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Our homestead, Our links

Month: August, 2007

Local Food Rising

by Scott Smith

I saw an article about this a while ago, and the topic resurfaced the Washington Post (stop me if I’m repeating myself). This is one of those ideas that is going to fuel the backlash against the local food movement. You know, all of those writers/bloggers who are talking about the high cost of local food – lambs that can be raised more efficiently in New Zealand, heating greenhouses with fossil fuels just to call it local, etc. While I understand what the critics are saying, I think that they are missing the point of “local.” Local shouldn’t just be about where it’s grown. I don’t think proponents of local food are saying that we should get to eat whatever we want whenever we want all season long. My personal take on the grass roots local food movement is that we should not only eat locally, but seasonally.
High Rise Farm of the Future
So, back to the article… I wonder if anyone has done a study on just how much energy it is going to take to produce these high rise farms and what they will smell like. To me, it reeks of corporate farming… just more of the same especially where animal husbandry comes into play. Any thoughts?

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Fun for September

by Scott Smith

There’s lots of local food fun going on in Michigan this coming September.

I might just have to drag the family to Harvest Fest on the 23rd. It’s put on at Tillers International in Scotts, Michigan. I was sure I had blogged about Tillers International before, but apparently I was mistaken. Anyway, they have a huge array of classes you can take including blacksmithing, soap making, bee keeping… they even have a class called Fieldwork for Oxen and Horses! The best thing though, is that they offer internships. A fact I overlooked until now. Too bad I’m now gainfully employed or I could whip up an application and learn a ton of stuff at the low, low cost of the sweat of my brow.

Wall of Wind

by Scott Smith

Storms came one after another this past week. On Thursday, my friend Bill mentioned quite a breeze visited his house (he lives north of Chicago). He asked if it made its way here.

Yeah, I think it did, Bill.

Click a photo to start the slideshow.
Large branches crashed down, taking out the hoop.
The CRV got a couple of new dimples.
A power line to the mercury vapor light got whacked.
A whole lotta chain-sawing to be done.
wallwind5.jpg
That’s one ugly tree.

Thanks

by Scott Smith

Family snap

Thanks to all of you for your kind words.

Good News

by Scott Smith

Lake Michigan from Space

I signed an online petition, which is not really supposed to be an effective tool for change, however, I did get this update on BP and the Great Lakes:

On Thursday, CEO Bob Malone announced that BP was reversing its decision to increase dumping in Lake Michigan. This is a watershed moment for the Great Lakes and for all of us who have fought to protect and preserve Lake Michigan.

I’m not going to post the entire e-mail because I don’t want to give the impression that I support any particular political party or that I believe that the two politicians who organized the petition deserve as much credit as they are claiming. Whatever changed BP’s mind, I’ll take it and be happy about it.

Heart-shaped Pillow

by Scott Smith

I still can’t shake the anger.

Heart-shaped Pillow

I remember first walking into CCU (Cardiac Care Unit) at Rogue Valley Medical Center. Disturbing. I’m not sure anyone in the unit wasn’t on a respirator, wasn’t connected to a myriad of machines — just like my father.

The next day, I’d see these same patients sitting up, clutching a heart-shaped pillow. Their eyes were hollow and bodies recovering from what I can’t even imagine.

My father never did have that moment. This is not anger directed at the staff — he couldn’t have asked for better care. It may be a sports cliche, but the CCU staff left it all on the field.

I’m mad that I didn’t get to see him clutch his own pillow and greet me with that  gapped-tooth grin we share.

Flying with Tony and Carm

by Scott Smith

My father’s memorial service happened last Wednesday, and then I was on a plane back home via Las Vegas. Midnight in Las Vegas should be fun: gambling and drinking water-downed Beam and Diets. Instead, I waited for the flight to Chicago. I was exhausted.

It had been more than 10 years since I’d been an air traveler. One thing never changes — even now that I’m not so wide — you want a skinny girl sitting next to you. I lucked out and a woman not more than a 100 pounds and five feet tall had the center seat. Her boyfriend, a Chicago guy who looked like a TV version of a Chicago guy had the aisle seat.

Good, I thought, I can get some sleep before driving back to Hickory Corners, Michigan.

The Chicago guy had a toothache. He moaned as he downed several rum and cokes.

He was a mean drunk.

An hour in, they started to fight. First, they kept their voices low. Then something happened (I have no clue what), decorum disappeared. She curled into a ball and he ranted. She would spar with him, call him a drunk. He responded with coke whore, crack whore.

I realized I was now sitting next to the Sopranos’ Tony and Carm (think seasons four and five). He breathed like Tony and he was just as big.  What would you do? Me, I turned toward the window and wished the flight attendants would take care of the problem.

The Chicago guy left his seat. I felt bad for her. But I said nothing.

Fifteen minutes later, he returned. Here I thought the attendants had done their job and separated the two. No, the fine folks of US Airways did nothing to end the battle.

The battle escalated to slapping and screaming. This did not stop until we were at the gate.

It was the first time I thought pilots should have guns.

Having deplaned, I looked expectantly for the cops to meet Tony and Carm. No. Nothing. So, I’d like to thank US Airways for making my first flight in 10 years an absolutely miserable experience. I look forward to reading that you’ve entered bankruptcy and have no hope of coming back.

Nine Grandchildren

by Scott Smith

My dad in his favorite hat

A eulogy to my father.

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Suzi’s Eulogy

by Scott Smith

Dad with Keegan

Suzi’s eulogy to our father.

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My Father

by Scott Smith

Pops

My father died on Monday, 8/13/07.

Because it all happened so quickly, not many of his friends, and family members could make the service today. Suzi and I have decided to post our eulogies to this site. The posts will be available after 6:30 Eastern tonight.