Remember to Label Those Jars!

Label, label, label!” This was one of the most important lessons I learned in my Master Food Preserver training. You’ll note, from the jars above, that I’m not very good about this. When were those jars canned and what’s in them? I have no idea. They were probably the result of some late night canning frenzy two years ago. At the time I probably thought to myself, “I’ll label them in the morning.”...

Continue reading…

Chicks, Mayonnaise and Personal Responsibility

...jostling down conveyor belts. The website says, Most of us don’t consider the treatment of baby chicks when we purchase mayo. And we shouldn’t have to: we should be able trust companies when it comes to preventing cruelty to animals. Best Foods and Hellmann’s use millions of eggs each year to create their products. Since only female chickens lay eggs, Best Foods and Hellmann’s don’t have any use for the male birds. Their solution is to treat the...

Continue reading…

Looking for the Union Label

We’ve got a bad case of Ohrwurm, a German expression translated as “earworm” and used to describe a song stuck in your head. Our earworm came after a search for union made socks and underwear on the internets recalled a highly catchy ad jingle from the roller disco era, “Look for the Union Label” (youngsters can watch it on youtube here). We looked for the union label and we were surprised to find it via a company c...

Continue reading…

Book Review: The Urban Bestiary

...ere) and most recently The Urban Bestiary: Encountering the Everyday Wild by Lyanda Lynn Haupt, author of the excellent Crow Planet.  The Urban Bestiary is an exploration of the intimate intersection of humans and other urban animals, such as coyotes and raccoons and opossums and squirrels. In The Urban Bestiary, Haupt introduces us to our close neighbors, the animals which share our land, and sometimes even our homes. She gives us a naturalist&#...

Continue reading…

Goat Worship: A Halloween Exclusive!

...e milk we do use is goat’s milk.  Beyond this, there’s pure pleasure. Believe us, fresh goat’s milk from a well run creamery does not taste “goaty.” Nothing can compare with fresh, raw milk from animals well loved and fed and carefully milked. Gloria also points out that for her, goat keeping provides an almost mystical connection to our ancestors, a reconnection to this ancient, ancient human activity of caring for...

Continue reading…

Poultry Outlaws: Chicken Laws Around the U.S.

...nclosure is 50 feet from the nearest neighbor. Austin: Up to 10 fowl per household, but keep in an enclosure that’s 50 feet away from neighbors. Boston: All residential zones in Boston forbid “auxiliary keeping of animals,” which includes poultry and other livestock. No person shall keep any live fowl of other farm animals, except in accordance with a permit from the Division of Health Inspections, Inspectional Services Departme...

Continue reading…

Fabulous Postcards from HenCam

From Vintage Chicken Photographs. Terry says this picture reminds her of Erik. It reminds me of our friend Craig at Winnetka Farms. Whichever! Let’s hear it for tall handsome gentlemen holding poultry! Our friend Terry over at the great chicken site HenCam has produced three lovely sets of postcard books based on antique photos of people with animals. One set is people and chickens, the second is people with other livestock, and the third...

Continue reading…

The Pinnacle of Permaculture: Tending the Wild

...s of the Miwok and Yokuts Indians, kept open and productive by centuries of carefully planned indigenous burning, harvesting and seed scattering.” Our favorite idea to come out of this book is the notion that plants and animals need people. This is the philosophy of the Native American elders Anderson interviews. Rather as plants need birds to scatter their seeds, plants rely on humans to thin and prune them, protect them and spread them. T...

Continue reading…

DIY Project: Reconnect with Nature

...pen. You must remain open, impressionable, soft. Listen with your heart as well as your ears. You may “hear” something. Feel something. Understand something. Let those impressions come. Do not dismiss them. 8) Re: animals.  It’s always a gift to see animals in nature. Your stillness might induce a wild animal to come into view, but wanting or expecting a wild animal to come into view is the surest way to drive it off.  If you re...

Continue reading…

Notes on Mark Bittman’s “Behind the Scenes of What We Eat”

...over and over again around here.  It is possible for us all to take action on the local level to support the sale and distribution of healthy food. Here’s a few of his recommendations for policy change: Transparency in labeling, in agriculture practice Regulation of damaging foods: basically make it harder to eat poorly and easier to eat well, for instance: Make it illegal to sell soda to kids Tax the crap out of soda Subsidize real food E...

Continue reading…