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Russian Households and Peasants – Keep a Strong Hand in Food

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Touch the Soil News #221 For most American’s, the production of food is a process materially left to large farms. The Russian people, on the other hand, still materially participate in a number of basic foods. The Russian government publishes statistics on the volume of food that households and peasant farmers (often 1 person market gardens) produce. Following are the Russian numbers of how much households and peasant farmers produce of the nation’s basic foods: Grains such as wheat and barley          26.1 percent Sugar beets                                                10.8 percent Potatoes                                                     87.8 percent Vegetables                                                 83.2 percent Meat                                                              29.8 percent Milk                                                              53.0 percent Eggs                                                              21.6 percent Fruit & Berries                                          …

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Can Market Gardeners Capitalize on the Increasing Prices of Food?

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Touch the Soil News #208 The increasing price of food from the industrial food system is driven by a number of factors. Identifying these factors can help a market gardener create strategies that help them compete with industrial-scale efficiencies. Kurtis and Roxanne Williams of Waterwheel Gardens (Emmett, Idaho) are full-time market gardeners. Through innovation and creativity they have found ways to compete for a share of the nation’s food dollars. Perhaps the first concept of opportunity for market gardeners is that industrial-scale efficiencies also come with industrial scale problems and inefficiencies. So let’s make an attempt at identifying the factors driving up food prices that a market gardener may be…

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Fleet Farming – A Portal to the Future of Food

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Touch the Soil News #174 As luck would have it, we were able to connect with Heather Grove, program director of Fleet Farming – thanks to introductions facilitated by Roxanne Christiansen of SPIN Farming. Normally, we try to keep our news pieces quite short. However, something comes out of this story on Fleet Farming that has “geometric” potential to evolve humanity in many arenas, not just food. Thus we have a little longer piece. The theme of food organized around not-for-profit endeavors is one we have covered before. This does not mean efforts at food production should go uncompensated. It means organizing something solely around financial considerations is not broad…

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Reasons to Garden Are Escalating

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Touch the Soil News # 153 There are hundreds of NGOs (non-governmental organizations) around the world drawing attention to the fact that food availability today – and moving forward – is not as it was. One source we have deemed credible is the World Resources Institute (WRI). The WRI has some 450 experts that crunch data in over 50 countries. The WRI maintains offices in Brazil, China, Europe, India, Indonesia, Mexico and the United States. With an annual budget of $65 million, the WRI is one of the world’s top resources in identifying hot spots and issues of ecological concern. While there are a number of areas the WRI focuses…

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Kelp4Less Product News – Discovering Kelp’s Secrets

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Touch the Soil News #143 The use of Kelp as a plant growth supplement has been documented back to Roman times. In the early days, folks would scavenge the beach for kelp washed ashore and work it into their fields nearby. In rather recent times (1979) it was discovered that high levels of biostimulants were present in the cells of fresh kelp. These biostimulants later became known as Auxin and Cytokinin. The Auxin compound was found to cause increased root development. The Cytokinin compound produces greater flower initiation and augments cell division. Kelp is rich in amino acids and is 28 percent minerals by weight – including a large number…

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