Friday, 28 February 2014 15:26
By Tina Wright
For Cayuga Pure Organics, an important local supplier of organic dried beans and grains to GreenStar, there is good news and bad news right now. Erick Smith, owner-operator of the Brooktondale farm, is grateful for the great response to their fund-raising campaign following the accidental fire that destroyed their beanery building last spring. They raised over $80,000 on a crowd-sourcing site and other community members, fans, and local foodies chipped in another $50,000. Smith said, "It was short of our goal but we are amazed at what people are helping us with."
In the past six years, GreenStar has carried CPO's pinto, Red Merlot, navy, kidney, Jacob's Cattle, and cranberry beans; on the grain side, live oats, freekeh, hard red winter wheat; and seasonally, farro, rye, barley, sunflower seeds, popcorn, spring wheat, soft wheat, and spelt.
The other good news is that a brand-new beanery and grain mill has risen from the ashes. Using a unique building method to achieve net-zero energy costs, with no heating or cooling needed, the new building will be super-insulated on top and three feet into the ground, which will keep the indoor temperature a good 40-50 degrees even in winter because of heat stored in the ground. Sustainable Tompkins has just announced a modest award to the farm for their contribution to climate health. CPO wants the building someday to be a showcase and model for others.
Friday, 28 February 2014 15:34
By Joe Romano,
Hey farmer, farmer, put away that DDT now.
Give me spots on my apples,
But LEAVE me the birds and the bees — Please!
Don't it always seem to go That you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone.
— Joni Mitchell, Big Yellow Taxi
Remember the bee problem? Einstein is famously quoted as having said what Maurice Maeterlinck actually said in his 1901 treatise, The Life of the Bee: "If the bee disappeared off the face of the earth, man would only have four years left to live."
In 2010, the USDA reported that their data on honeybee losses for that year indicated an estimated 34 percent loss, with similar losses reported in each of the previous three years. That is an enormous loss of bees, and now it is four years later. 2013 is recorded as the worst year — ever — for honey production.
Similarly, the US Fish and Wildlife Service reports that as many as 91 bird species are threatened or on the verge of extinction, many of them migratory or waterfowl species.
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