(Adam Fagen)

The Alpaca Bubble Has Finally Burst

While you might not have noticed, for the last decade there have been a growing number of people who became convinced that the way to drug-lord like riches was through the seemingly unlikely route of alpaca-breeding. But the market for camelid hair wasn’t what it was cracked up to be, and not only are investors realizing they will never get their money back, there a large number of alpacas being neglected or killed as a result. [More]

Live rotting tomato coverage! (Fox2Now)

Heat Wave Leaves Hundreds Of Thousands Of Tomatoes To Rot Stinkily In Fields

Sure, farming can be stinky business. There are all those acres in need of fertilizer, after all, making things grow. But it’s an overdose of tomatoes that’s making fields stink to high heaven in Illinois, just south of St. Louis, Mo. [More]

(afagen)

Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Won’t Make You Sick, Might Make Pork More Expensive

“Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea” sounds incredibly unpleasant. The disease first showed up in the United States last year, and thanks to the cold weather nationwide has showed up in 27 states. What is it, and should humans be worried? Not unless you own any hogs or you have a tight budget for meat for the next year or two. [More]

(reegmo)

Dry Farming Challenges Everything Your Science Teacher Told You, But It Actually Works

At some point in grade school, students learn all about photosynthesis and how to make things grow. We poked around with beans, waited until they germinated, then planted them in soil, set’em in the sun and watered them daily so they’d turn into happy, fruitful bean plants. But despite the ingrained importance of water in successful gardening, some farmers in California are not only embracing dry weather, they’re forgoing watering on purpose to achieve sweeter results. [More]

(Coyoty)

Former Tobacco Fields Now Grow Chickpeas To Serve America’s Growing Hummus Addiction

Fewer Americans smoke today, which is a really good thing for our collective health and finances as a nation. It’s not so good for farmers in the areas of Virginia and the Carolinas that once were tobacco country. However, it just so happens that there’s a new addiction sweeping the nation that those farmers can profit from. Americans just can’t stop gobbling hummus. [More]

Chipotle & Willie Nelson Team Up For Animated
Anti-Factory Farm Ad

Chipotle & Willie Nelson Team Up For Animated Anti-Factory Farm Ad

In a combination we never would’ve thought would be so likable, Chipotle has enlisted the help of Willie Nelson covering a Coldplay song to make an animated piece that is anti-factory farming. [More]

Lost Bull Semen Spill Shuts Down Interstate Ramp

Lost Bull Semen Spill Shuts Down Interstate Ramp

Greyhound doesn’t just transport people across the continent: it transports cargo, too. Yesterday morning, strange canisters that smelled bad and gave off steam fell off a bus in Nashville, confusing emergency services. Were they bombs? Alien probes? No, containers of liquid nitrogen filled with bull semen bound for a cattle breeding facility in Texas. [More]

FDA To Farmers: Enough Already With All The Antibiotics

FDA To Farmers: Enough Already With All The Antibiotics

After coming to the conclusion that farmers have gone a little hog-wild with their use of antimicrobials — not to cure animals of disease, but to spur animal growth — the FDA has kindly asked them to cut it out because it’s just going to make the rest of us sicker. [More]

Make It Yourself

Make It Yourself

If you really want to claim the title of the most do-it-yourself Consumerist reader, you will grab this book (free PDF) and learn from it. Just don’t come back here and post about it in the comments.

Bring Out Your Pig, The Mobile Slaughterhouse Is Here!

Bring Out Your Pig, The Mobile Slaughterhouse Is Here!

A group of farmers in the Seattle area are testing out a new $300,000 “Mobile Meat Processing Unit”—a 45-foot stainless steel trailer that comes with its own USDA inspector and a butcher—in an attempt to see whether they can make a profit selling their meat locally instead of shipping livestock off to a feedlot “hundreds of miles away.”

Should You Keep Your Own Chickens?

Should You Keep Your Own Chickens?

We’re gonna say “nope.” But since we’re all here, let’s look at the recent New York Times article over the subject and consider whether the current “chicken boomlet” is right for you.

Want To Learn How To Make It Yourself? Visit Homegrown Evolution

Want To Learn How To Make It Yourself? Visit Homegrown Evolution

HomegrownEvolution.com is sort of a simplified Instructables for people interested in “mead making, beer brewing, bread baking, urban poultry raising, container planting, pirate gardening, foraging, pickling,” and more, according to Cool Tools. We have a feeling “pirate gardening” isn’t as fun as it sounds.

More People Are Getting Their Food Straight From Farms

More People Are Getting Their Food Straight From Farms

Farmers markets aren’t just for dirty hippies anymore. Everyone’s starting to catch on to food straight off the farm, according to a study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service.

Trade Group Asks Obamas To Please Use Pesticides In Their Vegetable Garden

Trade Group Asks Obamas To Please Use Pesticides In Their Vegetable Garden

We don’t blame the Mid America CropLife Association (MACA)— a pesticide an agribusiness trade group—for promoting its interests, but we still think it’s funny that they’ve asked the first family to not grow organic vegetables in the White House vegetable garden. MACA’s Executive Director Bonnie McCarvel sent a long letter to Michelle Obama reminding her of the importance of technology in modern farming, then publicized the letter via an email where she noted, “While a garden is a great idea, the thought of it being organic made Janet Braun, CropLife Ambassador Coordinator and I shudder.”

Want To Know Where Your Food Comes From? Buy Part Of A Farm

Want To Know Where Your Food Comes From? Buy Part Of A Farm

The New York Times reports that more and more people are buying shares of small farms, mostly on the coasts and around the Great Lakes region, which guarantee them a percentage of the season’s harvest. This “community-supported agriculture” model has exploded from fewer than 100 farms in the early 90s to nearly 1,500 in recent years. Helping out is optional, although we’re not sure the real farmers would appreciate our constant bitching about being in the sun. (I worked summers hoeing cotton fields in Texas, which is partly why I moved to NYC.)

Everything This Farmer Wants To Do Is Illegal

Everything This Farmer Wants To Do Is Illegal

Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm in Charlottesville, Virginia attained a certain moderate level of fame when his operation was featured in Michael Pollan’s book The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Now he’s got a book of his own called Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal.

http://consumerist.com/2008/04/30/fertilizer-prices-have-shot-upwards/

Fertilizer prices have shot upwards in the past five years as manufacturers have been unable to keep up with demand. The demand is driven by an increase in biofuel production, and a growing appetite for red meat in developing countries. The end result is that it now costs an extra $1.00 now to get a slice from my the pizza place around the corner from me. [NYT]

http://consumerist.com/2007/11/05/the-awful-drought-in-georgia/

The awful drought in Georgia is helping the pecan crop. We smell a pecan farmer conspiracy. Not really. [Associated Press]