This week, I got some of my Craigslist juju back. It had been dormant for awhile, but thousands of feet of ¾-inch irrigation drip-line and a free, pink cast-iron bathtub have turned a draught into a downpour. The irrigation line is going to open up heretofore untapped regions of the property.

The farming really suits me – not that we can really call what we’re doing farming just yet. Right now it is more like larger-scale gardening, but progress is being made! I enjoy the constant process of trial and error and the fumbling around.

I had no idea how much irrigation line I was going to get until I arrived at the place. A local walnut farmer was completely re-rigging his lines, and the old system was coiled and piled on the curb. The couple of thousand feet I took barely scratched the surface, but it filled my truck, and then some. I had no real plan, and so I ended up more or less cramming the piles into my truck bed, then strapping it all down with ropes. After I got home, I spent the better part of a couple of hours disentangling the 20 or so individual pieces of line that comprised the overall PVC bird’s nest. It is tedious work, but I’ll tell you, almost nothing makes me feel better than scoring a big haul of reusable material for free. The farmer told me what didn’t get taken would be going to the dump.

GMO Outrage

The more I learn about genetically modified foods, the more outraged I become. I am not a scientist, so I’m trying to piece this all together and give everything a fair shake. I get that there is a role for technology. If a scientist can hybridize a nourishing grain that can help to stabilize the food supply in an arid region, that is a good thing. But that doesn’t seem to be what we have going on here. From what I can see, we have an attempt by huge conglomerates to monopolize our food supply. Seeds are being trademarked, and companies are suing farmers when the genetic codes in their patented seed lines show up in the farmer’s crops.

On top of that, and contrary to industry claims, there is evidence suggesting that the genetically modified food is not better for us. On the contrary, it may actually be making us sick. Because our bodies do not recognize the recombinant strands of DNA in GMOs, the natural reaction is to reject them, and this may be leading to an increase in a number of physical ailments related to chronic irritation.

A final issue that really upsets me is the fact that these GMO strains have been in our food since 1992. I was working under the impression that this was a new phenomenon, and that we could avoid the GMO crops. But instead, basically all of the corn and soy-based products we eat are derived from genetically modified sources, and corn and soy derivatives are in almost everything.

The close ties the Food and Drug Administration share with leading GMO producers should give even the most ardent patriot cause for concern. We don’t need the Bilderbangers or the Templar Knights; this is a grand conspiracy being played out right in front of our eyes, in our supermarkets, and on our dining room tables. This is our government working hand-in-hand with industry to narrow and degrade our food supply, in order to make piles of quick cash. If this doesn’t stoke the flames of revolution, I don’t know what will.

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Bob Howard has been living, working, and writing in Northern Califonria since he moved to Chico in early 2000. In January 2011, he and his wife Trish relocated to Los Molinos, 30 minutes north of Chico, where they are the proud proprietors of the Double Happiness Farm. There they grow organic food, ornamental plants and trees, and generally work to enjoy the beauty of this great region.