The following disturbing photos have been provided by the animal rights organization Farm Sanctuary. The organization, which is based in New York, was founded in 1986 and documents the abuses of factory farms, slaughterhouses, and stockyards. They rescue animals from these conditions, work with rehabilitating and caring for animals at shelters in both New York and California, as well as running advocacy and education campaigns on these issues.
These photos were originally posted here.
by Tracie McMillan.
Smack in the middle of a half-dozen shipping containers and
striding up a mound of gravel, Johanna Gilligan, 31, can’t contain her
excitement. “This looks so awesome!” She nods her head at an alcove
between two containers, painted the pale color of new celery, with dry sinks
attached. “That’s going to be for processing.”
Gilligan, co-director of New Orleans’ Grow Dat Youth Farm, traipses up the mound, which terminates at a
deck of sorts and more containers, crowded with architectural students from
Tulane University and local urban farm experts. Beyond the deck sits a bayou,
lined with trees weeping Spanish moss into the water; the I-610 freeway buzzes
along in the background. “I can’t believe how much is done! My office is
going to be in a treehouse!”
She has reason to be excited. At four acres, the buildings’
site is just a sliver of City Park, 1,300 acres of green space on New Orleans’
north side. But come February, the buildings will be done, the beds will be
ready for planting, and the second class of Grow Dat farmers will commence
their work. The goal: one acre planted, 10,000 pounds of food grown, 20 jobs
for student workers.
Pitched as the natural progression of programs like Alice
Waters’ Edible Schoolyard (New Orleans is home to the first Edible Schoolyard affiliate outside
of the Bay Area, and its founding director, Donna Cavato, sits on Grow Dat’s
board), Grow Dat will welcome its second round of student workers in February.
The project was founded in 2010 with the Tulane City Center, a
community design and architecture initiative, and the Urban Innovator Challenge
Fellowship, also at Tulane. The backing let Gilligan, a founding staffer for the
New Orleans Food and Farm Network and a driving force behind Rethink‘s New Orleans School Food Report Card, bring in a small staff to work out kinks for the program’s first year. In its
inaugural year, Grow Dat employed 13 student workers who grew a total of 2,200
pounds of food, donating nearly two-thirds of it to food banks, and selling the
rest at a farmers market.
The effort, says Denise Richter, who coordinates gardens at
five elementary and middle schools for Edible Schoolyard New Orleans (ESY-NOLA), solves a
riddle that’s confounded ESY-NOLA since it was founded: how to keep students
engaged with food after eighth grade.
“There was always this moment where it was like,
‘Great, we’ve been able to establish a culture and an understanding of how
important it is to know where your food comes from and cook it,’” says
Richter, who says ESY-NOLA works with more than 500 students each year.
“And there’s always this regret, because what do they do [after ESY]? Go
to a place where their cafeteria food looks like it did five years ago, eating
slop. Grow Dat is such an asset, because our students can apply their skills
and go even further.”
With an older—if much smaller—pool of students, Grow Dat is
aiming to expand teenagers’ food knowledge while teaching even broader lessons
about work and collaboration. “A key concept of Grow Dat is that you
cannot do social change only in one neighborhood,” says Gilligan. She sees
the program’s site at City Park as neutral ground for students, who this year
will come from a mix of public and private schools, to learn “to
communicate across race and class lines.”
That’s a heady goal, but if Aston Shields, 17, is any
indication, Grow Dat may have some luck in meeting it. One of last year’s
students—he’s angling to return as a crew leader this year—Shields didn’t start
out interested in food. “I was just reading posters on the wall, and
stumbled onto [the job listing],” says Shields in an urban drawl, adding
that he mostly applied because it was a paid job. For a modest stipend, he
learned how to plan and maintain food gardens, wash and prepare vegetables for
market and track their sales, and even attended a handful of lectures on food
systems at Tulane. “I came here and I was like, ‘Wow, I never even really
thought about how people produced our food,’” says Shields. “It was
just a whole new world.”
But in addition to being paid for his work, Shields was able
to take home fruits and vegetables from plots he was helping tend at the
Hollygrove Market and Farm—a
special boon to a family living in the Hollygrove neighborhood where, says
Shields, the closest thing to a supermarket is a Walgreen’s. “Once Grow
Dat gave me fruits and vegetables, [my family] embraced it,” says
Shields—even if the end results weren’t exactly what most slow food acolytes
might have had in mind. “We had some shiitake mushrooms,” says
Shields. “And my momma made sloppy joes with it.”
by John Farrell.
It seems obvious: Every extra turbine in a wind farm comes at a
lower incremental cost, making the biggest wind power projects the most
If you bet $ 20 on that proposition, you just lost $ 20.
Instead, data from the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2009 Wind Technologies Market Report by Ryan Wiser and Mark Bolinger (a must-read) blows a hole in the
conventional wisdom that bigger is better. The report shows that wind
projects between five and 20 megawatts have the lowest installed cost per watt of any size wind project.
are a few plausible explanations. For one, the economies of scale for
ever-larger wind projects are limited. At some point, the marginal cost
of an additional turbine is much like the previous one. The 500th wind
turbine is likely the same price to install as the 499th.
there may be disproportionate costs for larger wind projects. For
example, projects over 20 megawatts must by processed by the Federal
Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), a more onerous step than smaller
projects being handled at the state level. Additionally, projects of
inordinate size may require special financing that only a few large
firms can handle, adding a price premium. Finally, large projects may
only be possible with the addition of new transmission line capacity,
both a costly and time-consuming process.
Whatever the reason, the
conventional wisdom of “bigger is better” does not hold with wind power
in the United States. And the cost advantage of modest-sized wind
power projects may open up opportunities for local ownership, like
the seven-turbine South Dakota Wind Partners project, with its 600 South Dakotan owners. The prospect isn’t just
good for the cost of wind power, but for clean energy and the economy. Not only do locally owned projects like Wind Partners bring more public support for wind, they also garner significantly greater local economic benefits.
In wind power, the best policy is to “go local.”
by Nina Lalli.
On July 14, when my first backyard pullet became a hen — anonymously donating a perfect brown egg to the world — I lost my
shit. Even though I had been checking the chicken coop every day with great
anticipation, seeing the egg sitting there so nonchalantly, while the chickens
milled around, blew me away. It’s a weird and miraculous thing, and I wished I’d
known which of the ladies to congratulate and thank.
I scooped up the egg like a precious jewel, wrapped it
carefully, and brought it to my sister’s house. Tei, my boyfriend, had left
just the day before for two months of touring (he’s a sound designer), and I
had to share the experience with someone other than my dogs, who are not great
at savoring important moments. My sister, brother-in-law, and nephew greeted the
egg with appropriate awe and excitement. Leo, 7, did refuse to eat
“something that came out of a chicken’s butt,” but he was nonetheless thrilled.
The next day, there was another egg, and eventually there
were two a day. Seeing nature perform as it’s supposed to is amazing to this
city girl. I sent Tei pictures. I felt bad that he was missing our monumental
success, this magical functioning of the natural world.
Fast forward to mid-September. By the time Tei returned home
there were about 30 eggs in the fridge and a half-eaten frittata on the kitchen
counter. I was a tad frazzled. I waved a curtain of shampoo-commercial-worthy
hair in his face. I had been putting yolks in my locks before showering,
because that’s what the internet told me to do with excess eggs. “Isn’t it shiny?”
I asked, planting the compliment in Tei’s mouth. His response: “Is it supposed
to be shiny?”
Within minutes, Tei finished the frittata I’d been slicing
away at for three days. If you don’t have an endlessly hungry man around your
house, six chickens is way too many. Actually, even if you do, you’re going to have
to get creative. We now get five eggs almost every day, and his mother is
concerned about cholesterol.
Recently, at brunch with a friend, an unexpected
anxiety gripped me while perusing the menu. The eggs sounded good, but there was no way I
could order them. In fact, I should have
brought some with me, I thought. Is there a name for this condition? It’s a
kind of the flipside of hoarding. I feel great pressure to use up all the eggs!
The frittatas I make now have a dozen eggs in them. Eggs go
in pasta dishes, salad dressing, stir-fried rice, soup. We make custard-based ice cream.
Sometimes I suspect I’m
clumsy on purpose when collecting the eggs from the coop so I’ll drop one and
have an excuse to let one of the dogs eat it off the ground in the garden. I’ve
given eggs to the neighbors who put up with
the coop right outside their window, and
to friends who have invited me over, or just friends who I meet at a bar for a
beer. Here are some eggs
to take home. Naturally.
Remember the scene in the Coen Brothers’ The
Man Who Wasn’t There when barber Billy Bob Thornton tweaks
out about hair that keeps growing, even after he cuts it off? Well, I’m
starting to relate.
Luckily, homegrown and homemade foodstuffs are a valuable
commodity, especially in artisan-obsessed Brooklyn.
I may not have tons of money, but bartering is
all the rage, and suddenly I’m doing alright for myself.
First, we traded some eggs for our
friends’ homemade kombucha (which I believe is curing all my ailments). Then I shyly
asked my genius ricotta-making friend if she was interested in eggs. Boom! A sidewalk exchange later I had a tub of
Now I’m working on a fancy granola connection and maybe even
a restaurant deal. Eggs for an occasional free meal? It could happen.
Just recently, we started to run out of the organic chicken
feed I bought at a farm store upstate. (Having it shipped almost doubles the
price). And, since we’re not in love with the idea of processed grains, organic
or not, I started looking for alternatives. Tei had an idea: He occasionally
brews beer at home, and a by-product of that process is the grain that has been
boiled and strained. Rather than toss it, why not feed it to the chickens? My
trusty old scavenging instinct kicked in, so I got in touch with the people
at Brooklyn Homebrew, and they suggested
posting something on their message board. Soon enough, I was picking up some
spent grain from a handsome home-brewer in exchange for a dozen eggs! And the
chickens were delighted, so it’s possible we will never have to spend another
actual dollar on our eggs/kombucha/ricotta/granola again.
Maybe bartering could even cover the occasional
date night! A girl can dream.