Monday, May 11, 2009

Food Control

I don't know if I mentioned it here before, but I was really worried about this happening. There's a movement afoot in the state legislature to prohibit imports of eggs into the state that weren't raised under conditions imposed by last election's Prop 2.

Damn. I was right again, although whether this effort will succeed remains to be seen.

So, voters in the state voted to raise the price of eggs, but at least some of us could still buy the cheaper eggs from out of state. Not if this effort succeeds. This is horrific example of big government control of one of the very foods people depend on for living as eggs are used in so many of the foods we eat, just like corn and sugar.

Food prices have already been climbing for some time and now we might not have any recourse but to buy more inexpensive foods being smuggled in from out of state.

Things do not look good in this state. I'm really thinking it's past time for a civil war. Then again, maybe this effort can be quashed by the courts declaring it as interfering with interstate commerce. I won't bet money on that, though.



At 7:50 AM, Blogger Carol said...

Civil war is rather an extreme reaction to the egg industry's issues, Fred.

At 7:54 AM, Blogger Fred said...

It's not just the egg restrictions. Government (and majority) repression is happening all around.

At 9:04 AM, Blogger Carol said...

Government repression?

At 9:15 AM, Blogger Fred said...

That might be the wrong choice of words. Here's one definition:

To put down by force, usually before total control has been lost; quell: repress a rebellion.Not sure that fits what I meant to say.

At 9:44 AM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

How much have egg prices increased since November? I haven't kept track.

At 9:51 AM, Blogger Fred said...

I don't know that the prices will be affected this soon. Seems to me there was some sort of grace period before farmers had to comply.

I was reading in the SR Press- Democrat a while back that the big egg farm in Petaluma ( the name escapes me right now) would be scaling back operations considerably. I think they said something about maybe closing, too. I'll have to see if I can find that article.

At 9:59 AM, Blogger Fred said...

The law doesn't take affect until 2015 according to this article.

I don't believe that's the same article I was thinking of, though.

At 2:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Past time for a civil war?

I don't plan to go into a new civil war until the federal government starts making plans to take away my slaves.

At 7:53 AM, Anonymous Alex Jones said...

Fred this has been going on for years. I suggest starting your own garden and start stocking up on storable food.

Also, you can listen to my radio show via the web for free. Just go to my site and scroll down to listen.

At 9:02 AM, Blogger Fred said...

True. They actually did a similar thing with milk years ago by requiring certain things be added to milk in order for it to be sold in California, thus the higher price we pay for milk.

As far as growing a vegetable garden, having been a hobby gardener for some time earlier on, I really question the economy of growing one's own food. Seems to me, with all the money I spent on seed and other gardening stuff, I might have been better off just buying vegetables at the store.

I suppose if you had enough land and managed it right, that might be cost effective.

At 11:05 AM, Anonymous Mr. Nice said...

I will agree that growing one's own food needs to be managed to be cost effective.

Timing is the key that separates $10/lbs backyard tomatoes from those which cost the producer $0.10/lbs. Seedings need to be thinned, grown for 4 to 8 weeks, and hardened off before the last frost and planted without waiting for that sunny day which never comes. Transplanting is better done on miserable days anyway as it causes less shock.

Another key practice is soil testing. It is much cheaper to send off for a $20 soil test or even drop $200 on a professional soil test kit (which will last years) than it is to correct deficiencies based on things like blossom end rot.

It is also good to test your compost before amending soil with it. Sometimes the bottom of a compost pile can be far too high in nitrogen or have too high/low of pH to be usable without correction. A soil test will determine this.

Humboldt does have a great climate for the backyard gardener. The many successful gardens in the area are testament to the possibilities of our climate.

And yes, some crops will never be cheaper than the grocery store. I can grow greens, tomatoes, and broccoli for pennies on the dollars vs. a grocery store, but I can't beat their price on things like corn... I blame the climate for my inability to grow corn. I've tried that "ecocorn" too, no dice. I always end up growing earwigs... maybe you have some tips?

At 1:07 PM, Blogger Fred said...

I can grow greens, tomatoes, and broccoli for pennies on the dollars vs. a grocery store, but I can't beat their price on things like corn....

Tomatoes were one thing I think I came out ahead on, even here in the middle of Eureka. I usually had to deal with Early and Late Blight, but if I caught it soon enough I could keep it under control. I grew a couple varieties that seemed to do well here: Cascade Early and Northern Delight.

Cascade Early is reputed to be resistant to blight and it seemed to be to me. They'd get it, but it wouldn't kill the plant in just a few days as happens with other varieties.

Problem was, no matter how early they're supposed to ripen, according to the catalogs, it would usually take well into August to get the first tomatoes no matter how early I planted them.

I knew a guy years ago that grew huge tomatoes in a funky little greenhouse he made. That's what you need for reliable tomatoes up here.

Broccoli was one of my regulars but was something that just didn't seem to work year round, even up here. As soon as the weather warmed up the plants seemed to go to seed too fast. I had success in the spring but, truth be told, I probably only successfully harvested 8 plants a year with the space I had to work with. With the price of a packet of seeds getting higher every year, I thought it would probably make more sense just to buy broccoli at the store. But, if you had a lot of room and wanted to grow a whole bunch of it, it might well be cost effective.

Corn I had little success with. I'd grow the small Early Sunglow plants in 4x8' raised beds. I believe that was around 32 plants, not enough to be assured of self- pollination. I tried hand pollinating but, over the years I tried growing corn, I think I only got one decent harvest where most were pollinated well enough. It was nice when we actually got some good mature ears, though.


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