Thursday, April 23, 2009

Well Stated Piece on Urban Chickens

Yes To Urban Chickens

By Gordon Smith

chicken-logo_centeredEggs are my favorite food. Versatile, delicious, and elegant, the humble egg is sold on store shelves for anywhere from $1.30 to $4 a dozen depending on whether you like your hens cage free and hormone free. I do. If you’ve ever tasted a farm fresh egg, you know that it’s superior to store bought. There are a lot of Asheville’s citizens who love their eggs, too, so much that they want to keep chickens in their urban yards. My own living situtation doesn’t allow for much in the way of urban agriculture, but I love being able to support those who are making it happen.

Urban agriculture saves practitioners money. Whether it’s your bountiful garden, your beehive, or your chickens - choosing to raise one’s own food is a simple, effective way to live less expensively and more sustainably. It increases a municipality’s food security, and it teaches self-reliance to neighbors.

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

new test page

this is the second try

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Friday, April 17, 2009

Local Currency thoughts

Someone asked what I had learned about local/alternative currency during the Asheville Currency Project in 2005.

Two answers:
A- As best my quickskim of Bill's link above seems to say that between 1863 and 1912, a bank could apply for a National Charter. If it got it, then it could print money. No idea what the qualifications, checks & balances were for this.
I wish had taken Econ 215 at UNCA [A study of commercial banking, the Federal Reserve System, the United States
Treasury, how money influences the economy, demand for money and monetary policy.
Prerequisite: ECON 101. Fall.] Maybe I should this fall.
B- When I was at the PLENTY annual meeting in Chapel Hill in Nov. 2005, it was held at the UNC-CH Currency Collection

I couldn't pull off getting the Curator, whose salary at that time included him the opportunity (and obligation?) to ....
lecture at various places in North Carolina about the collection, among other topics.
But we should bring him to Asheville.

And we should think about raising funds-- equal to, say, 0.5% of the CVB budget of 4.3 million-- this would be $20,000, to fund research into such an effort.
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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

If everyone told you to give up, would you?

If everyone told you to give up, would you?

The fourteen-acre community garden at 41st and Alameda in South Central Los Angeles is the largest of its kind in the United States. Started as a form of healing after the devastating L.A. riots in 1992, the South Central Farmers have since created a miracle in one of the country’s most blighted neighborhoods. Growing their own food. Feeding their families. Creating a community.

But now, bulldozers are poised to level their 14-acre oasis.

If everyone told you nothing more could be done, would you give up?

A new documentary, The Garden, follows the plight of the farmers, from the tilled soil of this urban farm to the polished marble of City Hall. Mostly immigrants from Latin America, from countries where they feared for their lives if they were to speak out, we watch them organize, fight back, and demand answers:

Why was the land sold to a wealthy developer for millions less than fair-market value? Why was the transaction done in a closed-door session of the LA City Council? Why has it never been made public?

And the powers-that-be have the same response: “The garden is wonderful, but there is nothing more we can do.”

If everyone told you nothing more could be done, would you give up?
* * *

The Garden has the pulse of verité with the narrative pull of fiction, telling the story of the country’s largest urban farm, backroom deals, land developers, green politics, money, poverty, power, and racial discord. The film explores and exposes the fault lines in American society and raises crucial and challenging questions about liberty, equality, and justice for the poorest and most vulnerable among us.
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