Roundup: Toxic Algae Feed

Just one more delicate balance destroyed by Roundup. Toxic algae gets bloom booster applications in Lake Erie from Roundup Ready crops. The glyphosate applications create 20-25% of the lake’s phosphorous pollution. The problem? Mobilization of dissolved reactive phosphorous (DRP) draining into the Maumee watershed. Cynobacteria find glyphosate itself highly nutritious. It’s reached epic proportions in recent years. Pinpointing the problem is a result of research done by Christopher Spiese, chemistry professor at Ohio Northern University, and Roundup herbicide is responsible for the huge increase. As we learned in the summer issue of Garden Culture Magazine, soil type and pH can...

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3 Cool Garden Beans to Grow

Out of a can, green beans are a boring vegetable, but they get real exciting when you start investigating garden beans to grow at home. Suddenly you’re faced with an amazing array of options, and they’re not all green! You’ve got heirloom varieties with catchy names, and exotic sounding seed listings from all over the world. Furthermore, there’s really enticing pod colors to consider as well… yellow, red, purple, and even two-colored variations. Some of them are so beautiful between the flowers and fruits – you might just be tempted to let them run amok across your porch or balcony roof. Yes,...

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Biosolids (a.k.a. Sewer Sludge)

Gardeners and health conscious consumers may be shocked to learn that the organic sounding ingredient “biosolids” found in some potting and compost mixes is actually municipal sewage sludge. “Biosolid” is a misleading public relations term for semi-treated municipal sewage sludge. The sludge is sometimes sold or given to consumers and farms for use as a free or low-cost fertilizer. It is also used in some low grade potting and compost mixes. While biosolids do contain about 4% nitrogen, and several micronutrients, they also contain elevated levels of harmful bacteria, heavy metals, medical waste, and other hazardous materials. An estimated 3-5 million dry tons of biosolids fertilizer is in use...

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Food Labeling Law: Word Wars

Despite the fact that the FDA now wants added sugar listed as sugar, instead of it’s many other industry preferred names, the first GMO food labeling law was approved by Congress last week. Now it’s headed to the Oval Office, where we all know it will be signed into law. The Dark Act it is too. Labeling that doesn’t have to be on the label. Instead they minced with words enough to get the dreaded ‘contains GMOs’ tucked away on a web page you link to via a QR code. Hard on the consumer. Easy on the food industry. They can continue...

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Urban Farming Cooperatives

No doubt about it. A group wields more power than one person, and farming cooperatives have been a part of the agricultural community for well over 100 years. Collective ownership and pooled resources gave farmers increased buying power for everything from seed and feed to tractors and implements. Harvest processing cooperatives gave them branding and marketing power too. Conventional farms continue to benefit from cooperatives today. So, its not surprising to see city agriculture ventures adopting their own brand of urban farming cooperatives together. Types of Urban Farming Cooperatives Buffalo, New York has two distinctly different urban farming cooperatives....

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