City shuts down preschool’s farm stand

Mother Nature Network – Sept 18, 2019 – MARY JO DILONARDO

‘It’s more than just selling 50 cent peppers. It’s connecting families and kids and food and the environment.’

Student farmers show off the lettuce they’ve grown. (Photo: Linden Tree Photography/Little Ones Learning Center)

At Little Ones Learning Center in Forest Park, Georgia, outside of Atlanta, the young students do typical preschool things. They work on spelling and draw interesting creations, but they also get to play and learn in an amazing garden.

The garden originally started as an outdoor learning environment for kids who needed to get out in nature for a little bit.

“It was a place for children who were having hard days,” Little Ones Executive Director Wande Okunoren-Meadows tells MNN. “I know I go stir crazy if I’m sitting indoors for a long period of time. ‘You’re having a hard time inside? Let’s go outside, play in the dirt and find some worms.'” 

Eventually parents got involved and the garden truly bloomed. Now kids grow squash, beans, radishes, bell peppers, watermelons and all sorts of greens, while also learning how to compost. Then on the first and third Wednesday of the month, they set up a produce stand where they sell their homegrown fruits and vegetables to parents and people in the community. Farmers from the West Georgia Co-Op also bring produce to help supplement what’s offered at the small stand.

The school is located in parts of Clayton County, an area where many people can’t afford fresh produce, so they offer steep discounts (two-for-one) when customers use food stamps.

‘It’s like shutting down a kid’s lemonade stand’

Student farmers at Little Ones Learning Center work in the school garden. (Photo: Linden Tree Photography/Little Ones Learning Center.)

The garden-to-farm-stand movement helps the kids learn about the environment and love their vegetables while also assisting the community.

“It’s more than just selling 50 cent peppers,” the school posted on Facebook. “It’s a wellness movement. It’s connecting families and kids and food and the environment.”

Okunoren-Meadows points out that the school isn’t located in a food desert; she says it’s more like a food swamp.

“What’s available is crap. It’s lots of tomatoes that look like they’re on steroids. The cucumbers are humongous. When a child is looking at one of our carrots, they say, ‘It’s so tiny, what’s wrong with it?'” she says.

“We have to tell them that what they’re seeing in the store isn’t normal. There’s the whole education piece and teaching them to be environmentally aware. There’s learning patience and being appreciative. It touches on so many things. It’s about getting healthy food into the community, but so much more.”

But in early August, the city shut down the farm stand, saying the residential area wasn’t zoned for selling produce.

“Anywhere you live, you’ve got to have rules and regulations,” Forest Park City Manager Angela Redding told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Otherwise, you would just have whatever.”

School administrators were surprised when they were asked to close up shop.

“It’s like shutting down a kid’s lemonade stand,” Okunoren-Meadows says. “Nobody does this. It just shouldn’t happen.”

Hoping to change the rules

Students grew this produce for sale at the Little Ones’ farm stand. (Photo: Linden Tree Photography/Little Ones Learning Center)

The kid farmers and their teachers have been forced to move their organic fruits and veggies inside, where the lower visibility has meant a big drop in sales.

Hoping this will be a temporary setback, the school administrators and parents have led a call to city officials to change the rules.

Okunoren-Meadows went to a City Council meeting in early September where she and more than two dozen supporters asked leaders to amend the law while speaking about the importance of the program.

So far, the city has only offered to allow the school to sell its produce in a different city-owned location. But it’s outside the school’s neighborhood, away from the community school leaders want to serve. The school also was offered the chance to pay $50 for a “special event” permit each time it opens the farm stand.

The city argues that if it changes the ordinance, there could be a farm stand on every corner. Okunoren-Meadows highly doubts that would happen but, if it did, that would be a good thing.

She says that the school only sells about $150 worth of produce each time the stand opens. After paying school employees for their time, the stand loses money selling 50-cent apples and 50-cent tomatoes.

“We don’t generate any income off it. It’s a labor of love,” she says.

She suggests that perhaps the city could make exemptions in the farm stand ordinance for educational facilities. Although no decision has been reached, she’s optimistic that the farm stand will be back up and running soon.

“According to the United Way, Clayton County has the lowest child well-being index out of all the metro Atlanta counties,” Okunoren-Meadows says. “So if we’re trying to move the needle and figure out ways to improve well-being, I’m not saying the farm stand is the only way to do it, but Little Ones is trying to be part of the solution.”


World’s Easiest No-Knead Sandwich Bread using a Poor Man’s Dutch Oven – Video 6 min

artisanbreadwithsteve – Aug 7, 2015 – Video 6 min

Looking for a Dutch oven that will shape sandwich bread… no problem… use a “poor man’s Dutch oven”. Bread making doesn’t get any easier than this… no mixer or bread machine (I’ll make it in a glass bowl with the handle end of a plastic spoon)… no-kneading (Mother Nature will do the kneading for me)… “hands-free” technique (that’s right… I won’t even touch the dough)… no shaping (I’ll let the “poor man’s Dutch oven” shape the loaf for me). It doesn’t get any easier than this.


Homemade YOGURT [NO MACHINE ⚙️ and NO Electricity ⚡ REQUIRED] – Video 8 min

Yannick Lescure – Feb 26, 2018 – Video 8 min

Hi rebellious cooks, in this video I show you how to make your yogurt at home without a machine (electric yogurt maker) based on the principle of the “haybox”. Bon appetite 😃 Some reading Detailed recipe… Yogurt pots

If you want to translate this video in your language, just click on this link… English subtitles source files here…#yannicklescure


We Need Biodiversity-Based Agriculture to Solve the Climate Crisis

Truthout – Sept 22, 2019 – Vandana Shiva

We can repair the Earth’s ruptured carbon cycle by recarbonizing it with the living carbon of biodiversity.

The Earth is living, and also creates life. Over 4 billion years the Earth has evolved a rich biodiversity — an abundance of different living organisms and ecosystems — that can meet all our needs and sustain life.

Through biodiversity and the living functions of the biosphere, the Earth regulates temperature and climate, and has created the conditions for our species to evolve. This is what NASA scientist James Lovelock found in working with Lynn Margulis, who was studying the processes by which living organisms produce and remove gases from the atmosphere. The Earth is a self-regulating living organism, and life on Earth creates conditions for life to be maintained and evolve.

The Gaia Hypothesis, born in the 1970s, was a scientific reawakening to the Living Earth. The Earth fossilized some living carbon, and transformed it into dead carbon, storing it underground. That is where we should have left it.

All the coal, petroleum and natural gas we are burning and extracting to run our contemporary oil-based economy was formed over 600 million years. We are burning up millions of years of nature’s work annually. This is why the carbon cycle is broken.

A few centuries of fossil fuel-based civilization have brought our very survival under threat by rupturing the Earth’s carbon cycle, disrupting key climate systems and self-regulatory capacity, and pushing diverse species to extinction at 1000 times the normal rate. The connection between biodiversity and climate change is intimate.

Extinction is a certainty if we continue a little longer on the fossil fuel path. A shift to a biodiversity-based civilization is now a survival imperative.

Take the example of food and agriculture systems. The Earth has roughly 300,000 edible plant species, but the contemporary global human community eats only 200 of them. And, according to the New Scientist, “half our plant-sourced protein and calories come from just three: maize, rice and wheat.” Meanwhile, only 10 percent of the soy that is grown is used as food for humans. The rest goes to produce biofuels and animal feed.

Our agriculture system is not primarily a food system, it is an industrial system, and it is not sustainable.

The Amazon rainforests are home to 10 percent of the Earth’s biodiversity. Now, the rich forests are being burned for the expansion of GMO soy crops.

The most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on land and climate highlights how the climate problem begins with what we do on land.

We have been repeatedly told that monocultures of crops with intensive chemical inputs of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides are necessary for feeding the world.

While using 75 percent of the total land that is being used for agriculture, industrial agriculture based on fossil fuel-intensive, chemical-intensive monocultures produce only 30 percent of the food we eat, while small, biodiverse farms using 25 percent of the land provide 70 percent of the food. Industrial agriculture is responsible for 75 percent of the destruction of soil, water and biodiversity of the planet. At this rate, if the share of fossil fuel-based industrial agriculture and industrial food in our diet is increased to 40 percent, we will have a dead planet. There will be no life, no food, on a dead planet.

Besides the carbon dioxide directly emitted from fossil fuel agriculture, nitrous oxide is emitted from nitrogen fertilizers based on fossil fuels, and methane is emitted from factory farms and food waste.

The manufacture of synthetic fertilizer is highly energy-intensive. One kilogram of nitrogen fertilizer requires the energy equivalent of 2 liters of diesel. Energy used during fertilizer manufacture was equivalent to 191 billion liters of diesel in 2000 and is projected to rise to 277 billion in 2030. This is a major contributor to climate change, yet largely ignored. One kilogram of phosphate fertilizer requires half a liter of diesel.

Nitrous oxide is 300 times more disruptive for the climate than carbon dioxide. Nitrogen fertilizers are destabilizing the climate, creating dead zones in the oceans and desertifying the soils. In the planetary context, the erosion of biodiversity and the transgression of the nitrogen boundary are serious, though often-overlooked, crises.

Thus, regenerating the planet through biodiversity-based ecological processes has become a survival imperative for the human species and all beings. Central to the transition is a shift from fossil fuels and dead carbon, to living processes based on growing and recycling living carbon renewed and grown as biodiversity.

Organic farming — working with nature — takes excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, where it doesn’t belong, and puts it back in the soil where it belongs, through photosynthesis. It also increases the water-holding capacity of soil, contributing to resilience in times of more frequent droughts, floods and other climate extremes. Organic farming has the potential of sequestering 52 gigatons of carbon dioxide, equivalent to the amount needed to be removed from the atmosphere to keep atmospheric carbon below 350 parts per million, and the average temperature increase of 2 degrees centigrade. We can bridge the emissions gap through ecological biodiversity-intensive agriculture, working with nature.

And the more biodiversity and biomass we grow, the more the plants sequester atmospheric carbon and nitrogen, and reduce both emissions and the stocks of pollutants in the air. Carbon is returned to the soil through plants.

The more we grow biodiversity and biomass on forests and farms, the more organic matter is available to return to the soil, thus reversing the trends toward desertification, which is already a major reason for the displacement and uprooting of people and the creation of refugees in sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East.

Biodiversity-based agriculture is not just a climate solution, it is also a solution to hunger. Approximately 1 billion people are permanently hungry. Biodiversity-intensive, fossil-fuel-free, chemical-free systems produce more nutrition per acre and can feed more people using less land.

To repair the broken carbon cycle, we need to turn to seeds, to the soil and to the sun to increase the living carbon in the plants and in the soil. We need to remember that living carbon gives life, and dead fossil carbon is disrupting living processes. With our care and consciousness we can increase living carbon on the planet, and increase the well-being of all. On the other hand, the more we exploit and use dead carbon, and the more pollution we create, the less we have for the future. Dead carbon must be left underground. This is an ethical obligation and ecological imperative.

This is why the term “decarbonization,” which fails to make a distinction between living and dead carbon, is scientifically and ecologically inappropriate. If we decarbonized the economy, we would have no plants, which are living carbon. We would have no life on earth, which creates and is sustained by living carbon. A decarbonized planet would be a dead planet.

We need to recarbonize the world with biodiversity and living carbon. We need to leave dead carbon in the ground. We need to move from oil to soil. We need to urgently move from a fossil fuel-based system to a biodiversity-based ecological civilization. We can plant the seeds of hope, the seeds of the future.

This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 220 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story.


On Contact: Future of the Amazon rainforest – Sonia Bone Guajajara – Video 28 min

RT America – On Contact – Sept 21, 2019 – Video 28 min

Host Chris Hedges talks to Sonia Bone Guajajara, leader of 300 indigenous ethnic groups in Brazil, about the future of the Amazon rainforest, its people, climate change, and the competing goals of agro business, multinational corporations, and the policies of conservative Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.


Commentary on Canadian Government foreign policies with the LIMA group which includes Brazil…

Unifor aligns with Liberal foreign policy instead of international solidarity

by Yves Engler – Aug 19, 2019

Tim Hortons and Coca Cola received Federal licence allowing for sole source U.S. milk

Press Release: Council of Canadians, Cobourg and Peterborough, Ontario – Sept 16, 2019

An investigation carried out over the summer by the Northumberland Chapter of the Council of Canadians (CofC) backed by the CofC’s Peterborough-Kawarthas Chapter, has uncovered a corporate end-run around Canada’s Supply Management system for dairy. The epicentre of this national-level scheme is the city of Peterborough along with the ridings of Peterborough-Kawartha and Northumberland-Peterborough South.

This corporate maneuver involves Tim Hortons (TH is Brazilian owned) as well as Coca Cola and fairlife (both U.S. owned), which in 2018 surprisingly received a federal distribution licence allowing for sole-sourced U.S. milk to be used in Tim Hortons’ bottled ice coffee products sold in corner stores, supermarkets and gas bars across Canada [not to be confused with the use of 100% Canadian milk in TH’s coffee shops].

This corporate end-run is currently preventing Canadian dairy farmers from having greater market access for their milk. A Coca Cola/fairlife milk processing plant under construction in Peterborough could provide that access for local farmers once it is in operation in 2020, but there have been no firm commitments from these companies. 

The average Canadian consumer might assume that milk in TH bottled ice coffees currently distributed by Coca Cola/fairlife would have the same level of purity as milk under Canada’s regulated dairy system, but they would be mistaken. Via TH’s bottled ice coffees Canadians are (unknowingly?) consuming a milk product from the U.S. where the laws governing the use of antibiotics and growth hormones on cows are lax.

The Canadian government made major concessions on dairy in the NAFTA 2:0 negotiations, and this end-run represents an early beach-head example presaging more difficult times ahead for Canada’s farmers should the ‘new’ NAFTA be ratified.

A dissatisfied U.S. Congress has now opened up NAFTA 2:0 for further negotiation and Canada should do the same to reverse the damaging concessions made on dairy.

In a detailed letter two local Chapters of the Council of Canadians ask both MPs to:

>Get a guarantee from the three corporations to sole-source milk for the Peterborough plant from local dairy farmers;

>Requisition a copy of the 2018 federal distribution licence, and make it public;

>Show leadership in re-opening NAFTA 2:0 and ‘walking-back’ dairy concessions.


Note: For a version of the detailed letter delivered to Forthe MPs –