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The real Lord of the Flies: what happened when six boys were shipwrecked for 15 months

THE TRUE TALE OF MAROONED BOYS WHO DEFY GOLDLING'S DARK 'LORD OF THE FLIES' COMMENTARY ON THE HUMAN CONDITION. A refreshing story which argues that truth is much kinder than fiction. “'One day, in 1977, six boys set out from Tonga on a fishing trip … Caught in a huge storm, the boys were shipwrecked on a deserted island. What do they do, this little tribe? They made a pact never to quarrel.'” Caleb, Megan & Jim

"For centuries western culture has been permeated by the idea that humans are selfish creatures. That cynical image of humanity has been proclaimed in films and novels, history books and scientific research. But in the last 20 years, something extraordinary has happened. Scientists from all over the world have switched to a more hopeful view of mankind. This development is still so young that researchers in different fields often don’t even know about each other."

The real Lord of the Flies: what happened when six boys were shipwrecked for 15 months

When a group of schoolboys were marooned on an island in 1965, it turned out very differently to William Golding’s bestseller, writes Rutger Bregman


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'DRAMATIC-TV'-DEFICIENT HARD-WORKING FAMILY FARMERS ARE FILLING THE GA…

'DRAMATIC-TV'-DEFICIENT HARD-WORKING FAMILY FARMERS ARE FILLING THE GAP & FEEDING FAMILIES. Like never before, consumers are appreciating the benefits of a farmer-direct food supply. As a result interest in CSA subscription gardens is skyrocketing. At the same time labor availability concerns are tempering farmer exuberance.
Eric Westervelt of 'NPR' reports. Caleb, Megan & Jim

"Images of some American farmers dumping milk, plowing under crops and tossing perishables amid sagging demand and falling prices during the deadly coronavirus pandemic has made for dramatic TV…

"From California to Maine, the movement known as community supported agriculture (CSA) is booming. Members buy a share of a farm's often organic harvest that gets delivered weekly in a box. CSA programs almost everywhere report a surge in memberships and growing waiting lists.

"'The interest in getting local, fresh, organic produce just has skyrocketed during this crisis,' Redmond said.

"As with many farms, the restaurant and farmers market sides of her business have cratered. But the CSA side, which includes business across the San Francisco Bay Area, has jumped to 2,000 boxes a week. "We've doubled our CSA box numbers and quadrupled our add-ons like wheat flour, oils like olive oil, nuts, fruit juices, even yarn," Redmond said…

"Some farms, large and small, that relied on restaurant, hotel, school and university food-service contracts have been hit hard. Many are now scrambling to adapt to a CSA-type model, at least in the short term, to survive. Some are now partnering with CSAs in a mutually beneficial pact that helps CSAs meet growing demand while offering an outlet for suffering farms.




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Know Your Farmer | Alderspring Ranch | Real Organic Project

DON'T MISS THIS VIDEO ABOUT ORGANIC FAMILY RANCHING IN IDAHO! The 'Real Organic Project' produced this excellent video about the Elzinga family's real organic 'Alderspring Ranch.' one of the largest organic holdings in the United States.
The Elzingas market their organic range beef direct to customers with their web business. Caleb, Megan & Jim https://www.alderspring.com/

"My name is Glenn Elzinga. I own and operate Alderspring Ranch outside of May, Idaho in the middle of the Pahsimeroi Valley (its mountain valley around 5,000 feet). We have a base ranch there of about 1,000 acres, and it’s all certified organic, but where we are today is up on the grazing allotment. It’s 46,000 acres of certified organic native rangelands.

""We actually live with our cows during the summer. We have remote cow camps, and we station cowboys and cowgirls on horseback to live with the cattle and keep them all in a controlled grazing paradigm.

Know Your Farmer | Alderspring Ranch | Real Organic Project

The Elzingas developed a system of intensive and intentional herding at Alderspring Ranch to restore the native ecology and provide their cattle with the most diverse diet possible. If you get the chance to order meat from their online store you'll have a taste of the nutritional density of the beau…


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HERE WE GO AGAIN: NORTHERN MAINE GETS HIT WITH ANOTHER SNOWSTORM. The snowfall…

HERE WE GO AGAIN: NORTHERN MAINE GETS HIT WITH ANOTHER SNOWSTORM. The snowfall began this morning and is now up to 9-10" deep.
Our 'Winter Storm Warning' expires at 2am tonight with another inch or two predicted to fall. This places us at the high end of yesterday's prediction for up to 10" of snowfall from this storm.
In 1991 we experienced 4" of snowfall on May 20, after many potatoes had been planted and back in the era when Springs were earlier.
This year April and May have been cold and very few potatoes have yet been planted.
We're still shipping seed orders and on our farm we "haven't spun a tire" yet. Jim




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We Remember Those Lost 28 Years Ago in the Westray Mine Explosion Like It Was Yesterday: Steelworkers

REMEMBERING CRITICAL WORKERS: 28TH ANNIVERSARY OF CANADA'S WESTRAY MINE DISASTER. Twenty-eight years ago today, a methane gas explosion in the Westray Coal Mine in Plymouth, Nova Scotia took the lives of all 26 miners working the night shift. An inquiry later determined mine owner Curragh Inc was responsible for this preventable rural disaster.
Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, singer/songwriter Rita MacNeil's 1988 release 'Working Man' has become an anthem honoring the dangerous life of underground miners. Caleb, Megan & Jim https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fI3HZ2_Nv0

"“There are many days that mean a lot to workers and their unions. One day in particular that stands out for Steelworkers is May 9. On that day, in 1992, at 5:18 a.m., a disaster struck the Westray Coal Mine in the tiny hamlet of Plymouth, Nova Scotia. A methane gas explosion and subsequent coal dust explosions ripped through the mine killing all 26 miners working the shift that night. Over the ensuing days, mine rescue teams attempted to find survivors without success. Eventually the bodies of 15 miners were retrieved but the remaining 11 have never been recovered,” recalls Stephen Hunt, USW Director for Western Canada."

We Remember Those Lost 28 Years Ago in the Westray Mine Explosion Like It Was Yesterday: Steelworkers

The United Steelworkers union remembers the 28th anniversary of the devastating loss of 26 miners in the Westray Coal Mine explosion.


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Op-ed: A Fairer, More Resilient Food System is Possible | Civil Eats

THE CORNERSTONE OF REBUILDING OUR FOOD SYSTEM FROM THE GROUND UP: AGGRESSIVELY ENFORCE EXISTING ANTI-TRUST LEGISLATION AGAINST POWERFUL MONOPOLIES. An Op-Ed pice by NFU's (National Farmers Union) President Rob Larew delves into the problem and identifies important solutions.
Full disclosure: we are members of New England Farmers Union, the local chapter of NFU. Caleb, Megan & Jim

"Over the past 50 years, every aspect of agriculture has become far more concentrated and more specialized. In the absence of antitrust enforcement, the seed, fertilizer, pesticide, farm machinery, corn milling, and meat processing industries have all come to be dominated by a handful of large corporations.

"By some estimates, just 50 plants account for 98 percent of meat slaughtering and processing in the United States…

"…The meatpacking industry is notorious for its high level of consolidation, and for its abuse of farmers and workers…

"Unsurprisingly, the same companies that abuse workers also abuse family farmers and ranchers. Because there is so little competition in the meat industry, the dominating companies can collude to fix prices—and often do. There have been numerous allegations of price fixing against meatpacking companies in recent years, the most recent of which was leveled just a few weeks ago, in the midst of the pandemic.

"While wholesale meat prices have surged, those dollars aren’t being passed on to ranchers. In fact, cattle prices have dropped so much that some ranchers are struggling just to break even. What this ultimately means is that packers are paying farmers less than they usually would for their cattle while charging grocery stores more, raking in record profits at both parties’ expense.

"But federal efforts to support businesses affected by the pandemic could make the problem of consolidation worse…

"All of this sounds like bad news—and it is. But endless consolidation isn’t a foregone conclusion. Indeed, this crisis is an opportunity to finally address concentration in the meat industry and support a more diverse, regionally focused system…

"By offering support to smaller-scale meat processors and family farmers who need it most, the Trump administration can ensure their survival during this difficult time. That alone is not enough; to support the success of independent businesses and prevent large meatpacking corporations from wielding undue political influence or market power, we also need strong antitrust enforcement—something that many legislators are already calling for. This must be accompanied by greater legal protections for farmers and workers from anticompetitive practices and abusive treatment.

"A fairer, more flexible, and more resilient food system is possible—now is the time to build it."

Op-ed: A Fairer, More Resilient Food System is Possible | Civil Eats

The President of the National Farmers Union argues that strong anti-trust enforcement is needed to make a better life for workers, farmers, rural communities, and animals.


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Outbreak Voices: Farmers Worry About Shortages, Bankruptcy

COVID-19 BRINGS TOUGH TIMES ON FAMILY FARMS: SOME WILL BE FORCED OUT OF BUSINESS. Take a few moments to listen to this troubling 'NPR' report (4:28) via interviews with family farmers across the USA. First-hand accounts about hard times on the farm. These troubles affects us all. Caleb, Megan & Jim

"SCOTT SIMON, HOST: The United States Department of Agriculture has earmarked $19 billion to help farmers during the coronavirus pandemic. But some farmers aren't seeing any money. And they are worried.

"JOHN BOYD: Most of the monies that you hear USDA talk about are going to corporate farmers, but absolutely nothing is in place for small-scale farmers like myself. And I believe that we're heading for a food shortage.."

Outbreak Voices: Farmers Worry About Shortages, Bankruptcy

Small farmers have been hit hard by the pandemic's impact on the economy. We hear from three of them: John Boyd of Virginia, Maija Yasui of Oregon, and Michelle Byrnes of Iowa.


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WOODPRAIRIE MAKES IT EASY TO GROW YOUR OWN POTATOES. Potatoes are easy to grow …

WOODPRAIRIE MAKES IT EASY TO GROW YOUR OWN POTATOES. Potatoes are easy to grow but there is some know-how involved because unlike standard-issue "true seeds" like beans and corn, potatoes are planted using special seed tubers.
The 'Organic Potato Growing Guide' takes the mystery out of growing potatoes. Our Guide is sent with EVERY order but you can also find it here on our website (https://woodprairie.com/downloads/Growing_Guide_2020.pdf).
The humble Potato fueled the Industrial Revolution because of its stellar nutrition and ability to produce a lot of food energy on a small plot.
On our farm we grow high quality Organic Maine Certified Seed Potatoes and for 30 years have shipped seed tubers directly to home and market gardeners in all 50 States (www.woodprairie.organic). Caleb, Megan & Jim




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One potato, two potato — well, a lot of potatoes

A YUGE WASHINGTON TALE OF POTATO WOE. The Covid-19- shutdown of institutions like restaurants and schools caused 'Food Service" demand to mostly disappear.
Then, the major processors – like French Fry makers Simplot, Lamb-Wesson and McCain's – canceled or reduced the contracts potato farmers had.
A sad potato tale is being repeated elsewhere where processing potatoes are grown. This front page 'LA Times' articles zeroes in on very trying times for Washington State potato farmers.
The rule-of-thumb is that potatoes made into French Fries have a "Recovery Rate" of 50%. This means that for every hundred pound of potatoes, 50# of French Fries will be made. The leftover waste usually finds its way into livestock feed. Caleb, Megan & Jim

"The state’s fertile Columbia Basin produces nearly a quarter of the potatoes grown in the United States, 10 billion pounds in 2019. The vast majority — 90% — were turned into frozen French fries and shipped to restaurants, some in the United States but mostly to Asia…

"'We’re afraid there’s still going to be potatoes in storage when we go to dig up this year’s crop in September,' Wollman said. 'These are good potatoes. We don’t want to throw them away. It’s just, what do you do with them?'…

“'You don’t sleep at night, thinking about it,' he said.

“'I was raised to put your head down and do your job, that you control your own destiny…. The only thing I can do is keep raising this crop and hope something changes.'”

One potato, two potato — well, a lot of potatoes

The notice on Facebook was small and nondescript: “Free potatoes donated by Washington Potato Growers.” But that’s all it took.


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What does junk food have to do with COVID-19 deaths?

HOW MUCH CULPABILITY SHOULD BE LAID AT THE FEET OF THE JUNK FOOD INDUSTRY FOR PANDEMIC IMPACT? A statistic which has been circulating for the last few years is that societal costs for poor health attributable to junk food are GREATER THAN THE COMBINED PROFITS of the entire Junk Food industry.
In other words, the less expensive alternative for taxpayers would have been to pay Big Food directly from the treasury and shutter Junk Food factories.
Now, in the new pandemic, concern is mounting about Junk Food's negative role and impact.
Journalist Carey Gillam reports. Caleb, Megan & Jim

" As scientists struggle to understand the overall magnitude of the virus and how to best address it, there are certain established truths that we can no longer afford to take for granted when it comes to protecting our health in the future.

"One key truth: The quality of our food is essential to the quality of our health.

"The food choices we make every day have a profound long-term impact on virtually every aspect of our well-being. And, as medical professionals track the pandemic, it is becoming increasingly clear just how much that matters in times like these.

"Roughly half of the people who have been hospitalized with the new virus are obese, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC says those individuals who are obese are at "higher risk for severe illness" from COVID-19…

"University of San Diego professor Aarti Ivanic, who studies the intersection of race and food marketing, has found that many companies target their advertising of unhealthy fast food and junk food to Black and Hispanic populations while promoting more healthy food choices to affluent White consumers.

"Her work is supported by a report released last year by the Council on Black Health and the University of Connecticut Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity that found restaurants, food, and beverage companies often target Black and Hispanic consumers for their least nutritious products, primarily fast-food, candy, sugary drinks, and snacks…

"Food quality, food access, food marketing and food choices are not casual concerns. They are proving, more than ever, to be matters of life and death."

What does junk food have to do with COVID-19 deaths?

CDC cites high levels of obesity and diabetes in victims.


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