Roping a deer in the wilds of Yorkville



I had this idea that I could rope a deer, put it in a stall, feed it up on corn for a couple of weeks, then kill it and eat it. The first step in this adventure was getting a deer. I figured that, since they congregate at my cattle feeder and do not seem to have much fear of me when we are there (a bold one will sometimes come right up and sniff at the bags of feed while I am in the back of the truck not four feet away), it should not be difficult to rope one, get up to it and toss a bag over its head (to calm it down) then hog tie it and transport it home.

I filled the cattle feeder then hid down at the end with my rope. The cattle, having seen the roping thing before, stayed well back. They were not having any of it. After about 20 minutes, my deer showed up — three of them. I picked out a likely looking one, stepped out from the end of the feeder, and threw my rope. The deer just stood there and stared at me.

Survey Finds “Buy Local” Message Benefitting Independent Businesses


For the fourth year in a row, a national survey of independent businesses has found that those in communities with an active “buy local” campaign have experienced markedly stronger revenue growth compared to those located in areas without such a campaign.

The survey, which was conducted over an 8-day period in January, gathered data from 2,768 independent businesses, including retailers, service providers, restaurants and others. It found that those in places with a “buy local” initiative reported revenue growth of 5.6% on average in 2010, compared to 2.1% for those elsewhere.

Among independent retailers, which accounted for nearly half the respondents, there was a similar gap in holiday sales performance, with those in “buy local” communities seeing a 5.2% increase in holiday sales, while those elsewhere

New Study Ranks Metro Areas on the Vitality of Their Independent Retail


A groundbreaking new study, the Indie City Index, ranks all 363 metropolitan areas in the U. S. according to the vitality of their independent retail sectors.

Produced by Civic Economics, the index analyzes the share of retail sales captured by independent retailers and assigns a score to each metro. In regions that score above 100, independent retailers capture a larger than average share of spending, while chains are more dominant in those metros that score less than 100.

Topping the list are Ocean City, NJ; Bellingham, WA; Medford, OR; Carson City, NV; San Jose, CA; Barnstable, MA; Austin, TX; Dalton, GA; Harrisonburg, VA; Gainesville, GA and Glens Falls, NY.

The Indie City Index also ranks cities within their region and within their population class, identifying those that outperform their peers.

Overall, the study found that independent retailers are strongest in the Mid-Atlantic, Pacific,

Readers Write About Their Love Of Tree Groves


[Over at The Contrary Farmer blogsite, readers respond to Gene Logsdon’s post: An Affinity For Tree Groves… -DS]

Gene: What an outpouring of response! (See Below) I love you all. W.A., you guessed it correctly, I am starting a book about woodland, which is what prompted me to ask readers what their thoughts were on the subject. As to your question about planting seeds or transplants, my experience is that in four years or so, you can’t tell the difference as far as growth goes. But the transplant is more apt to die in the first year or two. On the other hand, the seed is liable to get eaten by some wildling. But planting seed is much easier than transplants.Brad Brookins: I prefer living on the edge of woodland too, not in deep forest. The years we lived in a log cabin in the heart of a tree grove, we sometimes felt the days were a bit on the gloomy side or that we needed bigger windows. If it had been my property, i would have cut down more of the trees in the yard to lighten up the scene. Granny Miller: I am burning some cherry now too,

Mendo Island Transition: Gross National Happiness


Bhutanese Prime Minister Jigmi Y. Thinley on Gross National Happiness, his country’s traditions, and the importance of democracy.

Bhutan has pioneered the use of Gross National Happiness (GNH) as a measure of progress, instead of the more commonly used GNP. GNH measures not only economic activity, but also cultural, ecological, and spiritual well-being.

YES! Magazine Contributing Editor Madhu Suri Prakash attended a meeting of educators from around the world, convened by the government of Bhutan in December 2009, to encourage them to make the happiness of all people the central organizing principle of their philosophy of education. In September 2010, Bhutanese Prime Minister Jigmi Y. Thinley visited the United States to promote GNH education and economic theory.

The Farmer and the Horse

The film’s website here

This video available for rent at Mulligan Books

Mendo’s Own Live Power Community Farm (CSA) in Covelo

Live Power Community Farm is a 40-acre, biodynamic/organic Community Sustained Agriculture (CSA) farm that provides fresh, high-quality food for 160 households in the San Francisco Bay Area and Mendocino County. We also host on-farm school visits, apprentice training, and farm-related workshops. Our innovative approach to farmland ownership, economics, and food distribution revitalizes the culture of land stewardship by creating a conscious, mutually supportive relationship between farmers, consumers, and nature.

Draft Proposal for a Mendocino Community Based Farming Network


As the energy crisis and climate pollution deepens and the need becomes more acute

Gene Logsdon: An Affinity For Tree Groves

The Contrary Farmer
Upper Sandusky, Ohio

I have been cuddling up lately to the woodstove and giving thanks for my good fortune in being able to do so. When we could finally afford to buy our own land, my wife and I were determined to get a tract that had a woodlot on it and fortunately we were able to do that. My thinking, even in the early seventies was that I wanted my own source of fuel and in my mind, that meant some established woodland so I could commence staying warm immediately. But thinking about that while sitting by the fire, I was overcome by what I believe everyone refers to today as an epiphany. I realized that practical considerations about staying warm were probably not the real reason I wanted to live in the woods. It was suddenly apparent to me that I had spent almost all my life in or next to groves of trees. Even when I went to work in Philadelphia, we found, in the suburbs, a house that had a wild tree grove at the back end of it…

Complete article at The Contrary Farmer

The SOTU In Three Words


NPR asked listeners what they heard last night:

Right after President Barack Obama finished his State of the Union address, we asked our listeners to describe his speech in three words. We received responses from more than 4,000 of you. We’ve run them through a word cloud generator …

Technology’s False Promise

Thanks to Ron Epstein

Kevin Kelly’s new book, What Technology Wants, is a dense but fascinating exploration of technology’s past, present, and future. And while I’ve highlighted a bevy of sections in my copy of the book, there’s one thought in particular I want to share with you today.

Kelly begins Chapter 10, titled “The Unabomber Was Right” (um … yeah), with a series of references to inventors and technological commentators from the 1890s to the 1970s who genuinely believed that technology was on the cusp of producing world peace. For instance, Hiram Maxim — the inventor of the machine gun — insisted his invention would “make war impossible.” And Kelly’s list goes on:

  • Orville Wright believed the aeroplane would “have a tendency to make war impossible.”
  • Jules Verne believed the submarine and other improved “war material” would make war “impossible.”
  • Alfred Nobel (founder of the Nobel Prize) believed his invention, dynamite,