North Carolina Factory Chicken Farmer Exposes Perdue’s Version of “Humanely Raised”

Fairmont, North Carolina chicken farmer Craig Watts watched Perdue corporation chairman Jim Perdue in a company promotional video a while back and was shocked by what he saw. “Doing the right thing is things like treating your chickens humanely,” said Perdue in the video. Watts, who raises over 700,000 chickens annually for the corporation, and…

Photographer Leslie Curchack’s 2015 Calendar – In Love With Earth – is Now Available

In Love With Earth: the 2015 Eco Calendar created by Petaluma photographer Leslie Curchack as a benefit for Daily Acts, is now available, just in time for the holidays and a new year. Visit Leslie’s website to purchase your copy – EarthLovingLens.com. In Sonoma County you can also pick up the Eco Calendar at Petaluma Market, Share Exchange, Copperfields,…

Happy Birthday to Anti-Imperialist & Satirist Mark Twain

Happy Birthday to anti-imperialist Mark Twain – born Samuel Langhorne Clemens on November 30, 1835.

As Twain told the New York Herald in October of 1900, after becoming more familiar with the Treaty of Paris and witnessing the U.S. war on the Philippines: “so I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land.”

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Making Iraq Safe for American Rice

A Brief Exploration of Contemporary Imperialism imperialism: noun – A policy of extending a country’s power and influence through colonization, use of military force or other means.  – Oxford Dictionary. Betsy Ward, president and CEO of the USA Rice Federation, was fuming recently when the Iraqi Grain Board (IGB) neglected, once again, to purchase American rice from…

Ursula Le Guin at National Book Awards: Capitalism Is Not Inescapable

According to NPR’s Petra Mayer, “the crowd went wild” over science fiction writer Ursula K. Le Guin’s impassioned defense of the genre’s place in American fiction at the National Book Awards on November 19. Le Guin went further, providing an otherwise sedate crowd with a stirring indictment of capitalism, suggesting we will need visionary writers…

U.S. Government Oil Forecasts “Wildly Optimistic” – Shale Revolution a Short-Term Bubble

We would do well to pause, and ponder both the data and implications presented in the Post Carbon Institute’s latest report, released a few days before Halloween, Drilling Deeper: A Reality Check On U.S. Government Forecasts for a Lasting Tight Oil & Shale Gas Boom. The PCI’s new report exposes current oil industry & Energy Department…

Grassroots Group Petaluma Tomorrow Asks Voters to Take a Deeper Look at Mike Harris

Local grassroots, public interest group, Petaluma Tomorrow, has published a detailed look into Petaluma City Councilman Mike Harris’s campaign to unseat David Glass as Mayor of Petaluma. The piece concludes by quoting the Press Democrat’s editorial on the campaign: “[Harris] has done little to distinguish himself as a leader on the council…” and “[Harris] fails…

Petaluma Councilmember Mike “Incremental Gains” Harris Has His Spinal Tap Moment

Petaluma Pete (a.k.a. John Maher of Maher Marketing), among everyone’s favorite ambassadors of our little big town, scored big-time this week after interviewing the 2014 mayoral candidates – City Councilmember Mike Harris and current Mayor David Glass – and posting the resulting video on YouTube. Pete came up with a clever means to get relatively…

Forty Years On, Wendell Berry’s “Culture of Agriculture” May Be More Important Than Ever

Forty years ago this month, Kentucky writer and farmer Wendell Berry traveled to Washington to address the “Agriculture for a Small Planet” symposium in Spokane. Invited to the West Coast to give voice to a “Labor Intensive Micro-Systems Viewpoint” – a phrase he promptly took issue with – Berry’s presentation eventually became the foundation of…

3rd Annual Petaluma Bounty Brews & Bites Benefit at the Lagunitas Beer Sanctuary, Tuesday July 15

Get your fine self down to the Lagunitas Beer Sanctuary Tuesday July 15 at 5:30 for Petaluma Bounty‘s 3rd Annual Brews and Bites, a benefit supporting Bounty and its innovative food access, education and nutrition programs. $20 for a salad, dinner catered by Rooster Run Events Center, dessert and a non-alcoholic drink. Your favorite Lagunitas beers…

Petaluma Grange Plays Host to a Farmers’ Bill of Rights Meeting with California State Grange Pres. Bob McFarland, June 23 at Lydia’s

Bay Area folks are invited to join us in Petaluma on June 23 for a discussion of a Farmers’ Bill of Rights. The growing California State Granges have, since 2012, been conducting meetings at Granges across the state to determine how best to support farmers, food producers and the rest of us in creating the…

The Pentagon’s Hemp Farm

Here’s a fascinating photo of USDA botanist Lyster Dewey, with his Arlington Farm hemp crop, on the site of what will later be the Pentagon.

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photo courtesy of the Hemp Industries Association

Join Joel Salatin – High Priest of the Pasture – at a Benefit for Tara Firma Farms on Saturday

Fellow Petaluma Grangers Tara & Craig Smith, founders of Tara Firma Farms, will be hosting the hilarious and inspiring Joel Salatin this Saturday at their farm on the I Street Extension in Petaluma. The event is a fundraiser for the Tara Firma Farms Institute. Salatin, of Polyface Farms in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, has in recent…

Richard Heinberg and The Purposely Confusing World of Energy Politics

Our neighbor over at Sebastopol’s Post Carbon Institute, Richard Heinberg, has posted an excellent new essay at Resilience.org that touches upon numerous facets of current political debates over energy, economic growth, and climate change. One aspect of the essay’s thesis in particular caught my attention: Political prejudices tend to blind us to facts that fail to fit…

The $350 Million That Wasn’t: The Press Democrat Manufactures Happy Headlines

The Press Democrat (PD) manufactures a happy headline about (our) benevolent capitalists giving schoolchildren big bucks A minor quibble with the North Bay’s largest paper, perhaps, but shouldn’t we, at a minimum, expect a PD headline to be accurate, not directly contradicted by the article it accompanies? The article in question appeared on Wednesday, February…

A Special Screening of Women On The Land at the San Francisco Art Institute, February 25

Here’s a screening coming soon of a beautiful documentary that deserves a much wider audience – Women On The Land – Creating Conscious Community – at the San Francisco Art Institute. This is one of the loveliest, most inspiring films I’ve ever seen. The film touches upon the work of several generations of women on the Northern…

Industrial Agriculture: A Recipe For Disaster

Achieving Truly Sustainable Food Security Only Possible Through Small-Scale Farming & Agroecological Methods, According to UN Report [originally published on the Petaluma Bounty blog in March 2011, the central themes of this piece are more important than ever in light of unimpeded climate change, economic collapse, fossil fuel depletion, poverty and hunger] The UN Special Rapporteur…

An Obesogenic Environment: Debunking the Myths Surrounding Obesity

Deborah Cohen, author of the recently-published A Big Fat Crisis: The Hidden Forces Behind the Obesity Epidemic and How We Can End It, is a senior natural scientist at the Rand Corporation. Dr. Cohen wrote an opinion piece for the Washington Post shortly after her book’s publication, detailing five common myths she wished to debunk, summarized here:…

Caesar Gang Boys Culling Chickens, Charleston West Virginia, 1921

Oct. 13, 1921. Charleston, West Virginia: Some of the “Caesar Gang” boys demonstrating how to cull chickens to improve quality and quantity of product. Under direction of J. A. Wolfram, County Agent, Webster Co. W. Va. State 4 H Fair. From the National Child Labor Committee Collection (NCLC) of the Library of Congress. Working as…

Get in the Know About GMOs – California Grange, Moms Across America and the Label GMOs Campaign Sponsor Expert’s Tour

Iowa family farmer, crop nutrition advisor, and co-author of a significant recent study on the effects of GMO feed upon pigs, is coming to the North Bay this week. Mr. Viegler will be speaking at four Sonoma County Granges next weekend, January 25 and 26. See flyer below for details. Also, be on the lookout…

New Press/Nueva Prensa, Issue #1 is Now Available at a North Bay News Stand Near You

Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is just public relations. – George Orwell Pick up your copy today at these locations (many more to come): Copperfield’s Sebastopol, Petaluma, and soon in San Rafael; Hardcore Coffee, Coffee Katz, Aqus Cafe, Lydia’s Sunflower Center, The Mail Depot

Obama’s Climate Change Envoy To Developing Nations: We’re Not Paying for Destroying Your Property, and You Can’t Make Us

U.S. Advocates Human & Property Rights Solely for Those Nations Who Have the Power to Demand Them Dean Baker, of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, took note this morning of the Obama Administration’s perverse rationale regarding the compensation of the poorer nations bearing the earliest and worst effects of climate change, as spelled…

Hormel Workers Won a Historic Victory – November 13, 1933

1933: Striking workers at the Hormel meatpacking facility warm themselves around a fire in Austin, Minnesota. Photo courtesy of Minnesota Historical Society. Click on image to enlarge.           On November 13, 1933, in what historians have suggested was the first officially-recorded sitdown strike in U.S. history, victorious workers at the Hormel…

Corporate America Wants the Trans-Pacific Partnership for Christmas This Year

In Secret Negotiations, U.S. Officials and Corporate Representatives Trade Our Human and Constitutional Rights for Corporate Profit When “Everything That’s Fit to Print” Doesn’t Include the Content of a Proposed Trade Agreement, Who Represents the Public Interest at the Bargaining Table? The New York Times – likely the most influential newspaper on the planet –…