The Weekly Watch

Planting Seeds...

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I felt I was planting seeds as a teacher...not just ideas...but also an approach of using evidence to support our concepts. That's the nature of science, but not human nature. We cling to our beliefs and rarely examine our deepest held ideologies. It is a challenge for scientists too...to let go of ideas they find profound because new data indicates they are incorrect. Like most sectors of our lives, science has largely been purchased by the corporate oligarchs. They fund the research and and are highly involved in the hiring and firing of the staff. Recent decades have seen continuous cuts to government funded studies and increasing dependence on corporate and foundation moneys. The current situation with seed production tells the story.

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Monsanto was founded in the USA in 1901. Its first product was the artificial sweetener saccharin. The company then developed into one of the biggest chemical producers in the U.S. and began pesticide production after World War II. Monsanto’s dioxin-contaminated herbicide Agent Orange caused millions of cases of poisoning when used by the US troops as a defoliant during the Vietnam War. In 1976, Monsanto launched the herbicide glyphosate, which rapidly became the company’s most important source of revenue and the world’s best-selling herbicide. Monsanto began its seed production in the 1980s and developed genetically modified (GM) soya, which tolerates Monsanto’s own herbicide Roundup (glyphosate). Today, Monsanto controls 90% of the GM seed market. In just a few years, countless takeovers made Monsanto the world’s biggest seed producer. Through the acquisition of Seminis, the world’s biggest producer of vegetable seeds for $1.4 billion in 2005, Monsanto became the global market leader for vegetable seeds as well.

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It’s all about seed control for Monsanto and the other corporate manufacturers of genetically engineered, GMO crops. So it’s no surprise that Monsanto has made moves to control garden seed as well. In the last several years, a number of international agri-conglomerates have consolidated their hold over the very seed and nursery starts we plant in our gardens. This brings some of the same problems — loss of seed diversity, spiraling seed costs, and general deficiencies in seed quality — that crop growers around the world face from the owners of genetically-modified seeds. And it’s happening under our noses right in our own backyards.

https://www.planetnatural.com/seed-control/

It isn't just Monsanto. There's a corporate octopus of investment and profit...

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It is about profit...and DuPont has more than Monsanto based on this data...

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From their website...Why Does Monsanto Sue Farmers Who Save Seeds?

Monsanto patents many of the seed varieties we develop. Patents are necessary to ensure that we are paid for our products and for all the investments we put into developing these products. This is one of the basic reasons for patents. A more important reason is to help foster innovation. Without the protection of patents there would be little incentive for privately-owned companies to pursue and re-invest in innovation. Monsanto invests more than $2.6 million per day in research and development that ultimately benefits farmers and consumers. Without the protection of patents, this would not be possible.

https://monsanto.com/company/media/statements/saving-seeds/

An 11 min story of a seed processor on Sand Mountain (just north of Lookout Mountain).

In 2003, according to the film, White and his father Wayne, who was in his 80s at the time and has since passed away, were sued by Monsanto and accused of patent infringement after unknowingly cleaning genetically-modified Resistant Ready soybean seed for a local farmer. (Monsanto disputes this version of events.) In the documentary, the surviving White says he was put under constant surveillance by private investigators working for Monsanto, and claims he was threatened with death by one of the corporation’s salesman. White stopped cleaning seed for the public, as have many others, and he says the “thousand-year-old tradition of saving seed is over with” because Monsanto – whose patented genetically modified seed makes up 93 percent of all soy grown in the U.S. – dominates the market.
https://modernfarmer.com/2015/09/seeding-fear-the-story-of-a-farmer-who-...

It's been happening all over the country and world. Here's more farmers stories...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNvW-uGBTSk (14 min)

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It is strange to think you can patent genotypes and even plant characteristics...

Frank Morton has been breeding lettuce since the 1980s. His company offers 114 varieties, among them Outredgeous, which last year became the first plant that NASA astronauts grew and ate in space. For nearly 20 years, Morton’s work was limited only by his imagination and by how many different kinds of lettuce he could get his hands on. But in the early 2000s, he started noticing more and more lettuces were patented, meaning he would not be able to use them for breeding. The patents weren’t just for different types of lettuce, but specific traits such as resistance to a disease, a particular shade of red or green, or curliness of the leaf. Such patents have increased in the years since, and are encroaching on a growing range of crops, from corn to carrots — a trend that has plant breeders, environmentalists and food security experts concerned about the future of the food production.

https://ensia.com/features/open-source-seeds/

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“Control over the seed is what’s at the core of all environmental sustainability that we’re working toward,” he says, pointing to the increased consolidation in the global agriculture industry, most recently with the mergers announced between ChemChina and Syngenta in August 2016, and Monsanto and Bayer in September. “If you go to the farmer’s market and you’re interested in buying good, local, sustainably produced vegetables, you also need to understand that most vegetables are coming out of a breeding process that is itself endangered. We will not have food sovereignty until we have seed sovereignty.”

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Fortunately there are options...
Inspired by the free and open source software movement that has provided alternatives to proprietary software, OSSI was created to free the seed – to make sure that the genes in at least some seed can never be locked away from use by intellectual property rights.
https://osseeds.org/

There's a community of seed savers...https://www.seedsavers.org/

We built a movement, not a seed company. Since 1975, we have grown, saved, and shared heirloom seeds and led a movement to protect biodiversity and preserve heirloom varieties. At the heart of our organization is a seed bank that houses a collection of 20,000+ rare, open-pollinated varieties. With gardeners like you, we can get these seeds where they belong—in gardens and on tables everywhere, for generations to come.

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There are also coops and enlightened owner nurseries producing heirloom seed that you can save yourself. I like to use worker owned companies like...
Southern Exposure Seed Exchange out of VA http://www.southernexposure.com/

Johnny's seeds https://www.johnnyseeds.com/
and Fedco seeds https://www.fedcoseeds.com/
both in Maine

There are small grower owned outfits dedicated to heirloom seed too.

Baker Creek in Missouri offers lots of heritage seed https://www.rareseeds.com/

Clear Creek seeds in OK has lots of heirlooms https://www.clearcreekseeds.com/

Those of you on the left coast might like https://www.reneesgarden.com/ in CA
or
http://www.territorialseed.com/ in OR

I used to use worker owned Seeds of Change (which still produce good seed from interesting varieties), but they were bought out by the Mars Company. They have many dry-land varieties for the SW https://www.seedsofchange.com/

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Some crops like peas, beans, lettuce, and tomatoes are great for beginning seed savers. These annual, self pollinating crops require little to no isolation, and only a few plants are needed to reliably produce seeds.

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Saving your own seed can be fun and might be a good idea for the future of your garden. Varieties are being lost because they are not profitable enough.
https://www.seedsavers.org/how-to-save-seeds
http://www.howtosaveseeds.com/
https://www.almanac.com/content/start-saving-those-vegetable-seeds
https://www.planetnatural.com/seed-saving/
https://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/save-vegetable-seeds-b...

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It is important to store seed properly to keep them viable.
https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/gardening/a20706339/how-to-store-s...

Ideas as seeds...

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Tomorrow is MLK day. His speeches still speak truth to power...
https://www.scribd.com/doc/134362247/Martin-Luther-King-Jr-The-Three-Evi...

...there are those who have criticized me and many of you for taking a stand against the War in Vietnam and for seeking to say to the nation that the issues of Civil Rights cannot be separated from the issues of peace. I want to say to you tonight that I intend to keep these issues mixed because they are mixed. Somewhere we must see that justice is indivisible, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere and I have fought too long and too hard against segregated public accommodations to end up at this point in my life, segregating my moral concerns.

So let us stand in this convention knowing that on some positions; cowardice asks the questions, is it safe; expediency asks the question, is it politic; vanity asks the question, is it popular, but conscious asks the question, is it right. And on some positions, it is necessary for the moral individual to take a stand that is neither safe, nor politic nor popular; but he must do it because it is right. And we say to our nation tonight, we say to our Government, we even say to our FBI, we will not be harassed, we will not make a butchery of our conscious, we will not be intimidated and we will be heard.

On MLK day I find it ironic that the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute rescinded a human rights award for the activist and scholar Angela Davis, reportedly due to her activism for Palestinian rights. She tells the story.

We can plant seeds of peace, but sadly it seems we sow seeds of war.

The weapons corporation, which is creating bombs that Saudi Arabia is dropping on school buses full of children in Yemen, is trying to recruit women into the arms industry by telling them it will fulfill their dreams. To do so, Lockheed Martin has even tried to co-opt the legacy of the legendary black activist and writer Langston Hughes, exploiting his poem A Dream Deferred. Fellow weapons manufacturer Raytheon, which has also profited from unimaginable death and civilian suffering in Yemen, is trying an even more shocking strategy: The corporation has teamed up with the Girl Scouts to salvage its image. (video or text)
https://therealnews.com/stories/media-whitewashing-the-blood-soaked-us-m...

Abby Martin debunks the notion that Trump is an anti-interventionist president, outlining his first two years of aggressive foreign policy that has expanded US wars and occupations. From the biggest military budget in history, to removing its restrictions to “bomb the hell out of” Iraq and Syria, to ramping-up brutal economic sanctions, to becoming America’s ‘Arms Salesman-In-Chief.’ https://therealnews.com/third_party_content/the-empire-files-trump-is-ex... (17 min)

Teachers are trying to help students learn. They're marching in LA...(video or text)
https://therealnews.com/stories/l-a-teachers-to-billionaires-stop-privat...

Let us sow seeds of peace and help young people in the struggle to change the system...

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Seeds are the juncture between maturity and birth of a plant. Seeds are produced when plants reach adulthood, but the seed itself is a baby plant in a box with its lunch. How it grows depends on the conditions. It is the same with children...and ideas. A fertile environment produces healthy plants, children, and ideas. I find C99 to be a healthy environment to share ideas. I hope we continue to follow JtC's advice to seek tolerance, and I hope your ideas grow into productive fulfilling actions.

I'll be out of town playing a dance weekend when this publishes so I won't be around this morning. I should be home mid-afternoon and will join the conversation when I can. I look forward to your ideas, contributions, and comments!

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Comments

ggersh's picture

if only they had built this wall

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Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give the appearance of solidarity to pure wind.

George Orwell

Lookout's picture

@ggersh

Glad you dropped by.

The arrogance which is still offered toward first nations peoples is shameful.
Consider Canada this month...having yet another Standing Rock
https://www.nationalobserver.com/2019/01/16/news/first-nations-leaders-g...

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

ggersh's picture

@Lookout time and time again by the neolibs
bought and paid for gatekeepers, maybe one
day white man might get over their hate
of everything not commoditized/monetized.

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8 users have voted.

Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give the appearance of solidarity to pure wind.

George Orwell

my seed from https://www.highmowingseeds.com for about 5 years. Germination rate has been 90%

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@la58 tomatos from seed try this one.SAKURA F1 CHERRY TOMATO. Best tasting cherry I've ever planted.

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Lookout's picture

@la58

I'll check out both. That F1 notation means it isn't a seed which will breed true...it's a hybrid (first gen).

I appreciate the links.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

dance you monster's picture

I was actually soaking some seeds this a.m., before seed-starting. A bit early in the winter for most people's seed-starting, but these are perennial shrubs that have a different schedule than the customary veggies. I have more seeds to clean today before stratifying them ahead of spring planting. I'm also frankly stir-crazy and looking for productive things to do as the temps outside descend toward zero for the next few weeks. Fortunately, I have lots of seeds, several lights, and a long list of what seeds should be started when.

Seeds of Change used to be a great place, before the corporate takeover. Seed Savers Exchange, while a non-profit organization now, also changed its culture when the Whealys (the founders and the driving force of the whole idea of heirloom plant saving) relinquished control. The seedsaving world is targeted for absorption by TPTB; control is something that those desiring it want to extend to everything of value. But there are also a lot more local seed exchanges now, if you ask around amongst your local organic growers to find when the next one is coming up.

On another note, I met yesterday with one of the foremost private collectors of heirloom apples, John Bunker, who works with Fedco that you named in your essay. He started the Maine Heritage Garden (currently holding 300 of the varieties of apple trees he has collected) with the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association. Very cool to meet him at last. He's a legend.

If you like apples you get at the supermarket, you need to meet the heirloom savers to hear them dish out the dirt on the popular varieties that groceries carry. Those are apples created to be pretty, not useful. The best apples for any use are invariably ones you've never heard of in your life. The same would hold true for any fruit or vegetable: the groceries don't have the good ones. The best plants you need to grow yourself, or get a friend to do it in return for something you provide of comparable significance.

Though most apples are grown on grafted trees, to keep a named variety that named variety, we also had some discussion of saving seeds from apples. Seed-grown plants, of course, do not come true from the parent; the seed produces a markedly different apple. But then again every parent cultivar was once a seedling of something else, so if you are seeking to develop new varieties, you do that from seeds. Grow them (by open pollination, if you feel lucky, or by selective breeding), taste the fruit, and see which of the dozens (or hundreds or thousands, depending on your space and energy) produces a good fruit. Every named variety started this way, from the French breedings around Rouen some centuries back to the state or university extensions breeding programs today. The Cherokee were well-known for doing this in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and several of their better varieties were given names and introduced to the orchard-growing community at large. Also be aware that a good dessert apple for eating raw is not the same as a good sauce apple or cider apple or pie apple, etc. Seed production is the cutting edge right now for cider enthusiasts.

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Lookout's picture

@dance you monster

There's a young couple on the mountain running a pretty fair sized fermenting operation. He has been collecting old varieties. He's offer me some which I need to transplant on my place. As I'm sure you know, Johnny Appleseed did not plant eating apples, but mainly apples for hard cider.
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/real-johnny-appleseed-brough...

I'm no expert on fruit trees. I had one orchard management class, but I'm a good learner and I'm starting to develop a food forest. I look forward to your help and advice with the project as I get going.

The Bunker visit sounds like fun. Quite inspirational to meet your mentors and grow your relationship into a friendship.

All the best with your projects!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@dance you monster This link is about what he was doing after leaving SSE.

https://www.jakkawpress.com/about-us/

A life well lived.

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Nastarana

Lookout's picture

@Nastarana

I enjoyed reading about Kent Whealy. I remember those old seed savers yearbooks.

Wow, what a nice set of books for an apple collector on their site.

Glad you added that to the conversation.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

zoebear's picture

@dance you monster

From your comment about apples and cultivating seeds.

What a wonderful place this is!

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If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Azazello's picture

if you're looking for beans, squash, corn or chiles that will grow in the Southwest.
They have the varieties that the original inhabitants grew.
Native Seeds/SEARCH

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Lookout's picture

@Azazello

I'll check it out. Growing things in the SW is very different from my experience in the SE. Saw someone from Brevard, NC and they got well over 100 inches of rain this year. We got 72" setting a record. All the rain here leaches the soils and weathers them into a different animal compared to the dry lands.

I hope those of you in different ecosystems chime in with your advice for your areas, and appreciate this seed source tip.

EDIT: I did check out your local seed non-profit. How lucky you are in your community. Great informative site.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

divineorder's picture

About all we ever have time to do is raise seed sprouts, but love avo and sprout sandwiches !

.... Climate Crisis and Food

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A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

Lookout's picture

@divineorder

We eat them regularly...mainly Alfalfa. Growing sprouts is pretty simple too...and provides a way to have fresh home grown greens.

Scientists Call for 'Global Agricultural Revolution' and 'Planetary Health Diet' to Save Lives—and Earth
"The food we eat and how we produce it determines the health of people and the planet, and we are currently getting this seriously wrong."
https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/01/17/scientists-call-global-agri...

Good eating...

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

divineorder's picture

@Lookout some seed mix for sprouting that think includes radich, very tasty!

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A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

divineorder's picture

@Lookout overall coverage of the Eat-Lancet. Too much of response on Twitter has been only to the dietary suggestions, ignoring the food waste reduction and other components,

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2 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

Lookout's picture

@divineorder

https://eatforum.org/content/uploads/2019/01/EAT-Lancet_Commission_Summa...

Although I differ with some parts...it still great advise...grow food better way to supply foods we should eat for health.

Best of health to you and JB. Good travels. We're planning a Costa Rica trip in 2020.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

magiamma's picture

and everyone

ran across this is my searches. You may well know of this guy.

Rattan Lal: Our Soils Rock Star
https://cfaes.osu.edu/stories/rattan-lal-our-soils-rock-star

In the early 1990s, he, along with two colleagues from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, wrote the first documented report that soil can defend against rising levels of carbon dioxide in the air.

Here’s how: Plants take in carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, incorporating carbon into the plant and the soil through photosynthesis. Acting as a sponge, soil can remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, where levels have continued to rise, and place that carbon where it’s needed most, in the ground. The more carbon in the soil, the more fertile a home for growing plants. ...

An estimated 135 billion tons of carbon have been lost into the atmosphere, partly due to agricultural practices that removed carbon from the soil, Lal said. Those practices include leaving soil bare after harvest, plowing the land and burning crop residue, rather than allowing it to disintegrate through the work of microorganisms in the soil.

By using regenerative agricultural practices, soil can remove 65 to 75 parts per million of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. That would mean in 25 to 50 years, the 135 billion tons of carbon lost into the atmosphere can be restored to the soil where it belongs, Lal said.

“Soil and agriculture normally are considered a problem, a source of pollutants. But it’s really the other way around. Properly managed, agriculture and soil are the solution to environmental problems.”

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Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation
http://hotair.magiamma.com/

Lookout's picture

@magiamma

is trying to spread the idea of Carbon farming...
http://carbonfarmingcourse.com/workshops/restoration-agriculture

Thanks for the Rattan Lal clip and soils info.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

QMS's picture

is very scary indeed. Does greed know no bounds? The foolish concept of holding a patent originally designed by nature is absurd, if not obscene.

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10 users have voted.

Listen to your higher mind.

Deja's picture

@QMS
They know that the seeds are inferior, and probably know much more than we're allowed to know about safety/possible side effects of long-term use (eating). So, what do the people working for these companies eat, and feed their loved ones? What about when they reach their end goal -- total world domination of all food seeds? What will they eat, then?

Maybe they have organic MREs hoarded in their bunkers.

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6 users have voted.

"The gatekeepers must change."
Prince

Lookout's picture

@QMS

...a way to cut the tie to the corporate world.
gfnl.jpg

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

snoopydawg's picture

@QMS

Monsanto/Bayer Moving to Genome Edit Fruits and More

Not surprising, Monsanto, today hidden behind the Bayer logo, as the world leader in patented GMO seeds and the probable carcinogenic Roundup herbicide with glyphosate, is attempting to quietly patent genetically modified or GMO varieties of fruits using controversial gene-editing. The “beauty” of this for Monsanto/Bayer is that in the USA, according to a recent ruling by the US Department of Agriculture, gene-edited agriculture needs no special independent testing. The developments are not good for human health or safety, nor will it do anything to give the world better nutrition.

The agrichemical and GMO giant Monsanto, which today tries to keep a lower profile inside the German agrichemical and GMO giant Bayer, is moving into the highly controversial domain of gene-editing of new crop varieties. In 2018 as the company was being deluged with lawsuits over its use of the probable carcinogen, Roundup, Monsanto invested $125 million in a gene-editing startup called Pairwise. The link is anything but casual.

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There is now no depth that cannot be reached in the effort to bamboozle Democrats and keep them stupid and needlessly fearful

Lookout's picture

@snoopydawg

...makes my point.

Monsanto is an evil giant now hidden behind an aspirin label.

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7 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

All the more reason to support AOC's 70% tax rate. It will keep people from gaining too much power.

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dfarrah

Lookout's picture

@dfarrah

I know that is what precipitated the yellow vest protest, but in my area gas is less than $2/gal. Every drop we burn adds to our likelihood of our extinction. Tax it to reduce use and provide revenue for tax credits for electric car purchase.

As to the tax rate, I say at least 70%...and reinstate the inheritance tax!

It will be interesting to see the work of the finance committee...
https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/01/16/applause-aoc-porter-pressle...

She's been talking public banks...
she already announced she wants to focus on two major proposals — public banking and postal banking. Ocasio-Cortez has also said that she supports the restoration of the Glass-Steagall Act and wants to break up the banks — which are booming at near-record levels 10 years after the financial crisis.
https://truthout.org/articles/ocasio-cortez-is-on-the-finance-committee-...

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@Lookout @Lookout
Say $100 a barrel, indexed for inflation. Stop the reason for the ending Mideast wars.

EDIT: un-ending, of course.

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Lookout's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness

...and get corporations out of domestic production.

Norway's rather insane $840bn national fund that has been created through saving some of it's oil proceeds and investing that money strategically.

https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/comments/1zza02/why_did_britain_w...

Norway has done what a lot of countries tried but failed to do: use its oil to create good jobs and world-class industries, without trashing the environment. The key was that, unlike most oil producers, Norway’s government put up its citizens’ money to cover half the investment—and take half the risk—of developing the oil fields. With skin in the game, Norway could get oil companies to try financially risky innovations. And when profits began to roll in, in the 1990s, the country banked them in a fund (that now totals $800 billion) for the day the wells run dry.

https://psmag.com/environment/iraqi-vikings-farouk-al-kasim-norway-oil-7...

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@Lookout
I also would exempt Mexico and Canada from the tariff, but I'm OK with totally banning oil from fracking or tar sand extraction.

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@Lookout Its population shares in the oil wealth produced by Alaska.

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dfarrah

snoopydawg's picture

@Lookout

It won't affect people who can afford to buy the huge gas guzzlers, but it will affect people who have to commute long distances because they can't afford to live in the cities that they work in. The middle class has taken enough hits.

Besides. We know that it's the militaries that use the biggest amounts of fuel and it's the biggest contributor to climate change.

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8 users have voted.

There is now no depth that cannot be reached in the effort to bamboozle Democrats and keep them stupid and needlessly fearful

Lookout's picture

@snoopydawg

Besides. We know that it's the militaries that use the biggest amounts of fuel and it's the biggest contributor to climate change.

But $2 gasoline is obscene. Like $2 heroin. Burning gas is killing all living things. We have to stop and leave it in the ground. If you read Magiamma's Thursday OT, you know the situation is dire. A gas tax could be used to provide credits for electric cars for those that MUST commute, but really that is something that needs to change too. We need a jobs program so people don't need to drive long distances to work.

I've been a gas tax proponent for 40+ years, however the fuel lobby is really effective.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@Lookout
Nuclear plants might be, if they were properly and safely run. But in private industry there is always the temptation to cut corners for profit.
look at the Japanese, of all people, storing nuclear waste on top of the reactor!

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mhagle's picture

I saved some seeds last year - hopefully successfully - and bought most from Baker Creek, (http://rareseeds.com). Onions came from http://dixondalefarms.com like last year. Ordered a few very early tomatoes (47 days!) from https://www.seedsnsuch.com/ that I plan to start in the greenhouse this week. Also hope to plant all of my seed tapes this week. During the past few months I have been making toilet paper seed tapes of my root and cold weather crops. Meant to plant them in the fall, but now is probably still a good time. Got down to 25 last night, but otherwise we have had few temps below freezing. It is another experiment. The time I got a good crop of carrots and parsnips I planted them in the fall and covered them in the winter. Need to plant potatoes soon. Prepared the bed last fall. Oh . . . and put Jerusalem Artichoke tubers in and around the old chicken yard.

Melons, long beans, and okra are the only other seeds I am going to soak and plant in March. Everything else goes in the fall garden I will start in June = Larger tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, corn, squash. Last year's fall garden looked great, but for most items I didn't plant them early enough. August doesn't allow time to reach production. Get them in the ground, but shaded and wet enough to survive the heat. Then harvest in September and October. That's the goal.

I don't know if these comments are helpful for anyone else, but I certainly do enjoy blabbering about it all!

Yes . . . and I plan to try to follow permaculture advice from a video shared last week. Reduce monoculture for pest control and chop and drop weeds.

Happy Sunday everyone!

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Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

Lookout's picture

@mhagle

I guess it makes sense for a large market gardener. Kind of a neat system, but wouldn't work in my mulched garden.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loicvLfg9lM just watch the beginning to get the idea

Have fun in your garden!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

zoebear's picture

I work with kids in a community garden and feel so strongly about getting a new generation in touch with where our food comes from. A lot of great information here!

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If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Lookout's picture

@zoebear

I hope you'll share some of your stories. I've gardened with kids...it's fun.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

mhagle's picture

I did a small test batch in my fall garden last year. Pulled up the onions and planted peanuts. They were great! But seeds are hard to find.

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Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

mhagle's picture

@mhagle

My dad used to buy most of his seed from them 50 years ago. I don't use them much, but they by far had the best price and gave information about how much to buy. One pound will plant a 75 foot row. About $17 with shipping.

I have been aware of the seed crisis most of my life since my dad started using open-pollinated corn late 60s early 70s. Sometime last year I saw the video about the dude who got sued by Monsanto. Horrible story!

Seed saving is vital to our survival. Also flash mob permaculture planting IMO!!

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Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

Deja's picture

@mhagle @mhagle
They like to trespass and steal samples, test them, and when the results supposedly come up as Monsanto patented dna, the court gives them the farm. Wind, sabotage, birds, etc. can all explain how crops can be contaminated, but it doesn't matter if it's unintentional or not. Bye-bye farm and livelihood.

The Future of Food (2004) ends with the film mentioning Mexico, and the corn strains that have been around over 1000 years. Video apparently no longer available on YouTube, even trailer didn't work from Wikipedia box. There's an old, outdated site for it: https://thefutureoffood.com

But, coincidentally, a very much available site has something entitled "Future of Food: Bill Gates". It's Bill's blog.

https://www.gatesnotes.com/About-Bill-Gates/Future-of-Food

Interestingly enough, the article titled Future of Food is from 2013, the exact same year of the last "Public Viewing" of the film linked to above. Did he snuff it, then purposely mislead the public, tricking the ignorant who don't know the difference? He is, after all, making big bucks spreading GM seeds, and misery to 3rd world farmers, around the world.

Edit typo in title

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"The gatekeepers must change."
Prince

Lookout's picture

@Deja

I saw it once, but might catch it again.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Deja's picture

@Lookout
I used duckduckgo. IMDB and Wikipedia and the misleading Gates thing came up. So did their old site, but "site can't be reached" for the trailer link in the wiki box on the ddg search page.

Oh well, thanks, that looks like it.

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3 users have voted.

"The gatekeepers must change."
Prince

Lookout's picture

@mhagle

Is my recommendation.

http://www.southernexposure.com/vegetables-peanuts-c-3_41.html

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

mimi's picture

just was awestruck about all the work you did put into this essay. Thank you.

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Lookout's picture

@mimi

for coming by and reading. Hope all is well with you and yours...

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Pricknick's picture

Great diary Lookout!
I haven't bought seed in years. Along with all of my vegetables I grow marijuana.
Most growers start from regular photoperiod seed and have to raise them until the males show themselves and then weed them out pun intended. Others find a female and turn her into a mother so as to take cuttings when needed. Still others buy feminized seed.
Running a grow room with lighting and ventilation for personal use is cost prohibitive and a waste of resources in my opinion. I grow outdoors in an enclosed greenhouse. As such, my growing season in southern Michigan is limited as I don't use supplemental lighting or heating. To take full advantage of the summer I grow what's know as an autoflower variety which flowers when it damn well pleases regardless of light cycles and finished long before the first frost. The feminized version of these can run anywhere from $7-$10 per seed. Or you can do as I have and make your own feminized seed.
This method of feminized seed production works with both photoperiod and autoflower varieties. A small investment in time and money has made me self sufficient for the rest of my life.

https://www.growweedeasy.com/how-to-make-feminized-seeds#overview-how-to...

I also love the pic of sprouts. Many don't realize how easy it is to make them.

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Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

Lookout's picture

@Pricknick

The young woman in the pot video in the essay recommends the book True Living Organics
http://www.weedist.com/2012/10/marijuana-growers-library-true-living-org...

Sounds interesting. Good growing!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Pricknick's picture

@Lookout @Lookout
since my days of gorilla growing in the early 90s.
Thanks to having a network of trusted people, almost everything I consume including my meats and dairy is organically raised.

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Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

Lookout's picture

@Pricknick

Oops...it was last weeks essay that featured this grower in the last link...

Use what you have to grow what you want. In some states you can grow marijuana. In my state they can take away my place if I was a grower. I could murder someone, and they wouldn't take my place. Jimmy had a piece up to illustrate the pharma hit job on pot - from Reefer Madness to a New Yorker article.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W26o6v61JR0 (35 min)
Here's an interesting operation in CA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VlTxZkenoik (35 min)

The soil biota aspect of the book sounds informative to me. Nematodes and so on.

Much of our local produce is organic, plus what we grow. But some of our local producers use commercial feeds and other nonorganic practices.

I never have been an absolute purist about organic. Consider a poor soil site - eroded down to subsoil. Using a little chemical fertilizer to establish a nurse mulch crop to build organic matter makes sense to me. Then overseed with a good N fixing cover crop which will more likely survive. I've always though of it like my personal health and body. I take chemicals sometimes when I'm ill. There are cases where chemicals help the earth to heal...but not many...just as I rarely take big pharma drugs.

I look forward to your insights as we continue this growing conversation.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Deja's picture

@Lookout

I never have been an absolute purist about organic. Consider a poor soil site - eroded down to subsoil. Using a little chemical fertilizer to establish a nurse mulch crop to build organic matter makes sense to me. Then overseed with a good N fixing cover crop which will more likely survive.

N = nitrogen, right? And isn't a chemical reaction required to make both fertilizer and mulch?

Do organic purists not allow organic fertilizer and very common elements like nitrogen? If not, how do they get it out of soil to begin with?

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"The gatekeepers must change."
Prince

Lookout's picture

@Deja
...and was produced from mining and fossil fuels. N takes lots of methane to produce...
1200-608415-haber-bosch-process.jpg

Nitrogen makes up most of the air. In natural systems most soil nitrogen comes from N fixing plants (which needs an entire essay which I will write) and from lightening fusing the nitrogen and oxygen in the air into a water soluble N-O compounds that fall with rain. Ever noticed how green things look after a thunderstorm...it is not just rain but the N it carried.

Organic fertilizer is compost and manure which is the route in a garden sized area, but there are large "waste areas" of exposed subsoil not growing much of anything and these are the areas I was speaking about. I'm suggesting in certain conditions use of petroleum derived chemical fertilizer will speed the restoration and allow for an organic approach. Of course in severely depleted areas re-forestation is the real restoration ticket.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Deja's picture

@Lookout
Thank you.

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"The gatekeepers must change."
Prince

Pricknick's picture

@Lookout
I don't ask for much but can anybody truly claim to be organic and not use the sun?
It's my mandatory requirement. It's all we need.

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Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

mimi's picture

@Pricknick

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Lookout's picture

@Pricknick

if they don't use the sun. I'm sure you've seen the large indoor urban production operations using various lighting systems.
https://thespoon.tech/indoor-urban-agriculture-is-growing-up-thanks-to-t...
At least some of these large operations use PV panels for power and inadvertently use the sun. They can call it organic because of the soil amendments they use, but it sure ain't natural.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@Pricknick I'll stress an individual plant to get it to hermaphrodize, separate the male stalk in a plastic bag to selectively pollinize a few female buds further along to produce seeds. I've read a few articles on feminizing seed that suggest the resulting plants Aren't as robust as otherwise, but indoors or enclosed it shouldn't matter as much.

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Ya got to be a Spirit, cain't be no Ghost. . .

Lookout's picture

Well it was a long but fun weekend, lots of good tunes, dances, and conversations. Loved everyone's comments above and I'm glad gardening is striking some interest.

I'm going to close out and catch the start of the eclipse. last total lunar eclipse to grace Earth’s sky until May 26, 2021.
https://earthsky.org/tonight/supermoon-lunar-eclipse-january-20-21
https://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/how-do-i-watch-the-total-lunar...

Central Time
Partial umbral eclipse begins: 9:34 p.m. (January 20, 2019)
Total lunar eclipse begins: 10:41 p.m. (January 20, 2019)
Greatest eclipse: 11:12 p.m. (January 20, 2019)
Total lunar eclipse ends: 11:43 p.m. (January 20, 2019)
Partial umbral eclipse ends: 12:51 a.m. (January 21, 2019)

Good night and Happy viewing...

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8 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

This is a subject near and dear to my heart on all levels. I hope you had a good viewing of the eclipse. My supplier is Territorial in Oregon, good folks, and also onegreenworld.com up north. The latter is more of a starts rather than seeds company but they also have a huge body of experience on what works here in Oregon.

As to seed storage, we do that a lot, and at work we store plant seeds for science (basic research, not Monsanto sort of things). So, advice from a scientific seed storage person: try to keep them cool and dry. Oftentimes, dry (less than 45% humidity) is most important, but cool (less than 50F for us) is important too. Germination rates fall with time, but our lab seeds really need to last out more than 10 years. We have a special room just for that. For home use, a desiccator box in the coolest place in your house would probably be best. From my experience, dry is important, then just put them in the coolest spot you have.

I also appreciate your turn towards the last of the essay to tie everything back in to MLK and what we have going here at C99%. What better advice can one give than the reminder to always ask: "is it right"?

Thanks.

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Lookout's picture

@peachcreek

Here in the humid subtropics I store my seed in the fridge. Seems like I remember ideally temp + humidity should be less than 100?

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

NCTim's picture

My latest favorites.

https://www.groworganic.com/

https://www.outsidepride.com/

My lot did not get much attention while I was care giving. I finally raked up the pine needles and put down cover crop blend, White Dutch Clover, Medium Red Clover, Mini Clover, Strawberry Palestine Clover and annual Rye. I am sitting on Hard Fescue (shade) and Tall Fescue / mini-clover mix (sun). The Fescue over seeding happens late February.

Teach On!

The Lowest of Low: The Blurring Line Between Education & Indoctrination!!

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Fourteen percent of Americans are illiterate – which accounts for a large proportion of the third of Americans who assert that the Bible is the literal word of a god. - Trevor Treharne -

Lookout's picture

@NCTim

The white is perennial and red clover last at least two years. Nice to see green in the winter isn't it? Deer browsing you yet?

Education has always been indoctrination. Thanks for the link(s). In the town where I taught, the system aimed to produce fodder for the mill. Independent thinking has never been the goal.

An open mind lets ideas flow free...and that is dangerous to TPTB.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”