Monthly Archives: February 2012

Meet Your Urban Farmer

A short film series to introduce urban farmers in the Metro Vancouver area. Thanks to Fire and Light Media Group.


Your Renovation Ideas Welcome

So here is the problem. We are are about to move into a farm house that has been scabbed onto and improved upon over the years by a series of well meaning owners and well meaning neighbours who possessed little working knowledge of local building codes. They regarded local building codes as something that, well those local codes really don’t apply out here in the district… “So yeah. Thats not gonna go anywhere… Should hold. Okay. See ya!…”  Purchasing ‘as is, where is’ is something you must be comfortable with when acquiring a farm property.

For the benefit of farmersdotter, the following photos were taken prior to us moving in and consequently we can not accept responsibility for their content.

As you can see from the photo below there is no provision for exhausting steam and fumes from the stove:

Stove

Stove

To complicate matters the floor beneath has eight inches or so clearance which prevents access for a downdraft unit. Your Renovation Ideas Welcome.

There are two hideous support posts in the living area that define what once must have been an exterior wall:

Support Posts

Support Posts

I am hoping to have these removed by installing an engineered beam. Your Renovation Ideas Welcome.

Lastly, for now, every window and door in the house should be replaced:

Exterior

Exterior

I plan to preserve the old units for posterity but they provide no benefit to a 21st century home renovation. Your Renovation Ideas Welcome… Please.


Using a ‘smart pill’ to reveal the inner you.

Its like to old adage; Garbage in, garbage out. For the first time in history the life expectancy for children born today is less than that of their parents. No wonder when you see what we feed ourselves. The 2011 TEDxManhattan Fellow: Artist Stefani Bardin video uses a ‘smart pill’ to reveal the inner you.


Wanna Be

Couldn’t resist this image from the You Tube video Colombianadas

Wanna Be


Perpetrating the Natural Fraud

Outside of sales at the farm gate and farmers markets, the produce grower has little to no control over how their produce is marketed to the consumer.  The grower trusts the food industry to correctly identify the provenance of their product from distributor to consumer. Yet there remains confusion over the term “natural” as it pertains to the purity of edible produce. Suffice it to say the term “natural” can describe both conventional and certified-organic produce. The term “natural” implies a product untainted and thus more closely related to certified-organic although nothing could be further from the truth. Even the term “organic” without the modifier “certified” will sometimes be used to describe conventionally grown produce further deepening the confusion. Conventionally grown is a term referring to a method of growing edible produce. It is opposite to certified-organic which grows edible produce without synthetic chemicals or genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Conventionally grown produce will often use fertilizers, pesticides and GMOs, which allow for higher yield, out of season growth, and at times an abnormally larger product.

There really is only one way to differentiate between conventional and certified-organic produce. Certified-organic will always be identified with a certified-organic label similar to:

COABC Label

COABC Label

that indicates the name of the authorized certifier that inspected the product and the growers certification number. In addition certified-organic labels may carry the certifying bodies logo. At farmersdotter organics we will maintain PACS certification (#16-464) under COABC.

On the whole the food industry in North America has failed to educate consumers over the differences between natural and certified-organic terminology perpetuating a fraud to the consumer. The remedy lies in truth-in-labeling laws. For example in the European Union there is no confusion between GMOs and certified-organics because under EU law all foods containing GMOs or GMO ingredients must be labeled. The EU consumer can confidently choose between GMOs and certified-organic. When given the choice most consumers view GMOs as suspicious, tainted and undesirable.

The biotech industry in North America is acutely aware of suspicion toward GMOs and the consequent demands to place mandatory labels on GMO foods. Yet companies like Monsanto, Dow, and Dupont continue to lobby federal governments against accurate labeling so consumers can not consciously avoid purchasing their GMO products. In lieu of effective government legislation on food labeling, consumers must focus on buying local. The result will pressure the food industry to voluntarily label their food products. Consumer groups in the meantime must continue to out lobby Big Agra to enact mandatory and accurate labeling laws. Until then we are all perpetrating the natural fraud.


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