U.S. growers can’t keep up with consumer demand for organic and non-GMO grains

Walmart misrepresents products as Organic - againA growing number of consumers are looking for healthier choices, particularly when it comes to grains. According to a new report from CoBank, a $120 billion cooperative bank that provides loans, leases, export financing and other financial services to agribusinesses and rural power, water and communications providers in all 50 states increased consumer demand for organic and non-GMO foods. This led to a sharp rise in organic grain imports in 2016, prompting food manufacturers to explore new incentives for U.S. growers transitioning to organic production.

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Recycle that old (unused) cell phone today on National Phone Recycling Day

old-cell-phonesLet’s face it. Almost everyone has at least one old cell phone stuck in a drawer or cabinet somewhere just gathering dust. A lot of us have a few of them – think small flip phones and other such analog devices. As of last 2015, there were roughly 426 million idle or inactive mobile devices in the U.S. Only 100 million would be recycled.

We hang onto them for no good reason other than we forget about them. But why not do something constructive and recycle them?

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We can come together as a Nation – and our future depends on it

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I had stepped away from posting for these past few weeks for a variety of reasons. These included family responsibilities as well as other factors.

But one big reason – and the thing that had me finally take to the keyboard again – is seeing so much divisiveness and negativity continuing long after the election. We’re only days away from the new President from taking office and still there are polls calling for a special election, celebrities saying how they’re flaunting the inauguration, racial incidents occurring across the country and a pervasive atmosphere of fear and uncertainty that spills out in practically every conversation, article and news item you see, read or hear.

Although I risk being lambasted (at best) by readers and critics alike for what I’m about to offer, still I feel it’s important that it be said.

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New York City’s Lowline striding forward to becoming reality

The Lowline - a former trolley area that will be transformed into a unique underground park

The Lowline – a former trolley area that will be transformed into a unique underground park

New York City is famous for many things – Radio City Music Hall, the Statue of Liberty and, for those in the know, the High Line. This last is an above-ground park on the city’s West side that stretches from its original 14th to 20th Streets now extends to 30th Street.

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San Francisco’s recycling center gets a upgrade in time for the holidays

Recology logoSan Francisco is known for many things, the Golden Gate Bridge among them. But its San Francisco’s recycling efforts that have brought this amazing city into the national spotlight.

In 2002, the City by the Bay passed legislation that set a goal of  diverting 75 percent of its waste from landfills by 2010 and achieving “zero waste” by 2020. And so began its composting and food waste collection program.

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26 Puget Sound (Washington) cities to plant cloned Coastal Redwood trees

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Trees are vital to life. They provide oxygen, store huge amounts of carbon and provide critical habitat and food for wildlife. Yet the world’s forests are dying. In California alone, over 100 million of them have died due to climate change related factors, to say nothing of the scourge of clear cutting that’s decimating our forest land.

But there are rays of hope.

In Washington state, twenty-six Puget Sound cities are planting sapling clones of Coast Redwoods – among the oldest, largest, most iconic trees on earth.

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Farmers, Ranchers, the Railroad and Water: How the (Rio Grande) Valley was Built

Editor’s Note:  

If you’ve been following this blog for some time, you may remember reading about a cross-country move a few months back. Moving from Northern California to South Texas was a major change in cultures as well as states. It’s necessitated learning about the environmental issues (of which there are many), the climate (dramatically different), how to garden here (different climate means different viruses, etc.), and even language challenges (mine).

It’s also meant diving back into Texas history. Being Texas-born, I learned a great deal of Texas history growing up. Amazingly, in Texas, we learned ONLY Texas history until high school, where we were introduced to world history – a big eye opener!

But here is a glimpse of the history of the area where I grew up and now live again. The research was fascinating. Hope you enjoy my latest story which appeared in the November/December 2016 issue of AgMag Magazine.

Irrigation in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas

Irrigation in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas

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