I try to be plain about it for readability. My preserves contain sugar, berries, pectin. I use my own products because they are safe and trustworthy, my intent and rationale for farming is wholistic health of the farm and everything about it. I have been good to my customers, really good. Those gourmet fillet baby beans take twice as much back-aching bean picking as the regular size generic bean. I’ve arrived at a critical juncture in my life and have made a decision as a Farmer to no longer share the garden bounty. My garden is closed to community supported agriculture because the community is unwilling to work, unwilling to get their hands dirty, unwilling to be a community. My printer had a nervous breakdown, too many label law changes I assume. My generosity has been ripped off by a doctor who wrote me a bad check for fresh produce and a mother teaching her children how to rip a Farmer off for a buck, and so I left for her a pea under her princess mattress then, if you please. The wild black raspberries, parsnips, and asparagus were phenomenal this year and are not for sale. I will also be taking heirloom seeds off the market for the time being due to the food fight.
Below is part of an article from rareseeds.com that should explain the rationale of my decision to halt the food aspect of our business: If you want seeds, I recommend Rareseeds.com.
“The movement to save our seed has become a global one, with gardeners everywhere bringing back the old seeds, saving and dispersing them. The fight to keep them pure is a greater struggle each year, with corporate giants like Monsanto promoting their patented, genetically modified seeds, chemicals, and an ever widening net of genetic pollution and patent infringement suits against America’s farmers. One of the challenges our company and the planet face annually is the loss of corn (and other crop) varieties due to cross contamination from these patented, GMO seeds. During the past 8 years since we started testing each lot of heirloom corn we sell, we have found that about 50% of America’s heirloom corn supply is already contaminated with these unwanted, patented, and possibly dangerous, GMO varieties. We have pledged to not sell any seeds that come back positive for Monsanto’s genes in our test samples. Not only do we not believe in offering GMO tainted seeds, but we would also be faced with possible legal action for selling these unwanted genes.We work each year to find growers in more and more remote areas, but corn pollen floats in the air, so maintaining pure corn has become a labor of love. All told, GMO corn has cost our company thousands of dollars in lost crops and sales. Worst of all, though, is that several varieties have been lost because of this contamination.
California’s Proposition 37 to require the labeling of GMO foods has shown how much power the big ag companies and their money can have. Just a matter of weeks before the November election, the majority of voters in California were expected to pass the measure by an overwhelming margin. But the opposing chemical companies were able to pour 45 million dollars into propaganda that changed voters’ minds. That amount of money influenced voter opinions and caused some of the support of Prop 37 to just fade away. But the fight is not over—nearly 50% of California voters voted in favor of food labeling, and the movement toward pure food continues to grow.
We are just one small company, but we must not give up our fight for pure food. We fight for the right to our seed and the right for farmers to plant without fear of lawsuits from corporate giants bent on controlling every meal our children eat, feeding us untested, and mostly unwanted foods that have genes from who knows what: genes that are toxic to insects, cause tumors in rats and are likely contributing to many allergies according to many health organizations. Even the American Medical Association has called for mandatory pre-market safety testing of genetically engineered foods. These “franken foods” are already labeled in China, Russia, much of Europe and many other countries. That way their citizens have a choice, and nearly every one is choosing to buy GMO free; even in the USA, polls suggest more than 90% of Americans want GMO food labeled. If your Monsanto-funded senator won’t listen, start your own local food revolution: grow your own, buy local and shop only for brands that are labeled GMO-free. by Jere Baker”
It’s the time of year to fall backwards with abandon into a pile of new, fluffy, sparkling snow–and become an angel. Melt into the brilliance & add some elegance to any winter yard and practice the child-wisdom art of snow angels whenever you can. Become an artist of destiny and unfold those wings for all to see.
Trifecta holiday crackers by Jill
Here’s what you’ll need;
A regular screwdriver with a rather large head
An Aluminum Mirro cookie press or 2 (with the ridged cracker cutouts)
A grain mill
A large heavy-duty coffee grinder
1/4 cup Homegrown rye berries ground in heavy mill, then ground to very fine in coffee mill
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds Grind these up in coffee mill with the rye berries Option: you can use toasted and finely ground wheat germ instead of seeds of wild rice flour. As long as whole grains are used they will be healthy. Do Not Use Bleached or Enriched White Flour what ever you do!!!!!!!
2 Aluminum Mirro cookie presses
1/2 cup Wild rice flour mix from that grain mill we went to
A 1/2 block of cheddar cheese grated fine
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 stick of butter
A few tablespoons of water
A cookie sheet or two, ungreased
Mix up the food ingredients with a fork then put them into Aluminum Mirro cookie press. You will find that after trying to press two or three crackers out onto a cookie sheet that the cutout detaches from th press and makes a popping noise. This means someone forgot to beta test this device and now it needs to be fixed because the aluminum is not strong enough to hold the cutouts in place. You will now need to remove all the dough from the press and try the other cookie press to see if it also explodes. If the second cookie press also explodes, you will need to: remove the dough from the press, indent the edge that holds the attachment using a pliers and hammer, remove the screw on top, and start over many times. Do not be surprised if the dough still tends to ooze out the sides or pop open even after you “fix” both presses. If this is getting too involved, just use a rolling pin and cookie cutters or hand-form the crackers. If the press works good enough to get through all the dough, go ahead a use the press to put the rest of the crackers on cookie sheets. Next time Jill goes shopping (and since she does not like shopping, she probably won’t), Jill wants to try to find a stainless steel or some other unbendable cookie press. You can always buy a press for her. Bake the crackers at 350 until light brown, 10 minutes, I guess, cooking is an experience you make yourself, each experience unique, you be your own critic, this is just how Jill did it and this might not work for you.. Have a friend over to help you eat them or avoid the holiday hassles and eat them yourself.
Copyright 2012 Jill Annette Johnson
All Rights Reserved.
July 4, 2012
It was a dark and stormy night. Just like Snoopy, I have my eyes to the sky as I witness huge dark thunderheads of impending tornadic force roar in authority to obscure comparatively puny fireworks below. In a phenomenal display of power, subsequent lightning bolts make a boisterous entrance that is sending hosts of unprepared patriots scurrying to find shelter, covering their heads, ducking like ducks. Any remaining fireworks and patriot acts peter out quickly. “It’s not nice to blow things up in my sky!” Mother nature demands, “and if that’s not enough of a message, I’ll blow your toupees off.” “Hooray for Independence Day, what a grand finale!” I say.
Anyone who was listening to the weather today knew this storm was brewing, and brewing hot. It was hot, so hot today. “How hot?” you ask. Hotter than a pistol I tell ya. Sticky, steamy, sweaties of wet balls in the eyes kind of hot. So hot as to make any patriot wear, or other clothing for that matter, seem like a bad idea. Not to be outdone by weather, I’m having the kind of hot flashes that demand a nearby snowbank to throw myself into. Naked, preferably.
Not being the girly girl I am, and not far enough away from puritanical prying patriot peepers, I hoisted the air conditioner into the window instead. In the process of trying to handle an armload of slippery, sweaty, wet metal, I spilled water all over a nearby library book about proofreading. Sure, I can justify spilling all over a modern book about our “proper” English language, and this book was being used as a bedtime lullaby. In other proper words, it was boring. As a lover of books, I would not intentionally deface knowledge. I love books, I love reading. I love the red hat women who frequent libraries. I thrive of learning. Immediately I rescued the other nearby books about Ancient Greek Poetry from a similar fate. Spilling on hardcover library-bound Ancient Greek Poetry book seems like it should be bad karma, sacrilegious, not to mention heavy on the fine and possible suspension from a place I care about. That was a real close call!
So I assembled a sincere note of apology to librarians everywhere, and put the proofreading book in a plastic bag, and just like Snoopy, I keep my eyes to the sky tonight and am thankful to see the storm slowly rumble on towards another locale without inflicting any harm on our garden or horses. Look out Motley, here it comes.
Copyright 2012 Jill Annette Johnson
All Rights Reserved.
In this process of revamping the sites and products, I hope you will keep checking back. I’ll be adding lots of how to’s, art galleries, tips, products, inspirational pieces, odd & ends, writer resources, etc………. over the next few months. In the meantime, our products are available at Click here to get those fabulous fresh essential oils and herbs and so on through Local Harvest…………