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Jim Pathfinder Ewing

Stories by Jim Pathfinder

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FDA May Torpedo Food Movement

As many who follow food and farming news may have heard, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is formulating rules under the Food Safety Modernization Act that could adversely affect small farmers.

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What’s the Big Deal With Monsanto?

If you're concerned about the future of organic food and farming, the May 25th March Against Monsanto is a tangible way of expressing your concern.

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Antibiotics in Your Organic Apple?

When people think of organics, they think that the food they buy is free from synthetic chemicals of any kind. However, as noted in a recent article in ACRES USA magazine, organic apples and pears may be treated with antibiotics.

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Grafting Tomatoes ‘The Next Big Thing?’

Southern organic gardeners are discovering what could be The Next Big Thing in tomatoes: grafting.

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A ‘Sound, Sensible’ Organics Program

The National Organic Program must be sensing increasing numbers of small farmers turning away from the USDA's certified organic program.

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Risky Business at the Nursery

Would-be and weekend gardeners are flocking to stores this time of year with hopes of finding already-started plants to put in their gardens.

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DIY Potting Soil Gives Organic Plants a Big Start

Good Friday is traditionally the time for those who plant "by the signs" in central Mississippi to put seeds in the ground, but for most home gardeners, now is a good time to prepare seedlings (or "starts") for transplanting.

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In Search of Better Pecans

Frequently, people ask me why their pecan trees no longer bear. A major reason (among other possibilities) is that the trees don't get enough food.

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Urban Homesteading: Probiotics a Yummy Alternative

Modern homesteaders, that is, urban and rural folks who are into self-sufficiency, could do little better in regard to their food choices than delving into probiotics.

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Playing Odds of Last Frost Planting

Just about every day, I hear of someone who just couldn't wait until planting time to start digging in the ground and planting a crop for summer.

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Great Gardens Start with a Plan

Organic gardeners may be eager to get out and garden, but it's still too early to plant summer crops. We can start planning, though, savoring the bounteous crop of garden seed catalogs arriving daily in the mail. Planning should include deciding on the plants we want to put out (and where), and preparing the soil to plant.

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Boycotting Pro-GMO Organic Brands Not the Way

A list going around the Internet calls for consumers to boycott the top organic brands owned by 10 parent companies that donated to defeat Prop 37, the California Right to Know GMO labeling initiative.

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Good Organic Gardening Advice—for the South?

If you could suggest to beginning to fairly advanced gardeners only one reference book about organic gardening, what would it be?

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The Skinny on Seeds

If you are already thinking about what you want to grow in your garden next year, start out right with organic seeds. They can make a much better garden.

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Organic Growing Heals the Earth

I serve on a number of conservation and environmental boards of directors, and a question that has been coming up a lot lately has regarded growing plants under contaminated conditions—a topic of interest to urban homesteaders and those wanting to practice urban agriculture.

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Plant An ‘Edible Forest’ in Your Yard

While Arbor Day in Mississippi is in the spring, many experts contend that the best time for planting trees may actually be in the fall.

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American Cheese No Longer ‘Cheesy’

Probably most Americans who grew up prior to the millennium consider American cheese to be synonymous with “cheesy,” or of little worth.

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What's in Your Food?

A black swan event is generally defined as an unforeseen catastrophe that only in hindsight seems obvious or inevitable.

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Honor the Tree

People who garden can always find things to do. Sometimes, it seems we have too little time to actually enjoy our gardens. So why waste time, or a season, for that matter?

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Prepare for an Early Frost

Some folks may remember that first frost came early for central Mississippi last year, at the end of October. While frost is a pleasant milestone of the seasons for most people, it can be tragedy for fall gardeners.

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The United States of Anorexia

Not one of them has what could be considered a “normal” adult woman’s body, not in this culture—or planet.

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Four Season Growing: A Garden Cornucopia

Now that you are either tending or contemplating a fall garden for freshly grown, organic crops, you might consider four-season farming for year-round food.

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Re-Energize Your Soil

Now that fall is officially here, a lot of gardeners think their work is done. Well, not quite. That is, not if you expect bountiful harvests next year.

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From the Garden

One area where the Jackson area bloomed in the past 10 years--literally!--is in terms of local and organic food, foodies and gardens.

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Reaping Cool-Weather Rewards

Mississippi, along with the rest of the South, is blessed with a long growing season, and now is the time to plant a fall garden so that you can enjoy fresh, leafy organic vegetables often until Christmas.

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Urban Homesteading Planning For Winter

Those who practice "homesteading"-or self-sufficiency-are busy preserving or "putting up" the produce they have grown this summer.

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Food Deserts: Oases of Pollution?

News reports of late have attempted to debunk the existence of "food deserts"—areas of the country where there is no easy availability of fresh fruits and vegetables.

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One Seed at a Time

As summer continues to blaze, some of our early-planted varieties will start to bolt, or produce seeds.

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Why California's Prop. 37 Matters

If you care about food safety, human health and the environment, and if you haven't heard of California's Proposition 37, yet, please read on.

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Beyond 'The End of History'

In a fascinating article: "We, The Web Kids," Pietr Czerski, makes a statement that is as startling as it is startlingly true: "We do not use the Internet, we live on the Internet."

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Food and Health Should be Synonymous

If we want nutritious food, then we must pay attention to the labels on the packaging—even ostensibly healthful fruit and vegetables.

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Fondren Hosts 'Greening' Conference

It's all too easy to bring the city to the outdoors by paving over natural habitats, but recently cities are striving to bring the outdoors back to urban areas.

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Water, Water Everywhere

People who jump into organic gardening without any preparation often start off on the wrong foot by overwatering or not watering properly.

Urban Homesteading: Grow Your Own Sandwich

You don't have to have a large garden spread to grow your own organic food. In fact, you can grow plenty of food to supplement your diet in a small space.

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Bread from Your Garden?

If you're interested in growing grain in your garden, a good book on the subject is "Homegrown Whole Grains" by Sara Pitzer (Storey Publishing, 2009, $14.95).

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Beyond ‘Things'

The emptiness and superficiality that many people feel in modern life is a reflection of our world's materialism. We covet things because we have no "thing" with which to measure—or register—"true" value.

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Life as Prayer and Dialogue

Much of the anger and dissension we see around us today is the result of the unpardonable practice of mixing politics and religion.

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Vampires: Change Agents?

Each generation likes to think of itself as completely new and different from those that went before, but a glance at popular media raises the question: Are our monsters predictors of change?

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How Many Green Beans for That?

Father's Day often presents a problem: What to get Dad? If he's into gardening, the answers are easy.

Don't Buy Dirty

People can't always buy organic for a variety of reasons: The local store may have limited supplies, they lack variety or cost is a consideration. But whatever the reason—or excuse—shoppers should be aware that some produce at the grocery store is more pesticide-laden than others.

Keeping Bees

Here's a term that has gained popularity in the past couple of years: urban homesteading. It means making your property, or "homestead," as self-sufficient as possible, regarding food and supplies, while living in an urban setting.

No Room? Look Up!

For would-be urban farmers, the solution to lack of space may be as simple is looking up.

Edible Flowers for Small Spaces

Are you limited to an apartment windowsill or small balcony but still want to grow organic food to liven up your diet? Try edible flowers.

Fertilizing in planet-friendly ways

Now that you presumably have your organicgarden planted, whether in pots on an apartment balcony or a larger space, you will want to nurture it with fertilizers.

Mindfulness & Awakening: Consumer v. Curator Society

Futurist William Gibson, in his book of essays, "Distrust That Particular Flavor," (Putnam, 2012, $26.95) says: "We are all curators in the postmodern world, whether we want to be or not."

The Holy Earth, Sacred Space

"Bread feeds the body, indeed, but flowers feed also the soul." — The Koran

GPS for the Soul?

Arianna Huffington has announced that The Huffington Post has developed a smartphone app called "GPS For the Soul" to be launched in June that will "gauge the state of your mind, body and spirit, then automatically offer the exact steps you would need to take to realign all three aspects of your being."

It's Not Too Late to Plant

For those who have been thinking "I'd like to start an organic garden this year," it's not too late. Lots of folks plant during the first week in May.

What's in a Label?

When food shopping, how do you know what you're buying? You may be surprised at the misleading information on labels.

Earth Day and the Organic Movement

Forty-two years ago, a new way of looking at our Earth arose in human consciousness.