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Exclusive: Gardening Is a Hedge Against Supply Chain Disruptions – TalkOfNews.com

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Gardening Is a Hedge Against Supply Chain Disruptions

#Gardening #Hedge #Supply #Chain #Disruptions

The first tomato you grow yourself will probably be the most expensive one you ever eat. The same is true of peppers, zucchini, carrots, and any other crops you raise. While costs do go down as you gain expertise and reuse tools and materials, your initial gardening efforts will be less a means of saving money than a commitment to a hobby. But it’s a rewarding hobby that builds skills, drives you a bit nuts, and offers you the means in uncertain times of supplying yourself and your neighbors with your favorite fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Supply came home to me as an issue when there were no garlic bulbs to be found at the market. “The whole shipment came in rotten,” the produce manager told me. “It looked like it sat too long someplace.”

That sort of problem is all too common in a year of supply-chain disruptions featuring shipping delays and intermittently empty shelves. “About 31% of grocery products consumers browsed were out of stock in the first week of April,” CBS reported. “That’s up from 11% at the end of November 2021.”

Disruptions in fertilizer production, predating Russia’s invasion of Ukraine but exacerbated by it, raise costs to farmers. The war also interfered with the cultivation and export of grain and other products from those countries, contributing to a “catastrophic global hunger crisis,” in the cheery words of the United Nations’ World Food Program. And while the vast farming acreage of the United States will cushion Americans from the worst effects, it’s a fair bet that prices will continue to rise and the availability of some produce will remain spotty. Even expensive homegrown veggies are an alluring hedge against none.

What and how to grow depend to a large extent on where you live. I’m in Arizona, where the environment is a tad harsh and, as the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension puts it, “water is precious and expensive.” So we look for drought-resistant and desert-adapted varieties of vegetables and fruits that have a hope of surviving in our conditions.

We’ve adopted square foot gardening, a technique that divides a garden into small, intensively planted sections. The term was coined by author Mel Bartholomew, and free information is available online from the Square Foot Gardening Foundation and other sources, including Clemson University’s College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Life Sciences.

Planting in raised beds, whether store-bought or home-built, offers easier control over soil quality than planting in the ground. Clemson’s experts advise that “combining a raised bed and square foot gardening allows a reduction in space to 16 square feet for fresh foods or 32 square feet if preserving for later use” per individual for each crop, compared to 100 or 200 square feet, respectively, with a traditional garden.

For irrigation, you might try anything from drip systems to old-fashioned watering cans. My wife and I favor burying perforated, plastic soda bottles in the soil into which water can be poured. That delivers water directly to the roots instead of serving it up to the great desiccator in the sky.

You can manage the environment in your garden by building hoops over it with PVC pipe. The hoops support shade cloth to protect against the hot sun, plastic sheeting that converts the beds into greenhouses, and netting that protects against birds and other creatures that share your taste in vegetables.

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But the world belongs to hungry critters, and you’ll always be fighting them. Aphids made their way into our dill until I dusted the plants with abrasive diatomaceous earth, basically dragging the little vampire bugs over the equivalent of broken glass. And just days before my neighbors planned to pick ripe peaches from their trees, pack rats stripped them bare. The last time I saw those folks, they had a bucket of rat poison in their truck and planned to lay out a vengeful buffet.

If you do everything right, you’ll gain at least a greater appreciation for farmers. But you also will eventually have something to show for your labor, like the broccoli my wife and I picked all winter and the garlic we have curing right now. It’s unlikely your efforts will replace trips to the grocery store. But in a time of uncertain supply, it’s reassuring to know that you can keep yourself and your friends fed.

This article originally appeared in print under the headline “Grow Your Own”.

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Exclusive: Efforts To Dismiss 'Twitter Files' Won't Work This Time – TalkOfNews.com

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Efforts To Dismiss 'Twitter Files' Won't Work This Time

#Efforts #Dismiss #039Twitter #Files039 #Won039t #Work #Time


The mainstream media has been busy spinning Twitter’s decision to censor the Hunter Biden laptop story before the 2020 election. But, censorship decisions by Twitter are hard to defend.

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Exclusive: Fed to Weigh Higher Rates Next Year – TalkOfNews.com

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FDA Authorizes Updated Covid Booster Shots

#Fed #Weigh #Higher #Rates #Year

Wall Street Journal: “A smaller 0.5-point increase would mark a new phase of policy tightening as they calibrate how much higher to lift rates. Policy makers expect price pressures to ease meaningfully next year, but brisk wage growth or higher inflation in labor-intensive service sectors of the economy could lead more of them to support raising their benchmark rate next year above the 5% currently anticipated by investors.”

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Exclusive: Rachel Maddow Raises An Interesting Question About Anti-LGBTQ Extremists And Infrastructure Sabotage – TalkOfNews.com

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Rachel Maddow talks about the power grid attack in Moore, County, NC.

#Rachel #Maddow #Raises #Interesting #Question #AntiLGBTQ #Extremists #Infrastructure #Sabotage

Rachel Maddow pointed out that the same weekend that white nationalist groups were protesting against LGBTQ events someone shot up a power station in the county where one of the events was taking place.

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Maddow said:

So when Moore County, North Carolina, was host this Saturday to another one of these far right anti-gay, anti-trans protests and then just as a local drag show that they were protesting started up, someone shot up the power stations and cut power to the whole county.

Yes, understandably people locally immediately started asking the sheriff if that was the reason why, if there was a connection. Now, the sheriff has said repeatedly that he has no idea if the attack on the power stations is linked to those anti-gay, anti-trans protests. There really is no indication either way. The sheriff says he has no idea about a motive of any kind. No suspects, nobody claiming any responsibility, no one in custody.

Someone has committed at best an act of sabotage against the power supply. At worst, it was an act of domestic terror.

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It is not a coincidence that on the same weekend that anti-government extremists and neo-nazis show up to protest in a North Carolina county, the power grid gets shot up.

Rachel Maddow didn’t say that it was the extremists who shot up the power grid because there is no evidence to suggest either way, but the power grid wasn’t shot up before the right-wing extremists showed up, and then it was.

Right-wing threats did not stop after 1/6. In fact, the situation has gotten worse, and at a time when there is a lot going on, this problem is worth monitoring.


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