Tag Archives: eggs

Friday Linkage 8/2/2019

I say this a lot on this blog, but I have a hard time believing that it is already August.  My kids are three weeks away from going back to school, people are starting to talk about fall sports, and my mind starts to wander to thoughts of skiing.  Pretty soon the miles on the bike will start to decline and the trips to the weight room will increase.  Gotta’ get the knees ready for big days on the mountain.

On to the links…

Just 10% of Fossil Fuel Subsidy Cash ‘Could Pay for Green Transition’—When someone says that we cannot afford to transition to 100% clean energy what they are really saying is that we are choosing not to afford the transition.  There is more than enough money sloshing around in government and corporate coffers to make a renewable energy world possible.

A Wind Turbine Farm The Size Of Delaware Could Power The Entire United States—Take a look at the map and understand just how much or how little area we are talking about here:

US-map-1.png

Now imagine we actually utilize the offshore wind resources.  Look at how much coastline there is to develop.  We can make this happen.

Low-Carbon Energy Makes Majority of UK Electricity for First Time—This is not a small island being powered by solar.  This is a large island with a post-industrial economy that got over 53% of its electricity in 2018 from low or no carbon power sources.

Coal’s Demise Quickens in Europe as Market Shift Idles Plants—If no one is lining up to buy the power then the plants will sit idle.  The market is working.

Ohio just Passed the Worst Energy Bill of the 21st Century—This is what you get with Republicans in control.  It is crony capitalism at its finest.  Private companies line their pocket with the public’s money with the consent of elected officials.

Angry about No Pay, Kentucky Miners Block Train Loaded with Coal—The coal industry does not care about the people in their employ.  These companies have never treated their employees with anything but contempt at best and deadly intent at worst.  As coal companies go bankrupt they will continue to use the legal and political system to destroy the land and line their pockets at the expense of the communities in which they operate.

Most EV Charging Infrastructure Is Wasted Due To Lack Of New Thinking—It is not that EV charging spots are not numerous enough considering that anyone with a garage or dedicated parking space probably has access to some level of charging.  It is that the charging infrastructure that exists today may not align with how we drive our EVs.

Minnesota Town Makes do Without being Connected to Power Grid—I know that a lot of us imagine living off the grid, but this is what the reality looks like.

Beyond Meat’s Competitor Impossible Foods Plans to Launch in Grocery Stores in September after getting FDA Approval—I am really looking forward to buying a sleeve of Impossible Burgers and throwing them on my own grill this fall.  What I really want to see is Beyond Meat or Impossible Burger selling sleeves of their plant based goodness at Costco.

Plant-Based Eggs Land their First Major Fast Food Deal—Slaughter houses get a bad rap because they are nasty places, but our eggs are also produced in some fairly brutal conditions.  First the plant based substitutes came for our hamburgers, now they are coming for our eggs.  I welcome the transition.

Can Chefs Learn to Love Cooking Without Fire?—Can we just stop our love affair with primal fire?  I get that something about the flame speaks to our lizard brain, but as someone who has cooked with electricity daily for the past twenty years there is no reason to rely on piping explosive gas into our homes to fuel our gastronomic adventures.

Why Republican Baby Boomers are More Likely to Share #fakenews on Facebook—I rag on Baby Boomers pretty hard, but until someone can show me how this generation has actually made the country a better place I am going to keep piling on.

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Friday Linkage 5/17/2013

 

Friday Linkage became Monday Linkage because I suck at life right now.

I have been really slow on getting posts up to the site.  I could blame going to Minneapolis for a funeral, being sick for a chunk of the week, a brutal work schedule, and a pending garage sale…but that would be whining. I do not want to sound like a conservative talk show host.

On to the links…

2014 is Looking to be a 7,000 Megawatt Year for Windpower Capacity and Innovation—Bring it on!  The more windpower the better.

Utilities versus Rooftop Solar: What the Fight is Really About—What do utilities fear?  Competition and a loss of control over the means of production.  If that sounds like a return to some Marxist dogma of the 1960s it should because utilities are dinosaurs in terms of business model.

Four Charts On How America Can Do Much More To Tackle Climate Change—  Basically, we have the tools in the toolbox to do a lot more about devastating climate change yet we lack the political willpower to actually address the problem instead spending millions of dollars and countless hours on pointless repeals of Obamacare and investigations into non-existent scandals.

Young Americans Lead Trend to Less Driving—So, how do we follow up the trend of driving less with infrastructure developments that support it?  Our politicians are too stupid and hidebound to think about anything other than highways and roads.

A Powerful Use for Spoiled Food—Why is there not a digester at every major facility that handles spoiled food or other material that could be turned into energy?  This seems like one of those win-wins that we do not get to hear about very often.

Manure Foam Menace Still Haunting Livestock Operations—It sounds like something out of a midnight horror movie…exploding poop foam!  But, it’s not joke.  I love how the industry people are looking to heap antibiotics onto the problem rather than asking the question about the sanity of their broken business model.

First Major Hemp Crop in 60 Years Planted in Colorado—An overlooked effect of the referendum to legalize marijuana in the state of Colorado was that it opened the door for industrial hemp to be planted.  I do not think that hemp is the miracle plant that the hackey sack playing stoner in college tried to convince you it was, but it can be part of the portfolio of solutions.

Who Would Kill a Monk Seal?—I am a big fan of monk seals and other aquatic life, so it strikes me as strange why someone, native Hawaiian or otherwise, would kill a monk seal?   This seems like a case of mistaken guilt like the sea lions being harassed to preserve salmon runs.  The fish are not in decline because of natural predators, okay?

Study of Rare Hops Loving Butterfly gets Boost from Brewer—Beer is good for so much more than just drinking.  It helps the planet, man!

Farm Equipment that Runs on Oats—I am always reminded of post-apocalyptic fiction when I read about people using draft horses.  There is something bucolic and serene about draft animals for the person who is not working as a teamster on a daily basis.

You Absolutely Should not Get Backyard Chickens—This is the exact sentiment that has prevented me from getting backyard chickens even though it has been legal in my town for a couple of years and I have the perfect place for a chicken coop.  Sorry, I know that I would get too attached to the birds and would not be able to end their lives at an economic time.  Then again, if a hen were to provide years of eggs for little more than feed and water could I not offer that bird a comfortable retirement in return?

More Bike Lanes Boost Business—One day, maybe we will actually get to “Copenhagen-ize” our transport infrastructure and be able to bike freely across cities.  It’s a dream.

Why Federal Efforts to Ensure Clean Tap Water Fail to Reach Faucets Nationwide—The infrastructure in the U.S. is so messed up right now, I think this is just one story that could be repeated time and time again in locations nationwide.  How we can allow this situation to endure is beyond me?  Oh right, partisan politics…

Three Friends Make an Attempt to Live Below the Line—Almost since the invention of blogs, people have been documenting their attempts to live on food stamps or a $1 per day.  It’s not totally original, but these efforts do require some attention because of what it says about the inequity in our world and the razor thin margin that so many people live on.

Tasty, and Subversive, Too—World watch out.  Guerrilla gardeners are grafting bearing branches to your ornamental fruit trees.  The world quivers at the thought of some plums falling from the sky!

Life in America: 1983 versus 2013 Infographic—Some of the economic numbers blow my mind.  The median price of a home?  The estimated GDP?  Wow!  Check it out for yourself:

America1983ThenNowInfograph

You Must Read— The Resilient Gardener: Food Production and Self-Reliance in Uncertain Times

My wife’s late grandfather always maintained ownership of about 100 acres of farmland near his home in central Ohio.  Everyone wondered why he bothered.  The land did not bring in much in terms of lease income, although it was paid off and the income offset any taxes so the holding cost was only the opportunity cost of deploying the sale price elsewhere.  He kept the land because, as a child who had lived through the Depression, he always wanted the ability to “put calories on the table.”  Not food on the table per se, but calories.

There is a slight, but very important difference between the two terms.  Most gardens, mine up to this point in my nascent gardening career, put food on the table but sorely lack in replacing any appreciable amount of calories.  I still get the bulk of my calories from foodstuffs that I purchase and, when looking at carbohydrates in particular, I purchase those calories from relatively conventional channels.

Carol Deppe’s The Resilient Gardener: Food Production and Self-Reliance in Uncertain Times deals with this exact issue.  There may come a time when gardeners are forced to sustain themselves, their families, and quite possibly the larger community without the benefit of many modern conveinences like synthetic fertilizer, irrigation, or modern “terminator” seeds that are unable to be used from generation to generation.  Deppe’s goal is to provide the wisdom to move a step beyond that and toward a more resilient—hence the title—form of small scale agriculture that is truly sustainable in all senses of the word.

Focusing on five key crops—potatoes, corn, beans, squash, and eggs—that are the lynchpins of self-reliance in terms of food.  With these five crops an individual can hope to put enough calories on the table to break free or survive without conventional agriculture.  Considering the precarious nature of our modern systems in the face of global climate change, energy insecurity, and a generally piss poor economic climate it is imperative that anyone wishing to be prepared for calamity heed Deppe’s wisdom.

Of the five crops mentioned above the only one I see consistently in the gardens around my neighborhood is squash.  People here in eastern Iowa love their squash.  It’s like a ritual every year for bundles of squash to appear on desks at work with notes attached announcing “Take one!  Please!”  However, I know of almost no one who grows corn or potatoes and only a few who grow beans, mostly the fresh green kind as opposed to dry varieties.

The tone of the book is one of the things that I enjoy the most.  It is not a diatribe against the evils of modern, industrial agriculture or the current corrupt capitalist system.  Her intent, as she says, is “to suggest a gentle, moderated response” to the possibility of hard times to come.  It is not that it is likely that “mega hard times” will afflict us, from a statistical standpoint, but learning the tools and pathways to be increasingly self-sufficient is a low-cost way to mitigate some of that risk.

I do quibble with a few things that are stated in the book.  In particular, I find value in compost.  Her contention is that once a garden gets to be the size of an acre or more, compost is a futile exercise.  However, the fertility of soils can be greatly impacted at a micro level even in a contiguous acre and compost is one tool in ensuring adequate soil fertility.  I realize that this is a small difference of opinion, but I think it merits pointing out because on the scale that most of us will garden compost is a vital tool—if not the religion that Deppe claims it has become to some gardeners.

The other quibble that I have is with her regionalism.  She is very upfront about the focus of her efforts being geared toward the climate in the Pacific Northwest, but for a great swath of this country those conditions are nowhere near our local climate.  I guess that is why I have the Iowa State University extension to answer all of my questions about growing food in Iowa.

Plus, I do not know if I agree with her belief that ducks are superior to chickens.  Why?  I just love watching the strange behavior of chickens.  It fascinates me.  Ducks tend to bore me.

In the end, this book is part of a tool kit for future resilience and sustainability.  Just like learning to do more things yourself instead of depending on large supply chains is about resilience in the face a disruption.  One last note, buy this book in paper form as opposed to an e-reader.  Think about it for a moment.  What good is a book for hard times when it is on a device that may not have power?  You cannot run out of juice with a paperback.