Posts Tagged ‘farming’

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Why do we eat what we eat?

farming
What will we eat when the Bugs are gone? Part 2

What you eat and drink is often no less a matter of fashion and tradition than what you wear, with the important qualifier that what you eat has generally much more impact on your health than what you wear, assuming that what you wear at least correlates with the seasons of weather and climate conditions and doesn’t offend people to such an extant that it invites abuse from others. Our Cro Magnon ancestors, who left Africa about 80,000 years ago, were hunter-gatherers who hunted mammals, fished, and routinely ate insects, all of which are good protein sources. They foraged plants which provided nuts, seeds, berries, fruit and roots. Proponents of the paleo diet claim that the fact that we subsisted for 200,000 years on such a diet, and evolved to accommodate such a diet, points to its efficacy. 

What if you want to cut back on your meat consumption, whether for health or environmental reasons, but you lack the imagination to eliminate red meat from your diet altogether? I try to avoid beef whenever possible, and if I am cooking at home, substitute bison, which browse free range, and are much tastier and healthier for you anyway. Bison have lighter impact on the land, being like deer more browser than grazer (grass eater). The word “moose” is derived from “moswa”, a Native American word meaning “twig eater”. Elk are more grazer than browser, but unlike cattle move around to fresh graze, thus allowing grazed lands to recover. 

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Saturday, December 4, 2021

Solar Grazing: A Ewe-nique Idea 

Harvesting the Sun 

    According to the United States Energy Information Administration, there are approximately 2,500 commercial solar photovoltaic (PV) energy gathering and generating stations currently serving the nation’s electric grid. Most produce one- to five-megawatts (MW) of power. A five-MW facility requires roughly 40 acres of land. Some analysts maintain that, depending on how quickly the nation moves from non-renewable to renewable electricity, an additional 10-million acres of land could be needed by 2050. That’s an area greater than the land-mass of Massachusetts and New Jersey, combined. Although commercial solar arrays are frequently built on low-quality, low-impact sites, such as landfills, brownfields, abandoned mining land, and former industrial locations, they’re often placed on agricultural land, as well.

    A couple of years ago, I wrote an article addressing solar development on agricultural land in the North Country. At the time, several large-scale PV energy generating projects were being considered in northern Franklin County, including a massive 150-MW power generating project on roughly 950-acres of land in the town and village of Malone, proposed by Minnesota-based Geronimo Energy. After the initial proposal encountered unwavering opposition from local residents, the application was scaled back to 50-MW, but resistance remained high and the project was eventually scrapped.

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Monday, March 1, 2021

Farm micro-grants available up to $1,500

Soil Health on Market Farms workshopThe Adirondack Council’s Essex Farm Institute (EFI) will offer grants of up to $1,500 per applicant for projects that are both environmentally beneficial and sustainable. They will be seeking applicants starting today for their 2021 micro-grant cycle until the end of the month. 

To date, the micro-grant program has awarded over $129,000 in the support of over 85 projects since the programs conception in 2016, with 13 farms being awarded grants during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. 

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Thursday, April 16, 2020

Gillibrand crafts legislation to help struggling farms

Soil Health on Market Farms workshopThis week, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, announced landmark legislation, The Relief for America’s Small Farmers Act, to provide economic relief for small farmers suffering from massive financial losses due to reduced demand and supply chain disruptions during the coronavirus pandemic.

According to information in a news release, farm bankruptcies are at an eight year high and net farm income has dropped by nearly half since 2013. The financial struggles of more than 30,000 New York farmers has only been exacerbated by the current crisis, which has devastated supply chains, as schools and restaurants have been forced to close. The Relief for America’s Small Farmers Act will alleviate debt, keep farms open, and fortify the nation’s food supply, providing direct relief to the nation’s most vulnerable farmers.

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