Category Archives: Sustainable Farming, Health, Soil and Environment

Review: Find Your Safe, Local Raw Milk and Other Real Food, Too!

E-book by David Augenstein, MS, P. Eng.

More and more people are discovering that raw milk from grass-fed cows is nature’s perfect food and want to experience its health-promoting benefits. They are also are learning the benefits of other nutrient-dense foods like pastured eggs, meats and poultry. However, finding a local source for these foods for the first time can be complicated.  The e-book, Find Your Safe, Local Raw Milk and Other Real Food, Too, is a fantastic guide that really simplifies the process and provides excellent guidelines to insure a high-quality source. (See

Through a step-by-step process, Augenstein shows you how to locate a local dairy or a co-op and understand the laws regarding raw dairy in your state. Importantly, he describes the high-quality farm management practices that need to be present in raw milk production so you can determine if the farm you are considering will be a safe, clean, nutrient-dense source of food.

David discusses other very helpful issues like the differences in how people organize picking up their food that range from driving groups to drop-off points and home delivery. He also has links to invaluable books, articles and studies about raw milk.

People who seek out a high-quality source of raw milk are usually interested other foods from these sustainable farms. This book helps you understand how to connect with farms that can provide all of these. 

You will be surprised to find a bonus download of the new book from the Weston A. Price called Healthy for Life. This book alone would cost $10, but through this offer you have an excellent opportunity to get 2 books at once, plus learn about the guiding principles behind a truly health-building diet. Additionally, there is a wealth of delicious recipes from which to choose.

Lastly, David shares blogs, web resources and books that cover the gamut of subjects revolving around the explosion of interest in real food from sustainable farms. I can’t think of a better use of $7! Thanks David for preparing this amazing resource!

If you consider this powerful quote you will realize just how important making the effort to find nutrient-dense foods really is:

“Those who think they have no time for healthy eating will sooner or later have to find time for illness.”
Edward Stanley

Best in Health,

Kathryne Pirtle

A Grassroots Initiative to Reform Medical, Industrial Food and Environmental Corruption

The Canary Party is a grassroots initiative aimed at reforming medical, industrial food and environmental corruption and the obstruction of human rights with regard to these issues. Harry Truman’s statement, “A nation is only as healthy as its children,” is a chilling prediction. We as a nation must heed this wisdom and prepare to make changes in our perception of what truly will build our prosperity. Our children are our legacy. We must change course.

Please read more about the new political party being formed to advance health and food freedom.

A Grass Roots Initiative for Health Freedom

Kathryne Pirtle

Book Review: Composting Inside and Out–14 Methods to Fit Your Lifestyle

By Stephanie Davies, The Urban Worm Girl
(Pub. by Better Way Home, 2011)

Before reading Stephanie Davies’ book, I have to admit, I was not composting. Though I had often discussed composting with my husband; as an agronomist and biology teacher, this was his “turf” and he was not going to add one more responsibility to our busy schedule. I am sure his idea of a composting was from childhood—one of those big piles you had to turn in your backyard that was a huge eyesore. This would not work in our neighborhood and he simply was not interested in another job.

Wanting to participate as a steward of building good soil, I was excited to learn of this new book. From cover to cover, Stephanie makes it absolutely clear that there is a method of composting that will suit anyone in any living arrangement—including a high-rise apartment in downtown New York!  Simply put, composting is essential to healing our soil—the most basic nutrient of our planet and we need everyone to join in.

Outdoor composting ranges from traditional piles to bin systems, tumblers and specialty systems like the three-chamber composter, the hot composter and the digester. The beauty of enclosed outdoor composting is that it is discreet, efficient and can easily be done year round.

Composting in the city apartment? No problem! There are excellent indoor composting systems like the NatureMill and Bokashi. She explains, “The NatureMill automatic compost bin is essentially a standard kitchen appliance that composts. It’s low maintenance and no installation is required.” Unlike most outdoor systems, these indoor types accept all kitchen scraps including meat, fish and dairy.

Although most of us have conceived of the benefits of establishing healthy worm populations outdoors, I was thoroughly inspired by the many possibilities of creating an indoor worm bin as another method of maximizing our contribution to the soil.

Ms. Davies’ most unique contribution is her business, Urban Worm Girl, established in 2008, which has helped to install hundreds of residential worm bins throughout the country.  Among her accolades, she has been featured at the Green Festival in Chicago in 2009 and 2010 as well as in the Chicago Tribune, ABC7 in Chicago, Edible Chicago and Library Life TV. Stephanie presents interactive workshops on vermi-composting and other forms of composting, speaking regularly at schools, garden clubs, farmers markets and within private homes.

“As Urban Worm Girl, I educate the public about the wisdom of the red wiggler composting worm. I also sell worms by the pound and all the necessary worm bin equipment. Selling worms often feels like trafficking illegal substances. Weighing out the product, bagging it up and packing it in a nondescript bag for delivery seems questionable. Even to me, at times. I often make “the drop” where it will be convenient for my clients and in a way that minimizes the need for a third party, such as the postal service. Parking lots, city parks during kids’ baseball games, grocery stores on a Sunday afternoon, or the front or back porch of someone’s home has often been the scene of the “crime.”

Her book includes a wonderful section describing her many unusual experiences with helping people set up worm bins called, Real People, Real Worms: The Adventures of the Urban Worm Girl. As she states, “In the beginning, I was nervous to show up at a stranger’s house or in a random parking lot, but now I treasure these unique moments. Who will be on the other end of the deal? Usually it’s a very interesting individual with whom I share a very specific common interest: worms!

If you haven’t set up a composting system, this book will inspire you to do so. It details every aspect of this important principle and invites us to engage in the critical effort of soil revitalization—one of our planet’s most fundamental needs.  See for more information about vermicomposting education, worm bins, red wiggler worms, bedding and “know how.”

Review by Kathryne Pirtle

Stephanie Davies is one of the most gifted and sought-after occupational therapists in the Chicago area. She is a brilliant ally of top performing artists in orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony and the Lyric Opera Orchestra, helping many musicians heal from complicated, career-threatening injuries. She is also deeply involved with nutrition based on the work of Weston A. Price.

“Power is the worst drug in the world.” Pete Seeger

I have been inspired listening to the CD of Pete Seeger’s songs done with Paul Winter and Earth Music Productions (!996). Of all the people that light up this planet, Pete Seeger did an amazing job. On the front of his banjo are printed the words, “This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender.” As we change the imbalances of this planet, I see a thread of the abuse of power. Pete writes,The human race is in need of organizers who are not power hungry. Power is the worst drug in the world.

Wisdom is timeless–music is timeless. We pass away, but the music and words live on. Taking the melody of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Pete writes:

Build the road of peace before us

Build it wide and deep and long

Speed the slow, remind the eager




Work beside me sisters and brothers


I see many on the road who are working to heal this planet. We are changing from the inside out. Every person’s efforts to help are important–no act is too small. All for one and one for all.

May the light continue to fill your heart and work to inspire you.

Many blessings,

Kathryne Pirtle

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
– attributed to Edmund Burke

From Eknath Easwaran’s,  Thought for the Day

Some of our most trying difficulties are caused by plain old inertia. Inertia shows itself in not wanting to move, not wanting to act – in other words, in wanting to be a stone just lying on the road. It is all right for a stone to be inert; that is its role in life. But it is not all right for you and me to just lie down and try to avoid problems, saying, “What does it matter?”

When I hear the phrase “well adjusted,” I do not always take it as a favorable comment. Mahatma Gandhi has said that to be well adjusted in a wrong situation is very bad; in a wrong situation we should keep on acting to set it right. When Gandhi, at the peak of his political activity, was asked in a British court what his profession was, he said, “Resister.” If he was put in a wrong situation, he just could not keep quiet; he had to resist, nonviolently but very effectively, until the situation was set right.

I am often deeply moved by the daily messages from Eknath Eawaren’s, Thought for the Day. What can you do today to make a difference? Every effort to help change our food supply and heal our people so that the generations to come will have something better is important.  Every act that brings light to our mother earth is essential.

Many Blessings,

Kathryne Pirtle

For more information on healing and building health with nutrient-dense foods and seminars on this subject, see

Book Review: Empires of Food–Feast, Famine and the Rise and Fall of Civilizations

Book by Evan D.G. Fraser and Andrew Rimas (Pub. by Free Press, 2010)

Empires of Food is a fascinating book that certainly reveals the old adage that “history repeats itself.” As we moved away from the hunter-gatherer paradigm to that of civilization, man has often been deceived by the pursuit of progress. From the Mayan, Greek and Roman empires to our present day society, many urban societies have mistakenly sought development through monoculture–an agricultural system that depends on limited crops like wheat, corn and soybeans.

However, these agricultural systems have always suffered grave consequences:
“These societies, these food empires, can only exist if three things happen: Farmers need to grow more food than they eat; they need a means of trading it to willing buyers; they need a way to store it so it doesn’t turn to sludge before reaching its economic apotheosis. When these three premises are met, urban life flourishes. Which is, in itself, the seed of the problem…When a food empire fails, mobs tear apart the marketplace, angry over the cost of bread. Governments raise armies to conquer greener, more fertile valleys. People uproot. Forest creeps back over old fences. Arable land falls into disuse, and society contracts. It happens again and again. And it’s happening now…..”

Reading this summation of agricultural history now as we face alarming governmental interference to thwart the emergence of a truly sustainable system struck me to the core. Inherent problems to all monocultures are the clearing of massive amounts of land ultimately ending in the total destruction of its fertility, disease to crops and climate change, most often in the form of warming and drought.  Also common is the inevitable abuse of governmental power as whoever controls the food, controls the people. Inevitably, urban society cannot ceaselessly survive in this unsustainable structure.

However, the wisdom of our current biodynamic, pasture farming movement is the answer to correcting the serious problems of our depleted food supply. Protecting biodiversity and our precious resources are essential elements of our survival. Furthermore, Fraser and Rimas discuss the importance of saving food surpluses and supporting a global sustainable farming network as insurance for times of shortage.

This book provides an enlightening historical journey through the problematic agricultural practices that led to the destruction of great societies that briefly flourished.  Although today we have stores full of varieties of cheap food never before offered—food that will only grow with fertilizers and insecticides made from petrochemicals—there will be an end to this system. Cheap food is not cheap.

The types of changes we have made with regard to our food choices, sources and our health in relation to the work of Weston A. Price we must also foster in relation to our entire global food system. Can we raise enough awareness and learn from history before it is too late? Can we become a society that chooses according to how our decisions will affect people for the next seven generations? I say we must.

Kathryne Pirtle

How to Start a Movement–Be the Change

I recently received an e-mail that had these three powerful messages as a signature. They capture the essence of the pure positive thought that is moving people to a choose the highest possible guiding principles that will heal our planet. This surely will come to pass as we connect to this change. The “tipping point” is here.

“I am a caretaker of creation.  I don’t own it, but what I’m supposed to do is leave it in better shape for the next generation than I found it.  Period.”

~ Joel Salatin, sustainable farmer featured in the movie FRESH


“Healing is only found

When in the mirror of the human soul

The whole community is pictured

And in the whole community

The power of the individual soul is living.

~ Rudolf Steiner


“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back.  Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans:  that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.  All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.  A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would come his way.  Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it.  Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”

~ Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Be the change. Who’s your farmer? Connect to sustainable farms.

Best in Health,

Kathryne Pirtle

Sustainable farmer in Iowa who is running for Secretary of Agriculture in Iowa–Need Your Help

Dear Friends,

I have been talking to Francis Thicke, a sustainable farmer in Iowa who is running for Secretary of Agriculture in Iowa. With Monsanto and big agribusiness pouring piles of money to plant candidates in key positions across our country–we need your help.

Francis has been endorsed by both Michael Pollen and the producer of Food Inc.

See this amazing video!!

Here is a letter to me from Francis:

We have some very good news from our campaign for Iowa Secretary of Agriculture that I want to share with you. We have just completed a scientific poll of Iowa voters to find out what my chances are of getting elected. In the poll results I am trailing the incumbent narrowly (within the margin of statistical error).  The very good news is that when respondents were given basic facts about the incumbent’s and my positions on issues, I passed him by a large margin.

These results are very encouraging because they indicate to us that voters are very favorable to the issues I have been raising, and that if we are able to mount a TV and radio advertising campaign in the final weeks before the election, we have a very good chance of winning.

The bottom line is that we need to raise $200,000 to 300,000 in order to get our message out on the airwaves.

Obviously, large donors would be very helpful, but we are also working hard to get many small and medium-sized contributions.  Thus far, our support has been from many smaller, grassroots contributors.  My opponent is getting large PAC checks from Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta, and many other agribusiness interests.

Remember the Who’s from Whoville from Dr. Suess’s Horton Hears a Who? We need all of you Who’s out there to shout loud and clear–every one of you!! Nothing you do is too small–it’s the numbers that matter.

Please pass this message on. To donate, please go to
Best in Health,
Kathryne Pirtle

Urgent – SB S510 Will Allow Government to Put You in Jail for Growing, Sharing, Trading and Sharing Homegrown Food

We cannot assume that someone else will protect our rights. Each person needs to write a letter. SB S510 is perhaps one of the most scandalous bills to ever have been written that could jeopardize your right to choose the foods you want to eat.

Please send the following senators listed below a sample letter below, or write one and send yours.

Kathryne Pirtle

Dear Congress(wo)man,

I am deeply concerned with your sponsorship of Senate Bill 510. That bill represents another hideous attempt to place more power into the hands of centralized government and robs individual citizens and states. The greatest danger to mankind is that this bill allows complete manipulation of America’s food supply and threatens to strip us of our freedoms to grow, sell, and buy food and make doing any of those natural things crimes punishable by imprisonment. It would be a crime to grow food and share it with my friends and neighbors. The act of generating and supporting this bill is in itself criminal to our Constitution to which you are not immune. Not only remove your sponsorship from Bill S510 but defeat it. Thank you.


(your name)

Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) is the sponsor of this bill.

Co-sponsors are:
Lamar Alexander [R-TN]

Jeff Bingaman [D-NM]

Richard Burr [R-NC]

Roland Burris [D-IL]

Saxby Chambliss [R-GA]

Christopher Dodd [D-CT]

Michael Enzi [R-WY]

Kirsten Gillibrand [D-NY]

Judd Gregg [R-NH]

Thomas Harkin [D-IA]

Orrin Hatch [R-UT]

John Isakson [R-GA]

Edward Kennedy [D-MA]

Amy Klobuchar [D-MN]

Ben Nelson [D-NE]

Tom Udall [D-NM]

David Vitter [R-LA]

Senate Bill S510 Will Make It Illegal to Grow, Share, Trade or Sell Homegrown Food
by Steve Green

S 510, the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010, may be the most dangerous bill in the history of the US.

“If accepted [S 510] would preclude the public’s right to grow, own, trade, transport, share, feed and eat each and every food that nature makes. It will become the most offensive authority against the cultivation, trade and consumption of food and agricultural products of one’s choice. It will be unconstitutional and contrary to natural law or, if you like, the will of God.” It is similar to what India faced with imposition of the salt tax during British rule, only S 510 extends control over all food in the US, violating the fundamental human right to food.” ~ Dr. Shiv Chopra, Canada Health whistleblower.

Monsanto says it has no interest in the bill and would not benefit from it, but Monsanto’s Michael Taylor who gave us rBGH and unregulated genetically modified (GM) organisms, appears to have designed it and is waiting as an appointed Food Czar to the FDA (a position unapproved by Congress) to administer the agency it would create — without judicial review — if it passes.

S 510 would give Monsanto unlimited power over all US seed, food supplements, food AND FARMING.

In the 1990s, Bill Clinton introduced HACCP (Hazardous Analysis Critical Control Points) purportedly to deal with contamination in the meat industry. Clinton’s HACCP delighted the offending corporate (World Trade Organization “WTO”) meat packers since it allowed them to inspect themselves, eliminated thousands of local food processors (with no history of contamination), and centralized meat into their control. Monsanto promoted HACCP.

In 2008, Hillary Clinton, urged a powerful centralized food safety agency as part of her campaign for president. Her adviser was Mark Penn, CEO of Burson Marsteller*, a giant PR firm representing Monsanto.  Clinton lost, but Clinton friends such as Rosa DeLauro, whose husband’s firm lists Monsanto as a progressive client and globalization as an area of expertise, introduced early versions of S 510.

S 510 fails on moral, social, economic, political, constitutional, and human survival grounds.

1.  It puts all US food and all US farms under Homeland Security and the Department of Defense, in the event of contamination or an ill-defined emergency. It resembles the Kissinger Plan.

2.  It would end US sovereignty over its own food supply by insisting on compliance with the WTO, thus threatening national security. It would end the Uruguay Round Agreement Act of 1994, which put US sovereignty and US law under perfect protection. Instead, S 510 says:


Nothing in this Act (or an amendment made by this Act) shall be construed in a manner inconsistent with the agreement establishing the World Trade Organization or any other treaty or international agreement to which the United States is a party.

3.  It would allow the government, under Maritime Law, to define the introduction of any food into commerce (even direct sales between individuals) as smuggling into “the United States.” Since under that law, the US is a corporate entity and not a location, “entry of food into the US” covers food produced anywhere within the land mass of this country and “entering into” it by virtue of being produced.

4.  It imposes Codex Alimentarius on the US, a global system of control over food. It allows the United Nations (UN), World Health Organization (WHO), UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the WTO to take control of every food on earth and remove access to natural food supplements. Its bizarre history and its expected impact in limiting access to adequate nutrition (while mandating GM food, GM animals, pesticides, hormones, irradiation of food, etc.) threatens all safe and organic food and health itself, since the world knows now it needs vitamins to survive, not just to treat illnesses.

5.  It would remove the right to clean, store and thus own seed in the US, putting control of seeds in the hands of Monsanto and other multinationals, threatening US security. See Seeds – How to criminalize them, for more details.

6.  It includes NAIS, an animal traceability program that threatens all small farmers and ranchers raising animals. The UN is participating through the WHO, FAO, WTO, and World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) in allowing mass slaughter of even heritage breeds of animals and without proof of disease. Biodiversity in farm animals is being wiped out to substitute genetically engineered animals on which corporations hold patents. Animal diseases can be falsely declared. S 510 includes the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), despite its corrupt involvement in the H1N1 scandal, which is now said to have been concocted by the corporations.

7.  It extends a failed and destructive HACCP to all food, thus threatening to do to all local food production and farming what HACCP did to meat production – put it in corporate hands and worsen food safety.

8.  It deconstructs what is left of the American economy. It takes agriculture and food, which are the cornerstone of all economies, out of the hands of the citizenry, and puts them under the total control of multinational corporations influencing the UN, WHO, FAO and WTO, with HHS, and CDC, acting as agents, with Homeland Security as the enforcer. The chance to rebuild the economy based on farming, ranching, gardens, food production, natural health, and all the jobs, tools and connected occupations would be eliminated.

9.  It would allow the government to mandate antibiotics, hormones, slaughterhouse waste, pesticides and GMOs. This would industrialize every farm in the US, eliminate local organic farming, greatly increase global warming from increased use of oil-based products and long-distance delivery of foods, and make food even more unsafe. The five items listed — the Five Pillars of Food Safety — are precisely the items in the food supply which are the primary source of its danger.

10. It uses food crimes as the entry into police state power and control. The bill postpones defining all the regulations to be imposed; postpones defining crimes to be punished, postpones defining penalties to be applied. It removes fundamental constitutional protections from all citizens in the country, making them subject to a corporate tribunal with unlimited power and penalties, and without judicial review.

For further information, watch these videos:
Food Laws – Forcing people to globalize?
Corporate Rule?
Reclaiming Economies?

Have you been kissed by a cow today?

Recently I met a group of people who are supporting small sustainable farms at Scott Trautman’s beautiful farm for a tour. I  organized this tour as an ongoing project to offer regular pilgrimages connecting people with these farms and their farmers that love the land so much that they are willing to, as Scott puts it, “Ask the animals and the land what it needs–and not the other way around.” Our food is a gift and when we understand how privileged we are to share in the fruits of the land–we will never, never ever turn away from our responsibility of stewardship.

What a concept of faith and gratitude to Mother Earth and its creatures–to ask what we can do to serve. What greater calling can well up in our souls than asking, “How, dearest soil, plant, animal and brother, can I serve you”….Can we turn this planet around–I know all things are possible with spirit as our guide.

When I experience Scott’s farm I am in awe of the effervescent energy and aura alive there. To walk amongst the cows content on pasture, to cradle the chickens who freely roam, to talk to the pigs who are happily free to be pigs, to smell the amazing sweet aroma of fresh grass and hay, to hear the sounds of nature all around you–I know that this is heaven–what a gift.

But then to share this magic with families and children who have been deprived of this perfect plan–who are grateful and all of the sudden–REALLY GET IT once they go! This is God’s plan for us now–we all need to REALLY GET IT. We need to spread the magic. We need to make a pilgrimage to the farm a regular priority. This is life! Are we truly awake yet if we aren’t connected to the stream of life? What do we value?

By going to the farm with this group, Scott said he can now pay his taxes without taking out a loan! Wow, by supporting small family farms, we not only receive the gift of life-sustaining foods–foods that can heal chronic, life-threatening illness and support optimal health for all, including growing children–we keep our dearest farmer, who cares deeply for the land, from suffering great debt. Farmers deserve better in our country. After all–sustainable farms are the only hope of the future health of our people and planet.

One of the most sacred experiences I have at the farm is communing with the cows. I am awestruck by their beauty and spirit. I feel drawn to their eyes and am blessed when I get a kiss. There is nothing like a big fat kiss from a cow! Their tongue is a little prickly like a cat’s, and when they trust you, they might just show that they like you and let you scratch their head. This is heaven.

Connection to mother earth means physically going to the farm where you get your food if possible. Since we can’t all have a farm, the next best thing is to be a part of the excitement of real food by connecting with it.

Don’t miss out on the magic of the farm in your life journey. Have you been kissed by a cow today?

To find sustainable farms in your area see

For more information on building health and healing with nutrient-dense foods see Performance without Pain and our new e-book on healing acid reflux.

Best in health,

Kathryne Pirtle