Archive for November, 2010

The “Food Safety Modernization Act,” also known as the S.510 bill, aims directly at independent farmers across America, in turn supporting the large corporate food conglomerates. The government claims that this bill increases safety for everyone, by giving the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) more control to recall products and to enforce stricter growing requirements  farms. This seems benign so far, right? Well, it’s not.

The Bill has negative implications for small, often times organic, farms. The bill criminalizes seed saving, from season to season. This clearly has no other beneficial effect that making it easier for large corporate entities, such as Monsanto, the company responsible for the proliferation of genetically modified foods and the use of pesticides. The Bill would also mandate the filing of a large amount of paperwork that many smaller farms likely would not have the resources to comply with. A study by Senator Tom Coburn‘s (R-OK) office states “on the whole this bill represents a weighty new regulatory structure on the food industry that will be particularly difficult for small producers and farms to comply with (with little evidence it will made food safer.) On the other hand, the bill does include an amendment from senator John Tester (D-MT) which would exempt the massive amount of paperwork, and federal regulation for farms that garner under $500,000 a year in sales.

Hopefully this amendment is included if the bill passes. A vote is scheduled for this Monday, November 29, 2010.


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Continuing to embody the path of reformation and restoration, we took a look at this dilapidated warehouse yesterday, as a place for indoor growing, using technics such as hydroponics.

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About the Blog

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Hello world!

I’m Julian Edward, a Senior college student who was so inspired by Wayne and Myrtle when they came to speak to my classroom that I decided to propose this blog for my final project in my History of Detroit class. I had the honor of sitting down and speaking with Wayne, Myrtle, Andrew, and Tyron for a little bit yesterday and it was a very enlightening experience. Each one of them is so full of energy, drive, and motivation, that one can’t help but to feed off of it.

The plan is for me to show them around the blog interface, and that hopefully in time it can become a regular part of the project, keeping people up to date on some of the garden’s involvement.

I had an impromptu interview with Wayne yesterday, with some of the others involved. And here’s how it turned out…

What got you guys started?

Wayne: Our own drive and the amount of support received. Myrtle, who was also present said that one of her motivations came about from an adverse reaction to the artificial sweetener Splenda. She stated: “he who controls the food controls everything.”

What does the garden mean to you?

Both Wayne and Myrtle agreed that the garden is a way of taking personal accountability for their own destiny, while inspiring others to do the same. They said that Feedom Freedom emphasizes community first and foremost. This stands in contradiction to prevailing systems of mass production, which is completely impersonal and tends to deplete the soil.

What does the work in the garden represent?

Wayne stated that it represents a sort of “war without bloodshed,” a new kind of revolution that is based on societal transformation. It’s a new way of thinking, a people’s economy that allows us to live within in.  It stands for survival while transforming the ideology of our current system.

What is this new ideology?

Wayne: It represents a collective and communal ownership. When you think about it, how can land and food really be private? Food grows from molecules in the dirt, by the earth doing the work and using its energy from the sun. We only mingle these things together. (This was my favorite response of Wayne’s from our talk, by the way.) The communal aspect involves catering to the needs of the people. But, at the same time, don’t mistake us for charity. Myrtle chimed in at this point, which I wholeheartedly agree with: “charity is not dignity.”

I really like that — thank you guys!

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