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Valuing Your Yard and the House Water Spigot

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Touch the Soil News #714 Few years back, we tried to estimate the economic value of a residential lawn and access to public water for food growing purposes. For an average, we wrestled with numbers ranging from $15,000 to $30,000. While it is hard to justify this value based upon just the output of food crops, there are other issues. There is the growing need for food as medicine with Americans spending an average of $11,000 a year for health care costs. Then there are the psychological and health benefits of working in nature. Despite the positives associated with residential land around the house and water, an unquantifiable driver of…

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Should You Join the Urban Food Movement for Economic Reasons?

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Touch the Soil News #495 Officials say the U.S. economy is getting better. Poverty has marginally decreased, hunger in America has gone down by a percent or two and average incomes are up by a hair. Who are we trying to kid here? Each year, the U.S. Census Bureau does what it calls the American Community Survey. In the survey, they divide the population up into 5 parts (quintiles). Each quintile represents 20 percent of U.S. households. The average household has 2.54 people. The following Info Graphic #1 illustrates income averages for the U.S. population broken up into fifths (quintiles): Translating labor into dollars is becoming more of a challenge.…

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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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