Category Archives: News flash!

Coleslaw, anyone?


Meadow Zelenitz-McCracken, The Bozeman Chronicle, Jan. 14, 2012

I had to blink once or twice when I saw this photo in Saturday’s paper. I mean, that 65 pound monster was grown here in Bozeman. By a third grader. I bet it outweighs her.

You can read the article in the Bozeman Chronicle, or join me in my room, where you’ll find me sobbing under my bed. The aptly named Meadow grew not only the largest cabbage in this year’s Bonnie Plants Cabbage Program, but the largest ever grown in the program.

Clearly, Meadow has a great future as a gardener. Me, I’m going to retire.

A Recipe for Childhood Obesity

If you’re low on things to be mad about, I’ve got an article for you. But if your blood pressure is already high, maybe you should pass.

The article, which appeared in the N.Y. Times a couple of Sundays back (Dec. 3, 2011), describes how companies that provide food for school lunches are getting rich turning simple, healthy ingredients into junk food.  How can this be? In “How the Food Industry Eats Your Kid’s Lunch,” investigative reporter Lucy Komisar explains all, in an article packed with relevant stats and useful links. I’m giving no more than a summary here. Continue reading

Montana moments: corn growing in your what?

I dedicate this one to all my gardening fellows who know they've planted something in the wrong place, or to all those who have lost track of a seed or two: it could be worse. If you don't believe me, try this 1938 headline

“Lad grows corn in nostril; Doc plows it under.”

Yes, it's true. You can read all about it here.

My local paper, the Bozeman Chronicle, turns a respectable 100 this year. To celebrate this momentous occasion, every day it reprints several short articles drawn from its archives for that date. That was one of today's.

My husband suggested I call this "A Nose for Gardening." Or perhaps, "S'not what it used to be."

Me, I keep thinking that the story gives a whole new meaning to “In your face!”


Stopping the Mega Load Mega-Madness

Mega load Tue. Mar. 8, 2011

That thing in the picture above is a piece of oil refinery machinery. It's one of two mega-loads that made their slow and sorry way over the continental Divide on a two-lane road this winter. That is, when they weren't stuck on one pullout or another waiting for the weather to clear.

NYT: Those loads were headed for a ConocoPhillips refinery in Billings, Montana, but Exxon Mobile is eager to follow their lead—part of the way. It plans to haul 207 such loads along scenic two-lane roads through Idaho and Montana on their way north to the oil sands atrocity—er, operations— in Alberta.

(See map at right–from a NYTimes article by Tom Zeller Jr., "Oil Sands Effort Turns on a Fight Over a Road," from Oct. 21, 2010.)

I really was planning to write about gardening today (this being a gardening blog and all). But during the local news section of this morning's NPR broadcast, I heard that several groups have sued to stop the mega loads. So once again I'm celebrating the little guys who won't let the big guys roll right over them. (One of the sites devoted to the cause is called “The Rural People of Route 12 Fighting Goliath.”) The post about carrots will just have to wait.

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News flash! Organic farmers take on Monsanto

This gets filed under the Way to Go! banner.

Sixty organic seed dealers and farmers have banded together to file suit against global seed giant Monsanto, a world leader in producing genetically engineered (“transgenic”) seeds. The farmers are taking pre-emptive action to protect themselves from the litigious company's propensity for suing farmers whom it claims illegally grow crops from “its” seeds.

The problem is that farmers sometimes find themselves growing such crops unknowingly, or at least unintentionally. This can happen if seeds or pollen blow from a field that does use a Monsanto crop onto neighboring fields that don't, or if seeds fall from trucks as they're being shipped, or as happened in at least one case, if farmers trade seeds—an old tradition—but one of them gives away seed collected from a crop grown from Monsanto transgenic seeds. The unfortunate recipient in that case, Edward Zilinski of Micado, Saskatchewan, was informed that he owed Monsanto $28,000.

In other words, it doesn't matter how you come by the stuff: if you didn't buy it, you have no right to it, at least according to Monsanto.

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