In some places, the term "natural" is defined and enforced. In others, such as the United States, it has no meaning.

By Allison Brooks

As societies develop and more technology is introduced, faith and trust in nature is lost. Mother Nature and the human body have been interacting for millions of years, way before any genetically modified plants or animals have come in to play, or even doctors. But it seems now, that this trust in nature for providing the best remedies and food is going by the wayside. More processed meat is being produced, more crops that grow out of season are bought, and more trust in chemicals to treat the simplest of ailments is increasing. This should not be the case. People need to look back to nature and realize that such a majestic background can produce everything needed to sustain life and thrive.  (more…)

Source: RootSimple.com

Root Simple

Today, something for our apartment homesteaders. If you’ve got a patch of sun and want to grow some food crops container gardening is the way to go.

But container gardening has several drawbacks. Containers dry out quickly and if you forget to water, especially with vegetables, you can easily kill your plants. In fact inconsistent watering is probably the number one cause of container plant failure. Container gardening also uses a lot of water and can be messy, as the excess water flows out of the bottom of your pots leaving muddy stains on decks and balconies.

Thankfully, there is an elegant solution in the form of self watering containers. The principle is simple. Rather than having a hole in the bottom of the pot, there is instead a reservoir of water. Potting soil is suspended above the water reservoir by means of a perforated barrier. Circular “wicking chambers” reach down into the reservoir and draw water up to the plant’s roots. The reservoir is refilled by means of a pipe that comes out of the top of the pot and the soil in the pot is covered with a layer of plastic that acts as mulch. Depending on how deep the water reservoir is, it’s possible to go many days without having to add water. This arrangement, combined with the mulch layer on top prevent wasteful over-watering that can occur with conventional pots.

Best of all, while commercially made self watering containers such as the Earthbox® are available, it’s possible to build your own with these detailed instructions (warning–long pdf) by Josh Mandel. Or take a look at our how-to video:

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Portable Farms

• No need to water your plants because a Portable Farms™ Aquaponics System uses a timed cycle to circulate the water throughout the system so the plants constantly receive a fresh supply of warm, nutrient-laden water.

• No soil is necessary. Your plants grow in trays filled with gravel or river rock.

• No weeding is necessary, just regular harvesting and replanting.

• No pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or fertilizers are necessary.

• No antibiotics or hormones are necessary.

• The Portable Farms™ Aquaponics System can be Solar or Wind Powered.

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By Barbara H. Peterson

Farm Wars

This year we have the best high desert garden yet. We planted carrots, spinach, beets, swiss chard, cabbage, lettuce, onions, radishes, butternut squash, zucchini, and raspberries. Since the weather is so unpredictable, I am keeping tomato, pepper and cucumber plants indoors. We didn’t have to plant the milk thistle, as it has been trying to grow in my back yard for years, and I finally found out that eradicating this precious plant is not in our best interests!

Here are pics of the outdoor portion of the garden:

beets, spinach, carrots, swiss chard

squash layout w onions and raspberries

Getting to this point has taken us over three years, as we hadn’t a clue about gardening when we started, much less in the high desert, and we basically started from scratch with space for a garden area and plenty of horse manure.  (more…)

India is leading the way in exposing Monsanto for what it is – corrupt to the core. The following two articles show how Monsanto regularly faked data to get its transgenic crop varieties approved in India.

Thanks to Amicus for the heads up!

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Barb’s notes:
  
The conclusion that this auther infers is that millions of people would die if we didn’t have the large-scale GMO food production that we do. This is false. Studies have proven that there are other farming techniques that are much more sustainable and environmentally sound than GMO production, which kills the soil, creates superweeds, and requires more and more pesticide use as time goes on. However, the main point of the article is very useful.
 
Here is a link to the complete user’s guide for the PLU Code for produce identification:

The Biotech HarvestBy Dr. Gregory Damato, Ph.D.

May 27, 2009

Natural News

Genetically modified (GM) soy accounts for 91 percent of soybeans planted in the US and is rapidly growing throughout the world [1]. The dangerous biotech created science behind the introduction of GMOs (genetically modified organisms) is rapidly mounting and can no longer be ignored by scientists or the public. The biotech propaganda of increasing crop yield and ending world hunger have been proven false, and attempts to skew the simple fact that the sole reasoning for the mass introduction of untested, toxic and dangerous GMOs into our plants, soil, animals and genes is to increase profits at any expense for the large multinational biotech companies. (more…)