About farming and immigration, response to GusBecause

GusBecause had a comment on the thread about what we learned from last year's election.

The comment mentioned lettuce in, I suppose, the Salinas Valley, and the unwillingness of "white" workers to pick the same. I have to admit I wouldn't want to pick it either, but I have no objection to picking lettuce, chard, kale and other greens in my own yard. Not to mention wild growing nettle, young horseradish leaves, dandelion and plantain, and I have also finally identified purslane and creeping Charlie, so I intend to harvest some of those also. Before someone gets in a tizzy, let me reassure you that I have no intention of attempting to wild pick mushrooms or wild carrots. I do let the Queen Anne's Lace grow because I like it and it attracts bees and butterflies.

It is not for me to tell farmers how to farm or businesspersons how to run their businesses, but neither is it for them to tell me how to spend my own time, energy and money. I have no use whatever for boxes of fancy greens shipped across the country from CA and sold here in NY for $4-$5 a box. Does anyone know what happens to those boxes? I will tell you. Some are indeed purchased at the asking price by those who think they can afford it. Where I live, the rest of the fancy plastic boxes are sent out to a store which sells discounted groceries as a fundraiser to support charitable services for the indigent. There, the boxes of fancy greens are bought by frugal souls and the working poor for about $.50-$1.00 a box. I just cooked up a boxful to make my version of Southern Greens. Then I take a heated barbecue fork and punch holes in the box and use it for winter sowing for my summer garden. I need lots of WS boxes because some already sprouted seeds died in the recent storm. Now, how much longer does anyone think this racket can continue? My guess is not very.

I also lived for about 25 years in CA., not anywhere famous, but in the Central Valley which is like a war zone, or the next thing to. Sometimes it is little things which make people the maddest. For me it was being called bigoted because I presumed to mow my own lawn. So, sorry, but I can't get upset about Trump's immigration policy.

Where I live there is a vibrant and growing local food scene. During the growing season, I can find a farmer's market within easy driving distance every day of the week, including Sunday. On at least three separate days, there are markets accessible to me by foot or bus. In winter there are four separate FMs per month. The products offered include eggs, red and white meat, even flour, and all kinds of fruit and vegetables which will grow here. The only thing I can't find is buttermilk, which I use for baking. I get a few spices and baking powder at a health food store. So far as I know, all of the farms which sell at the markets have no problem finding help, and they all seem to be profitable. Most have diversified offerings, so they don't need a lot of workers at any one time. Besides, going to a supermarket is an annoying chore; going to the FM is fun.

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I am jealous. My digital, black thumb absolutely gives any single plant a 50% chance: 1/2 die and the other half are afraid, terrified of dying.

It costs nothing to be afraid, yet it is living that needs to be maximized and that requires effort and focus.

Debt, is beyond monetary. What you value, is far beyond monetary. Sometimes, you have to think and know, should time be frozen at any moment, posterity will find you doing your best for yourself and others, because karma is subtle, but always knowing.

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Fighting for democratic principles,... well, since forever

Raggedy Ann's picture

that you should support Herr Drumpf's immigration policy. If those people called you bigoted for mowing your lawn, you are more than justified to detest every single immigrant. How dare they? Who do they think they are? Fuckin' A - put 'em all in a barrel and pour on the hate.

Good on YOU! Dance 4

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"The “jumpers” reminded us that one day we will all face only one choice and that is how we will die, not how we will live." Chris Hedges on 9/11

@Raggedy Ann In either case, I never said I "support" anything Herr Trump is doing; I am still waiting for overseas bases to close and our overextended military to be brought back home.

Also, the present administration is gung ho in favor of chemical, industrialized farming, the products of which I simply refuse to buy, for a number of reasons, starting with I am not interested in poisoning myself or others.

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Nastarana

Raggedy Ann's picture

@Nastarana
I thought we were talking immigration policy. Hmmm.....

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"The “jumpers” reminded us that one day we will all face only one choice and that is how we will die, not how we will live." Chris Hedges on 9/11

@Raggedy Ann My point was that it is simply not true that without foreign, immigrant farm labor we are all going to starve. Some factory farms might go out of business to be sure. It is called capitalism which I believe I have heard is supposed to entail risk.

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Nastarana

thanatokephaloides's picture

The only thing I can't find is buttermilk, which I use for baking.

Folks attending farmers' markets probably assume you know enough to make your own buttermilk.

There are several simple recipes for making it, all really easy!

Basically, you take milk; culture it with the Lactobacillus bacteria, let it ferment until soured and thickened, and voilá!

The woman who showed me how to make it took raw goat's milk, pasteurized it herself, and then pitched a commercial buttermilk culture into it, in order to preserve a pure bacterial culture. "Live Culture" commercial buttermilk can also be used for this purpose.

Here are some links to directions for making one's own buttermilk:

Cultures for Health

The Prairie Homestead

The latter link also contains methodology for making homemade sour cream, yum!

Hope this helps, Nastarana!

Smile

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"US govt/military = bad. Russian govt/military = bad. Any politician wanting power = bad. Anyone wielding power = bad." --Shahryar

"All power corrupts absolutely!" -- thanatokephaloides

@thanatokephaloides @thanatokephaloides Thank you.

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Nastarana

CS in AZ's picture

I didn't see the earlier discussion you are referring to, so maybe I'm missing something here, but I don't understand your point. Who called you a bigot for mowing your lawn? What does that have to do with Trump's immigration policy?

Here in Arizona, you'd be called worse for even having a lawn, which take lots of water. Gardens are a luxury. Good people around here have xeriscape yards with cactus and other native desert plants that don't drink tons of water. We recall that Mexicans lived here long before us. Farmers markets are lovely if you're wealthy and have lots of free time. Lawns are for rich fuckers who don't care about anyone but themselves. They hate "illegals" but are happy to hire them for cheap labor to do their yard work. Mostly they moved here from cold country, and have no respect for or any clue about this land or the people who lived here long before they arrived, who they now want to send "home."

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@CS in AZ since most of us don't live in a desert, so lawns are not for rich fuckers in most of the country and farmers markets are a great way to help the local economy and are really no more expensive than the shit you can buy at the supermarket especially when you consider the quality. As far as Mexicans previously living in Arizona that can be debated since Mexico is no different than the USA being that both countries were made up from land stolen from the indigenous peoples and none of them called themselves Mexicans as far as I know.

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CS in AZ's picture

@pro left

The US is a very large country, with many different regions and types of environments. Not everyone lives in a place where you can waste water, have grass lawns, or easily grow lush gardens.

Not everyone lives in places with low-cost, easily accessible farmers markets open 24/7 on every corner. Lucky group here if "most of you" have that -- but it might do you good to consider that many people did not have that luxury.

History:

With the defeat of its army and the fall of its capital, Mexico entered into negotiations to end the war. The treaty called for the U.S. to pay $15 million to Mexico and to pay off the claims of American citizens against Mexico up to $3.25 million. It gave the United States the Rio Grande as a boundary for Texas, and gave the U.S. ownership of California and a large area comprising roughly half of New Mexico, most of Arizona, Nevada, and Utah, and parts of Wyoming and Colorado. Mexicans in those annexed areas had the choice of relocating to within Mexico's new boundaries or receiving American citizenship with full civil rights. Over 90% chose to become U.S. citizens.

Does that help?

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flowerfarmer's picture

@CS in AZ @CS in AZ While it is true that most food items found at farmers markets are more expensive than the overland trucked produce found in every supermarket, those local products are fresh and will last longer in your fridge. Local small farmers are not receiving the huge subsidies that BigAg relies on to flood the market with cheap veggies. For those receiving SNAP benefits, those dollars are doubled at the F.M to give even the very poor the opportunity to sample excellent local produce.
FYI,the farmers markets in Tucson are excellent.

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CS in AZ's picture

@flowerfarmer

Many people do make enough money that we have to get by on our paychecks. We also work a lot of hours and don't have an abundance of free time to visit farmers markets. I live in Tucson, and like I said in my first comment, they are indeed lovely- if you can afford them and have lots of free time on your hands and transportation available to get there during the limited hours they are open. Lots of people don't have those things, unfortunately.

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@CS in AZ My point was the land was stolen from indigenous people by Mexico to begin with just like the land in the USA, So it wasn't theirs to sell. If your analogy is used then we should give Florida back to Spain and the Louisiana territory back to France since they were the first to steal them and we obtained them in a similar way.

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@pro left here. My nephews best friend has family who own ranch land that crosses into Mexico from Arizona that has been in their family for generations. The point there is that "boundaries" are many times a lot more fluid than Americans would care to admit. We can argue all day long about who stole what from whom, but my biggest issue is WE, the United States, decided we wanted all of South America to be protected for our industries, so we have torn those countries and peoples apart and now we want to make them stay there? In the most punitive fashion we can come up with? What a typically arrogant Exceptional American attitude, we fucked yours, but you can't have ANY of ours.

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Only a fool lets someone else tell him who his enemy is. Assata Shakur

CS in AZ's picture

@pro left @pro left

and I didn't remotely suggest we should "give back" any part of the country.

I said, very simply, that in Arizona (and other large swaths of the west) Mexicans lived here long before this land was ever part of the United States. That's a simple fact. So all these gringos now yammering about "sending them back" to Mexico are being stupid.

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@CS in AZ I agree wholeheartedly with you. Unfortunately, the owner of the house I lived in did not agree. He wanted an expanse of All-American green lawn around all his properties. It is difficult anywhere, in my experience, to find landlords who will permit their tenants to garden, no matter how neat and clean they keep the property. I used to wonder if property owners all had money invested in Safeway. Keeping up the lawn was the price I had to pay for being able to have vegetables and my heritage roses. And, no, I did not have money left over in my budget to pay someone else to do the work, and even if I had had that money, why deprive myself of the pleasure of gardening.

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Nastarana

@CS in AZ FM produce is in fact CHEAPER than most grocery store produce. Furthermore, it is fresher and cleaner and I don't think I should have to buy the pesticide drenched and chemically enhanced products of industrialized ag just to make you or anyone else happy.

In the CV where I sued to live, FMs were few and far between. That was the result of deliberate policy on the part of the county govts., which were dominated by Big Ag interests. A good old boy in a county office got to decide which farms would be allowed to sell at the FM and that was that. There were rows and rows of produce available at the big flea markets, but you did not know where the produce came from or how it had been grown.

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Nastarana

CS in AZ's picture

@Nastarana

If you live where you have easy access to cheap, good quality locally grown food, good for you! Seriously. You don't have to buy anything anywhere to "make me happy." My point is, not everyone is as fortunate as you are. Think of that. That's all.

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edg's picture

@CS in AZ

I live northwest of Tucson. I have a lawn. It is native grasses and weeds. I do not water it. The fucking wet stuff that falls from the sky is enough for it to grow.

Thank you,

A Poor Fucker

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CS in AZ's picture

@edg

A native "lawn" of grasses and weeds that don't need watering is perfect for this area, if one wants a green lawn. The rich fuckers I'm referring to of course are those with the expansive green lawns that suck down countless gallons of water every day.

We have xeriscape desert in the front, and a tiny patch of "lawn" that is mostly weeds and Bermuda grass in the back so that our pups have a small place to roll around and play. Even that feels like too much, honestly, but the dogs love it so much, we keep it for them.

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I can't get upset about Trump's immigration policy

Thanks for revealing that. I can get upset almost every day because some in my community have lost their tiny little minds, violent outbursts are a thing now. Harshes my buzz bigly.

Border Wars is a Bannon documentary came across on a streaming service a couple of years ago. Wanted to get inside the head of people who think it is "a war" against poor immigrants. I watched it, from beginning to end. It is Arizona border people if I recall correctly. My review is the same as blog comment, two words: misplaced anger, but also too, I'm sorry {hug}. Pain is everywhere.

Not aimed at any one in particular, but generally I'm sorry USians feel so hurt by people who are the same as we are, same continent even! Why not hate on Canada? Too rich that's why I think. Mexicans are our neighbors too, except brown. Yeah Central Valley is a war zone, I call it one in Sonoma County today, but try raising a family in Oaxaca (or just pick any state). Mexico has an oligarchy too.

My Laotian neighbor cannot even say the word Mexican without spitting on the ground, no kidding. I don't say Laotian-American because if you're here, you're an American that's what I think. US bombed the shit out of Cambodia, that's why his family is here and it is yuge.

Bill Clinton signed NAFTA, that's why Mexicans are here today. July 2015: It's official: Latinos now outnumber whites in California

The corruption is unbelievable and violence out of control down south. I'd come here too if possible, rather than suffer and die. It is why so many immigrants give so much back after they arrive, they are grateful, that's my California experience that you won't see on the front page every day. Reading other sites, many send their children here so they won't be kidnapped for ransom down there, it breaks their hearts and mine too. Asking why Mexico has so many guns is another topic for another day, but everything is connected.

Again, it is nothing personal except to me. I am not saying fuck you to anybody but the oppressors. They really bring out my f-bombs. Thanks.

Fuck racism, fuck hate
Peace & Love

Edit: oops instant karma got me, because I said Canada. Toronto school board ends all new US trips for students

The board is among the largest in North America with some 246,000 students in 584 schools throughout Toronto.

"Be careful what you ask for."

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@eyo What I did say does not equate to hate, and I have no responsibility for whatever your neighbor from Laos might think. I am aware that NAFTA was and is bad policy.

If you think our present high immigration is a good thing, fine. YOU can spend YOUR money in support of your immigrant neighbors but please don't be telling me I have to do so.

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Nastarana

@Nastarana did you not get that? Why get so defensive when you write something you know good and well is going to bring out lots of argument? Whoever called you a bigot for mowing your own lawn is about as misinformed as any right wing fat white blowhard bigot, so why in hell let that determine your entire attitude about immigration from Mexico?

As for your supporting "them" by buying Big Ag, sure you are, but you're also supporting Big Ag's profit margin by doing that, is that the fault of the picker in the field who's just trying to feed HIS family?

And again, did you realize there are such things as food deserts in the US? You know, where people can barely get produce at all, much less nice clean produce from a Farmer's Market? Why, I bet many in those places are lucky to get produce at all.

This country was built on immigration, not to mention slavery and genocide. "We" have gotten all the benefits of said society but once again, we do not want to share those because only we are entitled to them. Many illegals do indeedy pay taxes too, many of them for benefits they'll never see. Can you imagine just what it takes to leave your country, family, language, customs, places, etc and pick up and move to another country? Do you think most "Americans" have one damned clue how much fortitude that takes?

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Only a fool lets someone else tell him who his enemy is. Assata Shakur

and desperately needs to be fixed. We are a nation of "assimilating and assimilated" immigrants. I think lots of people would pick lettuce for $15.00 an hour with national health care. Exploiting cheap Mexican [foreign] labor is not a good thing for anyone. I just read an article in Forbes??? that the foreign automakers and suppliers in the south are paying their autoworkers $8.25/hr, setting assembly quotas that can't be made, and providing no skill or safety training maiming and killing them helter skelter. The solution was unions because in the north the same job pays $18/hr and provides both skill and safety training. Problem is that everything in this country is about a free lunch for someone. No such thing. We need to open our arms to legal immigrants, pay them and everyone else a living wage, educate our people, and provide them with health care. Exploitation doesn't work no matter how it is dressed.

Michigan currently has a growing season that lasts about 20 minutes.

NEWS
Michigan will be best place to live by 2100 A.D. due to climate change

DETROIT - Thanks to changing climates, Michigan will be the best place to live by 2100, according to Popular Science.

The fine folks at Popular Science took a look at future climate in the US over the next 900 years, and decided that everyone would be moving to Michigan.

While many areas around Michigan would be suffering from rising sea levels, wildfires, mosquitos and hurricanes - Michigan would escape most of the drastic changes from climate change.

Let’s all move to Sault Ste. Marie! Nestled in Michigan’s upper peninsula, this small city will be only slightly warmer than it is now (don’t sweat it; you can still ice fish) and will be lucky enough to escape most of the changes wreaking havoc on the rest of the country.

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"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

@dkmich benefits from its' proximity to the Great Lakes, and is mostly I believe considered USDA zone 6. Where I live is zone 5, which is comparable to the climate in Moscow. I know some rose people in Michigan who grow varieties which won't survive my winters. In terms of farming, seed companies and gardening, Michigan seems like a happening place to me.

All around the Great Lakes, outside places like Chicago, real estate prices have fallen to the point where ordinary people can pay their bills and still have enough left over to do things like pursue hobbies and start little businesses.

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Nastarana

edg's picture

@Nastarana

Apparently, the commenter is upset about something or other.

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