Saturday, February 6, 2010

Winter Wonderland/Oily Food

26 inches of snow here at the farm! Twenty six!! So that's two incredible snow falls this Winter so far. Baltimore, which were near, is close or may have surpassed the record snowfall for a winter season. While we've been snowed in, I've started to read Barbara Kingsolver's book "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle." I wanted to share her insert in the book entitled "oily food". She writes, "Americans put almost as much fossil fuel into our refrigerators as our cars. We're consuming about 400 gallons of oil a year per citizen-about 17 percent of our nation's energy use-for agriculture, a close second to vehicular use. Tractors, combines, harvesters, irrigation, sprayers, tillers, balers, and other equipment all use petroleum. Even bigger gas guzzlers on the farm are not the machines, but the so-called inputs. Synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides use oil and natural gas as their starting materials, and in their manufacturing. More than a quarter of all farming energy goes into synthetic fertilizers. But getting the crop from seed to harvest takes only one-fifth of the total oil used for our food. The lion's share is consumed during the trip from the farm to your plate. Each food item in a typical U.S. meal has traveled an average of 1,500 miles! If every U.S. citizen ate just one meal a week (any meal) composed of locally and organically raised meats and produce, we would reduce our country's oil consumption by over 1.1 million barrels of oil every week. That's not gallons, but barrels. Becoming a less energy-dependent nation may just need to start with a good breakfast."

Another great book I've read this winter is "The Omnivore's Dilemma"

Seeds and plants are ordered for this season, more on what's going in the ground at Rousedale in the next blog.

Message to all....find a farmer!