May 26, 2012

This Land Is My Teacher: Preserving Native Agriculture and Traditions

Saturday, 26 May 2012 
By Beverly Bell,
Other Worlds | "Birthing Justice" Series

(Photo: Clayton Brascoupe)Nayeli Guzman is a young Mexican woman who went to New Mexico to be part of the effort to restore traditional agriculture. Throughout the US, Native, Chicano, and other peoples are rejecting industrialized agriculture and are growing their own food instead, thereby reclaiming the health of their traditions, culture, bodies, and land. They are contributing to one of the largest movements in the US today: creating a sustainable food supply chain. Here, Nayeli talks of one such program at the Tesuque Indian Pueblo, where she and other farmers are using long-abandoned farmland to grow long-abandoned crops, building up seed libraries, and teaching others ecological methods for growing food.

Nayeli Guzman | New Mexico, USA

Damn, I should have brought my beans! I wanted to show you my collection. One of my favorites is called powami, a Hopi ceremonial bean. There’s a really beautiful one called Maine Yellow Eye, which is all white and right at the part where the bean sprouts, there’s a little yellow moon on there. There’s another one called Provider. When you put it against the sun, it looks like an oil spill from your car. Man, those beans are so beautiful.

We cooked some red Mexican beans for the harvest festival, and everyone loved them.

It’s always good to be able to give food. It’s the best, dude. We don’t think of what we’re producing in terms of money, but just in terms of health and food for our families.

Farming was in my prayers for a long time. This land is my teacher; it’s my altar. It’s at the heart of my culture. We’ve always done that. We’ve strayed so far from it that I feel we have to go back, no matter where we come from. I’m just being responsible to the struggles my ancestors went through. They fought for tierra y libertad, which means land and liberty. In fact, we’re still going through that struggle today, with our food and even our genes being colonized.

A goal of this program is for the Pueblo to become completely self-sustaining so that during the growing season, people don’t have to purchase what they can grow themselves. Another goal is to preserve the traditional way of life here. We need to keep the traditions alive. We need to preserve the seeds. We need to preserve the soil. We need to preserve the planet.

What we want to do next year at the Head Start is to have each kid have their own little garden. This year our program was too young to do that, but we were able to deliver pumpkins for Day of the Dead. The kids carved them´and gave them to us as gifts, like a little thank-you note. We want to have workers from the Tesuque farm program go in and help them maintain the gardens.

We are also working with the senior center, giving them food from the harvest. For our harvest festival we gave them squash, pumpkins, cucumbers, all kinds of things. We’re trying to stay connected with the elders and to keep them around as long as possible.

We sell food at the farmers’ market, and people on the Pueblo can order the food they want from the fields. Part of me feels like we should be giving the food away to the people because we’re growing it on their land. But if they’re able to work, they should be farming for themselves, at least having a little plot of corn.

A few have become inspired to go out there and do it themselves. And I’ve noticed a higher level of pride among the people about being Native and preserving their way of life.

I see this plan spreading to different communities, not just the reservations but all over the place. I see other communities coming over here and learning, and taking that back to their people and starting it up all over again. We see it happening on a global scale already. There are farmers meeting together from all over the world. We need to all work together as land-based people and not look at what color we are or where we come from, because the land is not like that. Creator is not exclusive, so there’s no reason we should be. They tell us, “The more biodiversity you have, the richer your soil is going to be.” It’s like that with people. The more different kinds of people you have, the more we’re going to be able to survive. That’s why we need everybody working together. We can’t compartmentalize ourselves. That’s what industrial agriculture does.

If people would only open their eyes and their ears and their hearts to living in community, everything would work so much smoother. It’s not a Native thing. Community is a human thing. It’s already in us, we just have to bring it back out. One person can grow corn, one person can grow something else, and they can share. That’s how people used to survive way back when.

What we’re doing is very simple. These ideas are not an alternative for us, they’re just a way of life. We’re just doing what Creator meant for us to do.

Inspired? Here are a few suggestions for getting involved!
Just Harvest USA bridges the healthy and local food movement with the farmworker rights movement. Join them (
Grassroots groups all over the US are forming food policy councils to strengthen food systems that meet local needs. Consider joining one near you, or starting your own (
The US Food Sovereignty Alliance brings together food justice initiatives to organize for domestic food sovereignty and link up with the global movement for food sovereignty. Consider having your organization join (
Organize a local campaign to protect your community from corporate farming and other corporate takeovers of natural resources. The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund runs the Democracy Schools to help you get started (
Organize a plant or seed swap. Boycott corporate-owned seeds, especially those owned by the largest agro-corporations such as Monsanto and Syngenta. Get involved with campaigns against agro-giants; check out the Organic Consumers’ campaign against Monsanto (
Sign up for the Community Food Security Coalition’s policy email list for monthly updates on federal policy that affects community food security. Check out their platform for the 2012 Farm Bill (
Encourage your or your child’s school to buy local and healthy food through farm-to-school programs.
Organize with other parents or students to make it happen (
Share a garden space with your neighbors or friends. Share your harvest with those you love (and those you haven’t met yet!)

And check out the following resources and organizations:
National Family Farm Coalition,
Food First,
Family Farm Defenders,
Grassroots International,
Agricultural Missions,
Fair Food Network,
The Institute for Local Self-Reliance,
International Indian Treaty Council, The Right to Food,
New Farm of the Rodale Institute,
Women, Food, and Agricultural Network,
White Earth Land Recovery and Native Harvest Online Catalog, &
Peter Rosset, Food Is Different (Zed Book, 2006)
Vandana Shiva, Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability, and Peace (South End Press, 2005)

May 25, 2012

How to Make Restaurant Slaw - YouTube

Published on May 24, 2012 by allrecipes

Make creamy coleslaw just like the restaurant kind! You love the tangy, slightly sweet coleslaw they serve in fried-chicken and fish restaurants. Now see how to make it at home. It's simple and quick to make, and the perfect side dish for picnics or barbeques beside fried chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs, and all the summer grilling classics.

Get the recipe for Sweet Restaurant Slaw @

How to Make Italian Beef for Sandwiches

Published on May 24, 2012 by allrecipes

Make creamy coleslaw just like the restaurant kind! You love the tangy, slightly sweet coleslaw they serve in fried-chicken and fish restaurants. Now see how to make it at home. It's simple and quick to make, and the perfect side dish for picnics or barbeques beside fried chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs, and all the summer grilling classics.

Get the recipe for Sweet Restaurant Slaw @

How to Make Boston Baked Beans - YouTube

Published on May 25, 2012 by allrecipes

See how to make old-fashioned Boston baked beans. These tasty beans are a great main course or side dish served with corn bread or biscuits. And best of all, the preparation is simple and straightforward.

Get the recipe for Boston Baked Beans @

May 23, 2012

John Liu's Green Gold Documentary (English)

As most of our readers will know, John Liu caught a vision years ago, and, thankfully, he ran with it. We’ve shared John’s excellent media work before (see here and here), and today have the pleasure of doing so again….

This new video, Green Gold, was first aired last month on Dutch TV, and will be shared at the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (to a captive audience of influential representative delegates during their dinner!), which is being held next month in Brazil (20-22 June 2012).

The video takes you to China, Jordan, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Bolivia, and features the PRI’s own Geoff Lawton (and a cameo appearance from Nadia!), who adds impetus and technical know-how to John’s impressive toolbox, as well as the ‘Permaculture Princess‘ (Princess Basma bint Ali of Jordan), and others.

It’s the story of healing landscapes at scale, and, with it, restoring life, livelihoods, security and a future.

"It’s possible to rehabilitate large scale damaged eco-systems. So, if we can rehabilitate large scale damaged eco-systems… why don’t we do that?" — John Liu
Having this video aired at Rio+20 is an immense victory in itself — it feels like no small reward for our dogged efforts to bring permaculture into mainstream media and thus into mainstream consciousness. All of our readers and contributors are part of this effort, as you learn, share and help us inspire a new generation.

This video is not just a tale of hope, it’s evidence of hope — it’s proof that we do not need to give in to apathy, despair and an ‘eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we die’ mentality. Instead, we see we have the simple solutions right in front of us. The only challenge is the people systems to make it happen — education and fostering collaboration.

If the main obstacle to change is our not having the vision to do so, well, now we have it…. Please share

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We really can change the world for the betterment of our children and grandchildren... Monte

Games Primates Play: The evolution and economics of human relationships - YouTube

Published on May 23, 2012 by theRSAorg

Leading primatologist Dario Maestripieri visits the RSA to reveal how our ancient past governs our current behaviour.

Chaired by Suzy Walton, Deputy Chair, The RSA

Listen to the podcast of the full event including audience Q&A:

Our events are made possible with the support of our Fellowship. Support us by donating or applying to become a Fellow.

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Amazing what we can learn from nature...   Monte

What is Engineering Technology

Hans Rosling: Religions and babies | Video on

10 Easy Ways to Beat Weeds


A single weed can produce as many as 250,000 seeds. Though some seeds are viable for only a year, others can lie dormant for decades, just waiting for their chance to grow. When they’re buried several inches deep, the lack of light keeps them from germinating. But bring weeds to the surface, and they’ll germinate right along with your flower and vegetable seeds.

Even if you’re diligent at hoeing and pulling weeds, more seeds arrive—by air, by water runoff, and in bird droppings. You may accidentally introduce weeds by bringing seeds in on your shoes, clothing, or equipment or in the soil surrounding the roots of container-grown stock.

If you had more weeds then seedlings last year or are already feeling defeated by the number of weeds choking out your favorite plants, don’t worry! These surefire tips will help you keep down weed populations during the growing season:

Know your enemy.
Before you can determine your best defense strategy against weeds, you need to know what you’re up against. Some weeds, such as miner’s lettuce, chickweed, purslane, and dozens of grasses, are shallow-rooted annuals. Others, such as dock, comfrey, thistles, and certain runner grasses, are deep-rooted perennials. The two types require different control methods. Arm yourself with a good field guide, then identify and inventory your weeds. After that, you can ...

Photo: (cc) Dawn Endico/Flickr

Assault annual weeds when it’s dry.
Wait for the weather to be hot and dry for several days, then attack young annual weeds with a rake, hoe, or trowel. That way, the drought-stressed weeds are sure to shrivel and die, even if your cultivation doesn't remove the entire root of the plant.

Photo: (cc) John Tann/Flickr

Give perennial weeds a shower.
The long taproots of perennial weeds cannot be pulled out when the soil is dry. To remove these weeds, wait for wet soil—either from rainfall or from your hose. If the soil is wet and loose, even pesky thistles should come out with their roots intact—which means they won't grow back!

Photo: (cc) Lazurite/Flickr

Comb that grass right out of your beds.
If invasive grasses, such as Johnsongrass or bermudagrass, threaten your garden, use a pitchfork to “comb” your beds before you plant in spring, suggests an Organic Gardening reader. Work the soil until it’s sufficiently loose for planting, then go over the entire area with a pitchfork, stabbing into the ground and levering it back toward the soil’s surface. The tines of the fork will catch any buried grass roots, which you can then remove by hand. This technique has removed about 90 percent of the grasses from a reader’s market garden in Texas.

Photo: (cc) Con O'Brien

Become a mulching maniac.
Deprive weeds of the light they need by covering bare soil with a thick layer of grass clippings, shredded leaves, pine needles, or other organic mulch. Any survivors that do manage to penetrate the mulch usually are so weak that you can easily remove them by hand.

Photo: (cc) Hard Working Hippy/Flickr

Cook ’em.
If you’ve got a large-scale weed problem, bake the plants beneath a sheet of clear plastic. For best results, wet the soil before you cover it with the plastic. Leave the plastic in place for at least 3 weeks—ideally, when the weather is hot and sunny. This method is especially effective against cool-season weeds and annual grasses.

Photo: Photodisc

Let lettuce help your peas.
Peas and other shallow-rooted crops can be damaged easily by cultivating the surrounding soil. That's why broad-leaved weeds can easily overtake them. So why not establish an edible, living mulch to fight the weeds and provide an extra early-season crop? Sow seeds of a fast-growing leaf lettuce thickly between young pea plants. The lettuce will outperform the weeds, and you can harvest the lettuce thinnings as you pick your peas.

Photo: (cc) Buck/Flickr

Squash pigweed.
If you're faced with a pugnacious patch of pigweed, fight back by planting a mixture of squash and buckwheat. The vigorous squash and quick-growing buckwheat will easily overtake the weeds. At the end of the season, harvest the squash, pull out the vines, and turn under the buckwheat. The buckwheat will add organic matter and nutrients to the soil for next year's crops.

Photo: (cc) PawPaw67/Flickr

Berry your weeds.
Use strawberries to smother weeds! These perennial fruits spread by runners and are vigorous enough to overcome many weeds—even in light shade. In mild-winter areas, such as Zone 9, they'll grow (and hold off weeds) all year long. Try growing them as a groundcover beneath blueberries and roses.

Photo: (cc) Amanda Slater/Flickr

Till ’em two times ...
In Maine’s chilly Zone 5, organic market gardener Eliot Coleman uses a tiller to battle redroot pigweed, the seeds of which can remain viable in the soil for years. Coleman runs the tiller through his beds as early as possible in spring to bring the weed seeds closer to the soil’s surface, where they can germinate. That’s right: Coleman encourages the weed seeds to sprout! Then, a week or two later, he tills a second time to clear the area of the young weeds before he plants his vegetables.

Photo: (cc) Pawel Loj

Keep Reading: 8 Weeds You Can Eat!
Source URL:


Iowa State team gets grant for biomass pretreatment research

Iowa State team gets grant for biomass pretreatment research
By Kris Bevill | May 17, 2012

Iowa State University's Song-Charng Kong, left, and Nicholas Creager examine a new bio-oil gasifier developed and built on campus. It is one of three projects getting funding from the Iowa Energy Center.

The Iowa Energy Center recently awarded three grants to research projects focused on improving thermochemical conversion of biomass to biofuels and renewable chemicals. The selected projects will receive one-year research and demonstration grants with negotiated renewal terms of up to three years. Projects will be conducted by research teams at Iowa State University’s Bioeconomy Institute.

The Iowa Energy Center, which is based in Ames, Iowa, and administered by Iowa State University, awards grants annually to projects that are designed to improve energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies in the state. “Part of the Iowa Energy Center’s mission is to develop alternate energy systems that are based on renewable resources,” said Chitra Rajan, interim director of the center and associate vice president for research at Iowa State. “And so we’re excited about these grants because they support studies of technologies that produce and use biorenewable fuels and products.”

One of the projects selected for funding will research pre-treatment methods that can improve the fermentation of inedible biomass-derived substrates when subjecting them to fast pyrolysis conversion methods. The project is eligible to receive up to $315,000 for three years and will be led by Laura Jarboe, assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering at Iowa State. The project will also include an economic analysis of the entire process to identify areas of improvement. “Our focus is on increasing the economic viability of this overall process so that the chemicals and fuels we produce will be economically competitive with petroleum-based products,” Jarboe said.

Red oak is being used as the model biomass for this project, but Jarboe said some research is also being conducted on corn stover. “There are many variables involved in our hybrid processing platform and at this time we are working mainly with the one biomass type,” she said. Eventually the team would like to expand its project to include other biomass types. The research project will experiment with a variety of chemical and biological pre-treatment processes, all targeting the contaminant compounds that currently inhibit the activity of biocatalysts used to ferment biomass during pyrolysis. One of the chemical pre-treatment methods proposed by Jarboe’s team is overliming, which Jarboe said has already been proven effective in decreasing hydrolysate toxicity. “In this manner, we can build on the results already established by cellulosic ethanol research,” she said. All of the pretreatment methods explored as part of the project will be considered in the team’s economic analysis.

Jarboe’s team includes Robert Brown, Anson Marston Distinguished Professor in Engineering and the Gary and Donna Hoover Chair in mechanical engineering, Zhiyou Wen, Iowa State associate professor of food science and human nutrition, Zhanyou Chi, research associate for the Center for Sustainable Environmental Technologies, and Shengde Zhou, assistant professor of biological sciences at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill.

Biofuel Breakthrough !!!
May 20, 2012
U.S. military looking at wood-based biofuels

In this video, UMaine faculty and student researchers demonstrate and discuss their major breakthrough in wood-based biofuels. The discovery could be an important key in making biofuels a viable alternative to traditional fuels.
The U.S. military is very interested in alternative fuels — in particular, the wood-based biofuels being researched and produced at the University of Maine. Three methods, or pathways, to producing biofuel for use in military jets are being explored by UMaine chemical and biological engineers affiliated with the university’s Forest Bioproducts Research Institute (FBRI). The pathways all aim to produce what are known as drop-in fuels — those that can be used easily in a number of fuel tanks and pipelines.

May 22, 2012

Stronger | Seattle Childrens Hospital | "HOPE"

Published on May 6, 2012 by rumsssauce

The hemoncology floor of Seattle Children's Hospital performs Kelly Clarkson's song "Stronger" NEW! Check out a quick behind the scenes clip of how the video was made

The Power of Networks - RSA Animate

Published on May 21, 2012 by theRSAorg

In this new RSA Animate, Manuel Lima, senior UX design lead at Microsoft Bing, explores the power of network visualisation to help navigate our complex modern world. Taken from a lecture given by Manuel Lima as part of the RSA's free public events programme. Listen to the full talk:

Our events are made possible with the support of our Fellowship. Support us by donating or applying to become a Fellow.

Become a Fellow:

Wonderful presentation on networks and how everything is interdependent... Monte

Hines Farm - Wild Fungi, Wild & Tame Animals

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Morel Mushrooms

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Wild Hen Turkey

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Tame Rouen Ducks playing their "mini wood pool"

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Tame Rouen Ducks foraging and fertilizing yard...

Hines Farm - Go Anywhere Water Collection, Transport, Distribution, and Irrigation System

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320 Gallons of Water being Transported to Area of Need

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Filling 320 gallon water tank from creek

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Eileen watering fresh planting of Crimson Clover

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Taking a break after irrigation completed...

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Portable water system allows timber landscape plantings, washing of freshly placed boulders, etc.

Wayne Water Systems VIP50 1/2 HP 2,500 GPH Submersible Utility Water Pump (
Submersible utility water pump can handle material up to 1/2-inch thick without getting clogged. Works excellent in getting high volume of water water from creek. It can pump 2500 gallons per hour, with a bottom suction that takes out water to within an eighth of an inch of the surface.  1 1/4in. discharge is also adaptable to garden hose thread.

Portable Utility Pump
Harbor Freight, Pacific Hydrostar - Item#65836
120 ft. lift capacity.Max. flow rate: 1500 GPH/25 GPM
Brass standard water hose connections
Cast iron pump body
Easily maintains high volume of water to two 3/4" Garden hoses at 50 psi

Related Links:

May 21, 2012

A Twenty-One Protest Song Salute |

May 18, 2012

Singer and activist Tom Morello says it’s his job as a musician “to steel the backbone of people on the front lines of social justice struggles, and to put wind in sails of those struggles.” Here’s a list of 21 songs that have done just that — from Woody Guthrie’s This Land is Your Land to Public Enemy’sFight the Power.

Submit your own song suggestions in the comments below. If you have protest songs of your own on YouTube, include links to them or tag them “moyersprotestsongs”.

[Warning to parents and teachers: Some songs contain profanity. Also, Moyers & Companyand Public Affairs Television do not endorse any advertisements or promotional links contained within the embedded videos.]

Which Side Are You On, Florence Reece (1931)
Strange Fruit, Billie Holiday (1939)
This Land Is Your Land, Woody Guthrie (1940/1944)
We Shall Overcome, sung here by Joan Baez (traditional)
Folsom Prison Blues, Johnny Cash (1955)
A Change is Gonna Come, Sam Cooke (1964)
Times They Are A-Changing, Bob Dylan (1964)
Compared to What? Les McCann and Eddie Harris (1969)
Fortunate Son, Creedence Clearwater Revival (1969)
Give Peace A Chance, John Lennon (1969)
John Lennon – Give Peace A Chance by hushhush112

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised Gil Scott-Heron (1970)
Ohio; Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young (1970/1974)
What’s Going On, Marvin Gaye (1971)
Get Up, Stand Up , Bob Marley (1973)
Zombie, Fela Kuti (1977)
F— tha Police, N.W.A (1988)
Fight the Power, Public Enemy (1989/1990)
The Ghost of Tom Joad, Bruce Springsteen, featuring Tom Morello (1995)
Clandestino Manu Chao, (1998)
Sleep Now in the Fire, Rage Against the Machine (1999)
American Idiot, Green Day (2004)

May 20, 2012

Soil Stories - The Whole Story - YouTube

Uploaded by Buzatesri on Jul 13, 2011

In "Soil Stories", our protagonist, Francine, embarks on a journey of discovery that begins with her realization that soil is alive and that without soil, life as we know would not exist. In her journey of discovery she meets with soil scientists who help her "see" beneath the surface of the soil and help her understand how diverse yet ordered soil bodies are in the landscape and how much work has been done in soil survey. In the second half of the story, Francine meets with characters that help her take an up close and personal look at some physical and biological attributes of soils without which they would not function. In the final part of the video, a character from history shares an epiphany about soils with Francine and translates this to modern terms.

"Soil Stories" was born out of a collaborative effort between ESRI-SC and SC NRCS. We (Buz Kloot and Pam Thomas) wanted to get all the information about soils across, but in a way that was engaging. While facts came easy, it's not always easy to be engaging on this subject. Until that is, when I (Buz Kloot) was at a ScienceFilm workshop with Jeff Morales and Colin Bates where I began to see that the story trumps all when making videos. Colin's advice to me one morning was "why don't you make a movie about people who have a relationship with the soil?" - well, the rest is history. Credit goes to so many and I have tried to acknowledge all at the end of the video, but I fear I may still have left some out. To those I apologize. This series along with other experiences of making video for the NRCS in the last three has changed the way I look at natural resources in general and more specifically, at soils . My profound thanks to all of the professionals in the NRCS and to the many land owners who have helped shape my thinking.