It is a life and death struggle. Society must decide whether the people will regain control of our food system... View Article
Categories for Potatoes in History
IRRESISTIBLE PRIMER ON GROWING POTATOES. This fun and valuable article from ‘Organic Authority’ is concise yet comprehensive and covers all... View Article
CONGRATULATIONS TO OREGON FOR MAJOR PEOPLES’ VICTORY IN DEFENDING THEIR WATER FROM NESTLE’. Chalk up one for the people as... View Article
DR. JONATHAN LATHAM: PROGRESSION FROM GMO RESEARCHER TO ARTICULATE GMO OPPONENT. In this MUST READ essay from last year, a... View Article
FROM “WILD SPECULATION” TO VERIFICATION IN VERY SAME DAY: MONSANTO CONFIRMS TAKEOVER BID BY BAYER. Yet some things never change:... View Article
“Glyphosate is the most commonly used broad-spectrum herbicide in the world. Its use rose globally from 112.6 million pounds in... View Article
VANDANA SHIVA EXPRESSES INDIA’S OUTRAGE AT MONSANTO GREED, LAW-BREAKING AND UNCONSCIONABLE MISUSE OF DEBT-RIDDEN INDIAN FARMERS.February 25, 2016 4:16 pm
Justifiably indignant Vandana Shiva has written a scorching rebuke aimed at notorious multinational chemical and biotech corporate misanthrope Monsanto.
At issue is Monsanto's blatant misuse of its position as a dominant supplier of GE cotton seeds in India and Monsanto's charging of astronomical royalty fees to farmers. In its quest to establish monopoly control, Monsanto has flagrantly violated Indian laws, pushed farmers into economic crisis and caused the suicides of hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers. Jim
"Fact is that Monsanto has viewed the laws of our land as mere hurdles in its way to swindle India and our farmers. On March 10, 1995, Mahyco (Monsanto-Mahyco) brought 100 grams of cotton seeds, containing the MON531-Bt gene, into India without the approval of the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC).
"Eager to establish a monopoly in India based on the smuggled MON531 gene, Monsanto-Mahyco started large scale, multi-centric, open field trials of Bt cotton in 40 locations spread across nine states, again without GEAC approval.
"Article (7) of the Environment Protection Act, 1986, states: 'No person shall import, export, transport, manufacture, process, use or sell any hazardous microorganisms or genetically engineered organisms/substances or cells except with the approval of the GEAC.' GMO traits, once released into the environment, cannot be contained or recalled...
"India’s laws, rightly, do not permit patents on seeds and in agriculture. This has always been a problem for Monsanto and, through the US administration, it has attempted to pressure India into changing her robust intellectual property regime since the World Trade Organisation came into existence, and continues to do so today...
"In 2006, out of the Rs 1,600 per 450 gram package of Bt cotton seed (Rs 3,555.55/kg), almost 80 per cent (Rs 1,250) was charged by MMB as “trait fee”. In stark contrast, before Monsanto destroyed alternative sources of seed (including local hybrid seed supply) through unfair business practices, local seeds used to cost farmers Rs 5-9/kg..
"Monsanto’s ruthlessness is central to the crisis Indian farmers are facing. Farmers leveraged their land holdings to buy Bt cotton seeds and the chemicals it demanded, but the golden promise of higher yield and reduced pesticide use failed to deliver.
"Of the 300,000 farmer suicides in India since Monsanto smuggled the Bt gene into India in 1995, 84 per cent, almost 252,000, are directly attributed to Monsanto’s Bt cotton."
“LIFE IN SYNTROPY” – INSPIRING SHORT FILM ABOUT ERNST GOTSCH’S REMARKABLE BRAZILIAN AGRO-FORESTRY FARMING SYSTEM.February 22, 2016 9:05 pm
"Life in Syntropy" is a beautiful and powerful film (15:29) and very much worth watching.
Ernst is a farmer and researcher who has devoted his life to creating a form of food production he calls 'Successional Agro-Forestry.' He began this pioneering work in his native Switzerland, then Costa Rica, and now for the last three decades in the southern Bahia region of Brazil. Ernst incorporates forest dynamics into a unique form of regenerative agriculture. The resilience and health of his soil - not to mention the bountious crops of food - under this system is truly remarkable. Jim
"'At the time of harvest, the soil will be better than it was when we started."
We have really enjoyed Huckleberry Gold because of its GREAT TASTE, smooth-melting texture and strong yield. Now Montana researchers have identified this brand new variety - out of hundreds tested - as having an especially low-glycemic index.
We've been growing Huckleberry Gold as "Certified Seed" for several years in our Organic Wood Prairie Experimental Trials. We have them available - RIGHT NOW - as both Organic "Certified Seed" (http://www.woodprairie.com/product/1124/75) to plant in your garden or field; and as Organic "Tablestock," eating-potatoes (http://www.woodprairie.com/prod…/1119/organic-maine-potatoes) you may immediately prepare in your kitchen. Jim & Megan
"Researchers in the Sands’ Research Lab at MSU’s Plant Science Department have found low glycemic index potatoes that do not cause the rapid spike in blood sugar that comes with eating starchy foods. Sugar spikes can be dangerous for diabetics who lack the insulin to handle it and have been linked to cancer, heart disease and other conditions.
"Although potatoes provide valuable carbohydrates and vitamins with minimal fat, most varieties have a high glycemic index, which means they are rapidly digested and boost blood sugar dangerously fast. MSU currently has six varieties that have a lower glycemic index than Russet Burbank or Yukon Gold potatoes, which are rated high on the glycemic index.
"The potatoes are not genetically modified. Rather, researchers analyzed existing varieties and used traditional breeding methods to select for desirable traits...
"Huckleberry Gold, released by the Tri-State Potato Commission, is a nutritious variety that produces round to oval tubers more resistant to growth cracks, secondary growth and hollow heart than Yukon Gold and with high antioxidant concentrations and good resistance to common scab and Verticillium wilt
“'It’s a beautiful potato with purple skin and yellow flesh,' Pilgeram said."
Further documentation of the revolutionary effect organic farming is having across all of agriculture and society.
In step with strong, growing interest in food and the environment, articles like this one from the NY Times, which promotes organic-centric soil-building cover crops, are no longer merely delegated to the pages of ag publications like the Farm Journal. Forward-thinking, organic-based, good-farming content - as reflected by our recent series of Agrarian Elder Primers - is increasingly finding its way into general interest broadsheet publications as varied as Harpers, LA Times and Elle. Jim
"Before cultivation, Indiana was blanketed in prairie grasses and forest, and the carbon content of the soil was as high as 10 percent in places. Today, after decades of tillage, which moves carbon from the soil into the atmosphere, and monocropping, the level on many farms is below 2 percent, Mr. Fisher said. Cover crops restore organic matter back into the soil, at a rate of about 1 percent every five years.
"'As we put carbon back into the soil, it gives us a bigger tank to store water naturally,' Mr. DeSutter said. 'This is one way we build resilience into the system.'"