The aftermath of hurricane Sandy meant finding new ways of doing ordinary farm chores. At my farm I had to figure out what to do about a flat tire on the mobile chicken coop.
With power out and roads closed one had to make do with on-farm resources. So I went to my woodlot and found a log of the same diameter as the original inflatable tire. With my chain saw I cut a 3 inch cross section of an oak log. I drilled a hole in the center to fit the wagon axle.
To prevent the possibility that the “log wheel” might split, I sandwiched it between half inch sections of plywood. They are like plywood “hubcaps” of about the same diameter as the wheel and attached to the sides with wood screws. I oiled the bushing and installed the log wheel.
Months latter I continue to be amazed with how well this log wheel rolls over pasture land. It runs just as smoothly any other inflatable wheel on my mobile chicken coop. When I found out it would cost about $50 to replace it with a brand new tire, I decided this log wheel was a keeper.
Meanwhile the chickens are happy about being moved to fresh pasture everyday. Plus when I give farm tours to visiting egg customers, we get a good laugh at the Fred Flintstone looking wagon wheel.
Save the date of May 1, 2013 for our next farm tour; more details available soon.
NOFA-NJ Public Policy and Advocacy Committee Update, 5/7/2013
Committee Name Change
The members have agreed to change the committee name from NOFA-NJ Policy Committee to the "Public Policy and Advocacy Committee" (NOFA-NJ PPAC). Our group works to collaborate with advocacy groups and to gather and disseminate food and farming policy related issues. Updates and action alerts are provided to ourmembers through newsletters, NOFA-NJ on Facebook, and through the Google Groups private discussion group.
May Meeting Update
During our May monthly meeting, GMO sub-committee chair Judith Robinson led a coaching session fordiscussions on talking points regarding GE food labeling. Jim Walsh from Food and Water Watch provided a list of talking points and members then shared their own discussions on GMO topics. We can apply this practice while speaking to general audiences, taking part in panel discussions, giving testimony in legislative committees or when talking to political representatives. Here's a comment from Michele Jacobson, NOFA member, certified clinical nutritionist, author and cable show host:
"I just wanted to say thank you to Judith for her coaching at the last Policy meeting. It really made a difference! I've had impromptu meetings with 2 Mayors (and a chief of staff) and, right off the cuff, went into what I'd been rehearsing in my mind since the meeting. The difference was that now there was a beginning, middle and end: very structured -- thanks, Judith!" --Michele Jacobson
On a personal note, I think that our meetings are not only learning events, but a enjoyable opportunities to reachout and socialize with like minded friends!
Don't we all want healthy, fresh food? Legislation can be quite engaging when it pertains to issues surrounding our food choices. New Jersey Bill A3192, which requires labeling of all foods containing genetically modified material, was up for discussion on Monday, May 6th in Trenton. Included in the testimonies are those of NOFA-NJ board members Stephanie Harris on behalf of NOFA-NJ and Lucia Huebner as a NJ farm owner. Have a listen to the testimony:
Go to this link and click on "Archived Proceedings":
Choose from the center column "Assembly Health and Human Services"
Then choose "Monday May 6th 10:00 am" then click " listen".
Fracking: May 13-20 Call-in action to your legislatures. Check with NOFA-NJ on Facebook for updates.
Upcoming PPAC Events
NOFA-NJ is seeking organic farmer delegates for appointment to each counties' agricultural committee for the NJ Farm Bureau. Contact Therlam@yahoo.com for more information.
The next NOFA-NJ PPAC meeting is scheduled for Tuesday May 21th. Interested in joining the PPAC? Send an email to Therlam@yahoo.com with your request.