James Rebanks has written a memoir , The Shepherd's Life, about running his family farm in England's Lake District, "[T]hat teacher’s idea of the Lake District was created by an urbanised and increasingly industrialised society, over the past 200 years. It was a dream of a place for a wider society that was full of people disconnected from the land. That dream was never for us, the people who work this land. We were already here doing what we do. I wanted to tell her that she had it all wrong – she didn’t really know this place or its people at all. These thoughts took years to become clear, but in a rough childish form I think they were there from the start. But in that assembly in 1987 I was dumb and 13, so I just made a farting noise on my hand, and everyone laughed. [more inside]
Farm Animal Winter Wear from modern farmer. What the coziest animals are wearing this season.
The award-winning Australian television series McLeod's Daughters aired from 2001 – 2009. A drama, the story begins by following the lives of half sisters Claire and Tess McLeod, reunited after they inherit a vast outback cattle farm (“Drover’s Run”), that has been handed down through the men in their family for generations. 224 episodes were produced, and all are available on YouTube. [more inside]
Wanted: Caretaker For Farm. Simply watch over a 688 acre patch of hilly farmland and feed a few cows, you get 300 a week and a nice 2 bedroom trailer, someone older and single preferred but will consider all, relocation a must, you must have a clean record and be trustworthy—this is a permanent position, the farm is used mainly as a hunting preserve, is overrun with game, has a stocked 3 acre pond, but some beef cattle will be kept, nearest neighbor is a mile away, the place is secluded and beautiful, it will be a real get away for the right person, job of a lifetime—if you are ready to relocate please contact asap, position will not stay open. [more inside]
"Founded in 1912 as a farm colony of Brooklyn State Hospital, the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in Queens [New York] became, by mid-century, a world unto itself. At its peak, it housed some 7,000 patients. They tended gardens and raised livestock on the hospital’s grounds. The hospital contained gymnasiums, a swimming pool, a theater, a television studio, and giant kitchens and laundries where patients were put to work. Today, Creedmoor, still run by the New York State Office of Mental Health, has only a few hundred patients" and houses The Living Museum, an 'art asylum within an asylum' where patients can create and exhibit their art. But what is life like inside the institution itself? In 2010, Katherine B. Olsen spent weeks interviewing staff and patients. Her essay, published this week, 'Something More Wrong' takes us inside Creedmoor's women's ward. [more inside]
Fraud in the organic farming sector has become a thriving international industry made up of a complex network of companies that bears all the marks of traditional organised crime. Excerpts.
Will Allen's Growing Power operates urban farms. His first Milwaukee farm is three urban acres where he grows enough food to feed 10,000 people. An interview by the Splendid Table's Lynne Rossetto Kasper in support of his new book. Previously.
In a triumph of both technology and agriculture, the Guinness World Record for largest Quick Response code has been claimed by a corn maze.
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Yesteryear's Tools is an Internet Magazine that concentrates on hand tools, the toolmakers and the tool distributors that operated mostly between the mid-1800s and mid to late-1900s. Particular attention centers upon the markings and labels of such makers and distributors, specifically those that can be classified as manufacturers and/or major distributors. [more inside]
Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills. You know, like nunchuku skills, bow hunting skills, computer hacking skills...
Jack Hargreaves the presenter of Out of Town and the author of The Old Country explains the finer points of dog training; ratting sticks, coppicing, and wattle hurdles; and rabbiting. [more inside]
The Victorian Kitchen Garden is a 13-part TV series that aired in 1987 on BBC2. It follows the month-by-month restoration of the Victorian walled kitchen garden at the Chilton Foliat estate in Wiltshire, England. Almost all the episodes are available to watch online. (via hark, a vagrant) It had three sequels - The Victorian Kitchen, The Victorian Flower Garden, and The Wartime Kitchen and Garden - and inspired more recent historical reconstruction programs: Tales From the Green Valley, A Tudor Feast at Christmas, Victorian Farm, Victorian Farm Christmas, Victorian Pharmacy, and Edwardian Farm. (Victorian Farm and Edwardian Farm previously.) [more inside]
Former romance writer & city girl Suzanne McMinn blogs at Chickens in the Road, a non-fancy, non-Martha Stewartish, realistic look into the simple, often vanishing, life of rural America in the country outside one tiny town in the Appalachian foothills. She posts daily, chronicling her photography, stories, recipes, crafts, and sentimental thoughts on the history, people, life, and beauty of rural Appalachia. Her stated goal: to connect people with their food again--hands on, hands in, the old-fashioned way. (And she even managed to get financial compensation when a photo she took of her goats was used in a print publication without attribution.)
Here's a story about a nice lady who goes to the farmer's market and buys some fresh produce. [more inside]
The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (Halyomorpha halys) is an invasive insect introduced from China and first spotted in the United States in 1998 in Allentown, PA. [more inside]
Let's say just for a moment that you were ready to cash out. Quit your job. Sell your house. Take you and yours out of the rat race with a few hundred of your friends and family and relocate onto arable land. What tools would you need to sustain a livable—maybe even comfortable—lifestyle? Open Source Ecology suggests you start with ~2.6 million dollars and these | fifty | machines (← watch this first), collectively referred to as the Global Village Construction Set.
From 2005, a short film version of Rogue Farm by Metafilter's Own Charlie Stross. Not had your fill of biotech horror in the Highlands? Listen to an ensemble cast perform the whole thing at Balticon, or indeed, read the original story.
Some people use farm tractors for work. Others use them for play. Olle Hemmingson uses his as a musical accompaniment. [via; Previously.]
Last year, Yang Youde learned that his land had been requisitioned. Since the compensation terms for breaking the contract had not been settled, he has refused to move out. "The evictors said many times that they will move on me." Earlier this year, Yang took measures to protect himself. He took a hand-truck and removed the front. Then he put in a set of rockets for use as an artillery battery.
PIG 05049 (TED 11.5min) - Christien Meindertsma explores the processing of raw materials - in this case, anonymous Dutch pig.
One Year - Time Lapse Seasons, times and scenery changing over the course of a year at Terrapin Garden Farms. [via mefi projects]
Family Guy Corn Maze. Walk among the rows with Brian and Stewie.
Will Allen, the founder of Growing Power, an urban farm in Milwaukee, has won a MacArthur Genius grant. Growing Power uses aquaculture, vermiculture, and sustainable agriculture to raise food in an urban environment. Chefs of the region have taken notice, but that's not Growing Power's main purpose. Congratulations to only the second farmer to win a Genius Grant. [more inside]
"As a great architect once said, 'Buildings should look like what they are'." John Jessop became so frustrated with the red tape required for his company to get permission to build a farm shed, he submitted a sarcastic application . Read his full "Planning Application for Erection of Agricultural Implement Shed" here [pdf, 3 pages]. No word yet on whether the shed was approved. Via.
Young Americans are leaving the city to return to the land, and the New York Times is on it, well the Style section is covering the trend. Is this just some fashion trend or are these the young Americans Emerson was looking for? [more inside]
I’ve discovered that typically, a farmer who grows the forbidden fruits and vegetables on corn acreage not only has to give up his subsidy for the year on that acreage, he is also penalized the market value of the illicit crop, and runs the risk that those acres will be permanently ineligible for any subsidies in the future. (The penalties apply only to fruits and vegetables — if the farmer decides to grow another commodity crop, or even nothing at all, there’s no problem.) If you can't stop demand, curtail production. One farmer's view on the power of commodity crops. [more inside]
"Find Good Food Near You. Want fresh, locally grown food, but don't know where to find it? The LocalHarvest community level map makes it easy to find sustainable farmers, farmers markets and Community Supported Agriculture projects (CSAs) in your area."
This is Our Slaughterhouse "I never thought of making a documentary. It took a friend to convince me that not everyone grew up working in a slaughterhouse. I realized the slaughterhouse I had worked in all those years was bizarrely entertaining enough that it might make an interesting documentary..." 22-minute short film on a small-scale poultry processing plant.
Nice Ass! Jon Katz describes why he owns and loves his donkeys. Follow-up: what happened when Lulu fell during an ice storm.
How Much Fossil Fuel Does Your Dinner Burn? Ingredients for the average American meal travel well over 1500 miles to reach your plate. Our food might be inexpensive, but it's costing the planet a lot (and doesn't taste so hot either, since it's bred to withstand shipping and have long shelf life rather than to taste good). So what happens when people reject the large-scale industrial food system? One recent development in the growing localism movement is the 100-Mile Diet, originated by a Canadian couple who spent a full year eating only foods grown or raised within 100 miles of their home. They'll even give you a road map to having a 100-Mile Thanksgiving. For other variations on the eat-local idea, check out ideas like the Eat Local Challenge, Slow Food, and Locavores encourage you to rediscover your place on earth, build community, and enjoy the Local Harvest.
Farmadeliphication (fahr'muh'deli'fi'kay'shun), n. 1. The process of turning all of Philadelphia's vacant and abandoned lots into urban farms. n. 2. An entry in the UrbanVoids international design competition to redo Philadelphia's inner city.
I found this and wanted to share. It reminds me of Hardware Wars from the late seventies (mentioned here). Check out the organic trade association for more for-real information.
Concerning crops. Pesticides are good and/or bad. Organic is good and/or bad. And what about organic pesticides? Maybe organic might not even mean what you think it means. Let's strap on our pesticide gear and grow something--or die trying! (headlice.org, what a nice resource!)
Farming origins gain 10,000 years. Humans made their first tentative steps towards farming 23,000 years ago, much earlier than previously thought. Stone Age people in Israel collected the seeds of wild grasses some 10,000 years earlier than previously recognised, say experts.
Bleak photography of deserted farms in Iceland (farms? Iceland?) is what photographer Nokkvi Eliasson specializes in, and this gallery (one of two - here's the other) showcases some of his best stuff.
You think your neighbors are bad? Try living with a lady who kept cows in her upstairs apartment.
Fashion & Farm Sex Benneton Group company Sisley is well known for ...well, uhm... different images in advertising campaigns. Right now they're using cute animals and evil girls... What do you think about that?
The report emphasised... that there had been no deliberate intention by ministers or Whitehall to deceive or protect farming interests at the expense of consumers. Yeah, right.