Saturday, September 17, 2011

Coastal Clean-up!

There's nothing like getting up early, breathing in the fresh morning air, and sitting in a lawn chair in front of a huge dumpster. That's what we here at Radio Acres like to do to keep our canyons (and thus, our oceans) clean. Kim and Groundworks SD are hosting sites in Shelltown and at the Earth Lab where the neighborhood can drop off any trash they have.
We at Radio know nothing of miscellaneous yard waste, building supplies, old appliances, and junk that builds up in the small hiding places around the farm. (*that is a lie.) No, we are NOT hoarders. I promise. Free garbage dumping is a pretty awesome thing, especially when it can free up extra space around the farm, and keep it out of the canyons (where we often have to maneuver around mattress, seats out of old cars, furniture,  and God only knows what else wrapped in garbage bags and smelling like death.)
So, if you live in the area and have some trash to unload, come and hang out with us!
Dump spots are at:
Boston and 40th
38th and Z St.
Alpha St and 38th
Alpha St. And 41st
and at the Earth Lab

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day Reflections

In honor of Labor Day, Jeremy and I slaughtered the last two of our meat birds. We may have some roosters that we hatched ourselves lurking in our flock, ready to crow at dawn on some unsuspecting Saturday, but for now, the meat bird raising project is officially done.

With my hand deep in the warm innards of a newly-dead rooster, and on this holiday that celebrates the economic and social contributions of workers, I thought for a moment about the men and women working in the often unbearable conditions of our meat factories. Think Tyson, Jimmy Dean, a big packet of ground beef that you bought for tacos. When you kill your own chicken, you understand the sad, smelly, and complicated work harvesting meat is. Imagining doing that 8-hours a day (or more), in deplorable working conditions, and with little compensation make me realize how cheaply we get the meat that we eat (in America, daily or every other day).

It is often immigrant or refugee communities that take these types of jobs. When I was working with Sudanese refugees, many were moving to the midwest, towns that had big meat-packing factories, because there was steady and available work.

Thankfully, we are caring more about the way that our meat is raised... free-range, grass-fed, hormone and pesticide free. This no doubt affects the working conditions of the people that harvest and package our meat as well. But let us continue to care about and figure out ways to advocate even more fiercely for the humane working conditions of our meat as well. And collectively, let's say a prayer of thanks and protection for the workers that are doing the hard job of providing us all with the meat we love to eat.

If you'd like a more hands-on experience of how hard it is, I can call you when the next rooster crows...

More information on the meat packing industry.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A rat just ate our tomato!

So BJ and I just got back from a night expedition of setting rat traps around the property. We have probably collectively caught about 28 rats over the course of last 3 months.  They have eaten a good  30% of our tomatoes, devoured our new pakistani mulberry tree down to stubs, crapped on our shelves, munched our compost, stolen our peanut butter traps and generally have given us the middle finger every chance they possibly can.  Now if you are a Jainist, or a hardcore Vegan I aopologize for what I am about to say.  If I could press a magic button and electrocute the bastards off our property I would.  And mind you I consider myself a pretty compassionate guy. I save spiders and carefully remove them from bathtubs to the safety of the outdoors. I used to live catch mice at our old house and take them to a local canyon to be released.  (Come to think of it maybe I was releasing them in Radion Canyon).  I was a vegetarian on moral grounds for almost 13 years.  I idolize Gandhi and have heard the Dalai Lama speak in Central Park.  My compassion credentials run deep.  However I also am a firm believer in situational ethics and I pride my self on being an occasional hypocrite. So yes I don't get along with rats. Well except my pet rat Merlin in 6th grade but he could do tricks and didn't eat my tomatoes. 

I must admit my hatred for rats goes back to the late 90's in Indonesia when a rat we tried to posion in our thatched hut ate through a hand carved bamboo drum I had bought just a week before.  I still have it in our room.

The eradication of rats on Radio Acres is a now a nightly past time.  So instead of stressing anymore about our nocturnal nemesis I decided to  let my feeling out like my Psychologist tells me to do. She says I have musophobia or murophobia but I don't believe her.  I have shared dark dreams with her about rats spontaneously combusing on our property. I hope I can make it through this.

What about your cats you ask. Well Tilly the white cat had a tramatic childhood and she is better at catching leaves, and Sylvia is eating to much cat food and prefers to catch baby birds and baby gophers.  We do have a new cat  (Spooky) that might be a better strategic hunter when we let him outside.  We will have to wait on that one. So for now we will have to set traps.  If you have a better idea for the time being let us know. 

As Tom Waits said " You can drive out nature with a pitchfork but it always comes roaring back again...."

Discalimer:  We never use poison because of bioaccumulation (posion moving up through the food chain). We also have owls and hawks fly through the property regularally which is why we choose traps.

****We only use Certified organic peanut butter to snap their necks and the wood for the traps is sustainably harvested, FSC Certified and made in America by union workers.