Stickied, news posts below: The political elites are factionalized over GMO labeling; a chance meeting with a USDA worker and a politician at a 4th of July parade

I have learned a lot about growing food from local commercial farmers. One of them invited me to a 4th of July parade so I could walk in his entourage. He was showing off his tractor. It was actually very cool to go walk down the road next to a tractor and wave at people.

At the beginning of the parade I saw a float related to agriculture and went over to it to talk to the lady in a straw hat about the Ag commission, her garden, and if I could go to its meetings and did farmers publicize local agriculture based on the fact that they are being poisoned by GMO? When we got to the GMO topic, she didn’t agree to go so far as to say “we are being poisoned.” I told her about the book, “The Science of Skinny” which is about how chemical additives to food are allowed in the USA but forbidden in the European Union because they are poison to humans. A very well dressed lady came over to join the conversation and I deferred to her and offered to take my leave. But the second lady, smiling broadly kept me in the conversation and asked what we were talking about. I told her, “The book ‘The Science of Skinny’ and how we are being poisoned by packaged food and that the way to fix that is local agriculture.”

She said, “I have that book, and I agree with it completely! My brother is a doctor and he sees children who have cirrhosis of the liver at aged 10 and it’s because their bodies can’t digest High Fructose Corn Syrup!”

I mentioned how corn based ethanol goes bad in small engines and you end up needing expensive repairs if you are not careful to run your machines out of gasoline after every use. It’s King Corn — breaking our bodies and breaking our engines!

I didn’t even bother to mention that corn based ethanol has a negative EROEI or the Gulf of Mexico dead zone from the fertilizer runoff from corn growing. Or flooding corn into Mexico cheaper than the cost of production in order to drive Mexican peasants off their land and bring them to the USA. The bad stuff happening from Industrial Agriculture would take a two semester college course and at least a dozen books to properly cover.

So we got talking about GMO. The well dressed lady said that Connecticut will now have a labeling law because another state which she didn’t remember had passed it. “Vermont” I told her. At times she didn’t know a technical aspect about GMO, and I was able to fill her in, such as the herbicide poisoning — Roundup herbicide is a metal chelator so it’s on the food and it attracts toxic heavy metals like mercury and lead molecules and so we consume heavy metals in our food.

At one point she told me who she was — someone who rubs shoulders with powerful people, and is one herself. I acted duly impressed. Then she told me the inside story about the GMO labeling fight.

So according to her, it was a private citizen, Amanda Froelich, that lobbied the hell out of politicians for the GMO labeling law. Amanda’s blog is pretty out there, even for me, but good for her!

There was a corporatist faction that totally opposed it; and a faction of politicians who said, look we are getting poisoned!, and this lady agreed that poisoned is the correct term. The first lady in the straw hat, a lower level lady who didn’t want to come off as agreeing with the lunatic fringe (me), looked shocked that the second, well dressed and powerful lady agreed with my intemperant word poisoned. So accoridng to the second lady, GMO labeling was a backbencher rebellion — the non-leaders ganged up on the leadership and forced it through. Fascinating!

The front of the parade was starting to move, and I had to get to my friend with his tractor. So I offered the well dressed lady parting words along these lines:

Tell all your friends and colleagues, the politicians and businessmen that we aren’t interested in reforming Industrial Agriculture, but replacing it. More and more of us out here are growing huge gardens, processing and storing food for the winter, and buying from local commercial farmers, because we don’t want to get poisoned. If people aren’t buying what Monsanto is selling, they are going to be in big trouble.

She said, “yes, I see it too, it’s not even the politicians that did GMO labeling, it’s that people were forcing them to do it. We had a saying in the 1960’s, people power, and you really see that with the GMO labeling.”

So that’s my story of a conversation with one of the mid level ruling elites about GMO. I can totally see what kind of people in Connecticut rebelled against GMO — upper middle class and upper class moms who are very conscious about the obesity problem and the People of Walmart and want to avoid that fate for their children, and even save teh prole kids from the poisoning if they can. People who pay attention to the world.

That’s why I say that if you got nothing else going on, go into small scale commercial vegetable farming. Get some experience from an ATTRA job here. Find something in your area, or an area you’d like to live in. A California guy did one of these gigs in New Hampshire last year. After that, he knew his stuff.

In cities, there are often pretty well paying jobs to run urban gardens so you can create Potemkin Village photo ops so liberals can take pictures of children of color working on a garden. I’ve seen 15 to 20 an hour, probably beacuse it’s very hard work, and it’s government money. You take care of it for the year, (most people lose interest by July, but liberalism is funded every year) get paid, and get some free food. Take good care of your urban garden, smile at everyone, and hopefully next year they’ll hire you back.

Anyway, here’s my garden this year:

Sweet potatoes on a trellis and cabbages in front of them. Commenter hardscrabble farmer told me I need to build a small rock wall or grow sweet potatoes against a wall or a house so the roots get heat, in order to get better yields. The sun heats the rocks and the rocks warm the soil. Good trick! The trellising should be an interesting experiment too — more photosynthesis than letting the vines just sprawl out on the ground. Next year, thoough, I’m going to have to do trenches with large rocks in them along the row of sweet potatoes.

0705140607Sweet potatoes on a trellis, and cabbage transplants around them

Here’s my 11 foot trellis for tomatoes. Commenter Craig from Australia told me to do this to get tomatoes way up high. I bet I should also do the thing with teh rocks warming the soil for tomatoes too. Better luck next year. So Craig, this is because of you!

0705140608a11 foot trellis

Mustard. This is a very tangy-hot green that can be hard to eat but is very good for you. Mustard greens seem to help hangovers. I think they are a detoxifying food.


Garlic scapes. I know of someone who takes garlic scapes, dices them up and lays them on a sheet pan in a greenhouse to dry, then grinds them to a spice and sells it for 6 dollars an ounce (96 dollars a pound!) Garlic is also a big detoxifier. I have lots of garlic growing wild on my property now. I could gather them up in spring and have quite a ready made garlic patch if I wanted to do so.

0705140609bGarlic Scapes

Rows of potatoes. I don’t hill them as aggressively as I used to do. I think I stunted them with hilling in the past. Now I let the plants just grow real tall and get a lot of greens and keep the potato bugs down with spraying. I have wire shelving in a shed that I used to let them dry out, or “cure,” before I put them up for winter storage. I have a contest with myself to see how long I can keep eating my potatoes. My best is February so far. I’d like to have enough that I have my own seed potatoes for the next year.

0705140610Rows of Potatoes

When food prices go up, and millions of us have to go into food production full time, we’re going to become ungovernable by modern standards. It’s going to be fucking awesome!


About Rob

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22 Responses to Stickied, news posts below: The political elites are factionalized over GMO labeling; a chance meeting with a USDA worker and a politician at a 4th of July parade

  1. Cj aka Elderofzyklons Blog says:

    Reblogged this on ElderofZyklon's Blog!.

  2. Just here says:

    Heya, don’t know if you know, but afaik you can use garlic to spray it on plants and such to act vs harmful bugs. Just a thought.

  3. secede says:

    eden garden. a documentary of one man’s gardening technique.

    • Lurker says:

      I watched the whole thing, really good, I recommend everyone watch it. The very next day I was out in the garden collecting stuff for mulching.

  4. MW.Anon says:

    The evil ones will have to fight like hell to shove GMO down our throats, even with our co-opted, subservient regulatory bodies.

    We must remain optimistic and fight on, my friends. 😀

  5. Garlic scrapes? Do you mean the garlic buds which are dried out and ground up?

    I’ve got some growing myself. The snipped garlic greens also make good eating in soups and cooked up with things like kale and Swiss chard in a bit of olive oil!

  6. Craig says:

    Looks like you need a green/hot house to grow some food. Tomatoes grow here even in winter if you protect them from the frost. Ironically summer is way to hot for tomatoes here, though you can still grow some varieties. I’m still working the bugs out of the water infrastructure. 😦 next week it should be running optimally 🙂

    We had GMO labeliing here for canolla then the corparations found a loop hole by denaturing the oil, so the GMO crapola was no longer present in its original form… still ewwww heavy metals and round up… So don’t buy anything with canola in it in Aus, as they’re not required to label them GMO due to the loop hole.

  7. wobbly says:

    Excellent post – this corn syrup thing is big.

  8. hardscrabble farmer says:

    I always enjoy your posts on gardening and local food production. The scapes are best eaten fresh- we cut them into bean sized pieces and heat them in extremely hot oil with a little bit of sea salt, far better than any Chinese restaurant version of beans. When the scape begins to straighten out- like the ones in your photo- you have to pull them from the stalk or the bulbs will not set properly. The little cap on the top of the stalk is the seed head and if that stays on the plant will throw all of its energy into seed production rather than bulbs.

    I had a frank conversation with one of the old NRCS guys last week. He said that small farms were multiplying like crazy, he’d never seen anything like it. Now he only comes into contact with people who are flying above the radar in terms of agriculture, so if this is happening where he can see it, I can only imagine what’s taking place off grid.

    A side note: yesterday we were asked to participate in a local 4th event by setting up a booth. The conversations I overheard were all similar in that there is a simmering tension out there that extends beyond economic issues. Whenever people started talking about things outside of the local I noticed the sudden quietening of voices, people speaking in whispers to one another rather than openly. Later, as the families gathered together in knots to watch the fireworks over the lake, you could sense that for the first time people were looking at them less as a nod to the past, but more as a hint of what was coming in the not so distant future. Like Steinbeck said, the great fear of the powerful is when the “I” becomes the “we” and I see that change coming ’round.

    • mindweapon says:


      I remember you telling me to “pull” the scapes off. Do you pull the stem of the scape all the way down to where that stem meets the rest of the plant, or right where the scape thing itself is off the stem?

      Is it just as good if I cut them off?

      THat’s fantastic news that a government contact of yours said small farms are multiplying like crazy. Is that “the Natural Resources Conservation Service?” I googled the acronym, not sure what the NRCS is.

      It’s funny — I think the joke website People of Walmart is going to be one of those things that turned out to be a LOT more important than it’s founder realized. It shows what people are becoming, and why they are becoming that way (buying cheap processed poison “food” at Walmart).

      Dude you should have been there you would have laughed. I was coming off like a half lunatic to this USDA woman who’s trying to be all respectable and moderate, “don’t you agree we’re being poisoned! Look at all the obese people! It’s the chemical additives that are allowed here but not in Europe!” I was like a madman warning of a monster that was killing people and she had a very uncomfortable an d embarassed look on her face, and then this VIP politician lady joins the conversation, agrees with the raving madman, and actually notches up the crazy with the talk about 10 year olds getting cirrhosis of the liver from high fructose corn syrup.

      Now all we need is for the price of the supermarket food to spike up. Food prices have been suppressed since the Nixon administration — over 40 years already. We get the generational food price spike that I’m praying for, local food production will go exponential and we’ll start getting local processing projects going on, probalby in kitchens of pizza joints and church kitchen.

      Teenagers can’t get shit for jobs these days. It’s getting tougher for them. Being part of the food production is a natural fit for children and teenagers. They don’t want it yet because it doesn’t pay enough for what they expect and there are still some hope of jobs at the mall or the pizza joint or Taco Bell, but adults are holding on to those jobs for dear life nowadays, as the economy contracts.

      • Wyandotte says:

        I know you weren’t asking me, but I just cut my scapes off; I don’t try to pull them. And I get nice big garlic heads all the time. I add finely chopped scapes to soup; they need thorough cooking as they are pretty solid and chewy if not cooked.

        As a matter of fact, I better get the hell off the computer RFN because I haven’t done the scape-cutting job yet and don’t want to wait too long.

      • mindweapon says:

        Thanks Wyandotte!

      • ben tillman says:

        I was like a madman warning of a monster that was killing people and she had a very uncomfortable an d embarassed look on her face, and then this VIP politician lady joins the conversation, agrees with the raving madman, and actually notches up the crazy with the talk about 10 year olds getting cirrhosis of the liver from high fructose corn syrup.

        Ha ha — that’s awesome.

      • mindweapon says:

        Thanks Ben!

        I wish this post was more popular. I hope the readers and lurkers are getting some use out of it.

        I have really figured things out! It’s pretty simple.

        When you got a boot on your neck, the first priority is getting that boot off your neck.

        When you are being poisoned, the first priority is stop getting poisoned!

        The process of no longer getting poisoned would have the peripheral effect of taking market share from agribusiness, and radicalizing the population. Everyone I know that grows his own food is a radical, and I think that the connection between farming and radical politics is well known by the plutocrats, which is why they destroyed family farms with industrial agriculture even though it’s less efficient, destroys good jobs, and destroys the environment and peoples’ health. Gotta get rid of those radical yeoman farmers.

        Even Bob Mathews, the radical Order guy, made that connection:

        A class of our people who have been hit especially hard by the filthy lying jews and their parasitical usury system. From the beginning of this nation to the present, the yeoman farmer has been the symbol of the Aryan work ethic and a living monument to masculinity.

      • Smiley says:

        “I wish this post was more popular. I hope the readers and lurkers are getting some use out of it.”

        I have been lurking while working 🙂

        You have a great garden, and a wonderful outlook on life. It’s quite inspirational. I would send pictures of my garden, but it’s full of weed… I mean weeds 😉 But hey, natural medicine is part of our future, and keeps us moving away from corporate dependance.

        People know something is wrong, most just can’t quite put their finger on it. People are looking for a sense of purpose, and I think your promotion of getting back to the soil is just what the doctor ordered.

        Take care my Man, and I hope you enjoy the videos.

    • Denise says:

      There have been hardly any 4th of July Celebrations, where I live. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, on the actual date. A few local town events occurred, yesterday.

      There is, however, a great big “little” local event, coming up in the near future, that every-one is all excited about. My region is closing ranks. And I’m thrilled.

  9. Pingback: Amazing Infographic: The 10 Food Companies that Control Nearly Everything We Eat | saboteur365

  10. KO says:

    Thanks for this classic MW post, with the MW spirit of can-do optimism. Good medicine for the widespread negativity of white Americans!

  11. Tom Bowie says:

    Global Warming (opps, Climate Change) and GMOs coming together like they were made for each other.
    What could possibly go wrong with such a plan.

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