Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Harvest Shot July 29-30 2014

The summer has been kind to us, as the genuine heat wave typical of inland San Diego has not arrived, and we're almost in August! Where did the summer go?

We're excited to share a new item we've been experimenting with, our Sunflower Shoots. We included them in all but two (:/) Large Garden N Grove boxes. (We made up for that unusual slight by substituting other items; something we rarely have to do.) We're still working on getting the timing and yields down. The other clamshelled item is our Purslane, which is among my favorite warm weather veggies. It has a lemony flavor with a very low-cal, satisfying crunch. I add it to salads, sandwiches and offer it up all by itself with a dip. It's a great green to add to a rice paper roll up. I enjoy the stems as well as the leaves. We actually harvested two bunches of Swiss chard for Large Boxes, and one bunch for Small boxes, but ended up with only one bunch in each box because we couldn't get the Large Box lids closed with two bunches.

Lots of folks are on summer break from our CSA, including those that were ordering eggs. We have no wait list for eggs! If you would like to order eggs, please let us know. Here's the Change Order Link:
https://ww04.elbowspace.com/secure/20140302150121865577

I know I've said this...ahem...a few times; but all changes to your CSA box must go through our link. Facebook, Linked In, Post It Notes, Snail Mail, texts, voice messages, comments left with our delivery driver, comments left with your host, notes left on the roster... all have their place; but we have one crew member managing our rosters, and one place for any change affecting our weekly deliveries, and that's our Link. I made it myself and I'm proud of it. Please help us out and use it when you have a change or quarter-end cancellation. Quarters end in June, September, December and March.


Friday, July 11, 2014

Monsanto Wants To Own It All

Morning Song Farm Supporters:
The following is an email from Avaaz, an organization fighting Monsanto's attempt to "own" the seeds that feed us all....


Dear friends,


The source of our planet's food is under threat. Ten agro-chemical firms own 73% of the commercial seed market, and as many as 93% of seed varieties have gone extinct. In the US alone 85% of apple varieties have disappeared.

Monsanto and co. are privatizing the genesis of nature. And this corporate takeover is decimating sustainable farming, destroying the diversity of our crops, and making them vulnerable to diseases that could threaten our food security.

But farmers are resisting, saving seeds in banks and barns across the world. Now they have devised a revolutionary project -- the first ever, non-profit "eBay" of seed where any farmer, anywhere can source a wide variety of plants cheaper than the genetically modified seeds from chemical companies. This global online store could re-flood the market with all kinds of seeds and slowly break the monopoly that is putting our food future at risk!

This could be the most innovative agricultural idea in decades and the best way to stop Monsanto. But chemical companies often bully and sue those that get in their way, and farmers are calling on us to support them. If we raise enough now we can help them launch the online site, support seed storing in key countries, finance marketing and advertising, and fund the legal defense to fight back.

Pledge to help kick start the seed exchange -- Avaaz will only process donations if we raise enough to launch the whole initiative:

YES, I'LL PLEDGE $4

YES, I'LL PLEDGE $8

YES, I'LL PLEDGE $16

YES, I'LL PLEDGE $32

To pledge an amount other than the ones listed above, click here.

For thousands of years agriculture was driven by farmers selecting, replanting, and breeding seed varieties. Then the agro-chemical companies persuaded many governments to promote a corporate system of industrial, single-crop farming. Companies promise farmers higher yields and bigger earnings, and often lure them into multi-year contracts for GM (genetically modified) seeds and pesticides. Then they rely on patent laws and use agreements to strong-arm farmers to abandon their traditional practices of seed saving and innovation.

There is still no consensus on the long-term effects of GM crops, but experts say that the lack of independent scientific studies means there may be serious risks to our health from some GM foods. And there isn’t clear evidence that the introduction of GM seeds has improved farmers' incomes or provided more food for the world's people -- in fact in many cases it has driven small independent farmers out of business and in extreme cases to suicide to avoid debt.

The dire consequences go way beyond the farmers. According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation more than three-quarters of the genetic diversity of our crops has been lost due to seed consolidation and industrial practices. This matters because when we cover large swathes of land with just one cash crop -- instead of rotating or diversifying them -- our farms are more susceptible to diseases. While genetic modification may increase some crop yields, it's clear that without seed diversity and locally-tailored sustainable practices to confront changing environmental conditions -- our global food security could be at risk.

But this crisis isn't insurmountable. The takeover is only decades old, farmers have saved seed everywhere, and if supported widely, this online seed market could help recover our food. A coalition of more than 20 groups and leaders in the field of sustainable agriculture like the Center for Food Safety and activist Vandana Shiva are standing by ready to launch the project. Here’s how our funds can help:
  • directly support seed-saving initiatives in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas.
  • create a world class website for the online store that connects farming communities everywhere, allowing them to legally sell seeds and share best practices globally.
  • help fund legal defence of this non-profit seed market from legal attacks by Monsanto and others.
  • market and advertise the exchange so that farmers all over the world join up.
  • campaign for better protections for our existing seeds from corporate takeover and patents.
Monsanto's been forcing their GM seeds and vision of mass industrial agriculture on farmers (and all of us) for years, but if we all pitch in we can launch this revolutionary seed project and protect the varieties of apples, pears and tomatoes for our grandchildren! Chip in now and Avaaz will only process the pledge if we raise enough to make this plan work:        
   
"To plant a seed is to activate the deepest mysteries of the Universe." These seeds hold the origin and mystery of so much of life as we know it. Let's support this movement to protect that mystery from complete corporate control and help bring back thousands of food plants we thought were already lost.

With hope and determination,

Alice, Maria Paz, Nick, Emma, Ricken, Antonia, Patricia, Mais, Emily, Diego and the whole Avaaz team


MORE INFORMATION:

2013 Report: Wake Up Before It's Too Late (UN Conference on Trade and Development)
http://unctad.org/en/PublicationsLibrary/ditcted2012d3_en.pdf

On India’s Farms, a Plague of Suicide (New York Times)
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/19/world/asia/19india.html

How many farmers plant GM worldwide? (EuropaBio)
http://www.europabio.org/how-many-farmers-plant-gm-worldwide

Ministry blames Bt cotton for farmer suicides (Hindustan Times)
http://www.hindustantimes.com/business-news/ministry-blames-bt-cotton-for-farmer-suicides/article1-830798.aspx

Monsanto Lawsuits Pile Up as American Farmers Demand Rights (Mother Earth News)
http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/monsanto-lawsuits-from-family-farmers-zwfz1302zkin.aspx#axzz36IwTZWF7

Life in the Rural Police State of Monsanto (Truth Out)
http://truth-out.org/news/item/16985-life-in-the-rural-police-state-of-monsanto

From 1903 -1983 the world lost 93 percent of key seed varieties (National Geographic)
http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/07/food-ark/food-variety-graphic

Norway invests $23.7 million in crop diversity to help farmers face climate change (FAO)
http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/197662/icode/

World Food Day 2004 highlights the importance of biodiversity to global food security (FAO)
http://www.fao.org/NEWSROOM/EN/news/2004/51140/index.html

Political Power of the Agribusiness & Crop Insurance Lobbies (Taxpayers for Common Sense)
http://www.taxpayer.net/images/uploads/downloads/Political_Power_of_Farm_And_Crop_Insurance_Lobbies_Fact_Sheet.pdf

Putting the Cartel before the Horse (ETC)
http://www.etcgroup.org/sites/www.etcgroup.org/files/CartelBeforeHorse11Sep2013.pdf


Dear friends,

Click to pledge what you can:

$2    $4    $8    $16    $32

Pledge another amount
The source of our planet's food is under threat. Ten agro-chemical firms own 73% of the commercial seed market, and as many as 93% of seed varieties have gone extinct. In the US alone 85% of apple varieties have disappeared.

Monsanto and co. are privatising the genesis of nature. And this corporate takeover is decimating sustainable farming, destroying the diversity of our crops, and making them vulnerable to diseases that could threaten our food security.

But farmers are resisting, saving seeds in banks and barns across the world. Now they have devised a revolutionary project -- the first ever, non-profit "eBay" of seed where any farmer, anywhere can source a wide variety of plants cheaper than the genetically modified seeds from chemical companies. This global online store could re-flood the market with all kinds of seeds and slowly break the monopoly that is putting our food future at risk!

This could be the most innovative agricultural idea in decades and the best way to stop Monsanto. But chemical companies often bully and sue those that get in their way, and farmers are calling on us to support them. If we raise enough now we can help them launch the online site, support seed storing in key countries, finance marketing and advertising, and fund the legal defence to fight back.

Pledge to help kick start the seed exchange -- Avaaz will only process donations if we raise enough to launch the whole initiative:

For thousands of years agriculture was driven by farmers selecting, replanting, and breeding seed varieties. Then the agro-chemical companies persuaded many governments to promote a corporate system of industrial, single-crop farming. Companies promise farmers higher yields and bigger earnings, and often lure them into multi-year contracts for GM (genetically modified) seeds and pesticides. Then they rely on patent laws and use agreements to strong-arm farmers to abandon their traditional practices of seed saving and innovation.

There is still no consensus on the long-term effects of GM crops, but experts say that the lack of independent scientific studies means there may be serious risks to our health from some GM foods. And there isn’t clear evidence that the introduction of GM seeds has improved farmers' incomes or provided more food for the world's people -- in fact in many cases it has driven small independent farmers out of business and in extreme cases to suicide to avoid debt.

The dire consequences go way beyond the farmers. According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation more than three-quarters of the genetic diversity of our crops has been lost due to seed consolidation and industrial practices. This matters because when we cover large swathes of land with just one cash crop -- instead of rotating or diversifying them -- our farms are more susceptible to diseases. While genetic modification may increase some crop yields, it's clear that without seed diversity and locally-tailored sustainable practices to confront changing environmental conditions -- our global food security could be at risk.

But this crisis isn't insurmountable. The takeover is only decades old, farmers have saved seed everywhere, and if supported widely, this online seed market could help recover our food. A coalition of more than 20 groups and leaders in the field of sustainable agriculture like the Center for Food Safety and activist Vandana Shiva are standing by ready to launch the project. Here’s how our funds can help:
  • directly support seed-saving initiatives in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas.
  • create a world class website for the online store that connects farming communities everywhere, allowing them to legally sell seeds and share best practices globally.
  • help fund legal defence of this non-profit seed market from legal attacks by Monsanto and others.
  • market and advertise the exchange so that farmers all over the world join up.
  • campaign for better protections for our existing seeds from corporate takeover and patents.
Monsanto's been forcing their GM seeds and vision of mass industrial agriculture on farmers (and all of us) for years, but if we all pitch in we can launch this revolutionary seed project and protect the varieties of apples, pears and tomatoes for our grandchildren! Chip in now and Avaaz will only process the pledge if we raise enough to make this plan work:        
   
"To plant a seed is to activate the deepest mysteries of the Universe." These seeds hold the origin and mystery of so much of life as we know it. Let's support this movement to protect that mystery from complete corporate control and help bring back thousands of food plants we thought were already lost.

With hope and determination,

Alice, Maria Paz, Nick, Emma, Ricken, Antonia, Patricia, Mais, Emily, Diego and the whole Avaaz team


MORE INFORMATION:

2013 Report: Wake Up Before It's Too Late (UN Conference on Trade and Development)
http://unctad.org/en/PublicationsLibrary/ditcted2012d3_en.pdf

On India’s Farms, a Plague of Suicide (New York Times)
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/19/world/asia/19india.html

How many farmers plant GM worldwide? (EuropaBio)
http://www.europabio.org/how-many-farmers-plant-gm-worldwide

Ministry blames Bt cotton for farmer suicides (Hindustan Times)
http://www.hindustantimes.com/business-news/ministry-blames-bt-cotton-for-farmer-suicides/article1-830798.aspx

Monsanto Lawsuits Pile Up as American Farmers Demand Rights (Mother Earth News)
http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/monsanto-lawsuits-from-family-farmers-zwfz1302zkin.aspx#axzz36IwTZWF7

Life in the Rural Police State of Monsanto (Truth Out)
http://truth-out.org/news/item/16985-life-in-the-rural-police-state-of-monsanto

From 1903 -1983 the world lost 93 percent of key seed varieties (National Geographic)
http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/07/food-ark/food-variety-graphic

Norway invests $23.7 million in crop diversity to help farmers face climate change (FAO)
http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/197662/icode/

World Food Day 2004 highlights the importance of biodiversity to global food security (FAO)
http://www.fao.org/NEWSROOM/EN/news/2004/51140/index.html

Political Power of the Agribusiness & Crop Insurance Lobbies (Taxpayers for Common Sense)
http://www.taxpayer.net/images/uploads/downloads/Political_Power_of_Farm_And_Crop_Insurance_Lobbies_Fact_Sheet.pdf

Putting the Cartel before the Horse (ETC)
http://www.etcgroup.org/sites/www.etcgroup.org/files/CartelBeforeHorse11Sep2013.pdf


Hey! Your Farmer Needs Your Help

I just spent my morning writing a detailed blog entry about the problems we are having with our much appreciated subscribers not using our Change Order Link. I don't have time to rewrite it all, but bottom line: we have a change order link. It can be found on our website under the CSA link. Please don't send Change Orders/Cancellations/ Add-on changes to my phone, email, via a conversation with one of my kids, my driver, or crew member. We have an awesome, secure link for cancellations and change orders, including credit card or payment changes.

No one is here manning every possible pathway to the barn door with possible changes. Like the rest of the world, I travel and take days off. The Change Order Link never does. It's there to keep everything in order so that who ever is making roster changes can easily print out all changes, and make the necessary roster revisions.

No one is here combing through a thousand weekly emails in three email accounts to find the Change Order gems. We just don't have the staffing for that.

We still want to hear from you, and CSA members are encouraged to communicate their thoughts and feedback to: csa@morningsongfarm.com. If I'm out of town or taking a day off, your emails will be answered on my return. When your note includes a change order, that portion of your communication will be directed to our change order link, so that your request is addressed without fail by the crew member who does the rosters and Change Order updates.

Please help your farm run smoothly, by utilizing our link for all changes. Please do not send Changes via phone message, text message, facebook (no kidding) email account, Linked-In, sticky notes, written on the returned empty CSA box, snail mailed, or smoke signals.