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Why Growing Food is The Single Most Impactful Thing You Can Do in a Corrupt Political System

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Why Growing Food is The Single Most Impactful Thing You Can Do in a Corrupt Political System

Postby Spiritwind » Thu Aug 29, 2019 3:25 pm

As we near the end of summer and I am now eating whole meals from the food we have grown, I DO feel a greater sense of control over what I choose to put in my body, and take great pleasure in what nature is providing me. For me, it is an act of defiance.

Why Growing Food is The Single Most Impactful Thing You Can Do in a Corrupt Political System

https://realfarmacy.com/growing-food-rigged-system/?

https://youtu.be/5dhdAgLPMUQ

The most effective change-makers in our society aren’t waiting around for a new president to make their lives better, they’re planting seeds, quite literally, and through the revolutionary act of gardening, they’re rebuilding their communities while growing their own independence.

Every four years when the big election comes around, millions of people put their passion for creating a better world into an increasingly corrupt and absurd political contest. What if that energy was instead invested in something worthwhile, something that directly and immediately improved life, community, and the world at large?

The simple act of growing our own food directly challenges the control matrix in many authentic ways, which is why some of the most forward-thinking and strongest-willed people are picking up shovels and defiantly starting gardens. It has become much more of a meaningful political statement than supporting political parties and candidates.

Propaganda gardening, a combination of guerrilla gardening and political protest, is about developing self-sufficiency while making a simple, yet bold statement about the world we all share, and the rules we choose to live by.

Take, for example, Ron Finley, the ‘Guerrilla Gardener’ from Los Angeles who inspires the world with no-nonsense truth about how the corporate food system enslaves us, while proving to us that the most effective weapon in this fight is fertile soil. He makes growing veggies cool again, as it should be, because food sovereignty is the very foundation of personal independence.

I live in a food prison.. It’s all by design just like prisons are by designed. I just got tired of being an inmate. So I figured, let me change this paradigm, let me grown my own food. This is one thing I can do to escape this predestined life that I have unwillingly subscribed to. – Ron Finley

Think about it. Creating your own food supply challenges the status quo in a number of important ways. Growing your own food:

-Decreases dependence on a polluted corporate food system
-Improves health and wellness by providing exercise and nutritious food, freeing us from dependence on a for-profit medical system
-Undermines Monsanto and the agro-chemical industry that is polluting our world and killing bees
-Highlights issues of political control by pitting homeowners and gardeners against government and ordinance makers
-Builds and heals community by providing a place and activity worth coming together over
-Works to repair the damage we are doing to the environment with our consumer lifestyles
-Protects us against insecurity and food unrest
-Facilitates a greater awakening by setting an example for others to follow

When united, awareness and action create the kind of changes that a rigid control system cannot tolerate, and when extraordinary people like Ron Finley take the lead, a meaningful movement can take hold. This is real action, it is very effective, and as it becomes more mainstream to set up gardens in your yard and on your block, we will witness the re-emergence of the kind of society we just cannot create by playing by the rules of a rigged system.

I had sixty people putting in an urban garden while you all were marching. Now who do you think was more effective? – Ron Finley

Here’s Ron in a recent interview with Marc Angelo of the Superhero Academy (podcast - go to original article for link):

Just a few generations ago, gardening for sustenance was not the fringe activity that it has become in recent decades, because it was a basic daily act of survival. One that will rise again as a controlled economy and engineered economic collapse will make it imperative to join forces with your community and defend your personal sovereignty.

Why don’t you churches get together instead of with your ‘my religion is better than yours’ bullshit, and get together and put in a healthy food market… isn’t that doing good business? If your people live longer, don’t you get more money? – Ron Finley

What happens when you transform yourself by deepening your connection to nature?What happens when you then transform your community by bringing your neighbors together in the goal of providing something of immense value to all? What happens then when a nation of transformed communities sees their world without the boundaries of and limitations imposed on us by a corrupt system?

The four-year cycle of presidential politics in the US is far more effective at stealing the constructive energy of motivated people than it is at bringing about meaningful change to our lives, communities and to the nation as a whole. Time to try something far more effective and rewarding. Let’s overgrow the system, and transform our health and communities in the process.

For a sign that this movement is spreading across the nation, check out this homegrown music video, ‘Gardening is Gangsta,’ by Mark Jankins and Sifu Paul Davis.

I don’t rely on new food stamps. Cuz’ every season got me harvesting some new plants.

https://youtu.be/GGHzh6HV1Dk

Alex Pietrowski is an artist and writer concerned with preserving good health and the basic freedom to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. He is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com and Offgrid Outpost, a provider of storable food and emergency kits. Alex is an avid student of Yoga and life. This article (Gardening More Meaningful than Voting in a Rigged Political System) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to VicBishop and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement. Please contact WakingTimes@gmail.com for more info. 
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Re: Why Growing Food is The Single Most Impactful Thing You Can Do in a Corrupt Political System

Postby Spiritwind » Sat Sep 07, 2019 2:04 pm

I’m going to just put this here, since it has to do with farming. Once again, it highlights, in my mind anyway, the importance of growing your own food, even on a very small scale. No matter what else is going on in the world, we still have to eat (I’ve not yet learned the technique of being a breatharian and don’t know anyone else who has either). I grew up on a farm and get my hay and grain for the animals from local family farms. Not everything has went commercial, and it’s important to support them. I plan on taking my grandsons up to an area called Green Bluff next month to buy a box of apples and see what’s available as far as other produce goes. They have a cooperative of family farms there who help network and host various events and family activities in the fall. Great for kids to see where our food comes from. It also helps support a sense of community.

Foreign Investors Are Snapping Up US Farms
American farmland is becoming popular with overseas investors—and that’s making people nervous.

By Amy Thomson

https://www.motherjones.com/food/2017/0 ... u4QdDwFT5g

Who owns America’s farms? Not always Americans. US farmland is becoming a target for international investors, according to a handful of recent reports. The amount of foreign-owned US farmland has roughly doubled between 2004 and 2014—with Canada, the Netherlands, and Germany owning the most—the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting uncovered in June. And a New Food Economy report released Monday shows that figure is increasing.

The most recent US Department of Agriculture data, from 2011, revealed international buyers own more than 25 million acres of US farmland, about 2 percent overall. But since the USDA report was published, New Food Economy found that Italian buyers have purchased 102,000 acres, New Zealand has bought around 18,000, and Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have gone in on more than 15,000 acres.

Italian buyers purchased 102,000 acres, New Zealand bought around 18,000, and Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates went in on more than 15,000 acres.

The report didn’t specify what kinds of farms each country bought, though it did note that China seems especially interested in the US hog industry. The country now controls more than 400 farms, 33 food processing plants, and one out of every four hogs in the United States. This is largely due to the 2013 deal when a Chinese company dubbed Shuanghui (now called WH Group Limited) nabbed the largest US pork producer, Smithfield Company. The estimated $4.72 billion sale secured Chinese buyers with more than 100,000 acres of US farmland, among other things. (My colleague Tom Philpott analyzed the deal—and China’s cozy relationship with the US pork industry—back in 2013.)
So why are foreign countries buying up American farms? One reason might be that agricultural land is simply a good investment. Here’s how a 2014 piece in the Economist explained it:

Farmland has been a great investment over the past 20 years, certainly in America, where annual returns of 12 percent caused some to dub it “gold with a coupon.” In America and Britain, where tax incentives have distorted the market, it outperformed most major asset classes over the past decade, and with low volatility to boot. Those going against the grain warn of a land-price bubble. Believers argue that increasing demand and shrinking supply—as well as urbanisation, poor soil management and pressure on water systems that are threats to farmland—mean the investment case is on solid ground.

What’s more:

[Farmland] is uncorrelated with paper assets such as stocks and bonds, has proven relatively resistant to inflation, and is less sensitive to economic shocks (people continue to eat even during downturns) and to interest-rate hikes. Moreover, in the aftermath of the financial crisis investors are reassured by assets they can touch and sniff.

The influx of foreign farm owners has drawn strong criticism. Some politicians and rural advocacy groups argue that foreign control of farms is a threat to national security. Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) introduced a bill this year—the Food Security is National Security Act of 2017—that aims to keep farmland and agricultural businesses under US ownership. “As we think about the future and the growing global population, it’s important to consider who will control the food supply,” Grassley said in a statement.

Another potential drawback: As American farms become more desirable, land prices are increasing—which is bad news for American farmers and their communities. Often, when a foreign investor buys up land, the local population loses farming rights, which can lead to people losing their homes, livelihoods, and access to resources like water.

Some states, like Iowa, have outlawed selling farmland to foreign buyers to protect their resources. But Lindsey Shute, director of the National Young Farmers Coalition, warns that states without such laws may soon face a dilemma. The median age of the American farmer is 55, and it is anticipated that in the next five years, about 92,000,000 acres will go up for sale. Shute is concerned that the rising prices will push out farmers, paving the way for investors: “With two-thirds of our nation’s farmland set to change hands in the next few decades, we cannot afford to see the price of farmland driven up beyond what a working farmer can compete with.”

This story’s description of the Shuanghui deal to acquire Smithfield Company has been corrected.
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Re: Why Growing Food is The Single Most Impactful Thing You Can Do in a Corrupt Political System

Postby Spiritwind » Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:59 pm

I’m just going to add this here. It’s shows what is possible.

40,000-acre farm goes organic
By Robert Arnason - March 22, 2018

https://www.producer.com/2018/03/40000- ... C3et3g4ICo

Part of Travis Heide’s motivation for converting a large farm to organics is the fact that many people don’t believe it can be done. | Robert Arnason photo

WALDRON, Sask. — There are 25 grain bins in Travis Heide’s farmyard, including six massive ones with a capacity of 70,000 bushels each. In total, the bins can store around 550,000 bu. of grain. That’s enough for 10,000 acres of spring wheat, assuming an average yield of 55 bu. per acre.

For most prairie farmers, 550,000 bu. of storage would be more than enough. Not for Heide.

He has two other grain storage yards — one near Stockholm, Sask., and another by Whitewood, Sask. Heide needs a massive number of grain bins because he farms 40,000 acres of cropland in eastern Saskatchewan. Again, for most growers, that would be more than enough.

Not Heide.

He’s converting all 40,000 acres to organic.

“We’re half and half this year, between organic and conventional,” said Heide.

“We’ll be 75 percent organic in 2019, and if we don’t add anything else, in 2020 we’ll be 100 percent organic.”

If all goes according to plan, Heide will have the largest organic farm in Canada and possibly in North America.

I have never heard of anything like that,” said Laura Telford, organic development specialist with Manitoba Agriculture.

“That’s kind of out of the ballpark. The biggest one I’ve heard of before is maybe 20,000 (acres).”

Telford and other players in Canada’s organic sector haven’t heard of Heide because he’s been quiet about his transition to organic. He’s created a company called Organics Canada Ltd. and will be producing a list of organic commodities, such as barley, oats, lentils, peas, wheat and hemp.

The size of the operation is impressive and it’s more remarkable because Heide just started farming full-time in 2014.

Heide, who’s in his late 30s, grew up on a farm near Moosomin, Sask., and is the oldest of four brothers. He was involved in the farm as a kid, and as a young adult he earned a business degree from the University of Saskatchewan. Like thousands of other young men and women from Saskatchewan, Heide moved to Calgary in the 2000s.

He took a job with a commodity trading firm and then started his own grain trading company. Around 2007, Heide’s father wanted to retire and asked his sons if they wanted to take over the family farm. Heide and his siblings weren’t interested so his father ended up selling the farm.

At that time, Heide was in his late 20s and he decided to travel to Africa. He was still interested in agriculture and helped start a farm in South Sudan. “I was really on a journey to see how I could help and serve people.”

After returning to Canada, a family friend in Moosomin asked Heide to help with the harvest. He ran a combine for the neighbour in the fall of 2010. “That’s what really whet my appetite for farming,” Heide said.

For the next couple of years he did custom combining in eastern Saskatchewan and managed a farm for a local group. Heide then met Robert Andjelic, a Calgary businessperson who runs Andjelic Land Inc. and now owns 203,000 acres of Saskatchewan farmland.

“A realtor that Robert had bought some land with … gave my number to Robert,” Heide said. “He (Andjelic) had bought this land south of Whitewood and needed it broke, a good chunk of it was in pasture.”

Heide agreed to do it and found people to help him.
“We broke 17 quarters in (about) two and a half weeks.”
Andjelic recognized, immediately, that Heide is a hard worker.

“He puts his nose to the grindstone,” he said. “He doesn’t give up until the job is done. That’s what impressed me.” Soon after that, Heide and Andjelic met at a Tim Hortons, where Andjelic asked Heide to manage farmland around Waldron and Whitewood. Heide agreed and in the spring of 2014 he seeded 7,000 acres of cropland with his brother, Garret.

“We looked after machinery, people and all that,” Heide said. “He provided us the land and access to the inputs.”

Andjelic bought another parcel of land around Stockholm, south of Waldron on Highway 9. That land was also in pasture and Heide decided to farm it organically because the previous owner hadn’t used pesticides or fertilizer.
“That was kind of the beginning of the organic journey,” Heide said.

Heide grew up on a conventional farm and wasn’t opposed to pesticides, genetically modified crops and the other tools of modern agriculture. However, what he noticed upon returning to farming was the price of inputs. “Being away from it … I couldn’t believe the costs, how they had increased.”

Did you know?
With 40,000 acres of cropland, Travis Heide of Waldron, Sask., likely has the largest organic farm in Canada. In comparison, the entire province of Manitoba had about 50,000 acres of organic field crops in 2016.

Since he was managing freshly broken pasture land on part of the farm, Heide soon realized that the economics of organic were better than conventional, especially when crops such as organic flax are selling for $37 per bu.

“In organic, our costs were far lower, and because the value was up there, it just made sense,” he said.

“Conventional doesn’t make sense unless you have the best land in the area.”

The economics were right, but another important and more personal factor pushed the decision along. His wife, Amy, grew up on Vancouver Island in a family committed to local, organic food. Amy and Travis, who have three young girls, had many conversations about organic versus conventional after they began farming near Waldron.

“I remember saying, ‘you can’t do it just because of money. You have to believe in it in order for it to work,’ ” Amy said.

Heide didn’t say if that argument ever won him over, but he admitted that he now thinks differently about crop production. What’s more obvious is that he wants to accomplish something that others claim can’t be done.

“There’s a whole bunch of status quos these days: you can’t start a farm from scratch nowadays, you can’t do a large organic farm because there’s too much tillage.”

Since beginning with 7,000 acres in 2014, the farm has rapidly expanded.
Heide began buying land and Andjelic bought more property. Soon, they had accumulated 40,000 acres on three parcels at Waldron, Stockholm and Whitewood.

“When we started with that 7,000 acres, it was never (the plan) that we’re going to grow a 40,000 acre organic farm. Never.” Last spring, Heide was considering keeping half of the farm in conventional because he was planning to grow canola and soybeans. However, managing a conventional-organic operation is not easy because equipment must be cleaned for organic certification.

“We had done it the year before and it was a lot of work,” Heide said.
“Last minute (we) decided to transition everything. We’re not fence sitters…. We kind of felt we had to go all in. If we’re going to do this, let’s dive right in.”

Jumping in the deep end and managing 40,000 acres requires people. Heide, along with his brother, Garret, have about 15 full-time employees. Most of the employees are friends and acquaintances who moved to eastern Saskatchewan to work on the farm.

“Initially, it was friends of mine from New Zealand,” Heide said.
“It just kept on being more friends of friends. Lately we’ve got (a few) South African families helping us out. We’ve got a couple from Olds, Alta. … so we’ve really become a collection of families.”

Some of the employees have experience with livestock, and Heide is considering adding cattle to the operation, mostly because livestock are critical for getting phosphorus to the soil. They may need 40,000 head of cattle to maintain soil fertility on 40,000 acres, Heide estimated.

An organic farm with 40,000 acres, 15 or more employees and potentially 40,000 head of livestock is an incredibly complex operation. Nonetheless, Heide is committed to doing something big and meaningful.

He envisions a future where some of his employees start their own organic farms, in other parts of Saskatchewan, and the Waldron operation becomes a hub to discover and develop best practices for organic production.

“If I’m only creating opportunity for myself, then what’s the point?” Heide said. “If we can create opportunity for other people, create employment … that’s what we’re excited about.”
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