Politics Blogs - Blog Top Sites Blog Flux Directory Green Assassin Brigade: April 2009

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Famine and collapse coming to a planet near you

An important article from scientific American, or somewhere where they spliced it all into one page making it a little more readable.

the content in just a few works amounts to
too damn many of us, consuming to damn much stuff, destroying to much damn land, using too damn much water, with too little damn time to fix it. happy day everyone!Recommend this Post

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Top Doomer Accessories

I often see lists of things people like, best electronics or the best cars but what about us doomers? What are the best things we should own to be well prepared?

Now I'm not talking about having a weeks worth of food or 10 candles for an emergency because I expect you to already have the basics, rather I'm talking about more substantial items that would be of great advantages for either powering down or in an emergency. I know this is not necessarily the definitive list but more of way of arguing with myself and with you on how to best utilize my meagre resources and prioritize my doomer centric purchases.

Solar oven

I’ve actually have one of these and think it’s a great tool for cooking small breads, casseroles, roasts, even boiling and sterilizing water but as my current yard is not consistently sunny enough I don't get to use it except at the cottage. The Peak Oil Hausfrau says this is her favourite appliance and has a number of useful posts on oven use I'd recommend you read. There are several types of solar cookers made; some are simple reflectors, some have back up gas heating or are very portable, mine is the Global Sun Oven pictured here which ran about $320 with shipping, tax and dollar exchange. While slower than a real oven this useful toy is absolutely free to use and is also carbon guilt free. Depending on your location this might be only a three season product but fuel saved in one season will mean more available later.

Berkley water filter

Whether it’s for constant use, seasonal concerns about your ground water or even to drink roof runoff in an emergency the Berkley Water Filter family is the Cadillac of free standing home water systems. These systems range in size and flow allowing you to get a good match for your personal usage and your budget. For long term use I would suggest getting several sets of spare filter up front and then repurchases them each time you change them out. This will give you the most use in case supply disruptions should occur as some point

A Quality Grain mill

Wheat's long term storability and nutrition makes it a common find in most doomer's pantries but since most of us don’t want to pound it with a stick or grind it between two stones a good quality grain mill such as the heavy duty Diamant Grain Mill or the more modest but highly rated Country Living Grain Mill is a must. A Grain mill is a tool that could be used several times a week if not daily so it does not pay to cut corners and buy the cheapest thing you can find. Most mills have spare part kits available which you may or may not need but certainly buy a spare set of burrs(the part that actually grinds).

A Pressure Canner

Unless you have guaranteed access to fresh meat and/or a working freezer with a stable power source you control you will eventually need to preserve low acid items such as meat, fish, and veggies.
I swear my Grandmother use to do carrots and beans without pressure canner and no one died but what do I know? Government health agencies say high pressure canning is the only safe way to can low acid stuff, high acid things like jellies, tomatoes, chutneys etc do not need a pressure canner.

A Smoker

A smoker is an ideal way to preserve meat by making hams, sausage or even smoking fish but since many of the commercial smokers look to be propane or electric powered I think I’d be looking to make my own wood/charcoal fired smoker. Or perhaps you'd rather buy the Big Green Egg

A Still

Alcohol is now and always has been one of mans great escapes. With your own still not only can one make potable alcohol but you can also produce fuel for a modified engine, medicinal alcohol for sterilizing wounds and equipment, or for making tinctures, tonics, pain killers like Laudanum. A small still with a hopper or basket allows you to strip essential oils from herbs and plants for medicine, flavourings, or scents. Finally alcohol is a great preservative for such things as seasonal fruit or Admiral Nelson if you’ve got one laying about. There are many sites dedicated to building your own or you can purchase them here, or here.
check local laws I did not suggest that you do anything illegal

A treadle sewing machine

An old singer or its contemporary’s with all the parts and bobbins in tact are ideal for basic sewing and should be a no brainer addition to the doomers home. More recently the Janome made a model called the 712T(and probably others) which fit into the old singer treadle tables and had many of the more modern sewing machine features. Old treadles are a dime a dozen on the used market but because some people think they are collectible they may ask far too much for them, many also are incomplete. Some like my Grandmother's looked original but had suffered an electric conversion and some of the original pieces missing. Look carefully to assure you get both a structurally sound table and a working sewing machine. If you end up with a spare treadle and no sewing machine I've seen some great plans for a treadle powered hobby lathe.

A modest solar recharging system

While it would be great to be totally off the grid with enough power to live life exactly like we live now that is not financial viable for the majority of people. However a modest solar recharging system
consisting of enough solar cells to charge a laptop, cell phones or batteries for flashlights, lanterns small small appliances or toys can add a little safety and normalcy to a tough situation without breaking the bank

Water capture system

Every doomer needs a water system that not only fills rail barrels or a cistern for the garden but one that allows you divert water to tanks for indoor use during droughts. Roof run of is certainly fine for laundry and flushing and if you prefilter for sediment would be quite drinkable after passing through your Berkely water filter, or boiling it in the sun oven. Do both if your paranoid.

A rugged bike and trailer

Eventually getting around or shopping will no longer take place in a car and a durable bike for all members of your household is very important as is at least one trailer for hauling what ever it is you need to move from place to place. If age, health, mobility is an issue they make adult trikes with a good size cargo basket on them or get an electric assist bike

A real first aid kit

I'm not talking one of those crappy 3 band aids and a safety pin things the car emergency clubs give you as a premium but a real high end kit supplemented with a good assortment of painkillers, antihistamines, antidiarrheals, antibiotic creams, calamine etc as well as a complete backup set of any prescribed medicine you use that is regularly rotated to keep fresh. I’m not a first aid expert but a couple hundred dollars is minimum to get a relatively complete kit.

Now I can probably think of many other things I think doomer should own or could find useful but what do you think? And before someone starts on me about this, lets leave a discussion on guns and firepower to another day, ok?

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Dilbert writer is channeling me

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Green Drag Racing

I'm not a gear head and don't waste my time on any motor sports but seeing a converted electric Datsun kick internal combustion ass is a good thing

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Four Seasons of Green

For a year or two I have been reading the occasion article at Riot 4 Austerity about a challenge where participants attempt to reduce their emissions by 90% in order to prove that Americans can limit themselves to what their fair share of the worlds emission should be if we are to limit the damage caused by global warming. The challenge is extreme yet a large a number of people have taken it up with well over 60 people contributing to the site alone and probably very many more taking the challenge in silence.

What these people are trying to achieve shatters the western norm and should be an example for all of us to contemplate if not emulate, that said no matter how admirable their actions seem it's always somewhat distant and abstract because they are not someone I know or someone who is local.

Well tonight I was at a presentation by Mike Nickerson in promotion of his new book Life, Money and Illusion (Living on Earth as if we want to stay) and was introduced to Tara Mae Hillyer who like the Rioters has created her own one year challenge called Four Seasons of Green. The description of her challenge is such

The journey of a suburban family taking the challenge to reduce their carbon footprint by becoming environmentally responsible for their own waste and bi-products as well as socially accountable through their consumer habits.

5 goals are to be reached through this year of ‘greening’.

1. To eliminate the chemical products ingested and applied topically (food-pesticide/herbicide, body care products)
2. To allow Zero chemicals to go down drains (sink, tub, dishwasher, washing machine)
3. To engage 100% Social Conscious Buying Habits in the Family
4. To increase Family’s Awareness of Global Social Justice Issues
5. To get off the electric/gas grid while remaining in a suburban environment

The project launches in January 2009. Each member of the family will maintain a monthly video blog in addition to interviewing local community members, politicians and activists on sustainability, environmental responsibility and social justice. Through the website for this project the public can follow the process of this transition; the difficulties, successes and support from other citizens. Each month video updates and video ‘how to’ guides will be posted. Upon the completion of the project at the end of 2009 a documentary film will be produced.

Tara's goals are defined somewhat differently than the Rioters yet she still challenges us all to look at what we consume and its cost to our health, the planet and the poor saps half a world away who make all this crap for us.

I would recommend that my readers, especially those that live in York Region look in on Tara's site and encourage her in this difficult challenge

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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Debaptism, what will they think of next?

Have you ever wanted to offend your overly religious, in your face In-laws? Have you ever wanted to get back at your mother for those endless Sunday sermons you were forced to sit through? Well the National Secular Society in the U.K. has just the thing for you!

So if someone else made a decision to indoctrinate you as a child into a faith you don't believe in, you now have the option of proclaiming your release with the purchase of your very own Certificate of Debaptism.

Now I don’t really get the point of buying a certificate when your words should be sufficient to set you free, if you feel the need. But considering that some people are willing to attached weights to themselves in an attempt to recreate a foreskin just to correct a past decision made on their behalf, I suppose there must be a market for this service beyond just annoying people. Mind you annoying people is usually enough for me, but I generally don't pay for the privilege!

Mmmmm, I’m often so ashamed of us as a species I wonder if I can get a certificate removing myself from the human race? Maybe I should design one and charge other people for it?

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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Being your own seed bank

I’ve been shouting at everyone for about 2 years to get off their asses and start gardening as a defence against poverty and food shortages brought on by peak oil and financial crisis. During this time I realized several things

1. A very small portion of the population gardens for food

2. A very small portion of the population know much about food or how it’s produced; an extreme example is here.

3. Of those who do garden many use hybrid seeds which do not breed true and should not or can not have their seeds harvested and saved from season to season. This makes you reliant on seed companies who essentially control the food supply.

4. If something happens and many people decide they want or need to garden for survival the available seed supply for local gardeners will be hopelessly insufficient to meet the publics demand. Such an event might require several years of gearing up by smaller seed companies and seed saving gardeners to meet demand for open pollinated seeds.

5. As rightly brought up in the comments, saving your own seed allows you to collect seeds from those particular plants that are best adapting or climatizing to your local climate and soil. Eventually, several plant generations later I will have a local plant regardless of where it originated or where I purchased the seed.

These revelations caused me to begin buying seeds, not just seeds I needed for a particular years gardening plans and not even the seeds of things I like to eat best but just seeds. The point of this is not some attempt to get the entire collection like an 8 year old with hockey cards. The point is to build up a personal seed bank that contains a good variety of different vegetables, herbs (medicinal and culinary) as well as oil and fibre plants just in case they were ever needed.

All the seeds I buy are open pollinated so I can save their seeds for future years and most are heritage crops which were selected for taste rather than durability in shipping like the tasteless shit we get from the grocery store most of the year.

My first purchase was a collection from AAOOB foods of 34 varieties of veggies, herbs and fruit in a 2 gallon plastic pail ready to freeze for long term storage, this kind of purchase is an easy, nearly anyone can do, food insurance policy. Even if you can’t freeze them they will still remain viable for several years in a cool dry environment, stick them on a shelf in the basement.

Since then, I’ve found this company which offers what looks to be a better deal with more varieties, the only issue is they don’t break down the kits so you know what varieties of seeds you are getting ahead of time, still 60 varieties from 25 vegetable types all open pollinated for $90 US is a damn good deal as is the 275 varieties from 30 vegetable types for $375. Even better these kits have southern and northern variations to ensure you get plants suitable for your climate. A kit like this would make you a micro seed bank able to freeze for long terms storage for your personal use or to disperse to others in case of need.

I’ve also purchased individual seeds packages of heritage crops with the intention of using my limited garden space and growing out a selection of them each year in rotation to increase the amount of seed I’m storing. For example this year I will plant Ardwyna paste tomatoes, a bean variety called Orca, Bronze Amaranth, Kamut, Potimarron squash and hulless barley called Faust.

In each case I’ll only plant a few grams or maybe an ounce of each species but by only planting 1 variety of each species to avoid crosspollination and using proper seed saving techniques I can probably increase my hoard of seed in these varieties by 15-50 fold, an ounce become pounds, a gram an ounce, and I’ll still be able to eat from these plants crops. Each year I will rotate to different varieties in order to increase them as well and to replace and refresh the vitality of seeds that have been frozen for too many years.

At some point I’ll be able to share my seeds with other gardeners or if I get a bigger plot of land perhaps I can even start my own online seed store. In either case I’m increasing the supply of seeds for myself and others and just as important, I’m preserving the genetics of heritage crops that are being squeezed out by often sterile or genetically unstable hybrids. Do you honestly think that in a time of food crisis that large seed companies like Monsanto won’t screw us over by buying and killing heritage seed companies so that you will be forced to buy new sterile seed from them each and every year at a new and inflated price?

Provided you are not surrounded by other gardeners who will pollute your genetics everyone should try seed saving. If you do have fellow gardeners too close perhaps you can agree to sow the same types of plant, or offer to grow beans for both of you while they grow tomatoes for both of you. This would allow you to garden yet maintain the isolation of species required to breed your seed true.

A network of people working together locally could maintain and increase a wide variety of seeds and trade back and forth. They could also support local community gardens with seeds or make seed packages for distribution to people frequenting food banks. A return to local food is probably in our future but it’s not going to happen without some help from individuals taking part in saving and increasing the quantity of open pollinated seeds. If you don't garden consider doing so. If you do garden make it count!

While far from complete or adequate (I’m currently light on root crops and medicinals) the green Assassin Seed Bank currently contains

Bronze Amaranth

Barley - Faust

Beans- all dry bean or multi use varieties.
Mitla Black Tepary
Nez Perce
Jacob’s Cattle
True red cranberry
Good Mother Stallard

Blue Jade
Strawberry Popcorn
Stowell’s Evergreen

Carrots- I forget

Cucumber – Bushy

Flax – a fibre variety

Kamut- Polish Wheat

Opium poppies- you never know if modern medicine will survive the coming chaos, pain abatement or euthanasia may be up to you. Seeds are so good in baking, if you don’t need to pass random drug tests.

Parsnip - Harris Model

Long Island Cheese

Sugar beets – I even have the instructions to make molasses and sugar from them.

Sunberry- I have no clue what a sunberry is but figured I’d give it a try

Tomato -
Ardwyna paste


Wheat – Hard White Spring

I've purchased most of my seeds from Salt Springs Seeds, Seed Savers Exchange or Richter’s Herbs

Related posts
What your neighborhood needs is a seed library

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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Embracing the Doom pt 3: Urban Adaptors and food

Spring has sprung
De grass is riz
I wonder where dem doomers is?

Spring or not, no grass will be rising in this part of Ontario for another week or more so this doomer is sitting in the basement sorting seeds, checking the calendar for planting dates and filling planting trays with starting mix in preparation for the season ahead. It’s now only 7 weeks until last frost which allowed me to plant the first of my tomatoes “Ardwyna Paste” under grow lights, joining the strawberries whose vague instructions of “plant in early spring” enticed me to start them right away. I have no doubt I planted them too early but I’m sure we can live with a few strawberry pots on the coffee table for a few weeks if needs be. My cabbage, onions and a couple of test Tomatillos are already sprouting and due to my usual planting exuberance I’ll probably have enough surplus plants to sell at this springs garage sale or give away to friends as an encouragement to start their own gardens.

As an urban adaptor with limited space it’s a daunting task trying to figure out how one will strive for any reasonable level of food security but there are options, some are quite reasonable, some require actual work and others many be a little to extreme for the more squeamish doomer (and no I’m not talking cannibalism …….. yet!)

Any discussion on food security should start the same way every energy security discussion should, simply cut back! Unless you are uncommonly active, thin and modest in your caloric intake most people could easily drop 100-400 calories or perhaps even more from their diet per day, freeing up supply for others and cutting the costs and work required to feed yourself. On average we eat too much; we eat out of boredom, for entertainment, and for simple gluttony so this is the most logical place to start the conversation.

Likewise we must take a serious look at what we eat and how we use it. The production of meat is up to 7 times less efficient than eating the grain yourself. Eating meat negatively impacts the number of people our agricultural system can support, our health, the availability and quality of our water resources and increases green house gases. In a time of hardship whole grain, bean, lentil, and tofu based meals can provide adequate protein, improve your health, save you money, all with the side benefit of treading lighter on the earth.

You should also remove the empty calories that add cost but no utility to your diet such as refined sugars, alcohol, etc and then calculate what you really need to survive. If you have the means to purchase or produce these things when times get tough great, but having a target of real needs instead of wants as a baseline is an important step in planning your food security. And before someone who knows me starts sniping and calling me a hypocrite, I admit to being an over exuberant consumer of meat and beer but I also know a time will probably come when I won’t be able to do so.

Finally we must look at our level of personal food waste and ways to reduce it, especially considering studies in the U.S place waste as high as 30%. That’s a lot of food grown, shipped, bought, and tossed out. It’s also a perfect example of low hanging fruit, an easy and free way reducing your total consumption.

Do you refuse to eat leftovers? Or maybe only use them once rather than until they run out?
Do you cut around a blemish on a fruit or veggie, or do you toss the whole thing?
Do you make stock from a turkey or chicken carcass?
When you eat out do you use the doggy bag?
Do you habitually buy lettuce every time you shop because you know you should eat more salad but end up tossing one out every weak because you could not be bothered making one?
Have you ever bought an entire container of something with an expiry date only to use a single dollop in one recipe knowing full well you have no use for the rest of the product.

We all do irrational wasteful things that endanger our food security and blow a shit load of money. I’m not saying you should not buy that container of sour cream but perhaps you should plan a menu allowing you to have leak and potato soup, perogies/tacos, baked potatoes or a homemade veggie dip all within a two weak period making use of the entire container. Don’t buy the damn lettuce unless you are committed to 2-3 salads in 4 days and eat those leftovers or convert them into new dishes like sheppard’s pie, soup, or bubble and squeak. Bake or make sauces with overripe fruit. Plan and shop to a menu and stick to it.

I’m convinced that if most people looked at the questions of how much do I need? What should I eat? And how can I fully utilize what I do have? They would only need 50-60% of their current food supply, How much effort put into gardening or stalking a deer could you save by cutting consumption by 40%? How much money would a 40% reduction save you?

Food strategies

Once you know how much food you really need you can then decide on the appropriate strategies to acquire it. All food strategies can be broken down into 3 categories, purchasing food, growing food or scrounging food.

With today’s access to a wide variety of cheap and easy foods from around the world few people even farmers make any attempt to be food independent. As adapters we will try to produce as much of our own food as possible but true independence is simply not possible. One person cannot expect to be a gardener, a herder, a butcher, a miller, an apiarist or a blessed cheese maker all in their backyard plot. Specialization and barter between many urban farmers can eliminate some of these deficiencies but there will always be some things that can’t be done on the small, local, and urban scale. This means we will always be dependent on vendors, be they grocery stores, co-ops or farmers markets to supply those things we cannot produce ourselves.

The secret is to optimize those purchases you are required make by shopping in bulk. Now it’s understandable that most people cannot afford to buy a skid of flour even if they did have somewhere to store it but there are other ways to buy large quantities. You might find that club stores work for you despite the problems of membership fees, rarely being walkable or not always having the best prices on some items. Other alternatives include bulk food stores or even better food cooperatives that have local ownership, help form community bonds and can have access to local producers who don’t want to deal with the hassle of individual sales. If you do garden or have a useful craft you might find your co-op an ideal place to sell or trade your surplus. I think co-ops are the way to go and I would encourage anyone to join one or investigate forming a group to create one. Sadly this is not a business model that has gained much ground in Canada.

Eventually things we’ve grown accustomed to like imported off season fruits and veg may no longer be available, we must again learn to eat seasonally and preserve our local bounty just like our grandparents did.

Gardening/urban agricultural

Provided you have access to land the best way to gain food security is to grow it yourself. You may not have a lot of space, you may not have good soil but short of having 100% shade nearly every property should be able to produce at least some food. Square food gardening shows you how to get a considerable amount of produce from a limited area and even if you don’t have great soil you can always build raised beds or use container gardening. Having no gardening skills is no excuse, the ability to grow food is a basic skill that let humans form communities and civilization as we know it (not necessarily a good thing). Surely such a basic skill mastered by Neolithic man is not beyond your skills, but start now it does take time.

Starting now also gives you time to improve the fertility of your soil by adding organic matter, improving the drainage, Ph and level of helpful micro organisms. All around us there are sources of organic matter that can improve your soil, do your own composting, collect sea weed by the sea, grass clippings from your neighbors who don’t spray, leaves from a park, or ask for the coffee grounds from your neighborhood coffee shop, it’s all good. Many municipalities even have events where you can get cheap or free rain barrels, composters or compost. Soil is only poor and unproductive because you let it stay that way.

If you really don’t have enough space to garden you should look into joining a community garden program. While some areas like mine are severely limited in space (70 plots for over 70,000 population), added demand and/or advocating to businesses, towns, utilities and school boards to provide land for more community gardens should eventually create more gardening spaces. Demand municipalities support community gardens. If you can find someone who is speculating on vacant land for the long term you might even negotiate cheap leases on properties large enough to support a profit generating market garden, creating food and employment.

In your daily lives look for opportunities, perhaps a local business could be convinced to give up its lawn so employees could garden at lunch and after work and you as adviser/manager would get a portion of the garden as your own. Sell it to them as a way to help their employees save money and become healthier, a way to show they are a good corporate citizens, and a way to save money on a lawn service. The same offer could be made to use a portion of a school yard supplying both you and the cafeteria with real food all while teaching students a real skill they can use.

A sick or elderly neighbor may let you garden their yard simply to get some free produce and a little company, before too long you’ll probably find them puttering along behind your doing something they did not think they were still able to do.

I just noticed a mistake above, even if you do have 100% shade in your yard you could bring in wood shavings, logs, straw or some other appropriate medium and plant mushrooms or morels. No yard need be barren of edible life.

Somewhere between gardening and purchasing is the CSA , Community Sustained Agriculture. In a CSA you buy a share of farm’s crop for the year and each week during the growing season you receive a basket of what ever is in season. Some CSA’s require their members do labour especially at planting and picking time, others like the one we belong to does not.

All CSAs are not equal however, some are organic some aren't, I said before some may ask for your labor, most won't. Unless you eat anything it may take you some time to find a CSA that grows a selection of vegetables that suites your tastes. Our current farm did not originally meet our needs and after a summer of drowning in honeydews but no beans to speak of we dropped out for a couple of years. With better planning, experience, and more understanding of what their customers wanted we have returned to the same CSA finding a much more balanced food basket.

Guerrilla gardening is also an option, simply pick plant types that require minimum care and plant them on vacant land and hydro corridors and see what happens. You might lose it all to animals, lack of care or vandals but you might also end up with a field of squash or patch of amaranth ready to harvest come fall. If you back onto a hydro cut simply put up temporary snow fence and extend your yard past your lot line. You might get told to remove it immediately or be left alone for years to garden on free land, either way begging forgiveness is easier than asking permission.

In the same vein as begging forgiveness rather than asking permission, most municipalities will ask you to comply with bylaws before they fine you or start legal proceedings, with this in mind don’t be scared to put a ½ dozen hens or a rabbit hutch in your back yard, hell if you have a good sized yard try some miniature goats. Be mindful to raise them in extra clean conditions so smell won't bother the neighbors and so no one gets the Humane Society involved. Some municipalities in the U.S. are rescinding old rules about small livestock so push the limits and get like minded people to lobby for such changes. In Canada you can join CLUCK, Canadian Liberated Urban Chicken Club, a group that is involved in education and legal challenges to anti chicken laws.


There's lots of food around around if you just look for it, be it dandelions found on unsprayed vacant lots or fiddle heads and morels in the forest, you just have to put the effort in to find it. In the local green belt near my home I know I can find choke cherries for wine or jelly, crab apples for canning or jelly, sumac for fake lemonade, and morels and that’s without having any expert knowledge or having spend any amount of time actually looking. There is always something edible around if you look hard enough which brings us to the “I’m not that desperate yet” behavior of the Freegan.

The Freegan is someone who salvages edible food from the garbage. “Freegan” was originally used as a label for anti consumerism activists outraged at the 25-30% level of western food waste. These activists began to eat salvaged food from dumpsters to lower their ecological footprint and their participation in the normal consumer model. If you look around there are web sites, meet up groups and probably facebook pages dedicated to Freegan activates. While some people do this as political statement are also many people with more basic motivations like starvation who have been forced to eat this way, certainly a sad commentary on our society.

While I don’t suggest you go out and root in the garbage behind the Lowblaws or the Piggly Wiggly tonight (unless you are really desperate), there should be some procedure to intercept and utilize this food before it gets dumped like this. High quality produce or stuff set to expire the next day should be sent to shelters or food banks for immediate consumption, lower quality produce should be shipped to local farmers for animal feed and the real rotten stuff sent to composting facilities rather than the dump. Fear of litigation is scaring some retailers from donating food, even for livestock. You might however convince them its for your composter or worm farm.

We should all lobby companies to be compassionate rather than wasteful with damaged foods and we should lobby that governments alter any laws that make being responsible hard for companies.

The final scrounging pointer is to look for a gleening program. I was quite surprised to find that the York Region Food Network runs a gleening program where you can register and get notifications throughout the growing season as various participating farmers allow people to wander their fields and harvest produce that is either surplus, not of salable quality or simply was missed by mechanical harvesters. This program allows the salvage of tonnes of food for those willing to work and with no veggies left to rot in the field the quantity of harmful insects, fungus and disease in the soil for the next year’s crop is reduced. While you may end up with far too much of one item to use in a timely manner you gain the opportunity take up canning on the cheap, stock a root cellar or share with others.

Damn these posts are getting long

Associated posts

Embracing the Doom: What kind of doomer am I?

Embracing the doom pt 2: How doomy How soon?

Top doomer accessories

Renewal in Canning and Stealth Doomers

Being your own Seed Bank
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