Sunday, April 15, 2018

Sustainable Agriculture

Farmers who want to adopt sustainable practices on their land often turn to two government programs: the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and the Conservation Stewardship Program. The former funds individual projects like cover crops, forest buffers, and pollinator habitat, while the latter involves a holistic management plan for the whole farm.
Both programs are very popular -- forced to turn away three-quarters of the people who apply due to limited funds.1 Yet the House of Representatives wants to get rid of one!
Instead of dropping conservation programs, the House of Representatives should incorporate the SOIL Stewardship Act. This bill would level the playing field between corporations and small farmers by:
capping overall payments while increasing payment rates to farmers
requiring applicants be actively engaged in their farm
easing the transition to organic farming
increasing support for beginning farmers and wildlife habitat
encouraging crop rotation and rotational, pasture-based grazing, and
removing a mandate that 60 percent of all funding go toward livestock production

Monday, April 9, 2018

A Travesty by the Department of Justice

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of Justice has chosen to green light the Bayer-Monsanto merger despite widespread opposition from farmers and other stakeholders across the country. The news comes after the delivery of more than 1 million public comments opposing the merger.  A recent survey of farmers found that 93% of farmers are against the merger. After the merger, only four companies will control the vast majority of seeds and agrochemicals, threatening farmers, consumers and the environment.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

A Poem and Prayer

God of Creation
There at the start
Before the beginning of time
With no point of reference
You spoke to the dark
And fleshed out the wonder of light
And as you speak
A hundred million galaxies are born
In the vapour of your breath
The planets form
If the stars were made to worship
So will I
I can see your heart in everything you've made
Every burning star
A signal of fire and grace
If creation sings your praises
So will I

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Florida lumber industry

Back in the late 1800's and early 1900's, I believe the state of Florida was exploited by several industries for its resources. One resource in particular was lumber. Companies set up towns all over Florida for living quarters for their workers and built a saw mill around it. Once the lumber was depleted in an area, usually a span of 10 years or so, the company moved the town and mill where the resource was plentiful. One such lumber town was known as Sumica, an acronym for the French Company Societe Universelle Commerce de Mines Industrie et Agriculture. Some remains still exist at Sumica - the concrete structures that apparently supported tools of the sawmill.

Friday, March 23, 2018

2nd Visit

My 2nd visit to the Giddens Cemetery, also in Hernando County, in the Withlacoochee State Forest. An attempt has been made to locate the Giddens homestead, but no cultural remains have ever been found.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Nature

"A margin of life is developed by Nature for all living things - including man. All life forms obey Nature's demands - except man, who has found ways of ignoring them."
- Eugene M. Poirot

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Climate Change

Climate change is negatively affecting every aspect of our world … including the Winter Olympics. A recent study found that of 21 former Winter Olympic cities, nine of them — that’s almost half — may be too warm to support the winter games 30 years from now.