Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy Vernal Equinox everyone!

Happy Vernal Equinox everyone!
Yay! Winter has finally been banished for another year... well, at least according to the calendar. You'd never be able to tell by looking out the window. It's quite dark and overcast this morning, threatening a heavy rain. (At least it's warm enough now to banish the potential for snow today.)

In national gardening news I was quite pleased to hear about the Obama's putting in an 1,100 sq. veg garden, the first at the White House since Eleanor Roosevelt's victory garden during WWII. It will be used to not only feed the Obama's and their guests but help teach children about gardening and nutrition. (In a world that could stand a LOT of eduction on both) Kudo's to Michele Obama (who's spearheading this endeavor) I hear she's even going to make Barack pull weeds! lol

Of course good news is sometimes followed by bad which seems to be wrapped up in bill H.R. 875, Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009. It basically states that, ""any food establishment ... engaged in processing, packing or holding food for consumption in the United States" will have to register with a new Food Safety Agency and be subject to its regulations, as well as random regular inspections. Yes that means if I have too much zucchini coming out of my summer garden and I bring it to the neighbors I should expect a government agent to come knocking on my door. Gah! The zucchini police! Is this really what we need? No. I can understand want to crack down on large corporations that taint peanuts (etc) with pathogens but how will this effect farmer's markets and other small businesses or even the home garden enthusiasts? I really hope it gets reworked before, if, when it passes to make a provision for smaller businesses that can't stand the weight of more government regulation.

1 comment:

Joanne said...

I've heard there are regulations here in Australia regarding soap-makers along the same lines. They have to be registered and submit products for testing. It has forced many small and even medium sized business to close down soap-making as their margins are too small already to take on the extra cost.
And of course, the US is also requiring registration and testing of all products for babies and children which has huge ramifications for the homemade toy/ baby product industry.
The intentions are good, I guess, with all of the dodgy product coming from China but you don't want to wipe out market/cottage industry.