Saturday, June 23, 2007

Future of Food DVD

Last week our family was able to view the DVD, "Future of Food," which we borrowed from Herrick Kimball (The Deliberate Agrarian). Some of our family had already seen part of this movie, but it was a first time for me.

What an eye opener. I had heard bits and pieces of the information that was presented before, but seeing it all for myself was important. This movie reveals how big agricultural corporations such as Monsanto have corrupted our food, through developing genetically modified corn, soybeans, etc., and then patenting the seed. I get angry all over again as I remember what I saw on the movie.

What brought it even closer to home for us was that a man named Rodney Nelson from Amenia, ND was featured on the film. His family was prosecuted by Monsanto. The Nelsons chose not to use genetically modified seed from Monsanto, but somehow some of that seed found its way into at least one of his fields. The seed was found growing in an area close to a roadway, and a neighbor told Nelsons some of his seed may have spilled from his truck as it was going by and could have contaminated the field. Apparently people from Monsanto went into the Nelson's field without their permission or knowledge and tested his crops. Unfortunately there is not "and they lived happily ever after" ending to that story. Please get a copy of the DVD and watch it for yourself.

The evening after we watched "The Future of Food" we heard an airplane overhead. Of course the boys had to run out and see what it was doing. Well, it was an aerial spray plane, and spraying the fields across the lake from us, to the southwest. Makes me wonder how much of that spray ended up in the lake, and how much drifted over to our fields. Today I again heard the plane, and watched it spraying a field to the northeast of our property.

We have seen billboards within the state sponsored by some aerial spray association, with the slogan, "AERIAL APPLICATORS: HELPING PROVIDE SAFE FOOD FOR AMERICA'S TABLES." To that I say: HOGWASH!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Checking In Again

It's hard to believe that at 11:00 p.m. we are still experiencing twilight outside. I remember making a trip to Fargo (5 hours away) one time with a friend, and at 1:00 a.m. it was twilight just like this. Wonder if it goes on all night, and then dawn begins ... Guess I'm too old to want to check it out!

I had our very first strawberry of the season this afternoon, and it sure was good! That was sort of a fluke, because there are plenty of blossoms on the plants but no other pieces of fruit. I can't wait for the strawberries and raspberries to be ready for harvesting.

We were thrilled to have 2-1/2 inches of rain yesterday. It's amazing how quickly things green up after a bout of moisture. Our friend Steve just got back from his trip out west and toured the gardens with the boys and I this morning; he was just as excited as we are to see how well the gardens and new trees are doing.

Jim and Jonathan got back on Monday after a 6 day trip to Des Moines, IA for the Iowa home educator's conference. Jim had been asked to give 2 workshops concerning the Biblical Concourse , and joining him were Dan Smithwick of the Nehemiah Institute and John Mesko of Lighthouse Farm. Dan and John are mentors through the Concourse to encourage and help students in the areas of Biblical worldview topics and also agriculture. Jim had Zach Engelhart discuss how he is studying constitutional law by doing college at home. In one of the workshops Joe Bailey from Iowa explained how he and his parents compared the different options for becoming a mechanical engineer, and how they ultimately chose home college as the best route for him to obtain his goals. I was able to listen to the CD's of the workshops yesterday as I was working about the kitchen.

I thought the 6 days Jim and Jonathan were going to be gone would be slow moving for the rest of us, but the days just flew by. The only time we were off our property was on Sunday, when we biked about 5 miles to the local drive-in for ice cream cones. I must admit my biking skills need to be worked on a bit, since I was always bringing up the rear of the pack. Andrew wasn't feeling well for a few days and I attributed it to being tired and missing Dad, but then about midnight Sunday night David came down with flu symptoms, so we must have picked up a bug somewhere. I was glad it rained off and on during those days so we could read a book together. We read book 5 of the "Little Britches" series by Ralph Moody, called "Fields of Home." These books have some language that I don't care for, but what's nice about reading them out loud is I can skip those sections. The boys and I also did weeding in the gardens, and worked on various other projects. It was very nice to have Jim and Jonathan arrive home on Monday afternoon.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Learning My Lessons

Last week was kind of a blur. I was asked to fill in at a local Bible camp, cooking for 50 people that gathered to build a gazebo in memory of a high school girl who died in March during a car accident. It was a good experience for me in that nothing terrible happened and I managed to get every meal on the table in time, but I learned some good lessons along the way.

One thing I learned was that I am a homekeeper at heart. It was hard for me to leave my family and go off to work -- even if it was only for 3 days. It is so much better to be home working with the family than off working alone.