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… to a new url!

Hi everyone. The time has come. I finally got around to moving this blog over to fishinthewater.net. It is the exact same blog- and just about everything seems to have transferred nicely- so never fear! You will continue to get the same jumbled up mix of rants, thoughts, and pictures of food over on the new site. Now I just have an easier url to type. Alas, fishinthewater.com was already taken by some kind of weird research site, so I got stuck with .net, but what are you going to do? This is the way of the world. The new site has some exciting features, and allows me to actually put money making things on the blog (no ads, just paypal and amazon). So all around pretty exciting.

I don’t have the subscribe button working yet on the new site, so I hope the subscribers will bear with me as I get it figured out, and will follow me over to the new digs!

All the best,
fishinthewater

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DIY Times Twelve

OMG.
Farm Hack

Since I deprived you of any rants or thoughtful thoughts today, here’s a link to a site that looks to be rife with them. Give it some time to develop, as its a new site created by the National Young Farmer’s Coalition. The concept is to share DIY farm projects from young farmers all over the country, who are struggling to get by and often come up with creative ways to turn trash to treasure to get by on the farm. Its kind of like a farm version of the how-to portion of the Etsy blog, or one of my other favorites, Offbeat Bride. Ms. clickclack is also famous for her DIY projects. We came by it honestly, as everyone in our family is crafty, not to mention that our parents used to take us dumpster diving when we were kids. DIY, if you aren’t familiar with the concept, stands for Do-It-Yourself, and is kind of a popular movement that those of us who love making things, being creative, and shopping at cheap-o vintage stores subscribe to. DIY is also the love of dumpster divers everywhere. People throw out so much usable, amazing stuff, that can be totally turned into something usable: with just a little DIY love.

Check it out, get some ideas, post some of your own!

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More on Raw Milk

Real Raw Milk Facts
This is a fascinating little website, built by lawyers who specialize in food poisoning cases. Its intriguing that one of the cases they refer to regularly, the one in California in 2006, where six children came down with E. Coli 157 poisoning, is also the one where they never found the same strain of E. Coli on the farm where they all got their milk. If you read the CDC case on the incident, you will also notice that they never confirmed that any of the patients became ill from raw milk- just that they had all consumed raw milk in the past week (as did the rest of their families, so very odd that they were the only ones in their families to fall ill).

I’m not going to deny that there can be contamination in raw milk. There can be. There can be contamination in anything though. The issue is that the FDA and CDC are not always able to establish linkages- in fact, in a lot of cases, the families come forward and say they are pretty sure their children got sick from something other than the milk- but those cases are still used to keep raw milk illegal. The association is enough for them. If I go out for dinner tonight, and get food poisoning tomorrow, chances are they would claim I had gotten sick from the raw milk I drank for breakfast this morning (rather than from the restaurant last night). There is a predisposition to blame raw milk for all ills.

My other big problem with this website (but don’t say I don’t show you the other side!), is that they seem to claim raw milk is inherently dangerous because farms are inherently dirty. No fricking shit. Farms have dirt on them. Farms with cows have manure! My god! How could such a thing be? How could we be allowed to come into contact with such things! The horror.

As always, decide for yourself. I know I’m looking forward to a nice big glass of raw milk when I get home, however…

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Good morning! Sorry I haven’t been posting regularly. It’s that no-internet-at-home thing again.

So, on this beautiful (freezing) Friday morning, check out the latest raid on raw milk drinkers. This one is at a drop point- someone’s house. Nice move, Minnesota government.

There are two videos from customers of the raid. The agents from the Minnesota Dept. of Ag. ended up towing the entire truck of milk.

The Complete Patient: Minnesota Raw Milk Drinkers Better Get Over Their Shock
The Complete Patient: Confrontation Over Raw Milk in MN

I agree. It’s time to start getting arrested, because challenging this in court is the only way we’ll get the law changed.

Oh, and by the way, the “Food Safety” bill passed the house and is back to the senate. Holding our breath to see what happens next…

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I get these “green” catalogues in the mail at work, and every time I browse through one I keep thinking, wait, if people were being really environmental, wouldn’t they, I don’t know, NOT buy all the random crap in this catalogue? I mean, really, a wicker meditation chair? Are you kidding me?

I still wish we could all get back to just giving oranges and bottles of wine for Christmas. I mean, I love that my parents use Christmas as an opportunity to help me pay for things I can’t afford on my own (like my pressurized canner), but aside from that, I kind of wish I could declare a moratorium on gift giving ASIDE from small useful things. Like bottles of wine. The worst possible thing about Christmas is when people buy each other mountains of useless plastic crap that comes in even more useless plastic wrapping. With that in mind, I recently sent out the following email to the local food listserv I manage:

Looking for a few ideas for holiday gifts for the local foodie in your life? Rather than fill up their stockings with more gadgets that will get discarded after only a few months of use, why not introduce your family and friends to the joys of local foods?

· Give the gift of a CSA membership to a farm such as Colchester Farm in Galena or Homestead Farm in Millington. A year’s share offers several months of weekly vegetables.
· Give a gift subscription to St. Brigid’s Farm’s Medley of Meats program. A six month subscription will provide you with a once monthly share of grass-fed beef.
· Rather than having a box of steaks shipped from who knows where, try packing your own box with steaks from St. Brigid’s, Crow Farm, Cedar Run, or Sassafras River beef.
· Put together a gift basket of fresh produce from the farmers’ market, and add in other local favorites like honey, soaps, jams, or a fresh loaf of bread.
· Instead of a gift basket from Bath and Body Works, try assembling a basket from locally made soaps or herbal products like those from Calico Fields Lavender. You can even buy online!
· Give gift certificates to restaurants that serve local foods, such as Brooks Tavern, the Imperial Hotel, the Village Bakery, Two Tree Restaurant in Millington or the Harbor House in Worton. Or try a gift certificate to a natural food store that sells local products, such as Chestertown Natural Foods. There are many restaurants and stores carrying local products, so do your research. I wouldn’t say no to a gift certificate to the famed Woodberry Kitchen in Baltimore.
· For an extra special gift, consider a gift certificate to the Crow Farm B&B in Kennedyville. Stay in the beautiful, renovated historic farmhouse and take in the rural vistas while dining on fresh local foods!
· Remember to take a bottle of local wine or a six-pack of local beer to all your holiday gatherings, or give them as gifts! Bottles of specialty wines always make great gifts, especially for hostesses, and would be great paired with local cheese from Eve’s Cheese or Chapel Hill Creamery.
· Give cookbooks with a local food theme, such as the beautiful “Dishing Up Maryland” by Lucie Snodgrass. The book features profiles of many of the small family farms in Maryland, and then follows each with recipes from that farmer, using their products. Make sure you pick one up at a local book store!

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Survivor Man

Chronicle of Higher Education: The Cutting Edge of Prehistoric Technology

Man, he’s just so cool. I hope he’s on my team after the collapse. Love how my uncle gets a sideways reference! (he’s the graduate advisor!)

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Behold! I recorded another conversation with the Tolkien Professor, Corey Olsen. In this discussion, finally recorded after about four others that were probably more exciting but in which we failed to actually turn on the recorder, we discuss such thrilling topics such as anarchy, blowing things up, and the relative merits of presiding at parties. There are even a few mentions of food.

http://www.tolkienprofessor.com/lectures/chats.html

You can also subscribe to the Tolkien Professor on iTunes, where you will be able to hear our first conversation (on masters and servants) and my lecture on the environmental aspects of Tolkien.

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