Learn to grow food. Two opportunities on tap; don’t wait to sign up! The K-State Extension Service in Shawnee County is having a vegetable-growing seminar tomorrow, April 24, in Topeka. Registration is requested. Their flyer (PDF) tells more about it. And in Lawrence, Douglas County horticulture extension agent Jennifer Smith will be giving a class the evening of Thursday, May 13, at the Community Mercantile.
No freezer burn. If you’re in the KC area or don’t mind driving there, you can sign up for a food preservation class on freezing on April 30 at the Johnson County Extension office.
Planting seeds. Mary Sanchez writes in the Kansas City Star about an urban farming project in Kansas City, Kansas, that could improve diets in the urban core—and be a model for rules that Kansas City, Missouri, is pondering. (KC Star)
Green dining. Also in the Star, Jill Silva writes about KC-area restaurants’ efforts to reduce waste through means such as composting and reduced portion sizes. (KC Star)
Stalking turkey. For some Kansans, local food in spring means wild turkey. Read all about the bird and the hunt at the Topeka Capital-Journal.
Hot beans! Read a profile of Alan Townsend, head of the J. Hawkens Bean Co. in Goodland, Kansas. Growing edible dry beans makes sense in western Kansas. Maybe more growers will follow his lead and quit depleting the Ogallala Aquifer. (Profile by Ron Wilson, at Kansas State University.) Did I mention I love beans? You can read about the aquifer at Scientific American, among other places. (Map: U.S. Geological Survey)
Oxen to be gored? I’m a little late on calling attention to last week’s AP article about antitrust rules to be developed governing the meat and poultry industries. As the article notes:
Just four companies buy and slaughter 80 percent of all U.S. beef, limiting competition in the meat industry. Meanwhile, big poultry companies dictate chicken prices and can demand farmers take on debt to upgrade their chicken houses for the companies’ benefit.
Needless to say, that kind of power can be abused—and is, by some standards. Stay tuned for when the rules are issued, and be prepared to let Uncle Sam know you you feel about them. (Associated Press)