From HandPicked Nation

This article appeared on the website/blog HandPicked Nation.  This is why The JAZFarm exists.  The disconnect between the Citiots and the world that supports them is indeed stunning.  You can walk practically any park or golf course and the only plants are a few trees and a field of grass.  The frogs slowly heating in the pan of water are the most oblivious the bigger the numbers on their balance sheets.  The meek may inherit the earth…. but those who know how to grow food will make that same earth worth living on.  Buy Locally Grown or Raise Your Own!!!

Vintage HandPicked: Joel Salatin’s Tyrant Neighbor

August 26, 2013

Joel Salatin

Joel Salatin › Joel Salatin is a full-time farmer in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley.


Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on HandPicked Nation in May 2012. Like most of what Joel Salatin says, we think it bears repeating.

“What are you doing here?” the neighbor demanded, elbowing her way through the cluster of Polyface customers surrounding our delivery vehicle. “You can’t do this!” she remonstrated, into the face of her dumbfounded neighbor who was in the middle of filling her cooler with pastured chickens and “salad bar” beef.

Citing homeowners association rules and regulations about solicitations and commerce, this neighbor was hot and bothered about a local food drop occurring in her community. The very idea. Tsk. Tsk. I suppose she never receives a UPS shipment. I’m sure she’s never hosted a bridal shower or Tupperware party.

What’s the difference between a group of friends getting together to play games and the same group getting together to pick up their local food order? The face of local food has many expressions: farmers markets, community supported agriculture, buying clubs, home delivery, office delivery. It doesn’t look like a supermarket, that’s for sure.

Innovation on this ragged edge of the local food distribution network creates nuances that don’t fit neatly into zoning and other regulatory definitions. These folks clustered around our delivery vehicle had ordered their food online and were simply meeting the delivery vehicle at an appointed place. We (the farmers) were not soliciting sales, not selling anything. It had already been sold. Just like a UPS delivery. If we had used a lot more time and petroleum to deliver to each household customer, it would not have attracted attention.

“I’ve noticed that the wealthier the community the more the people who live there seem disconnected from their ecological moorings.”

But because we (the farmers) were trying to be efficient and set up a food fellowship-shindig-social setting as well, the convergence attracted attention and raised the ire of a prudish neighbor.

Rather than appreciating the food connections and relationships being established, this neighbor was incensed that something was happening in her upscale neighborhood besides gardeners mowing the lawns, domestics cleaning the houses, and children either properly occupied with electronic entertainment inside or participating in off-site soccer games outside.

I’ve noticed that the wealthier the community the more the people who live there seem disconnected from their ecological moorings. Do they just assume that no matter how expensive energy becomes, they will always be the top feeders? Few things can be more environmentally reasonable than clothes lines, downspout rain catchments, gardens, backyard rabbits, chickens, and honey bees. But these elements smack of peasants, agrarianism, and self-reliance. Too many people think they’ve evolved to a higher level of sophistication than to be bothered by such drivel.

Just last week a city mayor confessed to me that she did not even have a kitchen in her home. Having just read Jared Diamond’s iconic Collapse, I’m struck by the aloof, disconnected spirit of too many people. Apparently some folks think we’ll be the first culture to extricate ourselves from these nasty ecological moorings. They think we’ll be able to forget about our dependency on earthworms, soil, water, and air. I suppose they think we’ll all sail off on a Star Trek space ship eating breakfast in a tablet, living in a world without diapers and decomposition.

The whole crux of the local food movement depends on transparency and relationships. Too many people are far more passionate about the latest belly button piercing in Hollywood celebrity culture than what will become flesh of their flesh and bone of their bone at 6 p.m. That is tragic.

Instead of threatening litigation over a group of local food connectors and the farmer who braves expressways to bring nutrient density to town, neighbors and regulators should applaud and encourage such connections.

With all the hoopla about local food in our culture, I never cease to be amazed at the new hurdles thrown up to derail and distract this movement. The whole notion of local food is such a foreign concept that many people can’t even fathom what it looks like. And yet this community imbedded, shindig-oriented, rag-tag confluence of friends and food predates tyrannical neighbors who think they’ve risen above menial life responsibilities like food and soil.

If homeowners associations were really progressive, they’d be offering staging areas for local food connections to occur rather than using their rules to eliminate food interfaces. At some point, people need to realize that if they aren’t part of the solution, they’re part of the problem. Now go meet your farmer and get real food.

This article originally appeared on It is re-posted here with permission from the author.

Would your neighborhood support a local food drop?

Photo Credit:  Craig McCord


A Palestinian Poem

The Seed Keeper

Burn our land
burn our dreams
pour acid onto our songs cover with saw dust
the blood of our massacred people muffle with your technology the screams of all that is free, wild and indigenous. Destroy.

our grass and soil
raze to the ground
every farm and every village our ancestors had built every tree, every home every book, every law
and all the equity and harmony.

Flatten with your bombs every valley; erase with your edicts our past
our literature; our metaphor Denude the forests
and the earth
till no insect,
no bird
no word
can find a place to hide.
Do that and more.
I do not fear your tyranny
I do not despair ever
for I guard one seed
a little live seed
That I shall safeguard
and plant again.

(Palestinian poem) 

…. Occupy WORKS!!!!


Way to go Europe!!!!!!!!

(AP Photo/Seth Perlman)


Monsanto gives up fight for GM plants in Europe

The world’s largest producer of seeds, Monsanto, has apparently given up on attempts to spread its genetically modified plant varieties in Europe. A German media report said the firm would end all lobbying for approval.

The world’s largest producer of seeds, Monsanto, has apparently given up on attempts to spread its genetically modified plant varieties in Europe. A German media report said the firm would end all lobbying for approval.

The German newspaper “taz” reported Friday that US agriculture behemoth Monsanto had dropped any plans to have farmers grow its genetically modified (GM) plant varieties in Europe.

Monsanto Europe spokesman Brandon Mitchener was quoted as saying the company would no longer engage in any lobbying fur such plants on the continent, adding that at the moment the firm was unwilling to apply for approval of any GM plants.


Saying ‘No’ to genetically modified food

All over the world, protesters have been rallying against genetically modified food – and in particular, against seed giant Monsanto. (28.05.2013)

Monsanto said its decision was partly based on low demand from European farmers. “We’ve understood that such plants don’t have any broad acceptance in European societies,” Monsanto Germany spokeswoman Ursula Lüttmer-Ouazane commented. “We haven’t been bale to make any progress over the years, and it’s counter-productive to tilt against windmills,” she added.

Public resistance

The German Agriculture Ministry said Monsanto’s move was a corporate decision and would not comment further. But it added it was no secret the ministry had been highly critical of gene modification technologies.

“The promises of GM industry have not come true for European agriculture, nor have they for the agriculture in developing and emerging economies,” the ministry said in a statement.

In Germany, the protest movement against GM plants has been particularly strong for years. Vociferous rallying prompted the government in 2009 to prohibit the growing of Monsanto’s MON810 GM maize variety.

Rivals of the US company, such as Bayer CropScience, BASF and Syngenta had largely withdrawn from the German market because of large-scale public opposition, the “taz” report claimed.

hg/mz (dpa, AFP)

Pandora’s Lunchbox

One of my most recent reads was a book entitled, “Pandora’s Lunchbox”.  I thought I would put in a plug for it and also post a link to an interview with the author.  One major reason for the JAZ Farm’s existence is an absolute revulsion over our current food system.  If the weak links in food production like GM crops and animals raised in CAFO’s (Confined Animal Feed Operations) isn’t enough to wake you up one only has to turn to the processed food industry.  This book is a great primer, along with another I just finished entitled Salt, Sugar, Fat.

Vitamin D in milk from wool?  Really?  We have got it all wrong.

Occupy the Food Supply!!