Archive for October, 2009

Bill Gates reveals support for GMO ag

Found this article this week, and had seen this is the news. I find it so sad that this foundation is using their money to support big ag and not on the way to reliably and sustainably feed the worlds hungry. – Mom

As it has come to dominate the agenda for reshaping African agriculture over the years, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has been very careful not to associate itself too closely with patent-protected biotechnology as a panacea for African farmers.

True, the foundation named 25-year Monsanto veteran Rob Horsch to the position of “senior program officer, focusing on improving crop yields in sub-Saharan Africa.”

Yet its flagship program for African ag, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), explicitly distances itself from GMOs. “AGRA does not fund the development of GMOs,” the organization’s Web site states.

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Our Favorite Breakfast

Soaked Steel-Cut Oats

With rare exception, this is our breakfast everyday.  One of our boys is eating it too!   We set up the oats to soak in the evening and then the cereal takes only about 10 minutes to cook in the morning.  We vary our additions: raisins, prunes, mulberries, walnuts, fresh fruit – take your pick.


½ cup Organic Steel-Cut Oats

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Joel Salatin Farming Heavyweight

Joel Salatin, America’s farming heavyweight

Joel Salatin.

by Staff Writers

Swoope, Virginia (AFP) Oct 16, 2009

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We Can Feed The World

I was so happy to stumble across this article a few days ago. I make home made kefir and the wonderful grains I use, I got from Edwin. I didn’t know the history of his farm. What a great inspiration! –   Mom

“We Can Feed the World,” Says Ed Shank, As He Transitions from Feedlot to Organic Raw Dairy Operation

The empty confinement area at The Family Cow farm. It’s almost eerily quiet in the huge holding area that was once the center of Edwin Shank’s confinement dairy in central Pennsylvania. In the adjoining photo, you can see the empty structure, where hundreds of cows were once kept 24/7.

The action is now several hundred yards away, out in the pasture, where 275 cows grazed on Saturday afternoon, and the main sound was that of orchard grass, blue grass, rye grass, and clover being ripped and chomped by the hungry animals. The other sound was the uneven melody of about 1,000 broiler chickens and laying hens grazing in an adjoining pasture.

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Fight the Flu with Real Food

By Stanley A. Fishman, Author of Tender Grassfed Meat

The flu, especially H1N1, is big news today. The words “Swine Flu” invoke fear and even panic.

The general focus on dealing with the flu is with vaccines and drugs. However, your body’s first line of defense against the flu, real food, is all but ignored.

Hippocrates of Cos is perhaps the most famous physician of all time. He is known as the father of medicine. He wrote the Hippocratic Oath, which used to be taken by all doctors. He is famous for his dictum, “First, do no harm.” What is not so well known is that Hippocrates advocated using food and other natural methods first, before anything else was tried. Drugs would only be used if the more natural methods failed, and surgery was used only as the last resort.

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Homemade Vanilla Extract

I love vanilla extract and like to use organic, but it’s really expensive, so I decided to make my own.  It was surprisingly easy.  Split the bean and put them in a jar – I used a half-gallon mason jar but you could also use a quart – pour over the vodka and let it sit for around 2 month in your cupboard, shaking occasionally.

As I ended up making a half-gallon of extract, I bought a supply of 2 and 4 oz jars and made pretty labels so I could give them away as gifts. I think next time I’ll get some 8oz jars too.  When the extract was all decanted into the jars, I scraped the inside of the leftover beans and saved all those bits of vanilla in a little jar as Vanilla Paste. You can use that interchangeably with vanilla but you’ll get all the nice little bits, which is especially nice for ice cream. In the picture the jar on the left has the paste, and the left over beans and vanilla are in the jar on the right. I ran out of bottles.  Also I put one of the beans, or half a bean for the smaller bottles in with the vanilla. I think they look pretty and will keep the flavor up.

I bought my vanilla beans at

I got ¼ of a pound, which they say gives you 30-35 beans for $32 dollars, which is a great price for organic vanilla beans. They were very fresh and now I have some left over for other recipes too.  Oh, and I bought my vodka at Trader Joe’s, their brand, a big bottle for $10.00. I would try to find organic vodka next time, but I couldn’t find any for this recipe. I just now found it on the web for $12 for a 750ml bottle, not bad! 

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Homeopathic Remedies for Flu

Ten Homeopathic Remedies to Use during the Flu Season and Swine Flu Epidemic of 2009

We’ve used homeopathy, successfully with our kids and ourselves for many years. Here’s a great article on flu remedies.  You should be able to find them at any health food store. For more information about homeopathy, visit Melanie’s site, listed below, is a great resource also.  Mom

by Melanie Grimes, citizen journalist

Homeopathy has been very successful in treating the symptoms of flu and the Swine Flu pandemic of 2009 has been no exception. Homeopaths gather symptoms from a large population and discern what is called a “genus epidemicus”. The genus is the remedy, or group of remedies, with the symptoms of most people who have a particular flu. These remedies are therefore the most likely remedies to treat a particular flu strain.

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Millions Against Monsanto Campaign

Join Organic Consumers Associations campaign to mobilize one million consumers to end Monsanto’s Global Corporate Terrorism.

Below are just a few reasons to join OCA’s campaign:

Multi-Billion $$ Monsanto Sues

More Small Family Farmers

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Sprouted Whole Grain Bread

I found this recipe on the Sprout People website:  We used organic extra virgin coconut oil, for the oil, which worked great. You could also use butter.

We’ve bought some terrific sprout mixes from them, including Amber Waves of Grain (a mix that contains: wheat, barley, rye spelt, triticale, oats, kamut, sesame, millet, amaranth & quinoa) – which we used to make this bread. It’s a great recipe and was a big hit with the teenagers.  Our three loaves were gone in three days!

You can use any grain to sprout, the Amber Waves of Grain mix, Wheat, Rye, Kamut, Quinoa, Spelt, Triticale, etc.   Start sprouting your grain 2-3 days ahead so it’s ready for when you want to make your bread.  I started sprouting the grain Friday morning and we made the bread on Sunday. I also used all whole-wheat flour, that I ground from spring wheat, right before we made the bread. Oh, and I made it in my mixer, which worked great. We only did a few minutes of hand kneading when we put it out on the lightly floured surface.

Combine in a large bowl:

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