In 2007, Ross Scott began a new video series, Freeman's Mind. "Basically the premise is that in the Half-Life series, the protagonist Gordon Freeman is entirely silent the whole time. So what this series aims to do is fill in the silence with his thoughts." Seven years and 68 episodes later, the project is complete. [more inside]
A landmark study indicates that seven pesticides, some widely used, may be causing clinical depression in farmers. [more inside]
Find a pick-your-own farm near you! Then learn to can and freeze! On this charmingly Web 1.0 site, you can learn via rainbow-colored Comic Sans how to find a pick-your-own food farm near you (or add and correct listings), and how to pick and preserve just about anything you can imagine.
People who keep llamas as pets will readily offer you any number of reasons: llamas are quiet, they’re gentle and affectionate, they don’t take a lot of work to maintain and, for outdoor animals, they don’t smell bad. Most people start with two or three, since llamas are sociable and don’t like to live alone. But as Katrina Capasso, a llama owner in Ballston Spa, N.Y., discovered, “They’re like potato chips.” It’s hard to stop at just a few. [more inside]
As Americans, we pick a place to live and then figure out how to get where we need to go. If no way exists, we build it. Roads, arterials, highways, Interstates, and so on. Flexible and distributed transportation networks are really the only solution compatible with that way of thinking. Trains, which rely on a strong central network, never had a chance. We were destined for the automobile all the way back in 1787, when we first decided to carve up the countryside into tidy squares.Town, Section, Range, and the Transportation Psychology of a Nation [more inside]
Reivestments, surging prices for commodities yield tidy sums for farmers. Midwest farmers seem to playing a system to their advantage. May be of worth to small farms being pushed out by encroaching growth.
"Once, a prima donna sheep got fed up with the photo shoot and stormed off the set," he says. "She was inconsolable and impossible to convince to return." Rob MacInnis takes photographs of barnyard animals using the techniques of fashion photography. More here (NYTimes blog). (Be sure to check out the panoramas.)
Correctional Services Canada and the Harper Administration say they will close the Frontenac Institution prison farm. A group called Save Our Prison Farms in Kingston Ontario says they won't. Conflict at 11. [more inside]
In these hard economic times, everyone's feeling the pinch. Some farmers have started downsizing to miniature cows.
A Farm For The Future. Wildlife filmmaker Rebecca Hosking, previously in the public eye campaigning for the banning of plastic bags in the UK, is moving back to the family farm to take over from her father. This "deeply hopeful but realistic film" describes her investigation of the steps she could take to change it from a traditional beef pasture farm to a truly sustainable permaculture environment. [more inside]
"It's ethnic cleansing happening." Fully ten days after elections that most are speculating were indeed won by the opposition party (Movement for Democratic Change), Robert Mugabe still clings to power in Zimbabwe. The voting results have still not been released, and 5 election officials have been arrested, "accused of tampering with the vote to the detriment of Mugabe's tally." Its been a tense time for Zim, and now the violence and land seizures have started again. [more inside]
Monsanto’s Harvest of Fear. "Monsanto already dominates America’s food chain with its genetically modified seeds. Now it has targeted milk production. Just as frightening as the corporation’s tactics–ruthless legal battles against small farmers–is its decades-long history of toxic contamination."
Trying to get unemployed youth interested in farming, Pasana O2 boasts a slick website (Japanese only unfortunately), a vision statement, a newsletter and oh yeah, an underground farm covering one square kilometer inside a former bank vault. [Via our very own]
Twilight for Black Farms. An interesting topic at NPR. Photos. Audio. Essay.
This journal is intended to share my love and appreciation for the hard work farmers and their families do to create such beautiful places and beautiful food. Tana Butler visists small farms near Santa Cruz, CA, sharing her thoughts and photographs [ farms | farmers | markets | food ].
Delightful photographs of pigs, cattle, sheep, and horses by Yann Arthus-Bertrand. (Previous discussion of his aerial photography.)
IN AFGHAN PROVINCE, POPPY PLANTING HAS STRONG APPEAL It isa good to be freed from the constraits of the Taliban and to engage in capitalism at the global level. Chhers for the family farmers.
Bet the Farm. Friday Flash Fun! Do you have what it takes to run a modern farm? This online game pits your decision making against the forces of nature and the market in a simple, clever, educational flash game. I made $9.33 an hour! Who will be MetaFilter's master farmer?
Listen to a true ready made Halloween horror story about a David vs Goliath type struggle. On her October 24th show Caroline Casey creator of the VisionaryActivism Radio show interviewed Percy Schmeiser a canola farmer from Saskatchewan Canada whose organic Canola fields were genetically contaminated with Monsanto's Round-Up Ready Canola. Schmeiser a 40 year organic canola seed saver is in the fight of his life against the powerful Monsanto corporation. This powerful interview should make you cry and provoke you to clean your pantry and refrigerator and rethink food choices like I did.
Farmland for sale. $80-100 trillion. Russia's lower house of parliament on Wednesday passed a bill that would allow the sale of Russian farmland for the first time since the days of the czars, but would bar foreigners from buying it.. foreign companies could still purchase Russian land through subsidiaries that are majority Russian-owned.
US Department of Agriculture under pressure to purchase surplus crops. One solution is to use the crops in school lunches, so they are testing things like sweet potato pancakes and hamburgers with prune puree in them (which makes them healthier by replacing some of the fat).
This make sense. Farm workers are an ideal market for cells. It's weird how fast the way we relate to a technology changes. What do Mefi'ers think that cell phones meant when they first appeared and how has their meaning changed over the years?
Guardian weblog has assembled a special page with foot-and-mouth disease links, mostly (tho not completely) Eurocentric. The links include one to an elaborate backgrounder (with a few graphic photos) from thepigsite.com.
Enjoy what may be your last royalty-free Christmas dinner... Opinion solicitation: is either extreme right here? Is there a compromise solution that will satisfy both sides? Where do the rest of us (i.e., the food consumers) fit in to this?
Big Business vs. the little guy. After you read the story, go check out the Website of the pig farmer. The only question I have is: Can they find a Judge who doesn't golf?