|Apples and grapes|
I made 10 quarts of applesauce from apples from the tree growing in the back yard of the abandoned house next door, made 2 quarts of pickles from cucumbers someone was handing out from the back of a truck for free one day, started a batch of cider (not from my apples but from store bought juice), made a large pot of chicken soup from the donated carcasses of 2 small chickens, and harvested my beets, so I made beet greens earlier this week and I'm making borscht in the crock pot tonight. My grapes, I just ate. Yum.
Speaking of gardens, I'm wondering if any of my dear readers have heard of the new House Bill HR 875, the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009? I have heard alarms and grumblings from organic gardeners that think this bill (which was submitted by the wife of a Monsanto exec) will outlaw backyard gardening and possibly put an end to farmers markets. Here is a link to the bill. I have read it. There isn't anything specifically about organic or backyard gardening, but I think the problem with the bill is that the term "farm" is not defined in the bill. This would open it up to any kind of interpretation. The other thing is, even if they're not trying to outlaw our vegie gardens, it is possible that it would put an undue burden on small farmers, essentially running them out of business. Also, consider the source of the bill... http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h111-875
There is also a Senate bill, S.510. http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s111-510. I have not yet read this bill, but I think it's getting the same amount of alarm and grumblings from the same crowd. So that's my reading project for the next week.
Please weigh in and leave comments about these bills. As for me, if they outlaw backyard gardens, I'll gladly become an outlaw. In the meantime, perhaps it's time to buy some seeds, in case they make it impossible to get them next year.