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Hello [name]. It is good to give thanks, at all times and in many ways. My long and fitful journey in understanding what it means—economically, practically and spiritually—to be a “renewer” rather than a “consumer” became much clearer when I realized that gratitude was a key personal choice. It grows from another learning: that choosing to be crazy happy with “enough” is the primary step in living more lightly within creation so that the “the commons” is more justly shared by everyone. This is especially true for those of us whose basic needs are usually being met.

Resiliency is an under-appreciated benefit of farming systems that start with healthy soil. This is an attribute that can’t be measured in a year, and might not be detected even in a decade if the analysis focuses on simple outputs. Yet resiliency will come to be much more highly valued as growing conditions become more variable with global climate change, even as fossil-fueled inputs that have propped up non-organic production become more expensive and less reliable.

You can see the quest for resiliency running through this update in the: young adults who have persevered to establish Misty Brook Farm… research efforts to quantify soil carbon sequestration to incentivize better soil-building practices… creative resistance to a mandatory livestock identification system and to a Pennsylvania effort to prevent dairy farmers not using synthetic hormones from saying so on their milk labels… quality-focused development of a western Kansas organic grain mill… and agronomic agility in responding to droughty fall weather through alternate organic cropping plans.

Now is the time to donate. In gratitude, we give thanks to the eight of you kicked-off our “Celebrate the Harvest” fall fund drive in October. Seeking resiliency, we really invite the rest of you to invest in NewFarm.org by Friday, December 7. We’re below $7,000 on our way to the goal of $20,000 for 2007. That’s three weeks to raise $13,000.

We need your material support to keep writers writing, photographers photographing and editors scrambling to connect your needs with the research, powerful stories and great ideas driving the local, organic food systems we all know and love. So, give now.

In gratitude,
Greg Bowman
Managing Editor

     

Fresh today from The New Farm®
   
Heartland Mill continues to
pioneer organic agriculture

Hugely successful Kansas grain mill operators share humble beginnings regenerating the land.
 
   
case study
Pioneering Illinois farmer
recounts transition to organic

An appetite for experimentation tempered by cautious risk taking forges a successful operation.
   
   
Promoters of national livestock ID plan shift to focus on benefits of global traceability
Resistance to NAIS as integrated mega-database continues as smaller farmers question its cost, benefits and risks compared to improving livestock health at the farm level.
   
   
A vision of Misty Brook
Positive perseverance enables a young couple to live out their dream.
 
   

Reader Mail
This month features questions and answers about ethanol, direct marketing, transitioning to organic and more.

   
   

News & Views
• State prevents honest label for rBGH-free milk
• Excessive N depletes soil organic carbon
• New mycotoxin website identifies feed risks
• Survey links local foods with extra value
• Paper explains GMO issues in organics
• Ethanol better, or worse, than gasoline
• Farm-to-school buys create local markets

   
   

at the rodale institute®
   
   

Quicker soil carbon test eyed…
Emerging technology may give farmers instant read in the field on soil-carbon changes
Pennsylvania funds The Rodale Institute to find out whether new system can document agricultural carbon sequestration for carbon-credit trading.

… as farmers eye carbon credits
Measuring soil carbon changes would allow farms to offset excess emissions of other enterprises
Cap-and-trade approach, used wisely, could drive carbon-sequestering activities on-farm and beyond.

   
   
intern journal
Playing with your food
One Rodale Institute research intern focuses on the process of cooking and eating in a way that honors the work that went into growing and harvesting her food.
   
   
one farm to another
Fall drought demands invoking Plan D—or creating it, if the impact will come next spring
Disruption of crops with critical roles to play in your rotation means act now to make the best of a dry situation.
   
   
 
   
   
     
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