Turning over the 2011 Garden (at least in our minds)

Today the seed catalogs started arriving in our mailbox, reminding us that we are only about 8 weeks from the beginning of planting seeds indoors in preparation for our 2011 Liberty Garden.   We enjoyed poring over the pictures of squash, tomatoes and lettuce while wating for our order at the Dryden Hotel.

We were interested to read in the Ithaca Journal over Christmas about the plans Katie and Dave Quinn-Jacobs have as they take the reins of the Ludgate Farms store on Hanshaw Road.  The  IJ article says the Quinn-Jacobs are planning a new line of home processing supplies like mills, canners, jars, and lids and a bulk buying club. 

 The Ludgates Farms webpage says:

The new owners, Katie & Dave Quinn-Jacobs, are looking forward to contributing to the productivity and future development of the farm stand in the years ahead.  Katie is the founder of IthaCan, the local home food preserver’s network and both she and Dave are developers for Harvestation, the online farmer’s market that was launched this past harvest season.  Betsy Appleton, who has a strong background in the local food movement, will be the new Ludgate Farms general manager-in-residence. 

Dairy Workshop in Dryden

From the CNY Farms Blog at the Post Standard:

The state Department of Agriculture and Markets is offering workshops in six locations that can help dairy farmers maintain their income while minimizing risk during times of volatile milk prices.

The workshops, titled “Managing the Margin,” will teach producers effective risk management strategies they can use to control price risks and improve their bottom line.

The Dryden session is Jan. 7, Dryden VFW, Route 13, Dryden, RSVP to Janice Degni (607) 753-5215 or

Check the original post for more details and other workshop locations.

Lions of the Senate.

I'm telling you, fellow (elected) Republicans—we're watching.

As always, good stuff at Day by Day:

In Sunday-evening surprise, Senate unanimously passes food safety bill

Remember this? Now, from the Hill:

The Senate unexpectedly approved food safety legislation by unanimous consent Sunday evening, rescuing a bill that floated in limbo for weeks because of a clerical error....

....Democrats first attempted to attach the food safety bill to the two-and-a-half-month spending measure but Republicans balked because they wanted to keep that measure clean, according to Senate aides....
....Republicans, however, later agreed to pass it by unanimous consent....
....Sen. Tom Coburn, the outspoken conservative Republican from Oklahoma, had been blocking the legislation. He lifted his objection at the final moment.
I would remind our Republican MCs of this:

House May Block Food Safety Bill Over Senate Error


A food safety bill that has burned up precious days of the Senate’s lame-duck session appears headed back to the chamber because Democrats violated a constitutional provision requiring that tax provisions originate in the House....

Really?  The Constitution says that?

....The debacle could prove to be a major embarrassment for Senate Democrats, who sought Tuesday to make the relatively unknown bill a major political issue by sending out numerous news releases trumpeting its passage.

Here's the whole (brief) article.

11/29/10: The Federal Farming Power Grab Scheduled for Senate Vote Today

See my earlier post below. In addition to adding to what we think we know about what's in S.510, an  article at today's American Thinker also has an enlightening description of how this stuff actually happens in the halls of Congress—Schoolhouse Rock it ain't.

UPDATES (11/30/10) on this bill here.  Also, a tool for tracking what's going on and what people are writing about the bill is in this box (which is great when they keep it updated): 

Cui bono?

I was once on the staff of a church where one of the congregation members tried to encourage attendance at Wednesday night suppers with the slogan, "Hey—ya gotta eat!"  Between that indisputable fact and the presence of various agricultural interests in the town and the county, there are plenty of reasons to wonder about the Food Safety Bill (S.510).  After all, what could possibly go wrong?

Who Benefits? The Food Safety Bill Will Centralize and Regulate Food Production

“If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” - Thomas Jefferson.
This Founding Father would be rolling in his grave if he knew of the draconian measures to restrict food production the Senate is seeking to bring in. Under the deceptive title of the "FDA Food Safety Modernization Act", the bill if passed into law will crack down not only on large corporations, but also on "small businesses and entities that sell directly to consumers", and will give authorities power to further regulate "growing, harvesting, sorting, packing, and storage operations, minimum standards related to soil amendments, hygiene, packaging, temperature controls, animal encroachment, and water"....

Read the whole thing.

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