Is This the End of Modern Farmer? Editorial Staff Walk Out
The future of Modern Farmer magazine looks uncertain as the editorial staff dwindles
If the magazine goes belly-up, we will have to (sadly) say good-bye to the ever-popular goat cam.
Modern Farmer is best known as the somewhat-quirky, splashy magazine that gives us a sneak-peak at the agricultural industry, and most importantly introduced us to some adorable, freewheeling goats via its explosively-popular goat cam. But now the 100,000-circulation quarterly magazine and website are in jeopardy, and no one knows if Modern Farmer will have a future, according to the New York Times. In December, the magazine’s founder walked out, and this Friday, the rest of the editorial staff also left. The magazine is not planning to publish a spring issue.
However, all may not be lost. A publicist representing the magazine explained to the New York Times that the magazine would resume publication in the summer after editorial replacements are hired.
Modern Farmer was not just a trade magazine, or a publication that appealed to agriculture enthusiasts: the magazine struck a chord with the general public as well, with hard-hitting reporting on ecological issues like GMOs, amusing features like an entire issue dedicated to donkeys, strong Op-Ed’s, and an aesthetically-appealing website design.
“I don’t want to speak ill of the dying, but what is the plausible audience in such a magazine?” magazine veteran Kurt Andersen told The New York Times. “It was too kind of nitty-gritty and old-fashioned, back-to-the-land hippie magazine for the food-farm porn market, and yet too ‘What about the dairy situation in the Philippines?’ for people who are really raising chickens for a living.”
Emrys Fermentations plans to bring Eastern European fare to Liberty Lake this summer
If you do a quick delve into the past, you’ll discover that some of the greatest tales involve one of history’s most famous wizards of lore: Merlin. Stories describe him as a great sorcerer, prophet, bard and tutor and an adviser.
He has appeared in many forms: a young boy with no father a bashful, transformed chipmunk and classically as a wise old man freely giving his wisdom to a line of successive British kings.
Spokane brewer Thomas Croskrey is far too young to have sought Merlin’s advice but nonetheless is branding his new Liberty Lake mead-centric brewery around Merlin’s birth name: Emrys.
Meaning “The Immortal One,” Croskrey hopes that his new businesses at Wellington and Harvard, in the heart of Greenstone’s soon-to-be River District, will give him long-lasting roots in a city booming with potential.
With as many restaurants and breweries as there are in the county and surrounding areas, what makes Emrys Fermentations exciting is the promise of something different. You can walk around the corner of any city block and find a citrus-heavy IPA and a tasty burger.
Emrys, whose entire libation concept is mead, braggot and Old World beer, will have an accompanying “peasant food” menu that is unlike anything currently in the Inland Northwest.
“I want to provide something new and exciting for the culinary explorers out there while keeping it approachable enough for the modern palate,” he said.
“Our goal is to fill gaps – gaps between past and future, gaps between the farmer and end consumer, gaps between the common and uncommon.”
With his ambition comes help from culinary friends. Early in development, Croskrey sought the experience of chef Travis Dickinson, who owns Cochinito Taqueria. They worked together on beer dinners after Croskrey opened Bellwether Brewing with Dave Musser in 2015.
Dickinson quickly came onboard as an adviser and consultant, helping develop Emrys’ food menu, taking Croskrey’s self-titled half-hack list of grilled cheese sandwiches, hard boiled eggs and other ideas and making it something special.
It was then that Croskrey met Chef Jordan Obermeyer, who worked for Dickinson for a year before becoming executive chef at Durkin’s Liquor Bar.
Obermeyer was intrigued by the concept and wanted to help by bringing to life some of his family’s Eastern European recipes, including rustic, flavorful dishes such as goulash, pelmeni and runzas, an iteration of bierocks and pirozhki.
It wasn’t long before Obermeyer’s experience and knowledge cemented him into taking the reigns as the new chef of Emrys.
The team has spent a good part of the COVID-19 shutdown, which has delayed their construction process, developing relationships to source the best-quality local ingredients for Emrys.
“All of our base grain – whether that’s base malt for our beers and braggots or flour in the bread and pasta – will be sourced from Palouse Heritage in Endicott,” Croskrey said.
“The grains they grow and the methods by which they grow them yield superior flavor and nutrition while also growing in a fully sustainable manner – no synthetic fertilizers, biocides, etc.”
Buying direct from local farmers is something that has been lost in this new age of distributors. “All our honey used in our mead will be first sourced from local apiarists like Hamilton Hives, Birds of the Muses and Moose Meadow Apiary,” Croskrey continued.
And that goes for everything Emrys sources, as they often will have the exact coordinates that any given ingredient is harvested.
Mead is growing in popularity and making a comeback via pop culture. It has surfaced in video games including “World of Warcraft” and “Skyrim” and was a beverage of choice on the History Channel Canada’s “Vikings” and HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”
Emrys hopes to not only ride the wave of its popularity but also help translate forgotten recipes, revitalize the energy of Old World taverns and venture back to the world that Merlin might have known – something strange, something adventurous and something magical.
Emrys Fermentation is scheduled to open this summer. For updates, follow Emrys at facebook.com/emrysfermentations.
Kris Kilduff can be reached at [email protected]
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Fannie Merritt Farmer
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Fannie Merritt Farmer, (born March 23, 1857, Boston, Mass., U.S.—died Jan. 15, 1915, Boston), American cookery expert, originator of what is today the renowned Fannie Farmer Cookbook.
Farmer grew up in Boston and in Medford, Massachusetts. She suffered a paralytic stroke during her high-school years that forced her to end her formal education. She recovered sufficiently to find employment as a mother’s helper, and she soon showed both an aptitude and a great fondness for cooking. With the encouragement of her parents, she entered the Boston Cooking School. Graduating in 1889, Farmer was asked to remain as assistant director, and in 1894 she became head of the school. Although reticent, she nevertheless became much sought after as a lecturer. She left the school in 1902 to open her own Miss Farmer’s School of Cookery, which was designed to train housewives rather than teachers, institutional cooks, or servants. For a year at Harvard University she conducted a course in dietetic and invalid cooking, and with her sister, Cora Farmer Perkins, she wrote a regular column for the Woman’s Home Companion from 1905 to 1915.
Farmer’s lasting contribution was twofold: the introduction of standardized level measurements in recipes and the Boston Cooking School Cookbook, first published in 1896 and still a best-seller in a modernized version, frequently revised, entitled The Fannie Farmer Cookbook. Its 12 editions in the first 70 years had sales totaling nearly four million copies. Recipes for everyday and classic dishes were accompanied by sections on formal entertaining, proper management of the home and service staff, use of kitchen equipment, and etiquette. Her largely intuitive knowledge of diet planning predated the modern field of nutrition. She stressed in her cookbook the “knowledge of the principles of diet [as an] essential part of one’s education. Mankind will eat to live, will be able to do better mental and physical work, and disease will be less frequent.” Her recipes were all personally tested and, thanks to accurate measurements, easy to follow successfully.
Farmer’s other books include Chafing Dish Possibilities (1898), Food and Cookery for the Sick and Convalescent (1904), What to Have for Dinner (1905), Catering for Special Occasions, with Menus and Recipes (1911), and A New Book of Cookery (1912). Her cooking school continued until 1944.
This Is How Your Fourth Stimulus Check Would Be Different From the Others
Here's everything that's currently under discussion for future stimulus payments.
The third stimulus package was finalized and distributed in March, with the IRS sending payments to more than 127 million Americans. But for many people, these funds still aren't enough to cover the financial hardships faced during the coronavirus pandemic. These individuals have already shifted their focus to the potential of another stimulus payment. And based on what lawmakers are currently proposing, your fourth stimulus check could look a lot different than the others. Keep reading to find out what changes have been suggested, and for more on the last stimulus check, If You Haven't Received Your Stimulus Payment Yet, You Need To Check This.
A group of more than 60 lawmakers—including Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Ilhan Omar—are pushing for President Joe Biden to consider making further stimulus payments happen as recurring payments, instead of a lump sum. Eleven senators wrote to Biden early in March saying, "We urge you to include recurring direct payments and automatic unemployment insurance extensions tied to economic conditions in your Build Back Better long-term economic plan," Newsweek reported. An earlier letter sent to Biden in late February by more than 50 House of Representatives members made a similar proposal, asking that any future relief package include recurring cash payments of equal payments for both adults and dependents that "continue until the economy recovers," as indicated by a copy of the letter provided by Politico. And for more on past payments, If You Never Got Your Last Stimulus Check, Experts Say Do This Now.
According to the House members who signed the letter to Biden in February, not only is "one more check is not enough" during the ongoing pandemic, but they also say that "many families cannot wait for eight months between payments."
"As we look at the coming year, another one-time round of checks would provide a temporary lifeline, but when that money runs out, families will once again struggle to pay for basic necessities," the letter states. "Recurring payments would provide a long-term lifeline to struggling Americans for the duration of this deadly pandemic."
The senators echoed the sentiment, writing in their letter that "families should not be at the mercy of constantly-shifting legislative timelines and ad hoc solutions." And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.
President Biden has yet to discuss what a fourth stimulus check would look like, though the administration has begun plans for a stimulus sequel package, currently referred to as the Build Back Better plan. According to CNET, this package currently aims to invest in the nation's energy grid, transportation, broadband, and water systems, but it may not include stimulus checks. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told Fox News on March 28 that this package won't even be fully unveiled until late April. And for anyone working on their taxes, If You're Waiting on a Stimulus Check, Read This Before Filing Your Taxes.
If you're already yearning for that fourth stimulus check, you may want to lower your expectations. Many experts are not convinced that another payment will be sent out to Americans—even with the Build Back Better plan in the works. According to Fortune, a large number of economists agree that the economic crisis brought forth by the pandemic is nearing its end and strong economic growth is just around the corner. "These [new] packages will be designed to address long-term economic problems such as infrastructure, climate change, and the skewed income and wealth distribution. I wouldn't consider these packages as fiscal stimulus, designed to support the economy in the short-term," Moody's chief economist Mark Zandi told Fortune. "I don't think there will be a fourth round of stimulus checks." And for money you might be owed, If You're Missing Money From Your Stimulus Payment, Check This Now.
Physics: No, you can't tip a cow
The age-old stunt of cow tipping isn't an age-old stunt after all, writes Jake Swearingen at Modern Farmer. In fact, he argues that it never happens in the real world, only in the movies.
Don't believe him? Go scour YouTube and prove him wrong. You won't find a single such cow-tipping video for a simple reason: physics. It would be virtually impossible for a single person to dig in a shoulder and tip a cow, and almost as impossible for two or three.
Physicists who studied the matter thought that six people might be able to get the job done. Still don't believe him? Talk to actual dairy farmers, as he does, and they'll clue you in: Cow tipping is an urban legend, rural-style.
Swearingen explains some of the other reasons — cows don't sleep standing up, and they're naturally wary animals, for example — to dispel the pop-culture myth, but he also digs into why it persists.
One reason is "that the closest many people come to a cow is seeing a Holstein along the interstate." It looks easy to do from there, until you walk up to a 1,400-pound dairy cow in person.
Another: Cow tipping is a "muddier, drunker, and more dangerous version of the snipe hunt" — that is, sending out a sucker on a futile mission, all for entertainment purposes.
"In other words, as long as there's booze, gullibility and a pasture nearby, cow tipping will live on," writes Swearingen. "Luckily for the cows, there's very little chance they'll ever end up actually on their sides."
At TakePart, one Iowan who always felt "vaguely un-Iowan" for never trying now feels vindicated.
Newser is a USA TODAY content partner providing general news, commentary and coverage from around the Web. Its content is produced independently of USA TODAY.
WHAT IS AN EARTH BAG?
I wish I could offer you a much more exciting description but basically these are small durable bags, very like sandbags, that can be filled with dirt, rocks or sand. Each material has various benefits when it comes to structural integrity and insulation. Dirt will not insulate as well as the small rocks and sand will.
The earth bags are used to build frames that are surprisingly powerful. I encourage you to take a look at the various types of pressure testing , damage testing, water damage and various other tests that these bags and structures have undergone.
These Earthbags have been used to build everything form actual homes to beautiful root cellars and even emergency shelters. These homes do not require tensile materials at all. In other words no wood or brick. The structures are highly durable and just absurdly cheap. Most of the models I looked were around $300-500 .
The Earthbags are stacked and arched with barbed wire between the layers in many ways to create exactly the design desired. They are then covered with stucco grating and a strong waterproof plaster.
Editorial: Why Dianne Feinstein should help put the filibuster out of its misery
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., has faced questions over her capacity to serve.
Samuel Corum / Getty Images 2020
Sen. Dianne Feinstein has entered the denouement of a storied political career whether she likes it or not. Nearly three decades after she was first elected to the Senate, she has relinquished her leadership of the powerful Judiciary Committee and endured critical dissections of her capacity to serve. Last week, Gov. Gavin Newsom had to walk back an awkwardly eager statement about appointing Feinstein&rsquos successor even though she has expressed no intention of resigning.
Feinstein&rsquos work isn&rsquot finished, though. Before she leaves the Senate, she has to help fix it. And there&rsquos no fixing the Senate &mdash or the country &mdash without nixing the filibuster.
Though Feinstein expressed support for the filibuster as recently as last fall, she said she was open to reform in a statement Friday that signaled a welcome and wise shift. The tradition&rsquos staunchest Democratic defenders have been West Virginia&rsquos Joe Manchin and Arizona&rsquos Kyrsten Sinema, but several other members of the caucus have expressed at least some misguided attachment to the convention.
Feinstein, the Senate&rsquos oldest member and one of its most conservative Democrats despite California&rsquos increasingly left lean, embodies the centrism and bipartisanship that the modern, filibuster-driven Senate only pretends to represent. By joining the enlightened movement to rid the body of the reactionary rule, she can do much to strip it of its false veneer of respectability while performing one of her greater services yet to the institution and the country.
Because the current form of the filibuster allows 40 senators to block most bills, the popular mandate that elected a Democratic president and Congress will be powerless to pass legislation that does not have the support of 10 Republican senators. And let&rsquos recall that Senate Republicans could not even produce 10 votes to convict former President Donald Trump of siccing a murderous mob on their own workplace.
That means that the Senate will be the graveyard of a litany of policies that, besides being sensible, enjoy majority support in Congress and overwhelming popularity among voters, including investing in the nation&rsquos infrastructure, raising the federal minimum wage, reforming immigration, requiring universal background checks for firearm purchases and addressing climate change.
But the most pivotal bill to fall to the filibuster would be HR1, an omnibus of election, redistricting and campaign finance standards and reforms that is the chief hope for countering a crush of state-level efforts to suppress and disenfranchise voters. Democrats may not have many chances to stop the antidemocratic momentum that could expel them and the people they represent from power regardless of popular will. No wonder even longtime filibuster defenders such as Feinstein, Manchin and President Biden have begun to soften their positions.
The minority of voters represented by Republicans already enjoys disproportionate representation through the Electoral College, gerrymandered House districts and particularly the Senate. The 50 Democratic senators currently in office represent more than 40 million more Americans than the 50 Republican incumbents. Those defending the filibuster are effectively arguing that these built-in Republican advantages aren&rsquot enough &mdash that the underrepresented Democrats still shouldn&rsquot be able to make policy without substantial support from the overrepresented Republicans.
Nor is it an anomaly that the filibuster is furthering the goals of today&rsquos reactionaries. Originally devised by proto-Confederate John C. Calhoun, the rule is rooted in efforts to protect slavery and later segregation.
Even if the custom could somehow be separated from its historical and current consequences, the filibuster would remain fundamentally indefensible. A series of revisions has divorced the procedure from the original requirement that the minority engage in debate, changed the number of votes required to end the debate, and made exemptions for executive appointments, judicial nominations and legislation deemed budget-related &mdash which, according to just a couple of perplexing recent rulings by the Senate parliamentarian, includes drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge but not raising the minimum wage.
Feinstein is right to help consign the filibuster to history for the sake of the institution and the country to which she has devoted so much of her life.
Everything about the experience is immensely gratifying, every slice of tomato and bread, satisfying. Knowing that my hands were a vital aspect of the feast-to-come changed how I looked at cooking. I’m not just throwing some chicken onto a pan and waiting for it to cook. I’m physically giving the bread shape, I’m rolling the dough around the feta cheese for the tiropita, I’m milking the goat and turning it to cheese — and I’m doing it all faster than I can pick something out on Netflix.
It may be obvious, but I should point out in the spirit of full disclosure that my hands were held the entire time. There’s no wizardry involved in the experience. I did not enter as a novice and magically leave as an experienced farmhand. The experts, men and women who’ve been doing this their entire lives, who know the soil like a parent knows their child, were right next to me to make sure I didn’t screw anything up too badly. When I cut the top of the tomato completely off instead of leaving a little leftover as a cover for the stuffed veggies, there was a chuckle and a shrug. When I failed at balancing the rack of lamb ribs against the stones next to the open fire, dropping a side of it in the dirt, the brains and skilled hands of the operation ran to the rescue.
In the end, a feast is laid out before us, and even I’m taken aback by the visual representation of how much work I’ve put into the meal myself. There’s the stuffed veggies, the lamb, the dakos, tiropita, and a few generous extra dishes, like the Chochlii Boubouristi with snails. (Use the accompanying toothpick to pull the little bugger out and enjoy the squish, not unlike mussels.)
"I’m milking the goat and turning it to cheese -- and I’m doing it all faster than I can pick something out on Netflix."
Taking my first bites with a glass of Agreco rosé next to my plate, I start to sense what Katerina mentioned at lunch the other day just after our arrival.
“You can taste if something is made with love. If it’s not made with love, it won’t taste any good, even if you follow the recipe.”
I didn’t need to ask the farmhands at Agreco if they love what they do. I could taste it.
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Here are the top 10 things to do in Houston this weekend
While the weather has been a wet one this week, hopefully that won’t stop you from attending the George Floyd Remembrance Walk this Saturday morning. Organized by The Brothers of Jack Yates, this two-hour walk will start at McGregor Park and end at Jack Yates High School, and all social clubs — Greek organizations, motorcycle riders, school bands, line dancers, etc. — are invited to tag along.
As always, there are other events for those who aren’t afraid to go out and get a bit damp. Such as:
Thursday, May 20
People Against Leigh Syndrome presents Green Out for PALS
Goode’s Armadillo Palace will be the location for this annual fundraiser — also known as Green Out for PALS — chaired by Rosie Murphy and Peyton Jones. Guests will enjoy food and libations from Goode Company, while helping to fund research and clinical care for Leigh syndrome, pediatric-onset, progressive, and fatal neurological disease closely linked to Parkinson's Disease. 6:30 pm.
The Parkway at Regent Square presents Cinematic Throwbacks
Regent Square is expanding its calendar of outdoor programming at The Parkway with Cinematic Throwbacks. The moonlit movie event will feature campy classics on a giant inflatable screen. The evening will be BYOC (bring your own chair), with Bovine & Barley’s Adult Ice Cream Truck on site selling concessions for noshing. May’s throwback film, the 2001 comedy Zoolander, with Ben Stiller flashing that blue-steel look as a bumbling male model. 8 pm.
Friday, May 21
The Menil Collection presents "Dream Monuments: Drawing in the 1960s and 1970s" opening day
The Menil Collection will present this exhibition, which features drawings that challenge the conventional idea of the monument as a permanent, grand or commemorative form. The exhibition takes its inspiration from the unrealized “Dream Monuments,” planned by the Menil Collection’s founders Dominique and John de Menil. This will remain on display through Sunday, September 19. 11 am.
MECA Performing Arts Series presents From Buenos Aires to New York
MECA’s Performing Arts Series presents this benefit concert, which will celebrate Latin American melodies performed by world-renowned pianist and MECA alum Alejandro Vela. Praised for his power to carry an audience away by creating an atmosphere of mystery and sensuous beauty, Vela is a pianist of northern Mexican origin, now performing in concert halls and orchestras worldwide. 8 pm.
Houston Cocktail Fest
Houston Cocktail Fest is back and ready to celebrate the art of the cocktail, showcasing some of Houston’s favorite mixologists as they put their skills to the test. Signature recipes are offered to consumers, with a “people’s choice” cocktail awarded to the evening’s best recipe. Consumers can experience the joy of these cocktails along with reveling in an atmosphere that celebrates the finest mixologists in Houston. 9 pm.
Saturday, May 22
Tropical Summer Party at Parkview Terrace
As part of the Marriott Marquis Houston’s seasonal "Parkview Terrace Presents" series, locals are invited to enjoy rooftop season with elevated entertainment and pool party programming on the sixth floor all summer long. Things will kick off with this inaugural party, featuring music from DJ Athenz, tropical leis & Instagrammable scenes, Bacardi giveaways and access to the infamous, Texas-shaped lazy river. 1 pm.
Social Bud Garden with Highway Vodka
Social Beer Garden will be hosting this event with Highway Vodka, which will be serving two special cocktails on site. The Liquid Marijuana, with vodka, melon, coconut, blue curacao, pineapple and ginger beer and the Pink Lady, with vodka, aperol, St. Germain, peychaud bitters, fresh lemon juice and sparkling rose. There will also be a smoke lounge, CBD products and food by Funnelocity, Nelson Cheese Steaks & Captain Ceviche. 4 pm.
Weekend Smokehouse Series at Woodshed Smokehouse
The Levy Park smokehouse concept by celebrity chef Tim Love is kicking off a free, summer concert series this weekend with live music on Saturday and Sunday evening. John Egan will perform an acoustic solo set on Saturday, and Dustry Neuman will perform an acoustic solo set on Sunday. The concert series will continue all summer on Saturday and Sunday nights, weather permitting. 6:30 pm.
Sunday, May 23
Memorial City Farmers & Feel Good Market
This outdoor, experiential shopping event, held next to the new Torchy’s Tacos and Mia’s Table on Gessner Road and Mathewson Lane, will feature more than 50 local farmer and artisan vendors, offering locally curated fresh produce and foods, as well as stylish jewelry, clothing, and gifts. There will also be family-friendly entertainment including face-painting, a balloon artist, acrobatic performances, a DIY succulent bar, music, and more. 10 am.
“As I Am” Art Festival
KNOWAutism Foundation is hosting this free, inaugural festival, which will spotlight the artwork from the students of 12 participating Houston-area schools and nonprofit organizations, representing a different art medium that will be available for purchase. There will also be music, bubble activities, a magician and live performances from the Houston Ballet, The River, Social Motion Skills and much more. 11 am.