Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Small Farming for Profit and Stewardship

This post is being "re-posted" because the link to my older post appears to be broken ... and perhaps no other post sums up the direction of this blog quite as well. Here are two people who decided to do whatever they needed to do so they could do what they WANT to do. That means stepping out of the box, defining what their dream life would look like, what is essential for them, and then partnering to get it done.

North Carolina farmer Alex Hitt and his wife Betsy have worked their 26 acre farm in Graham, N.C. into an environmental gem and profit center. "Over the years, Hitt has reduced acreage and labor by improving their soil with cover crops, concentrating on high-value crops that grow well in the area. What he has not reduced is profit, thanks to direct marketing through the Caroboro Farmers Market and Weaver Street Market, a cooperative grocery store in the area.

"Each acre returns a minimum of $20,000 annually, while four high-tunnel greenhouses (that shelter young or delicate crops) bring in $1,000 per crop. The Hitts embrace their small scale, growing 80 varieties of 23 vegetables along with 164 varieties of cut flowers on just three acres. Alex and Betsy were winners of the 2006 Patrick Madden Award for Sustainable Agriculture from Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program." (~Reprinted from "Small American Farm" magazine, January 2007 issue.)

Alex and Betsy Hitt will deliver the keynote address at this year's Future Harvest Alliance Conference in Hagerstown, Maryland, January 12-13, 2007. Learn more about this and other Future Harvest-CASA information on their website at: http:/, or email to:

In rural areas where the average income is between $13,000 and $18,000 annually, the Hitts are making far more by doing their market research and making money in ways that people raised in urban areas might seem unorthodox. Yet, who wouldn't relish spending a day selling products they've grown and produced on their own land? It isn't hard to make organic Cheese ... and you can use milk from the little, gentle cow I mention on:

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Hustle ... Legal, right?

I was standing in line at a Newark, New Jersey coffee shop waiting to buy a donut. The guy next to me spoke very broken English. Said he was from Poland. Been here five years. Yet he had the newest cell phones and dressed like he had cash. Turns out he buys used cars at auctions, fixes them up, and then sells them. Makes a damn good living. No bosses to please. No HR Department to get turned down by. Just cash.

Being from the SF/Oakland Bay Area, I suffered economically when I was younger simply because I lacked ideas. "Everything Changes". If you're up today, you'll be down tomorrow. So a brother needs both a 21st Century skill set AND an 18th set of skills.

It's simply being a man. If you're smart enough to move out of the California Bay Area and purchase a home, then ... why shell out much needed cash to pay some joker who lives around the corner to check out your pad and halfway fix the holes in your dry wall? Learn how to do it yourself... it's all much easier than you think.

There are increasing numbers of places like SF City College's Evans Street Campus that teaches courses like:

Auto Body Repair
Home Building (from the ground up)
Auto Mechanics
Class A Truck Driving
Motorcycle (two stroke) engine repair
Blue Print Reading

FOR FREE! Did you get that playa (I never figured out why so many people think they want to be players when life ain't NO game. Trust me.)

Besides, if you don't live in San Francisco or San Mateo Counties, how much game does it take to ask someone to use theirs ... or to simply tell the people you're homeless? (Happens every day playa.)

See, the idea is not to do these kind of gigs forever... the idea is to gain a currently needed skill and make enough money to buy some CHEAP property (with acreage) and then get onto doing the kinds of creative activities you really want to do. Remember the link I always preach ... rural real estate ... LAND in the country?

Ways To Make Money

There are many ways to make a living ... and with increasing numbers of Baby Boomers dropping out of the workforce daily, things look great for younger generations (as well as still able-bodied boomers who aren't ready to quit yet.)

I'm an 18-Wheeler Semi truck driver ... but I can actually make as much money as you can driving a simple F350 pickup truck. Yep. They're called "Hotshots"and no, you don't need a Class A License to make truck driver's pay. Just a reliable pickup with enough pulling power to pull a small flatbed and you're in business.

Of course, if you want to deliver freight to all 48 states, you'll need stickers for the states you drive in along with increased insurance. But where there's a will, you can bet you can find a way. Bad credit? No problem, just start talking to the people who are in business to give you a loan and they will direct you to the folks who'll help you clean it up.

Criminal record? No problem. You'll be your own boss for one, and two ... almost every county in every state has a "Clean Slate" program that will expunge your record faster than you could have ever dreamed.

Benefits to this method of trucking?

1. You're your own boss and you control your time off
2. You have far less mechanic bills
3. When you reach a city, you don't have that HUGE tractor to manuver
4. The entry cost is a fraction of buying your own semi tractor-trailer
5. You can live anywhere, you don't have to starve, and you're your own man ... or woman (yes ... there ARE a lot of women in trucking.)
6. You can buy a trailer for 3 grand or less

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Shanty Towns In Oakland??

"The only constant is change ... when you resist it, change happens anyway, pulling you along kicking and screaming."

The place looks worse every time I return to Oakland. Economic racism looms large here. In an area where blacks experienced leaps in their personal incomes during and after World War II, it is now very clear that the black dollar has been written off in California as well as in many other states.

I parked my semi near the Oakland Coliseum and walked over the bridge to take BART. Hearing voices I looked down and was shocked to see a SHANTY TOWN here in Oakland!

The time when the plan was to: "Get a good education, and get a good (government) job is OVER!" Through. Ka-Put. Time for a new plan peoples. In other words... you can change, die, or wish you were dead.

It's been said that when God closes one door, He opens at least one more. Folks, we are faced with the same old Existential Dilemma that Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, and Camus, wrote enough books to fill up vaults about. In short, we are FORCED to be free.

China and India are now the world's number one and two largest economies. What do they have us looking at on television? Paris Hilton. In California the public health system is already overwhelmed and the parole system is hanging on by a tread. The recent Sub Prime Housing debacle threatens to ignite the global recession that has been rumored for the past ten years. And what is the black community's response? To demand Reparations.

Wake up folks! Everybody is trying to bring a covered dish to the table and all we're looking for is a free meal?? THIS from the son's and daughters whose ancestors walked out of Africa and peopled the world?? Oh Noooo ... we can do far better.

But the news is actually good for those who can see the signs, take faith in God, and walk towards a far more promising future. Land is cheap and plentiful in the Midwest and South. (Well ... many have already woke up and moved to the south so it's getting crowded in someplace already.)

I strongly feel that it's better to learn trades than are immune to recession than it is to get an English Degree. If your first dream is to become a doctor, nurse or teacher and you have the means to do so, then by all means, DO. Rural areas NEED those skills. The key is ... get some of this cheap land while it's still cheap.

In Oklahoma where my trucking company is based out of, I can buy 20 acres with an old house on it, a barn and water on or near it for under $100,000 dollars. In some cases, around $56, 000. The quality of life is far higher there and you can grow your own organic food without worries about the increase in genetically modified crops.

Wake up folks ... it's time to go. It's also time to relearn how to love each other .. and ourselves. Nothing teaches that like self-determination. The only Klan you have to worry about these days are those thugs living next door. Me? I'm buying land in areas where blacks are (many are very integrated), and building large fences protected by very large dogs.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Oklahoma: The Grass is Greener

It's a slightly overcast, warm, good Sunday. I'm still in Tulsa, Oklahoma. After a lifetime in California, I'm shocked to find the place being so very Kool.. I see that what I really need is the opportunity to make some good friends, page-up at a good church, and be in an environment where I can afford to buy a home (and some land attached to it), meet a good woman of beauty and heart, and prosper.

They all here in Oklahoma. I most likely won't live here forever, but it's just a kick in the behind that I remained so stuck in California for so many years. Cali ain't the be-all, end-all by no means. It's "over-done" with too many rats in the cage—plus, people everywhere know what time it is. Yeah, there are some Neanderthals here, but by far, there are more people who will smile back and say "hello". Kool. (And there's sooo much green, fertile land to buy a farm on here in the Midwestern "Heartland.")

This morning I flagged down a sister in a car and asked here where a black church was. She pointed out the directions and told me it started at 11:00am. About an hour later, I started walking down that green bordered country road to church. Right away it started raining. A few feet up the road some old sisters in a hooptie say me walking and asked me if I was going to church. I said yeah, and they told me to hop in. Turned out the directions were slightly wrong and I might not have found it had it not rained and had they not been there at that particular moment. Church was good.

There are a lot of ways to be wealthy ... and I regret that I've felt the pull of being a loner for so many years. It's kept me struggling spiritually and economically far longer than it should have. (As in, "It's who you know, that counts." That's including God!) Perhaps worse than that, being a loner and believing in the "American" lie of "being independent" from others has also malnourished the manhood I've always wanted to actualize. Yes, a man does need to stand on his own two feet, provide for himself, his family, and then to do charitable acts of goodness and kindness for others... but in order to do that, he has to come through the gauntlet of relationships with others. It is through the spiritual, physical, economical, and moral challenges and difficulties with others that my adolescent edges are scraped off, and my masculine heart is forged.

Again, I voice my concern about the economic racism that is so strong in California and many other urban centers across the country. I see sooo many opportunities in "off the chart" places like Oklahoma for anyone with a business sense. Google is coming to Tulsa. I suspect that Oklahoma City holds more prospects than Tulsa. But you’d better do your homework and get some skills BEFORE you move to slower and/or more rural parts of the country. (They have plenty of "haves" and "have-nots" here already. You want to capitalized on all the gentrifications you’ve lived through in places that are now over-crowed and over developed.) Bring that experience with you.

I'm waiting on my trainer-truck, and then I'll be heading out. When I see other places of "good prospect", I'll send you a shout about them. Until then, God bless you my friends.

How Bad Do You Want It?

DATELINE: Tulsa, Oklahoma - July 1, 2007: Well, all those Mardi Gras parade floats filled with drunk black men dressed up as Indians, decrying their, "Indian Blood," wasn't a case of insanity after all. In my search to find a place to buy a small farm and create a livelihood in rural America has brought me here to Oklahoma, a place rich in Native American … and black history.

Oklahoma was part of the Indian Territories and has a rich history that is intertwined with African American history and African-Native American history.

There are physical monuments (towns, buildings and structures) built by blacks that remain today. The Buffalo soldiers also had a very significant role in settling this area. The area near Ft. Sill near Lawton, Oklahoma, was where the first black Civil War Union Soldiers distinguished themselves in what has been known as, The Gettysburg of The West.

More significant is the history if black Seminal Indians who came up from Florida with the aboriginal Florida Seminoles. There were actually three branches of Native Americans relevant to African American History:

1.) White acculturated Indians (the Creek, Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, and others. For example, the Creek changed their names to Scottish surnames, took blacks as slaves, and changed their names too..)

2.) Aboriginals like the Seminoles who were never concurred and who never adapted to "the white mans ways"

3.) African-Indians and Seminole Freemen. Many Africans who ran away from white slavery and escaped into Spanish controlled Florida, were adopted by Seminoles. Blacks who were their off-spring were never slaves and proved unsuitable for Andrew Jackson’s campaign to force them to become slaves.
So it is here that I find myself now, seeking to start my next leg in re-creating my life, and discovering that Oklahoma is a far more fertile ground than California for anyone who has developed transferable skills. There are plenty of opportunities here for people who want to start their own small business. There are a lot of good people here. The land is green for those who want to farm and prepare themselves for the "Global Recession" that is certainly heading our way. (And we KNOW who is historically hurt worst by "recessions." I wish I'd left California earlier.)

African and Seminole towns in the Indian Territories

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

The Meaning of Your Life?

One life to live ... for whom?

Living in a time and place where all around us are messages promoting hoarding and spending, it's very easy to lose track of what really satisfies you. So much so that many don't have a clue. America is increasingly getting ... fatter. Oh yeah ... there's so many reasons, right? But the main one is that fork at the end of our wrist.

Furtunately for us, a couple of people in San Francisco got together and started a microfinance startup named Kiva Microfinance is using the internet to bring normal people together to help alleviate poverty in Uganda .

There have been years when I made pretty good money, and other years when I made squat. But the primary constant element that determined the quality of my life was ... people. How did I connect with? Whom did I touch or allow myself to be touched by. In today's increasingly alienated world of violence, suspicion, and hatred, it's ... almost vital to find something worthy to integrate into my life. I can give a few bucks to some body standing on a corner looking for a handout (... a quarter that may go directly into the pockets of the beer industry...) or I can log onto Kiva and for as little as $35.00, have a positive, sustainable affect on the lives of an entire village of (industrious) people. For more on the story, visit : "Jewels In The Jungle."

Log onto the site. Have fun. Feel good about yourself. Feel good about others ....

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Alternative Building: Papercrete

Okay, so you've got your eye on a piece of property that has a 3 bdrm/1.5 bath house on it, 17 acres of land, a barn, an all season creek (fresh water is going to be increasingly more important), and is divided between 5 acres of cleared pasture/farmland and the rest in timber that you can mill or sell.

We've already learned that one of the best small farm practices is to use no more than three acres for crops and flowers. So what else can you do with all that land?

How about greatly increasing the equity of your "empire" by adding another structure to it? Building Green and "Alternative" allows you to creative wonderful, mortgage-free buildings at pennies to what traditional buildings cost. The building can be wood burning Sauna cordwood building or a Strawbale "Adobe" home that keeps you warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer while decreasing your dependence on both energy and energy companies.

The latest ... and the building style that has recently caught my eye is Papercrete .... a substance that creates lightweight "concrete-ish" mix or "adobe-ish" blocks to build with.

Like cordwood homes, you don't have to be a builder to build a house. There are books and videos at your local public library. You can begin your search by clicking on the links and by googling some keywords like: alternative building, papercrete, cordwood building, strawbale houses, and building with cob.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Farm or Go to College FREE?

  • Okay, so not everyone wants to move to the country.

  • And not all black folks seem to be eager to move "down south.

  • And younger people may have so many other dreams than ... to become a farmer.

One of the most exciting new opportunities I've heard of ... in my life! ... is a current program that is sending young black males to college F-R-E-E !!

Black male college grads are in such short supply that they are now sending us to college free. (That's too sad to laugh at.) But it's true... there are about 13 black universities and other colleges who'll pay for your college. Here's the info:
For information about the Call Me MISTER program, please contact us through one of these methods:
Call toll-free : 1-800-640-2657

203 Holtzendorff
Clemson University
Clemson, SC 29634

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Moving In Christ

I've reached a point where to continue posting info without including comments about the religious experience I've been going through that brought all this about ... is casing me to pause. I wanted to keep "church and state" separate. But I see now, it won't be easy because God pervades all ... and the devil is very active these days.

Let it suffice to say right now that all the difficulties I've been through in my life has been a result of my forgetting a relationship with God. When we do, God often removes His hand of Grace from us and allows those who love darkness (both human and spirit) to attack us. This has been soooo weird .... but this is a mild description of what happened to me.

But I can now go with confidence ....anywhere ... urban or rural, because I'm aware of the utter necessity of "moving in God's Will" ... not mine~and not man's nor woman's. The new "real" blog will have to have a separate page to document the spiritual calling we who are feeling the call to self-sufficenciy and healthier living through Green farming.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Just Gotta Have a Tractor!

It's amazing how cheap these Kuboa Tractors are. Yes, Kubota is Japanese, but they're made in Georgia and Kubota also makes most American tractors. Only the paint jobs and names are different ... they say.

I priced one in Fairfield, California and discovered that you can get a four wheel drive and a front loader and a back hoe for around $17,000!! This isn't even the smallest model.

I plan to own no more than 20 acres and farm around three. The tractor above is just rignt. Plus, all the impliments I'll ever need will add up to around no more than $25,000. When you think about how much farm tractors used to cost ... I find this amazing!

For more information, pull up the Kubota website.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

New Money For New Farmers

This is a unique and wonderful window of time. At 53, I've seen "windows" cycle through before. Some were Bardos ... transition points ... that led to good eras and some were bad ... like the bardos that led to disco (smile) and The Eighties ... that wonderful time when black people old enough to work got clowned BAD. (Some who seniors I talked to said the 80s were worse than The Great Depression. "At least everyone was poor during the Depression. In the 80s, it was like we wasn't nothing at all.")

Well ... we need to learn Big Time from it.

Right now the Department of Agriculture is actually recognizing that only 1% of the American population farms. The average age of the American farmer is 60. So, suddenly they are planning to recruit new young farmers.

  1. Department of Agriculture Highlights Young New Jersey Farmers

  2. American Farm Bureau story on Farm Policy Changes & Child Bearing Age Farmers

  3. Financial Security For New Agriculture: MUST READ!!!

  4. Department of Ag Helps New Farmers Get Started$$$$$$$

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Slow Postings

Black Solutions is preparing to move to a paid site that will:
  • Be more secure, and
  • Present a deeper level of information
Please bear with us while we make this transition. The process will take a few weeks. It's amazing how fast things are happening once I began exploring and walking towards the JOY of my First Dreams.

My Buddhist landlord helped me with a recent quote from Gandhi:

Don't worry about all the world's problems .... "How will your next step help the poorest person on the planet?"

Mulling over that question creates both great opportunity and great wealth. But the "wealth" is not always monetary ... and when it is, shouldn't such funds be used to take care of the basic needs of you and your family ... and after that, care for those deserving poor who you can help?

[NOTE: You cannot help everyone ... and "everyone" who wants help ... is not "deserving."]

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Fear of Change?

This site is talking about change. Moving away from urban madness and buying rurual land to create ... whatever. Change.

Whenever I discuss life changes with most people, fear and adventure are the first two things that pop up. Fear of change, fear of success and/or fear of failure are key ingredients that keep people stuck in addictive, abusive and maladjusted lifestyles.

"Every where I went, I took myself with me…"
This is an old cliché commonly spouted around recovery rooms. In the first stages of realizing how they've kept themselves stuck for years in unhappy circumstances, addicts of all types, alcoholics and co-dependents often realize that simply changing geographic locations is not enough to change an unsatisfied, unrealized life. Chances are, if a person was unhappy in St. Louis, he or she will be just as unhappy in San Francisco. We're talking about the life skills needed to develop happiness, contradict shame and trauma … and to intentionally engineer the quality life that says, "I'm not going to simply survive … I will flourish" any enviornment I find myself in.

"If you find yourself in a bucket of shit, don't stomp around," Right?
Let's call that bucket "shame." African Americans often get a double dose of shame. Shame comes from many sources, but it's also comes from the common cultural values we get simply by being born and raised in a Judeo-Christian country. The second wave often comes from abuse, poverty, a lack of parental "good attention", and/or internalizing oppression. You don't have to live with shame. Read John Bradshaw. Join groups. Talk and "normalize" the events of your life. Stop doing the things that make you feel bad about yourself and start doing more that make you feel good. We're talking about walking completely out of the bucket and forgetting it was ever there.

It's absolutely necessary to cultivate mental and emotional habbits that make you feel good about yourself:

  • Expecting good things … tell yourself that 007 is MY year!
  • Expect people to like you. When you do, you radiate a charm and welcome that attracts people
  • Faith! They say you cannot be a Man without faith. But faith is only effective when we believe in ourselves … that God or your Buddha Nature loves you … and in turn, you love others.
  • Have and repeat a good opinion of yourself.
  • Stop telling yourself the same old negative stories about your life. Look at things from different perspectives. Instead of blame and guilt, take a step back and look at what the life experience was trying to teach you.
  • Take an honest inventory of yourself and rid your life of secrets. "I'm as sick as my secretes."
  • Live authentically. I'm not "exceptionally proud of everything I've done in life, but 12-Steps told me that if I didn't do everything I did… good, bad and indifferent… I wouldn't be here. I'd have exploded or imploded. The proof is that you're still alive … able to make yet another "growth change."
  • Joy. We don't have to get all complicated. We don't have to spend years on somebody's couch paying them for hearing our tired whining about our mothers… we just need to make a decision to move constantly towards JOY!
  • Love. We all need it. Unfortunately not as much as food or air, but to really do what we come into this life to do before they throw that shovel of dirt on your face, find FIRST LOVE for yourself. We get into all that trouble when we settle for second and third choices. Decide to walk out into the sun and live YOUR life. Not your father's life, nor the people on TV, nor the folks you went to high school with …YOUR life. Decide what's best for you and if you can't live with it in the light of the noon day sun … then you're going to have to let that ball and chain go.

God rolled away the stone of Egypt's Reproach on the Children of Israel before he allowed them to go into the Promise Land. "Risk the blind leap of faith into the wounded hands of Jesus and you end up with nothing" … a charismatic speaker once said when I was in early sobriety … and I still hear the truth of it 21 years later. This is where faith comes in again… if you believe that the "stone" has been rolled away from your heart… from your life… then you can walk boldly into the "Promise Land" of your new dream life.

Feel good about yourself, your family and whatever new community you're walking towards. Get up early in the morning ..before the noise starts, and put on a good record of thoughts about yourself. Then read all you can about small farming, permaculture, intentional communities and rural Real Estate. Join us on and lets begin taking the next steps.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

World Hunger Will Increase By 2015

The Bahamas imports over two thirds of their food but help is on the way. Micro and small farming techniques are being developed by Tuskegee Agricultural Chemists. Their goal is to funnel better small farming techniques directly to small landholders.

Professor Per Pinstrup-Anderson, from Cornell University in New York, says that improving agriculture is the key to both future national hunger and international famine.

"When you put money in the hands of farmers that money is spent on creating employment and reducing poverty elsewhere," said Pinstrup-Anderson.

"We have found in our research that for every dollar you invest in agricultural research you generate about $6 of additional income among the farmers and about $15 of additional economic growth in the society as a whole. Much of that will help poor people in those countries," he concluded. "

From BBC Online. Click for Full Story.

The world will have 100 million extra hungry people by 2015, scientists say.
I’m not sure how good their journalism is, but Prophecy Central list links to these stories:

From Prophecy Central. Click for full story.

One of every eight American families is on
the edge…

USA Today ran the following story about homelessness and hunger in America. I've posted a few story highlights:
  • "Families with children are among the fastest-growing segment of the homeless population, according to the National Coalition for the Homeless. The Conference of Mayors found that 41% of the homeless are families with children, up from 34% in 2000. The Urban Institute reports about 23% of the homeless are children.

  • "Cities and shelters are also seeing the shift. In New York, the number of homeless families jumped 40% from 1999 to 2002. In Boston, the number of homeless families increased 8.3% to 2,328 in 2002 compared with 2001.
  • "An estimated 3.5 million people are likely to experience homelessness in a given year, the Urban Institute reports. People remained homeless for an average of six months, according to the Conference of Mayors survey — a figure that increased from a year ago in all but four cities.

From USA Today. Full Story click for full story.

My question is, in light of the economic, cultural and social problems facing us in urban America, WHY ARE WE STILL SO COMMITTED BE THE LAST RATS OF THE SHIP?

How many tea leaves in the bottom of the cup does it take to see that becoming increasingly self-sufficient by producing as much of your own food, and growing it on land you own ---preferably with water on or beneath it. Please look through this and Black Farms post (and archieves) and follow the links to your survival, your freedom, and a greater quality of life.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Mint Farming? Amish Acres?

As a born and bred urbanite who is seriously planning on moving back to the land within the next two years, I am continually researching:
  • Ways to make it on the land, as well as,
  • Exactly what does, "making it mean"? ... what are my expectations?
  • What crops bring in money to the small farmer
  • Are my expectations for sustainable living too low ... can I actually bring in a profit too?

These and other questions brought me to Mint Farming. A kind new friend on informed me that crops like mint could be easy as well as profitable. A quick search brought up Amish Acres. This site provides not only information about the crop, but the directions on everything from planting to harvesting.

Like anything, you want to do your homework. While the appeal of growing mint is that you plant it, treat it perhaps once, and do little besides ensure proper watering before harvesting the crop, nothing is guaranteed for small framers any more than they are for large, corporate farms.

"Mint is a small, unstable market with frustratingly little solid economic data," says Montana State University economist Gary Brester.

That’s why linking up with associations like the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SSAWG) , that featured award winning small farmers Alex and Betsy Hitt and told the story of how they make above average earnings on just three acres of their 27 acre North Carolina Peregrine Farm. (Click here for photos.)

The web is filled with information for new hobby farmers. New Farm’s web site is a treasure trove of information and it also host a forum to ask questions and read problems and solutions encountered by other small and organic farmers. One of this site’s niche appeals is that it covers both national and international farming. They also plan to offer online courses for both the veteran farmer interesting in organic farming, and courses for tenderfoots like myself.

The United States Department of Agriculture's web site also offers a treasure trove of information to people who love the idea of growing crops for their family and/or for sale to the public. The link below details the planting of cover crops which are used to enrich soil and protect the land after the fall harvest.

NOTE: I encourage you to look at the text in this article closely. Links aren't easily viewed in some browsers.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Mother Jones Highlights Environmental Racism

Environmental Racism:

Silent Existence

We all know it exists. Predominately black and people of color living near Richmond's Standard Oil Refinery ... cancer clusters and nothing is done.

The old Navy Shipyard at San Francisco's Hunter's Point... again, more cancer clusters, asthma and high rates of other diseases ... yet little is done.

But my question is ... WHY do people continue to stubbornly stay where the job situation is bleak, and health risks are enormous? Moving is a simple answer for many, but there are some for whom the answers are more complicated.

Read Mother Jones articles on this and other related issues- "Black Gold"

Then, glance below and think about:

  • Different ways to live
  • Different ways to parent
  • Different ways to work

Monday, January 29, 2007

Types of people who are moving “Back To The Land” ran the following article on, “Young Professionals Go Back to the Land.” (Written by Jason Mark)

A growing number of smart, ambitious people are rejecting the lure of lucrative careers for the promise of a simpler agrarian lifestyle. Many of those in the new crop of young farmers boast the kinds of diplomas typically found in Silicon Valley cubicles, Wall Street suites or Hollywood editing rooms. But instead of pursuing fast-paced careers, these members of the so-called “best and the brightest” class are choosing to spend their days weeding carrots and building compost.” More

Young Black Farmers

Another story by "dyverse productions" did a story about young black farmers. It' s both interesting and inspiring to learn of young black people expanding the possibilities of their future.

In short, there are segments of every population who are returning to the land and discovering the many ways to make a higher quality of life for themselves. Farming the land is only one choice.

When you have land with water on it, you have control of your life. By all signs, those who do will be amongst the lucky ones in the future. If you don't have a desire to move back to the land, it is perhaps in your best interests to connect with those who will. There are also many Urban Farming choices.

For a more complete story, visit: Black Farms

Saturday, January 13, 2007

8 Cheapest Places In America To Live

This blog isn't written for everyone ... and certainly not for every black person. Many African Americans who I've recently talked to state that they are concerned about "being separated" by some outside force (e.g. "da government") or some other unknown agency in some unknown conspiracy. But regardless to what their opinion is about moving away from California (or another urban area) and moving to the rural South or Midwest, almost all voice an uneasy concern about the future.

China is poised to become the Number 1 world's economy. When that happens, many of the countries, foreign corporations and non-Americans with money invested in this country that hold negative feelings about our politics are going to pull their money out. Should that happen, our economy is going to be rocked ... and we all know who will feel it the worst.

Even if that scenario doesn’t happen, according to many of Wall Streets best economic prognosticators (I'll allow you to goggle it this time ... I've previously posted an article on this or on ), we will still most likely experience a number "deep" recessions. Again, we all know who gets hit the hardest during "recessions."

It is to those people who either haven't been able to acquire the kind of Real Estate and land they dream of and need that this blog speaks to. You may be a young adult with a family you'd like to raise in a more wholesome place, or perhaps someone near retirement--or someone who simply sees that as the greater urban stresses (the economy, crime, adult illiteracy, drug addiction and moral decay) continues to worsen, it's best to get out of the way and head for higher ground (with fresh water if possible). In that spirit, Black Solutions is re-posting a link to a story that ran today on

8 Cheapest Places To Live

Friday, January 5, 2007

Californian's Chances of Success: From Birth To Death

State's children less likely to succeed:
California is 34th in nation in study of criteria that help identify chances to excel.

(click on map to enlarge graphic)

"Children growing up in California, fabled land of opportunity, have a worse chance of achieving the American Dream than children in most other states, a new study says.

The real Golden State is Virginia, where children are most likely to become well-educated adults with steady, high-paying jobs, according to researchers from the nonprofit Editorial Projects in Education Research Center in Washington, D.C.

Children born in New Mexico were deemed least likely to succeed.

The researchers stacked up all the states and the District of Columbia against 13 measures of success, ranging from parents' employment and English fluency to children's test scores and graduation rates.

California ranked 34th among the states and was below the national average in seven areas: percent of children whose parents work full-time, speak English, graduated from college, earn at least a middle-level income; percent of children proficient in reading and proficient in math; and percent of adults who work full time.

California had by far the nation's lowest percentage of children whose parents speak fluent English: 62 percent. The next lowest was 73 percent, in Texas. Nearly everyone's parents speak English in Virginia: 91 percent."

[Reprinted from SF Gate. Full Story]

What We Believe:

"Every problem is an opportunity in work clothes."
~Henry J. Kaiser