Vandana Shiva: “Organic farming increases carbon absorption of soil by 55%”

laurabruno:

When we explore the oldest traditions all around the world, we see the foundations of sacred soil, sacred earth, and our own place in the Cycle of Life. Even science has begun to agree with the Upanishads: we live in an interconnected web. Whether East Indian or American Indian, what Chief Seattle said holds true:

“Every part of the earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every meadow, every humming insect. All are holy in the memory and experience of my people.

“This we know: the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself. “

Originally posted on Exopermaculture:

I focus on farming for a reason. (See this, this, and this.) The need to return to local, sustainable production of of real, i.e., non-GMO, organic food is not just a nostalgic nod to the past. Indeed, dismantling Big Ag may be the single most crucial shift that will allow the continuing planetary presence of humans and other Earthlings during this emerging era that we call, for want of a more apt, alarming phrase, “climate change.”

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In Living Soil Lies the Solution to Climate Change

Mere desh ki dharti…

April 23, 2015

by Vandana Shiva

commondreams

‘In living soil lies the solution to climate change, both through mitigation and adaptation,’ writes Shiva. (Photo: file)

At this fragile moment of human evolution—in the immediate wake of yesterday’s celebration of Mother Earth Day—we have a moment to reflect on the state of the Earth and the human condition, as well as…

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Converting Lawns to Gardens: Nature’s Harvest Permaculture Urban Farm

laurabruno:

In case it’s not obvious: I completely agree with everything shared in this post. Transform our lawns, transform ourselves, transform our communities. I experience this daily, as I’m out front, meeting neighbors walking their dogs, talking with the next door neighbors as I plant, mulch or weed, having micro-visits with David’s dad as he stops by on his errand runs.

Front yard gardens definitely start conversations, and yes, they are contagious. I know more and more people planting fruit trees and tearing up their lawns. OK, so maybe I called a bunch of people when I saw non-GMO fruit trees on sale at Tractor Supply Co. Maybe I emailed our Transition Goshen team. In any case, a little bit of encouragement and some bold plantings do change everything, season by season.

This post gives excellent advice about getting started on transforming your own yard from a resource sink to a productive source of joy and beauty. Happy planting!

Originally posted on The Druid's Garden:

Design of Nature's Harvest Permaculture Farm Design of Nature’s Harvest Permaculture Farm – Beautiful, biointensive, productive.

Over the years, I’ve done quite a bit of coverage about lawn issues, as I really do believe that the lawn can be one of the primary sites of transformation and change for ordinary Americans and others in the Western industrialized world. Not only can the lawn be transformed from a consumptive space to a productive one for growing vegetables, herbs, and flowers to benefit humans and other life, but it can be a site of personal reconnection and healing with our landscape.

This is because the lawn is the single piece of nature that the bulk of people, living outside of big cities, encounter on a daily or weekly basis. If we can transform the lawn, we can transform ourselves.

This is why I am so excited about this post–through the example of Nature’s Harvest Urban Permaculture Farm…

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Even Kafka couldn’t make up this stuff, but We can end it.

I have been following this story for awhile, and as ridiculous and beyond Kafka-esque as it appears, this is actually happening in nearby Michigan. Any precedents set by this case will be used for all sorts of nefarious purposes, so please, send your Reiki, work your magic, revoke your consent to this con, use your phones and email … whatever you can, please do. Honestly, if this happened in any other country, the US would already be bombing, er, “liberating” them. Time to liberate ourselves and each other with more effective and life honoring methods. Via RMN:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Commerce Twp., Michigan, April 22, 2015

A Michigan woman is calling on Governor Rick Snyder to intervene and protect her from being put in a federal prison after what she calls a crudely engineered criminal conviction for her refusal to comply with unlawful orders of a federal court—orders commanding her not just that she must testify, but what she must say.

Doreen Hendrickson was charged two years ago with criminal contempt of court for refusing to comply with DOJ- and IRS-requested orders from a federal court in 2007. The court commanded Hendrickson to amend her freely-made tax returns for 2002 and 2003 with content dictated by the tax agency, by which she would be made to declare that all her earnings for those years are subject to the income tax. She eventually did submit the amended returns, but with a declaration that she had been coerced. The DOJ told the judge that the IRS could not process her returns under those circumstances.

The judge then ordered Mrs. Hendrickson to sign the dictated-content forms declaring under oath that she personally believes what she has been ordered to say, and to conceal the fact that the words are not her own. Such orders have never been made to an American before in history, whether in regard to a tax return or any other kind of document or testimony. “This is not a tax case. This is about my right to be in charge of my own testimony, to speak my conscience, and to protect my own property interests in a legal contest, even when that contest is with my government,” Hendrickson says. “If the court can force me to amend my return, put numbers on it dictated by the IRS that I know aren’t correct, and make me hide the fact that I was coerced, then you might as well set fire to the Bill of Rights.”

Mrs. Hendrickson has consistently said she doesn’t believe that all of her earnings are, in fact, taxable– a view the IRS itself took when first presented with her original returns, and which it has never contradicted over any agency official’s signature. In fact, even now, many years since those original returns were filed and many years since Mrs. Hendrickson was ordered to change them, the United States Department of Treasury records continue to agree with Hendrickson’s original figures.

Mrs. Hendrickson has testified to her actual beliefs on affidavits and in live testimony under oath in every hearing and trial that has been held concerning the matter. The government has never produced any evidence to the contrary, always simply arguing that she ought to believe differently because the IRS wants her to, and because the judge appears to believe what Hendrickson is being ordered to say.

Mrs. Hendrickson views the orders made to her to be violations of her right to control the content of her own speech, and of her right to due process, since the orders demand that she declare agreement with her adversary’s position on the taxable character of certain kinds of earnings– a matter which otherwise would likely be in dispute in future litigations between her and the United States.

Mrs. Hendrickson also views the orders as a violation of her right to refuse to be a witness against herself, since being forced to declare something contradicting her prior-filed returns now would not only compel her to commit perjury today, but would amount to a declaration that her previously-made testimony was false.

Mrs. Hendrickson strenuously argues that the orders she is accused of disobeying are unlawful, and therefore her refusal cannot be criminal contempt. After all, the statute she is accused of violating, specifically qualifies that it is disobedience of a lawful order that is punishable.

The government attorneys and the judge that presided over her trials apparently agree. At the government’s urging the judge instructed Mrs. Hendrickson’s jury that it must disregard the unlawfulness or unconstitutionality of the orders when deciding whether she was guilty of criminal contempt for resisting them.

The judge also instructed the jury that it need not unanimously find that Hendrickson actually did either of the two distinct alleged acts of contempt with which she was charged—another unprecedented feature of her trial. The trial ended in November, 2013 in a hung jury, and the government then tried again in July of 2014. At the close of the second trial, her jury, thus instructed, declared Mrs. Hendrickson to be guilty.

On April 9, 2015, Judge Victoria Roberts of the U.S. District Court in Detroit sentenced Mrs. Hendrickson to 18 months in prison. Mrs. Hendrickson was ordered to surrender herself into federal custody within 60 days—IF she submitted new amended returns with the government’s numbers and without any hint that they were coerced or disclaimed—otherwise, she would be forced to surrender within 30 days. Thus, the court continues to pressure Mrs. Hendrickson not only to give up her civil rights, but to commit a felony by filing false tax returns.

“This case is unprecedented. Mrs. Hendrickson is appealing, and we are confident that the Sixth Circuit will do the right thing and see this trial and conviction as unsupportable in a free society,” said her attorney, Mark Cedrone of Philadelphia. Fearing, however, that she will be made to suffer this penalty even while waiting for her appeal to be heard, Mrs. Hendrickson has asked Michigan’s Governor Rick Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette to stand in vindication of her Constitutionally-secured rights between her and the federal officials.

Governor Snyder and AG Schuette have not yet responded to Mrs. Hendrickson’s request.

Contact information:

Pete Hendrickson

newsman “at” losthorizons.com

Questions concerning the ongoing federal proceedings should be directed to Mrs. Hendrickson’s counsel at mec “at”cedrone-mancano.com

A .pdf of this press release can be found at http://losthorizons.com/4-22PressRelease.pdf

Blessed Earth Day!

I almost forgot to post anything directly about Earth Day, although, clearly regular blog readers know that every day is Earth Day in my world.

I enjoyed John Beckett’s musings yesterday in his post, “The Candle of Earth Day,” which begins: “‘It is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness’ – origin uncertain,” then shares his personal fight against the Texas State Legislators’ battle to ban any bans of fracking. As usual, John weaves together diversely personal and widely global strands into a contemplative tapestry. In response to ideas from, “’every day is Earth Day for Pagans’ to ‘Earth Day is like bringing flowers to the spouse you beat up last night’ to what is perhaps the most accurate ‘it’s just not enough,'” John reminds us:

But it’s still better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness.

This Earth Day let’s light a candle for the children of those Texas State Legislators who will have to live in the world their parents create. Let’s light a candle for the suburbanites who are so invested in their lifestyle they literally can’t imagine another way. Let’s light a candle for all those who are so accustomed to darkness they’ve forgotten how to see.

Because some of them will notice the candle, and they’ll wake up and see what’s going on around us.

I pray they do, because Mama’s not pleased with most of Her children. Her immense patience will not last forever. You can read John’s (cautiously hopeful) piece here.

Trillium and Other Garden Updates

It’s snowing in Goshen, so what better day for a Spring Garden Update?! I’m most excited to report that the trillium some friends and I rescued from a woodland turned GMO corn/soy farm are doing well in their new home. They returned, along with the beginnings of some rescued trout lily, Jack in the pulpit and what looks to be Dutchmen’s breeches. The trillium came up first:

Rescued trillium

Rescued trillium

I need to apologize for the blurriness of some of these photos. It has been insanely windy here for days! My poor peach tree needs to find a more sheltered home, because these Indiana winds are just crazy. They seriously seem to be coming from any and all directions, and like me, my little peach sapling does not like wind!

In other news, preparation for an intentional “Battle of the Invasives” has begun in the easement area, front street-side. With all the trucks that drive by and a brown field not too far away catty corner from us, across the street, I don’t really want to eat anything from this front area, nor do I want to continue weed whacking it once or twice per week. The faeries hate that weedwhacker, and I’d much rather create beauty than become Laura the Destroyer. Actually, I suspect all the deep wood mulch with its mycelium layers will remediate any toxins, but I’m still dedicating this area to beauty, butterflies, birds, bees and a “Battle of the Invasives.”

In addition to a tough as nails and gorgeous Robinhood Rose hedge set to arrive soon, I’ve got groundcover juniper on order, serviceberry trees from the city, and three Rose of Sharon bushes from my friend Patricia’s yard. The vast expanse of mulch will (hopefully) fill quickly with various floral groundcovers, including an Asian day lily promisingly named, “Little Invader.” I’ve got perennial (and spreading) daisies, yarrow from unwanted locations around the yard and other beds, creeping Elfin thyme, poppy seeds scattered, a hummingbird and butterfly seed mixture for naturalization, hyacinths, and some non-invasive perennials like Gerber daisies, dianthus, and soon to be planted hardy gladiolas.

daianthis

daisies

The serviceberry trees are in bloom but difficult to capture with my camera, so I’ll show you this little guy, an experiment literally just stuck in the ground six feet from a dwarf apple tree. I bought two serviceberry bushes that never took last year, so we’ll see if this “impossible” (according to the city arborist) attempt will do better. I cut off a hard wood sucker from one of the front trees and stuck it in a strawberry hole. We’ll see what it does. If you can imagine this on a much larger scale, you’ll get a sense for how pretty the two trees look out front. You can see it here with hyssop, the ever present dandelions, strawberries and numerous other parts of a large backyard polyculture:

mini-serviceberry

mini-serviceberry

Also out back, we’ve got Quince and Elder with a bright floral crop of milk jug planted medicinal herbs holding down cardboard that desperately needs more wood mulch:

Quince and Elder

The front yard looks more presentable, with both the cherry and 3-way Asian pear tree in bloom, along with a few remaining daffodils and some chives that should take off this year:

April 2015 cherry tree

Tulips are just starting to bulge — a little crossover bloom with the later daffodils:

Tulips and Daffodils

Out back, a crate full of stinging nettles finally found a new home in an enormous tree-sized pot filled with compost, potting soil, rotting leaves and –on the bottom for drainage– broken chards of the terra cotta pots I lazily left outside for the winter. Yep, they really do crack as they freeze and thaw! At least they’re serving a new purpose. I love nettles, but I felt bad planting them into a yard we don’t own. I also didn’t want them to escape to neighbors who might treat them with toxic RoundUp. Meanwhile, they were busting out of the landscape cloth lined crate from two years ago. If I didn’t act soon, we’d have nettles regardless of whether or not I planted them. Enter: the tree pot, a generous, deep, sturdy container to let them grow lush and tall. I’ll just need to make sure they don’t go to seed.

stinging nettles

stinging nettles

Inside, I’ve started lots of annual seeds, which needed to go back to the warmer basement under fluorescent lights today since the porch is now too cold again for peppers, tomatoes, and other tender seedlings. Outside, though, the perennial veggies and cover crops are starting to show:

sea kale, Egyptian walking onions, garlic and an edible legume cool weather cover crop to fix nitrogen into the soil.

sea kale, Egyptian walking onions, garlic and an edible legume cool weather cover crop to fix nitrogen into the soil.

happy chives leading the beneficial bugs bed

happy chives leading the beneficial bugs bed

So there you have it! Potato seeds arrived yesterday, which means tomorrow will involve learning another new task. I’ve never grown taters before. In fact, I almost missed the deadline to order the little seed potatoes. On Saturday, something reminded me that a Master Gardener in this area always plants his on Good Friday, and I thought, “Doh! I guess I better order the seeds.” I have potato grow bags and various amendments. We’ll see how it goes. Clearly, the Mad Scientist Gardening continues, and the crazed plant lady here just ordered even more fruit trees, fruit bushes and mushrooms on a Spring Sale from Raintree Nursery. If all goes well, I should finally have the medlar tree that has obsessively haunted me for years. LOL, sometimes you just need to plant a weird tree to stop it from whispering in your ear all year!

And now I need to put on another layer. Despite all that garden talk, it’s still windy and cold in Goshen.

This is the coolest house ever!

Thanks, Zen!

Amazing House Truck Transforms into Fantasy Castle:

Why I keep writing about Monsanto vs. Maui

laurabruno:

Why what happens in Maui matters:

Originally posted on Jon Rappoport's Blog:

Why I keep writing about Maui vs. Monsanto

Tearing away the curtain

by Jon Rappoport

April 16, 2015

NoMoreFakeNews.com

First, an important development in the case I’ve just become aware of. There has been virtually no discovery process.

Meaning: The people of Maui want to know specific details of Monsanto’s years of experiments with unapproved pesticides and GMOs in their county. They want records, files, internal communications; the whole nine yards.

They’re getting nothing.

Monsanto’s history of unbridled human experimentation is still obscured in a cloud of mystery. And danger.

And this is five months after the people of Maui voted in favor of putting a temporary ban on all such experimentation.

That vote has been suspended in a void, while Monsanto and its allies have been suing Maui.

I keep writing about this case because, for one, the people of Maui voted for something far stronger than labeling…

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