Paul Ryan’s Slasher Novel…


From MICHAEL KINSLEY
Politico

The fiscal savior of this country will be the person who persuades us to bite the bullet: Accept some pain now to remain prosperous later. That person will not be Rep. Paul Ryan.

The reviewers agree: The Path to Prosperity, aka the Republican budget proposal for 2012… by the House Budget Committee — which Ryan chairs — is one helluva read. To liberals, it’s the nightmare of a madman with an ax chasing you down a long hallway. To conservatives, it’s a sweet dream of wonderland, where angels dine on Heritage Foundation press releases. Right or wrong, it is said, Ryan has at last set the stage for an honest debate about government spending and the federal deficit.

But he hasn’t. The Path to Prosperity purports to be something that’s been missing since Ronald Reagan’s first inaugural address in 1981. For 30 years, Republicans have demanded a balanced budget without producing one, even on paper. What would it look like?

Don Sanderson: Wandering, Wondering…


From DON SANDERSON
Hopland

“By themselves they won’t bring about the penetrating changes in human culture that we need for people to live in true harmony and balance with one another and the earth. The next great opening of an ecological worldview will have to be an internal one.” – activist ecologist John Milton, when referring to the usual approaches to dealing with our increasingly appalling  predicament

A cardboard box, perhaps 12” by 15”, 3” deep, lay in my mailbox. I’d expected a couple of books, but this? When it was opened, I discovered a thick volume stretch-wrapped and padded with foam bubbles.

Gina Covina: Repurposed plastic cups provide predator protection for pears…


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From GINA COVINA
Laughing Frog Farm
Laytonville

Thanks to Viva for the idea and Pour Girls for the cups. They can be re-used as many years as the plastic lasts — we’ll see. I just covered the pears I could reach without a ladder, leaving the treetop fruit for the neighborhood rowdies — who came by last night for the first party of the season. Raccoons by the look of it — small branches snapped, two dozen pears on the ground, some whole and others partly eaten — “Eeww that’s not sweet yet, try another.” No damage to the fruit in pear protectors. The raccoons went after the Red Bartlett first of course — not only is the fruit red from the start, attracting attention, but it’s also the earliest to ripen (maybe three weeks off).

I was thinking more of thwarting the ravens, who last year pecked into

e-Patriarchy: Does the internet promote misogynistic behavior?


From ALJAZEERA
The Stream

The internet offers anonymity, but it may not be a safe haven for women. A University of Maryland study found that when the gender of an online username looks female, they are 25 times more likely to experience harassment. A few have even described it as a “gang-rape” like mentality when referring to the extreme levels of online misogyny.

Some women have responded by creating women-friendly online enclaves and encouraging others to write or video blog about online harassment. Is it simply the anonymity that allows men to take such liberties or is it an extension of offline sentiment?

In this episode of The Stream, we speak to Helen Lewis (@helenlewis), deputy editor of the New Statesman, and Alice Marwick (@alicetiara), Assistant Professor at Fordham University…
~~

William Edelen: The Cosmic Dance


From WILLIAM EDELEN
Toward the Mystery

People often ask me “what are you?… what do you believe? Buddhist, Taoist, Christian… what?” In a joking mood I may tell them that I am a Druid, Taoist, Agnostic, Shaman.

But, when serious, I tell them I live within the historical stream of mysticism… and that world view, cosmology, or philosophy of life, is the same whether one lives in a Taoist society, Buddhist, Christian, or secular. With this consciousness, the ultimate reality (or God) is apprehended directly without any mediation. Subject and object become One in a timeless, spaceless act that is ineffable and gloriously joyful. Beauty and light and love are seen pervading the entire universe, including the individual self, now merged in Oneness with all creation. It is a “cosmic dance”.

The experience transcends the reach of any language. The Mystery is within us and every leaf, every atom, every molecule… with all. The universe is a totality and an interrelatedness of all things. For the cohesive Mystery within that totality, we use the word symbol “God”. It is creative love in a “cosmic dance”.

Many still want to apply the word symbol “God” to something “out there”, separate and distinct from us “down here” on this planet earth.

Todd Walton: Goff & Krishnamurti


From TODD WALTON
Under The Table
Mendocino

“Conventional education makes independent thinking almost impossible. Conformity leads to mediocrity. Conventional education puts an end to spontaneity and breeds fear.” Krishnamurti

I spent my two of years in college at the University of California, Santa Cruz from 1967 to 1969 when the school was considered an experimental college because professors were supposed to write evaluations of students rather than give grades, and students were invited to invent their own programs of independent study.

One guy in my dorm did an independent study entitled Surfing Poems. He went surfing for ten weeks and wrote poems about his experience. Another fellow (he loved to play his guitar in our resonant dorm bathroom) did an independent study entitled Songs From My Life for which he wrote three songs melodically indistinguishable from Bob Dylan’s Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right.

Will Parrish: 21st Century Timber Wars…


From WILL PARRISH
Ukiah
TheAVA

At Sierra Pacific Industries’ sawmill on the Samoa Peninsula, where the Mad River Slough meets Humboldt Bay, eight miles southwest of Arcata, logging trucks carrying redwoods and Doug firs roll through the entrance several hundred times a day during the summer months. The trees are felled on the company’s mountainous tracts off of the Trinity Highway, high above Willow Creek, as well as in other areas of Humboldt County, then hauled to the coastal mill to be refined into lumber for both housing and commercial construction.

Given the favorable weather and road conditions, timber companies cut at a frenzied pace in the dry season. The amount of cutting is particularly extravagant in the case of Sierra Pacific Industries, Goliath among California’s industrial timber giants.

The more than-a-century-year-old firm, which was founded in Humboldt, controls over two million acres, or more than two percent of all private land in California. That translates to greater than half of the state’s industrial timberland. The company is best known in recent years for clearcutting in the Sierra Nevada

To Mendocino Redwood Company and the Fisher Family: Stop the Use of Deadly Herbicides…


From ELAINE KALANTARIAN
Navarro

[Please see Will Parrish article Hack & Squirt: Herbicide Poisoning in Mendo — Parts One & Two — then please sign the petition here… ~EK]

We all have a right to clean air, water and soil. The Mendocino Redwood Company, owned by the billionaire Fisher family — owners and founders of The Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Piperlime and Athleta — currently applies TWO TONS of the highly concentrated, broad-spectrum herbicide imazapyr EVERY YEAR here in Mendocino County to kill tanoak, madrone and other hardwood trees that are not as commercially valuable as redwood and Douglas fir.

Tanoak, and other less lucrative hardwoods, are extremely valuable food source trees for wildlife, important succession trees for forest recovery after logging, and a valuable source for carbon-neutral heating: firewood. MRC claims it is not “cost-effective” to manually remove these unwanted trees and must use herbicides. They have determined

Unequal Protection — Chapter Fifteen: Unequal Taxes


From THOM HARTMANN
AlterNet

You must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessings. —President Andrew Jackson

It costs money to run a government, and the more you want the government to do, the more it usually costs. One point to consider is how much do we want our government to do? Another is, who should pay for it?

Tax policy is how government funds its services and also one way it fulfills the will of the people who elect it by providing tax incentives or disincentives for particular types of behaviors. Consider how home mortgage interest deductibility has fueled home buying, for example.

As we have seen, starting well before Santa Clara, some companies have worked hard to get out of paying for anything, including taxes. Some even spent years resisting paying taxes on land the government had given them for free; they then worked the issue to a ludicrous extent. The Santa Clara case involved going to the Supreme Court to fight a tax of one-tenth of 1 percent.

You and I could never afford

The Role of Public vs. Private is the Central Issue of This Campaign… [Update]


From GEORGE LAKOFF
The Little Blue Blog

[Update: Tell the House Democrats in ultra-safe districts who have stockpiled more than $63 million to start sending some of that money to progressive Democrats. This is how we win the House. See petition below… -DS]

Obama’s and Romney’s Opposed Visions for a Free America

America is divided about its future. Should it keep and expand the system that brought past opportunity, prosperity and freedom? Or should it dismantle that system?

President Obama recently reminded us that private life, private enterprise, and personal freedom depend on what the public provides.

“The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet. (…) when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.

Transition: How Communities Can Invest in Solar Power…


From SARAH LASKOW
Good

For many years, solar customers paid for their panels in the same way they might pay for a TV: upfront or in installments. But as the solar industry has grown, new opportunities for financing solar projects have emerging. Some draw lessons and inspiration from microfinance and peer-to-peer lending, making small-scale solar available to families and community organizations, like schools and nonprofits, that could not afford the purchase on their own.

Years ago, Dan Rosen tried to get solar panels installed on his high school and couldn’t find the financing. Now, Solar Mosaic, the Oakland-based company he cofounded, allows individual investors to fund just that sort of solar project. Investors can bankroll solar systems in increments of $100, represented as “tiles.” One of the company’s first big projects will power the Asian Resource Center, an Oakland community group. The project has 982 tiles, all of them funded.

The opportunity, as Rosen puts it

Why Manufacturers Don’t Want Nutrition Labels to Include Added Sugars Info…


From FOODUCATE

For years, we have been proponents of improved nutrition labeling on food products. There are various loopholes and tricks manufacturers use to embellish the nutritional value of their products. Labeling trans-fats as zero when they aren’t is one example.

Sugar is an interesting nutrient. We are all consuming way too much sugar daily. According to all health organizations, people should drastically reduce the amount of added sugars they consume. But if one turns to the nutrition facts label of products, the only sugar info available is “sugars”, which is a sum of naturally occurring sugars in a product and the added sugars.

The FDA recently asked for comments from the public on the matter. All the food companies that commented on the FDA website sided with NO CHANGES to the existing label. The reasoning: added information would only serve to confuse consumers. Lame.

The real reason that manufactures don’t want us to know the sugar breakdown is that we would be shocked as to how much is added to almost all products. Take Chocolate milk, with 3 teaspoons of naturally occurring sugar PLUS 3 added teaspoons of sugar. Per cup.

Bitters: The Revival of a Forgotten Flavor…


From DANIELLE CHARLES-DAVIES
The Weston A. Price Foundation

Of all the flavors to grace our palate, there is perhaps none as fascinating as that of bitterness. It is a flavor that is universally despised—used linguistically to characterize pain, harshness and things that are extremely difficult to bear.1 Yet, it is also a flavor used in cultures the world over to strengthen digestion, cleanse the body and build vitality—in short, considered an ingredient essential to good health.2,3 In fact, so many of the plants humans have traditionally used to tonify and heal the body are bitter tasting that we still today often rate the strength and usefulness of our medicine by how terribly bitter it tastes.

It is unfortunate, then, that our modern diet seems to be completely lacking in the wild bitter tasting plants our ancestors considered so fundamental to their health.4 Many of the diseases riddling our modern culture—from indigestion and gastric reflux to metabolic disorders ranging from elevated cholesterol to type 2 diabetes—seem to all point back to the deficiency of bitterness in our diets, and the lack of the protection and tone it imparts to our digestion and metabolic functions.5

Recovery from Modern Diets: Soy-Ling Bacon…


From DR. KAAYLA DANIEL
Weston A. Price Foundation

Health experts often propose turkey bacon as a “healthy option” for those who decline to eat pork for either religious or health reasons. While this might seem an excellent alternative to the average health-conscious consumer, the question to ask is “What does it take to turn a turkey into a pig?” Well, dubious ingredients such as hydrolyzed soy protein, canola oil, hydrolyzed corn or wheat gluten, corn syrup, autolyzed yeast extract, “natural” and artificial flavorings and “liquid smoke.”

An even bigger question is “What does it take to turn a soybean into a pig?” More than you most likely want to know! Pig out intelligently with Smart Bacon® — a product advertised as bringing “that hearty bacon taste into the veggie world” — and you’ll get the following ingredients:

Water, soy protein isolate, wheat gluten, soybean oil, textured soy protein concentrate, textured wheat gluten, less than 2% of: natural smoke flavor, natural flavor (from vegetable sources), grill flavor (from sunflower oil), carrageenan, evaporated cane juice

What’s important…


From MICHAEL THOMAS
Nature Bats Last

Those of us who pay attention to the news are assaulted daily by a barrage of information: international conflicts, sport tournaments, religion, gun rights, marriage rights, terrorism, and a plethora of other topics. What topics are truly important? Are not the most relevant topics those which most directly relate to humanity’s continued survival on this planet? If so, what could possibly endanger our survival: are we not the dominant species? Yes, but we, like all other organisms, depend on our environment for our survival: we must eat, drink, breathe, and reproduce. Increased environmental instability leads to an increased rate of permanent mutations, which in turn leads to a genetic instability in the species and either death/extinction or successful mutation.

The most commonly mentioned environmental theme is global warming, which is overly polarized and, due to the complex interactions within the environment, is hard to speak of in concrete terms: it will thus not be further included in this text.

An important, but rarely mentioned

Stop rigging the system against small business…


From ELIZABETH WARREN
Politico

I meant what I said.

I stood before a group of voters in Massachusetts last year and talked about what it would take to move forward as a nation. I laid out how we all needed to invest in our country, to build a strong foundation for our families today and make sure the next kid with the great idea has the chance to succeed.

But too often that kid can’t succeed because the system is rigged against him.

Small-business owners bust their tails every day. They’re the first ones in and the last to leave, six and often seven days a week. That’s how my Aunt Alice ran her small restaurant, where I worked as a kid. My brother and my daughter both started small businesses. And I’ve visited and talked with small-business owners across Massachusetts. From the insurance agency in Brockton to the coffee shop in Greenfield and the manufacturing plant in Lawrence – all started and run by people with good ideas and a determination to succeed.

In the name of saving the natural world, governments are privatizing it…


From GEORGE MONBIOT
The Guardian

The Great Impostors

“The first man who, having enclosed a piece of ground, bethought himself of saying ‘this is mine’, and found people simple enough to believe him, was the real founder of civil society. From how many crimes, wars and murders, from how many horrors and misfortunes might not anyone have saved mankind, by pulling up the stakes, or filling up the ditch, and crying to his fellows, ‘Beware of listening to this impostor; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody’”(1).

Jean Jacques Rousseau would recognise this moment. Now it is not the land his impostors are enclosing, but the rest of the natural world. In many countries, especially the United Kingdom, nature is being valued and commodified so that it can be exchanged for cash.

The effort began in earnest under the last government. At a cost of £100,000(2), it commissioned a research company to produce a total annual price for England’s ecosystems.

Republican Insider: Religion Destroyed My Party and Turned It Over to Anti-Intellectual Nuts…


From MIKE LOFGREN
Salon

This article is an excerpt from the book “The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless and the Middle Class Got Shafted.”

Having observed politics up close and personal for most of my adult lifetime, I have come to the conclusion that the rise of politicized religious fundamentalism may have been the key ingredient in the transformation of the Republican Party. Politicized religion provides a substrate of beliefs that rationalizes—at least in the minds of its followers—all three of the GOP’s main tenets: wealth worship, war worship, and the permanent culture war.

Religious cranks ceased to be a minor public nuisance in this country beginning in the 1970s and grew into a major element of the Republican rank and file. Pat Robertson’s strong showing in the 1988 Iowa presidential caucus signaled the gradual merger of politics and religion in the party. Unfortunately, at the time

Questioning the merit of the lucky rich…


From DAVID ATKINS
Hullabaloo

[Big boss man
Can you hear me when I call
Big boss man
Can you hear me when I call
Oh, you ain’t so big
You just tall, that’s all… ~Jimmy Reed]

I’m increasingly convinced that talking about luck is the key to destroying the right-wing rhetorical enterprise. Digby touched on this significantly several days ago, but I think it’s important to reiterate the point. Regular readers may recall my review of Chris Hayes’ extraordinary book Twilight of the Elites back in June:

Through Hayes’ lens, liberalism for much of the last half century has been about opening the meritocracy up to all segments of the population without discrimination based on intrinsic ephemera such as race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. This has meant a full embrace of the same pseudo-meritocratic impulse that has led to the renaissance of Objectivism on the right and the dominance of neoliberalism on the left.

Transition: The Permaculture Handbook…


From VICKI LIPSKI
Transition Voice

[Available from Mulligan Books. -DS]

Peter Bane’s handbook, while not quite encyclopedic, is nothing if not authoritative. I can honestly say, without fear of exaggeration, that I hold my head a little higher as I stride about my miniscule fiefdom, now that I’ve read The Permaculture Handbook: Garden Farming for Town and Country.

The stones Bane leaves unturned are few and far between. Once you’ve digested the author’s ruminations on mapping, patterns, and garden elements, perennials, water, soil, plants, crops, seeds, and animal husbandry, not to mention his lists of plants and the jobs to which they are best suited, there’s little chance you’ll walk away dissatisfied.

Bane’s treatment of these various aspects of garden farming

The Power of Negative Thinking…


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From OLIVER BURKEMAN
Opinion NYT

Last month, in San Jose, Calif., 21 people were treated for burns after walking barefoot over hot coals as part of an event called Unleash the Power Within, starring the motivational speaker Tony Robbins. If you’re anything like me, a cynical retort might suggest itself: What, exactly, did they expect would happen? In fact, there’s a simple secret to “firewalking”: coal is a poor conductor of heat to surrounding surfaces, including human flesh, so with quick, light steps, you’ll usually be fine.

But Mr. Robbins and his acolytes have little time for physics. To them, it’s all a matter of mind-set: cultivate the belief that success is guaranteed, and anything is possible. One singed but undeterred participant told The San Jose Mercury News: “I wasn’t at my peak state.” What if all this positivity is part of the problem? What if we’re trying too hard to think positive and might do better to reconsider our relationship to “negative” emotions and situations?

William Edelen: Depths of Truth…


From WILLIAM EDELEN
Toward the Mystery

“The true mystic has insight into depths of truth that are unplumbed by the discursive intellect.” -William James

There is a system of thought that has been coming to me lately from many sources. It is known as Theosophy. Those holding this world view believe that truth about God and the world is revealed primarily through mystical insight, and that every religious tradition has this kernel of truth within it. Whether Christian, Hindu, Taoist, Buddhist or the American Indian, the mystical experience is the same. It was the experience of Lao Tzu, the old master of Taoism, Buddha, the Roman Catholic Meister Eckhart, and the Protestant Boehme. The words of Jesus “to have seen me is to have seen God,” and again, “I and the father are one” is pure mysticism.

Many letters, emails, have asked me to say more about Mysticism.

Here are some general observations for this is the “spine” that holds Theosophy together.

Mysticism is the recovery

Todd Walton: Jehovah’s Witness


Mixed media, Shall We Dance, by Todd

From TODD WALTON
UnderTheTableBooks.com
Mendocino

A friend recently wrote to me about his philosophical discussions with a Jehovah’s Witness, and his letter brought back boatloads of memories of my friend Woody, an African American Jehovah’s Witness, an elder in his church, who visited me every month for the eleven years I lived in Berkeley.

The first time Woody came up my stairs and knocked on the front door, I intended to say to him what I had been saying to Jehovah’s Witnesses since I was a boy. “No thank you. Please don’t come again.” That was the little speech my mother taught me to say to Jehovah’s Witnesses when they came to our house, and those were the words I dutifully repeated to every Jehovah’s Witness who called on me until I was forty-five and opened the door to Woody and the young man accompanying him.

Transition: In yourself right now is the only place you’ve got…


row boat

From ERIK CURREN
Transition Voice

Most of my friends in the environmental community and the Transition movement are big fans of the value of interdependence. They’d surely agree with President Obama when he recently said, “if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own… The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.”

Self-reliance, by contrast, seems more popular with the Chamber of Commerce types who have so vehemently disagreed with Obama, answering back that success comes from hard work and smarts. These conservatives take their cue from another president, Ronald Reagan: “A troubled and afflicted mankind looks to us, pleading for us to keep our rendezvous with destiny; that we will uphold the principles of self-reliance, self-discipline, morality, and — above all — responsible liberty for every individual that we will become that shining city on a hill.”

Wendell Berry: Letter to Wes Jackson…


From WENDELL BERRY
Home Economics (1982)

[This evening, August 3rd, will be our second First Friday of Neighbors Reading at Mulligan Books downtown Ukiah, 6-7pm. We share favorite passages from favorite books around topics of community, transition, resilience, or anything else, as part of the second semester of Mendo Free Skool. We video the readings for Community TV and invite your participation. I will be reading from one of my favorite authors, Wendell Berry… passages from an essay The Family Farm, from his book Home Economics. What follows is the opening essay from that book… -DS]

Dear Wes,

I want to try to complete the thought about “randomness” that I was working on when we talked the other day.

The Hans Jenny paragraph that started me off is the last one on page twenty-one of The Soil Resource:

Ebooks vs. Paper Books…


From greengeekgirl
Insatiable Booksluts

I have to admit that, when the Kindle first came out, I was one of those snooty assholes who did everything I could to antagonize the people I knew who owned them. (Me? Antagonize people? Surely not.) “I like books,” I sniffed, looking solidly down my nose. “I don’t want to read on a device. I want the feel of paper, blah blah blah.”

In my defense, the people I antagonized started scuffles just as often. “My Kindle is environmentally friendly. Look at those loads of paper you’re wasting! You’re helping deplete the ozone! And it’s so handy. I can take an entire library with me anywhere, blah blah blah.”

Several years passed, and I remained firmly in the treebook camp. Until I bought a Kindle. Stars help me, I love my Kindle. I love it so much. I even prefer to read on my Kindle; still, I do enjoy reading paper books, too. I got a really lovely copy of a book from Two Dollar Radio that’s deckle-edged and fairly swoon-worthy…

See complete article here
~~

Henry Miller on Reading, Influence, and What’s Wrong with Education…


From MARIA POPOVA
Brain Pickings

“Our whole theory of education is based on the absurd notion that we must learn to swim on land before tackling the water. It applies to the pursuit of the arts as well as to the pursuit of knowledge.”

 Henry Miller was a notoriously disciplined writer. It comes as no surprise, then — given the relationship between reading and writing, and the importance of learning the parallel skills of both — that he was also a voracious reader, unafraid to acknowledge the borrowing and repurposing of ideas. In The Books in My Life (public library; public domain), originally published in 1952, he offers a singular lens on his approach to reading, using that as a vehicle for a larger meditation on our culture’s relationship not just with books, but with knowledge itself.

Miller’s insights touch on modern concerns

How to Blurb and Blurb and Blurb…


From A. J. JACOBS
NYT

My friend, the writer Andy Borowitz, sent me an e-mail that said: “I had the strangest experience today. I went into Barnes & Noble and saw a book that you didn’t blurb.”

I have a reputation.

I’ve blurbed so many books that they fill a bookcase in my apartment. The exact number? Hard to say, but certainly in the triple digits. I’ve given a workout to adverbs like “tremendously” and “incredibly,” and adjectives like “brilliant” and “fascinating.” I have blurbed memoirs, novels, comic books, children’s books and a half-dozen book proposals. I accidentally used the exact same blurb on two different books.

My blurbing problem got so bad that the New York Times book critic Dwight Garner tweeted, “Half the crap galleys

Fermentation Champion Sandor Katz Shares Value of Traditional Foods…


From CHELSEA GREEN PUBLISHERS

Sandor Katz: The Acres U.S.A. Interview

The latest book from fermentation revivalist Sandor Katz — The Art of Fermentation — has been a huge hit with fermentos and foodies alike, which is evidenced by it reaching The New York Times bestseller list for two weeks in a row.

The two interviews on NPR’s “Fresh Air” program have certainly helped fuel interest in Sandor and the new book, which is about the most comprehensive guide to fermentation that you’ll find in print today.

If you’re a subscriber to Acres U.S.A.: The Voice of Eco-Agriculture (and you should be), you’re in for a real treat in their August issue, which will hit mailboxes, and subsequently newsstands, soon. Our friends at Acres U.S.A. are printing one of the most comprehensive, and therefore fascinating, interviews with Sandor since his new book has hit bookstores.

Transition: Local Small-Scale Grains…


From RHEA KENNEDY
Grist
Thanks to Doug Mosel

Community-supported agriculture (CSA) households know the cries.

“So many sweet potatoes!”

“Tomatillos again?”

But “Oh, man — more whole wheat flour!”? Not so much. Yet that may be coming.

On the East Coast, Virginia’s Moutoux Orchards is growing and milling wheat and barley to nestle beside produce, dairy, eggs, and meat in its Full Diet CSA. To the west, Windborne Farm of northern California offers a grain CSA featuring not just wheat and barley, but also rare grains like teff and millet raised using a pair of draft horses.

All over the country, small grain farmers like these may soon place the last piece in the local-foods puzzle.

There is no question that fruits and vegetables have been the backbone of the locavore movement. The number of farmers markets in the U.S.

The Return of the Enclosed Garden


From GENE LOGSDON

The interesting and entertaining reactions to my recent post about destructive wildlife in the garden encouraged me to ponder the situation more closely. Pondering things closely always leads me to weird ideas. I am thinking about the possible return of the walled gardens of Victorian times. How do you know they didn’t become popular in the first place to keep out wild animals including humans? And tame animals too for that matter because, in those days, livestock were allowed to wander about as freely as we allow deer to do today.

As long as most people are not involved in food production or avid gardening, I think it will be a long time before we are going to get the kind of social solidarity needed to enact measures to control runaway wildlife populations. It is easy enough to convince the gentle folk among us to get rid of mice and rats in the house but oh my, not those precious deer and raccoons in the garden. If there were deer that developed a taste for car tires, you can bet that society would rise up in wrath and settle that problem in a hurry.