Urban Chickens and Lead

From the One More Thing To Worry About department, the New York Times has an article on lead levels in eggs laid by urban chickens “Worries About Lead for New York City’s Garden-Fresh Eggs.” According to the article, the lead levels found in New York City’s home grown eggs ranged from none to over a 100 parts per billion. Since the FDA does not have an acceptable lead level in eggs it’s difficult to interpret the results...

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All Haste Is of the Devil: Carl Jung as Homesteader

Carl Jung pumping water in the Tower at Bollingen. From the Library of Congress. It’s a holiday here in the US, so we’ve turned things over to a special guest blogger, Dr. Carl Jung, who comes to us via the special astral internet plan we get from AT&T. As it turns out, Jung was quite the off-grid homesteader when it came to building and living in his special retreat tower in Bollingen, on the shore of Lake Zürich. I...

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Saturday Linkages: Can Gardens, BOLs and Attack Geese

...se of new training | barfblog http:// barfblog.foodsafety.ksu.edu/blog/155926/12 /08/28/will-training-change-anything-california-slaughterhouse-reopens-promise-new-tra#.UD7gjmGEwSQ.twitter  … Bill would allow sale of homemade foods http://www. latimes.com/business/la-fi -homemade-food-20120829,0,6759357.story  …   Opposing view: FDA rules won’t do much good – http:// USATODAY.com   http:// usat.ly/O3s3I8#.UDkEpQ RgbAk.twitter  …  Just Pla...

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Why You Should Have a Thermometer in Your Refrigerator/Freezer

should be below 40ºF (4.5ºC). (Source: Food Safety Advisor) After picking up an inexpensive thermometer, I discovered that our old fridge/freezer was simply not keeping low enough temperatures. I made the mistake of replacing it with a used fridge, which also did not maintain low enough temperatures. Nor did the loaner fridge, provided to us by the shop that sold us the used fridge, keep low temps. Thankfully we were able to return those units an...

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Saturday Linkages: Soil Liming, Vegans Partying, Cats and Couches

Designer Seungji Mun’s cat couch. Please Stop Liming your Soil Based on the pH! | Garden Rant http:// gardenrant.com/2012/07/please -stop-liming-your-soil-based-on-the-ph.html  … Vegans party … at the butcher shop! http://www. latimes.com/features/food/ dailydish/la-dd-vegans-party-at-the-butcher-shop-20120801,0,7684645.story  … Small Homes in Working Class Neighborhoods http:// bit.ly/NMf0xX Purr-fect Playground: Human Sofa...

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Quebec Kitchen Garden Saved

...s zoning laws are a constant debate in urban environments. Roger told us, “The Drummondville case was one of the highest profile examples of a local municipality challenging the right to grow food in one’s own yard. While it took place in Canada, it quickly attracted international media attention because of the garden’s beauty and productivity. The win is significant because it helps establish a precedent that other urban and suburban gard...

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How to Store Canned Goods: Take the Screw Band Off!

Right in the center, wrong on the left. Bungee cord ’cause we’re in earthquake country. Another quick tip from the Los Angeles Master Food Preservers: you should store your canned goods with the screw bands off. Why? So you can clean underneath the band to prevent spoilage and bugs. The screw band can create a false seal. Leaving the screw bands on can cause corrosion.  The only time to have the screw bands on is if you...

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Canning Citrus

Say you’ve got a huge citrus tree and want to can some of it without using a lot of sugar. The nice thing about citrus is that it’s so acidic you can water bath can it in its own juice, in just water or in a light sugar syrup. In our Master Food Preserver class we did a taste test of tangerine sections canned in a variety of liquids: water very light syrup (1/2 cup sugar per quart) light syrup (1 cup sugar per quart) medium syrup (...

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One Craptacular Week

It’s been one hell of a week. First we find out, via a soil test, that our backyard may have high levels of lead and zinc. We’ll write a lot more about this once I confirm the results–I’ve sent in another sample to a different lab. And my doctor has agreed to give me a blood test. Whatever the results, I want to help get out the word about this serious issue–ironically, next week is National Lead Poisoning Preve...

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Lead Update

...that “plant available” is different than the total amount of lead in the soil. The total amount would be about ten times higher or 1,120 ppm. According to the University of Minnesota Extension Service, Generally, it has been considered safe to use garden produce grown in soils with total lead levels less than 300 ppm. The risk of lead poisoning through the food chain increases as the soil lead level rises above this concentrati...

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