniques, either way, it is food for thought. Have a look!

Anupam Mishra: The ancient ingenuity of water harvesting | Video on

Permaculture Food for your mind.