New Mexico Urban Homesteader

Hello, I am A 50 Something, Prepper ;-}; former 60's Flower Child, don't believe in taxpayer subsidized special interest groups (political parties), DO believe in the Constitution and Bill of Rights (1st 10). Long time Independent & Informed Voter. Lover of the outdoors and firm believer that History Teaches - if only we will listen!

(No longer Urban or in NM. Now Rural in the mountains of Maine.)

This blog was started at the request of some dear friends that wish to become Preppers.

“No man who is not willing to help himself has any right to apply to his friends, or to the gods.”

Demosthenes (384–322 BC, Greek statesman and orator of ancient Athens)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

To GMO or Not to GMO?

That is the question …
         And ultimately it is up to you and you alone to answer.

"Control the oil and you'll control the nations;
control the food and you'll control the people."
Henry Kissinger (1970)

I have chosen to avoid GMOs.  Why?

Well first off, the biotech firms (like Carghil, DOW, Syngenta, Okanagan, Genective and Monsanto to name a few) that are “owners” of the genetically modified seeds, DO NOT allow anyone outside their own industry to perform any studies, yet alone true, documented, scientific studies.  Oh they do have some rather ‘intense’ excuses as to why they do not allow this … from corporate espionage fears to convoluted copyright laws and the like.  Then, to make matters worse, what studies these seed companies do publish DO NOT contain all the parts to a true scientific experiment (The Research Question, The Hypothesis, The Procedure [and process], Parts of an Experiment [variables & controls],  Materials, Results, The Conclusion), yet alone what is needed in a study vs experiment.

So, to me, ANY entity that is NOT willing to let scientists and students from around the globe perform their own independent (a true scientific) study on their product – is “bad” or “suspect science” and not worth more than the paper it is printed on.  It’s a huge red flag that these studies and experiments CANNOT be quantified.  Pure and simple – Why on earth would ANY entity be afraid of a non-biased, independent scientific study?

Second, I don’t like the shysterism that these biotech firms use with their “farmer contracts”.  When I read these contracts it reminds me of the US Welfare system – a TRAP and nothing but, as well as an economical heyday only for the biotech firms, NOT the farmer and most certainly not us consumers.

"It is the silent acquiescence of millions that supports the system. When you don’t oppose a system, your silence becomes approval, for it does nothing to interrupt the system…Many people say it is insane to resist the system,
but actually, it is insane not to."
Mumia Abu-Jamal

Thirdly, one set of facts these biotech firms cannot hinder is that those farmers that get stuck planting their GM seeds continue to NEED fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides.  Yet, isn’t that supposed to be some of the stuff these GM seeds and plants are supposed to reduce? - At least according to the studies published (only) by these biotech firms.

"Big Government and Big Business … will try to impose social and cultural uniformity upon adults and their children. To achieve this they will (unless prevented) make use of all the mind-manipulating techniques at their disposal and will not hesitate to reinforce these methods of non-rational persuasion by economic coercion and threats of physical violence. If this kind of tyranny is to be avoided, we must begin without delay to educate ourselves and our children for freedom and self-government. Such an education for freedom should be …
first of all in facts and in values — the facts of individual diversity and genetic uniqueness and the values of freedom, tolerance and mutual charity, which are the ethical corollaries of these facts."
Aldous Huxley
(Brave New World Revisited)

Fourth, the recent droughts in the bread basket of the US have proven, in the real world, that these so-called drought resistant GM seeds are just as susceptible to lack of water as non-GM and in some areas, even more susceptible.
Fifth, since because of Reason 1, all the studies to date on the effects of GM food products on humans is at best “tainted” and that is IF it is possible to find one NOT funded by (and hence controlled  and manipulated by) the biotech firms.  This leaves a huge hole that we can fly a fleet of Starship Enterprises through! 

“Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and
you're a thousand miles from the corn field.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower
I don’t know about you, but when it comes to the lives of my loved ones and me – I will error on the safe side!  Hence I am 100% behind clear and concise labeling of ANY and ALL GMO foods and ingredients.  This labeling will help us decide for ourselves if we want to consume these things, which is the basic principle behind ALL of our founding documents – Freedom of Choice (within the constraints of the 10 Commandments or the Golden Rule).

"There are no passengers on spaceship earth. We are all crew."
Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980)

On top of the GMO threat, we in America are also facing the scourge of herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers that our food products are washed in, grown in or sprayed with and food animals are injected with other chemicals, antibiotics and hormones; many of which are labeled as poisons!
Other things are done to our foods like dyes in beef and salmon, along with saline solution injections for “plumping” and other “aesthetic treatments” – just to get us to buy the product. (The 6 Creepiest Lies the Food Industry is Feeding You

On top of all of that - Very little of this is labeled; we don’t have the foggiest idea that we are consuming these chemicals!

"Trade increases the wealth and glory of a country; but its real strength and stamina are to be looked for among the cultivators of the land."
William Pitt

As goes California, so goes the nation!   

Shortly, California voters will have a chance to exercise their Freedom of Choice on an unprecedented bill in their state congress – Proposition 37 (GMO Labeling requirement).  I hope the voters will choose in favor of the labeling to allow true Freedom of Choice to all of its citizens and set the precedent for other states to follow suit.

Below is a list of the top 10 contributors to the No on 37 campaign, which is trying to stop GMO labeling in California:  (This is another red flag – What are these corporations afraid of?)

1) Monsanto Company, St. Louis, MO, $7,100,500
2) E.I. DuPont De Nemours & Co., Washington, DC, $4,900,000
3) BASF Plant Science, Research Triangle Park, NC, $2,000,000
4) Bayer CropScience, Research Triangle Park, NC, $2,000,000
5) Dow Agrosciences LLC, Indianapolis, IN, $2,000,000
6) PepsiCo, Inc., Purchase, NY, $1,716,300
7) Nestle USA, Inc., Glendale, CA, $1,169,400
8) Coca-Cola North America, Atlanta, GA, $1,164,400
9) ConAgra Foods, Omaha, NE, $1,076,700
10) Syngenta Corporation, Washington, DC, $1,000,000

“If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”
Thomas Jefferson

Corporatism or oligarchy (marriage of our government with corporate backed political parties) plays a major role in incomplete and inaccurate food labeling, the shysterism of “agribusiness” and the downfall of good old fashioned agriculture.

"The first farmer was the first man.
All historic nobility rests on the possession and use of land."
Emerson, Ralph Waldo

As of April 2012, 10 companies that own most of our food-grocery products and Organic Operations Accounted For Less Than 1% of Total Crop Acreage in 2008!

 Keep in mind that in the United States:

  • The term “Natural” does NOT have a legal description or any regulations for use.
  • The term “Fresh” does NOT have a legal description or any regulations for use.  However, the food industry generally “accepts” that as long as only refrigeration (and air circulation, including gassing) was applied and the item arrives at the point of sale in under 5 weeks, that the item is considered fresh.
  • The term “Local” to the Fed generally means anything up to and including 400 miles from where it was grown/raised and farmers generally consider up to 50 miles local.
  • The term “Organic” in the US is the one of the most loosely defined by law of ALL the nations in the Codex Alimentarius.  IE: Much of what the US terms organic would not be considered so in many other nations.
  • The terms “Natural” and “Organic” are NOT interchangeable.
  • The average distance from the farm to your table is 1,500 miles for “fresh” produce and a typical carrot has to travel 1,838 miles to reach your dinner table.
  •  In 1866; 1,186 varieties of fruits and vegetables were produced in California. Today, California's farms produce only 350 commercial crops.
It seems that when we buy “Organic,” we are buying products that are guaranteed to be produced without GMOs, but not guaranteed to be 100% GMO-free!

In 2001 the US imported:

  • 68.2% of our fish and shellfish
  • 27.3 percent of confectionary products
  • 21.4 percent of fruits, juices and nuts
  • 15.5 percent of vegetable oils
  •  9.3 percent of red meat
  • Hawaii imports 90% of its food.
  • According to a report by USDA in 2007, US fresh produce imports have exceeded exports starting in 1990.

Now add us consumers.  How much do we know about what it takes to produce our food?  Most of us don’t understand the basic intricacies and inter-dependencies that bring foods to our grocery stores, restaurants and tables.  There is nothing really wrong with that.  What is wrong is when we let others have us believing that “just this one little thing” is the problem or the solution. 

Reality is that it is NOT JUST the farmer/rancher, government or corporatization of our agriculture; it is NOT JUST meat eaters or dwindling bio-diversity. 

How many of us know what is actually produced in the U.S. or imported and what is seasonal or not in our area?

"The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet."
James Oppenheim

Do we know what products are GMO, what are sprayed or injected and the like? 

Do we demand and hold accountable the food processors and our government as strictly as our food producers or do we “let someone else worry about it”?

“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time,
and your government when it deserves it.”
Mark Twain

How many of us actually know what we consume in a week?

Ultimately we the Citizen/Consumer have the power to hold the government and corporations accountable.  We have the power to read the labels on our food, purchase local and in season; avoid GMO’s and demand honest labeling.   Other countries are doing this, so we can darn sure do it too!

"The best stock a man can invest in, is the stock of a farm;
the best shares are plow shares;
and the best banks are the fertile banks of a rural stream;
the more these are broken the better dividends they pay."
Henry Ward Beecher

Benefits of Buying Local:

  • Communities reap more economic benefits from the presence of small farms than they do from large ones. Studies have shown that small farms re-invest more money into local economies by purchasing feed, seed and other materials from local businesses, whereas large farms often order in bulk from distant companies. Large factory livestock farms also degrade local property values because of the intense odors they emit and other environmental problems they cause.
  • In the U.S., a wheat farmer can expect to receive about six cents of each dollar spent on a loaf of bread—approximately the cost of the wrapping.
  • Farmers' markets enable farmers to keep 80 to 90 cents of each dollar spent by the consumer over 5 to 25 cents of each consumer dollar via supermarkets and grocery stores.
  • About 1/3 of all U.S. farms are located within metropolitan areas, comprising 18% of total U.S. farmland. 

"The farmer works the soil, The agriculturist works the farmer."
Eugene F. Ware

The Farm Bill 2012 aka Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2012

The bills in the House and Senate that comprise this bill have been in debate since 2011.  That is because in late 2012 the previous bill of 2008 expires.  There are all kinds of innocuous “riders” and “clauses” in the 2012 bill, ranging from energy usage, to corporate exemptions, to climate change.  We must watch these bills and be sure they are for the family LLC farmer/rancher and NOT just for the corporate farm/ranch.

Now most of us may think that this bill only affects farmers and ranchers – WE ARE WRONG!

This bill determines all the emergency funds allocated to farmers and ranchers, like say for this year’s drought; Farm/Ranch subsidies; School Lunch programs; the Food Stamp program, subsidies, corporate exemptions (not LLC but Big Business) and a slew of other “programs” that affect each and every citizen of the United States!

"Agriculture is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most
to real wealth, good morals, and happiness."
Letter from Thomas Jefferson to George Washington (1787)

What Can We Do?

  • Buy in season
  • Buy Local
  • Read the Label
  • Plant a vegetable garden, change your yard to edible landscaping
  • Use only open-pollinated seeds.  (Remember that all Heritage/Heirloom seeds are open-pollinated but NOT all open-pollinated seeds are heirloom.)
  • Question the purchasing manager at your local farmers markets and super markets and let them know how you feel about imported, GMO and non-organic items.
  • Let your government officials know you want truth in labeling
  • Tell the government that you want the corporatism to STOP
  • Don’t settle for the “lesser of evils” and vote accordingly!

As you can see all these different things are all related and inter-dependent on each other.  It’s no wonder our food system, not to mention, food quality is rapidly declining.


To find out how to read PLU (Price LookUp number) codes, nutritional labels, Proposition 37, Farm Bill 2012, what is in season or not-imported or not and,  about GMO food products, avoiding pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers and other chemicals in our food, as well as legislation around the US and the world go to

"Today is the Tomorrow that you worried about Yesterday"

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fall Is Upon Us Once Again

It’s that time of year again folks!  Time to harvest and preserve the summer crops and plant the fall crops. 

Here in New Mexico we are also roasting chili; setting some aside for rellenos and the rest for spicing up fall and winter stews and soups.
On the patio and in the yard and garden, around the home and homestead , our vehicles and other tools and equipment,  with our livestock and pets - Yes, yes, yes, we indeed have plenty of things to do to winterize and put up stores for the winter that is quickly approaching. 

As Preppers it is also time to check our go-bags and emergency supplies for expiration dates and to be sure we now add all those winter things to them.

For a check list to cover all these tasks and chores see:  Fall To Do’s - Preparing for Winter @

If you are new to canning or just want a refresher see:  Canning Basics – Hot Water Bath  and Canning Tomatoes Hot Water Bath Step-by-Step @

Remember you can replace vinegar and lemon juice with acidic acid powder and that Ascorbic Acid is only an anti-browning agent, which can also be purchased in powdered format.

For ideas on other methods of food preservation see Did You Know – History of Food Preservation @

To make sure you have the freshest fruit and vegetables for your canning, check out Shopping for Fresh & Seasonal Foods @ and for detailed state by state information see U.S. Fruit & Vegetable In Season & Harvest Dates State by State (must download in Excel format to view all tabs) @

Available for download @

Prep On ;-}


PS – For some fall and winter gardening tips see:
Fall & Winter Vegetable Planting Guide
Vegetable Garden: Vegetable Gardening in the Fall (winter in the hotter regions)
Preparing a Vegetable Garden for Winter
Winter Cover Crops for Your Vegetable Garden

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 11 - Never Forget !

We should never forget the tragic events that occurred on September 11, 2001, no matter what the cause terrorism or conspiracy, no matter who or what is to “blame”.  We should strive to learn what conditions permitted the events of that day to happen and then develop methodologies to reduce the risk of them occurring again.

Each and every American should say a prayer or chant or meditate, whatever your spiritualism does, to bless the souls that perished on that day and their family members that live with their memories.

We Americans, we humans, are not immune to all the various crises that occur in our world; natural, human-made, bad luck (fate) or metaphysical.  Not all crises will have “writing on the wall” and give us fair warning to be ready and prepared.

Yes, remember this day, let’s not be victims and Be Prepared, Not Scared!
Creator of all races, nations and religions, You know that we cannot change others, nor can we change the past.  With Your help, we can only change ourselves.
We acknowledge that September 11, 2001 will be indelibly inscribed in our memories.
We looked with horror on the inhuman attacks of that day.
We looked with honor on acts of courage by ordinary people who sacrificed themselves to prevent further death and destruction.
We shed our tears in a common bond of grief for those we loved and lost.
We journeyed through a dark valley, but Your light has led us to a place of hope.
We form our hands in prayer to say,
Creator, grant peace to the souls of all those who perished on that day.
Grant comfort to the families who lost loved ones.
Grant healing to those who carry scars, of the heart as well as the body, from that day so long ago, yet so close.
Creator, turn our grief into determination.  Guide us to doing what is good and right and just.
Help us to remember what it means to be Americans — a people endowed with abundant blessings.
Help us to cherish and fight for the freedoms we enjoy and inspire us to stand with courage, united as one Nation in the midst of any adversity.
Creator, hear this prayer from my heart to yours for our nation.

Read more @


Sunday, September 9, 2012

National Preparedness Month - Pledge to Prepare - Awareness to Action

Ah September!  The fall harvest is just around the corner, kids are back in school and we start hustling to be ready for winter.  Here in New Mexico, September also means roasting chili and the State Fair.  To the nation, since 2004 National Preparedness Month in September was born out of the tremendous response to the 9/11 tragedy.

The concept of "national preparedness" is really the concept of creating a nation of prepared individuals, families and businesses.  It is sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) within the Department of Homeland Security.  It is called “FEMA’s Ready Campaign” ( and correlates ‘public education’ through disseminating information and points us citizens to various national Citizen Corps volunteer groups (like CERTS) for specific training and information.  

All the military branches participate in National Preparedness Month and stress the importance to all the civilian dependants of military personnel and contractors.

“Responsibility for the safety and resiliency of our Army lies with each member of the Army Family. Engagement among Army leaders, Soldiers, Families and Civilians is pivotal to highlighting the role each individual plays in preparedness. Preparedness planning serves as a force multiplier, allowing leaders to dedicate time and energy on the most significant needs of the Army community.” Per Raymond F. Chandler III, Sergeant Major of the Army; Raymond T. Odierno, General, Army Chief of Staff; John M. McHugh, Secretary of the Army in a letter to the forces.

Individuals as well as organizations are encouraged to become involved, as a crisis or disaster can strike anywhere, at anytime, can be large or small and long or short in duration.

The U.S. has had numerous other natural disasters, even since 9/11 and although they have, thankfully, not been as severe as say the Japan earthquake and Tsunami, they have been devastating to many of us as a nation. 

In 2005 we had Just Katrina where the up & running response time of FEMA providing aid was 6 days and the communication and coordination between the various levels of government (local to federal) was a disaster in and of itself.

2011 saw more billion-dollar natural disasters than any year on record, according to the National Climatic Data Center. Some of which were: Major storms from Hurricane Irene which battered the U.S. East Coast, to the spring tornadoes which brought devastation from Wisconsin to Texas.  During the first 11 months of 2011 there were 97 major disasters declared. 

Recently we have had the drought through much of the lower 48 states and the category 1 hurricane – Isaac, which was a very slow moving, extremely saturated storm, whose remnants are still wrecking havoc with continuing power outages and flooding.  All these natural occurrences point to the fact that we don’t know and can’t really predict where or when emergencies or disasters will strike.

Here in the U.S. we have gone from a loosely knit civilian entity, that eventually was ‘guided’ by Department of Defense as Civil Defense; to still a loosely coordinated group of local, state, federal governmental and civilian groups called Civil Defense; then onto a consolidated Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and finally to an overly bureaucratic federally dictated Department of Homeland Security.

Despite all this (or maybe because of some of it), history has shown us that the government can’t do it alone when it comes to: preparing for, responding to and recovering from disasters. DHS/FEMA is only part of our nation’s ‘emergency management team’ – along with other federal partners, state and local governments, nonprofit and voluntary organizations, the private sector and most importantly: the everyday citizen

Yet, as of 2009, the Citizen Corps National Survey revealed that only 57% of Americans surveyed report having supplies set aside in their homes just for disasters, while only 44% have a household emergency plan.  National Preparedness Month serves to encourage individuals across the nation to take important preparedness steps including: getting an emergency supply kit, making a family emergency plan, being informed about the different emergencies that may affect them, as well as taking the necessary steps to get trained and become engaged in community preparedness and response efforts.  (See the 2009 Citizen Corps National Survey @

Today it is estimated that over half of Americans have emergency supplies set aside and less than half have a plan. Even fewer have the knowledge and skills to utilize their emergency supplies or can guarantee that they are still viable, nutritional and or functional.  This is something you have to work at and maintain.

"Just like no coach would bring a team onto a field without a game plan, every family needs a game plan for emergencies. When disaster strikes, it’s too late," says Russ Paulsen, Red Cross Executive Director of Community Preparedness and Resilience.

 This year’s campaign is called:  Pledge to Prepare – Awareness In Action and there is a great little game online that many states are encouraging people to participate in called; ‘30 Ways, 30 Days to Prepare’.  Go to to sign up, join and get prepared!

This is an emergency preparedness game that was started by the Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency (CRESA) during National Preparedness Month in 2010 and is again being "played" nationally for 2012.

Ok I can hear people screaming “Your working with FEMA?!!”   Despite my lack of trust and respect for our government and that its own actions and reports consider ‘Preppers’ as potential threats to national security (,  I firmly believe that Citizen Corps and, along with the Red Cross are excellent places for basic ‘getting started’ preparedness information.  Besides if one actually reads the citizen slandering DHS documents, they do draw a fine line or ‘split hairs’ between preparedness and domestic terrorists in their ‘deffinition’.  There is an excellent article about this at which states:

“To summarize this, FEMA/DHS are good with Preppers when everything can be framed as preparing for a disaster.  Where they diverge is when you are preparing for an attack.”

On top of that preparedness is truly an individual responsibility and not that of any government.

Bottom line:  Organizations like the Red Cross and governmental instruction from DHS, FEMA, CDC, etc are valid and precise,  yet short-sided in that none of their instructions promote self-reliance for longer than 72 hours and ‘disasters’ since 9/11 have shown that the average timeframe is actually 5-7 days, with Isaac now taking us into weeks!  So please keep that in mind as you and yours prepare.

Check out the American Preppers Network (APN) at each day this for daily insight on “Prepper Disaster Preparedness”.

Read more on tips to get your started, additional non-government resources or continue to have your family prepared and not scared ;-}  @

Don't forget your Fall To-Do's @

Today is the Tomorrow that you worried about Yesterday