The Depth of Localness: Is 100 Miles a Distant Source?

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Paul Misciagno
Everybody is on the "buy local" bandwagon, which is a good thing. However, to be truly local, we need to look at the depth of the localness.

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Farmer Jay's 11 Best Instagram Photos

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Paul Misciagno
Farmer Jay
He may be Broward and Palm Beach County's favorite farmer, but he's also our favorite Instagrammer.

Farmer Jay spends his days working the fields on his sustainable, organic farm and nights penning a column called Farmer Jay's Soapbox for Clean Plate Charlie. So it's a wonder that he finds the time to moonlight as an expert farm life photographer, but heirloom tomato shots don't lie.

We've picked out Farmer Jay's 11 best Instagram photos (that's our usual ten, plus one for good luck). Get ready for some close-ups.

See also: Farmer Jay's Top 25 Instagrams

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Grow Big Plants the Natural Way With Homemade Biochar

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Paul Misciagno
What is biochar? Biochar is wood chips that go through a process called pyrolysis, basically burning without much oxygen to produce wood charcoal. So biochar is another name for charcoal when not used for food. (Note - commercial charcoal bought for food is not the same as biochar, I'll explain later.)

We are specifically talking about wood derived charcoal prepared for use in soil. The benefits are amazing and this process has been going on for thousands of years.

See also:
- What Happened to the Tomato?
- Does All Produce Have To Be Organic? A Guide To Buying Fruits And Vegetables

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What Happened to the Tomato?

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Paul Misciagno

Ever wonder why tomatoes taste like crap nowadays?

I bet almost everybody can remember eating a tomato at some point in their life and recall how delicious it was. It was probably juicy and bursting with flavor.

Today you buy a tomato and the skin is so tough and then when you bite into it, you feel cheated. Where is the juice? Where is the flavor?

What is going on at the tomato farm?

Read also:
- Does All Produce Have To Be Organic? A Guide To Buying Fruits And Vegetables
- Grassfed vs Feedlot Meat
- Microgreens: Little Plant, Big Benefits


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Microgreens: Little Plant, Big Benefits

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Paul Misciagno
Microgreens are the second stage of plant growth after the sprout. They were first only grown for and used in high end restaurants, but now they are becoming more widespread and utilized. Before you get started -- eating them or growing your own -- there are some things you should know.

Read also:
- How to Prepare Your Garden For a Tropical Storm or Hurricane
- So You Want to Be a Farmer -- Why?

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How to Prepare Your Garden For a Tropical Storm or Hurricane

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Paul Misciagno
Most farmers tuck tail this time of year because of the heavy rains and chance of a devastating hurricane, but not me. Of course I stand a risk of losing plants, and I most likely will.

There are some things I do, however, and you can do in your home garden, to better prepare your plants for a storm.

See also:
- Does All Produce Have To Be Organic? A Guide To Buying Fruits And Vegetables
- Is Antibacterial Soap Really Better Than Regular Soap?

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Does All Produce Have To Be Organic? A Guide To Buying Fruits And Vegetables

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Paul Misciagno

I will be the first to admit, it is very difficult to fit buying all produce organic into your budget. Furthermore, you can't always find everything you need organic. So, when faced with the dilemma of organic vs conventional (or conventional vs skip it), is conventional ever the right choice to make?

Luckily, there is an organization that set out to help us with the very difficult task of deciding if all produce we buy must be organic.

See also:
- Five Healthy Edible Plants That Tolerate The Heat
- Farmer Jay to Speak About Local Food at TEDx Jupiter Conference


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Is Antibacterial Soap Really Better Than Regular Soap?

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Paul Misciagno

I think most of us just assume that by using an antibacterial soap, our hands are cleaner, but there are rules and side effects that you may not know about.

Nowadays, we use antibacterial soap in the bathroom, antibacterial hand sanitizer, and antibacterial even lotions in between washings. We are attempting to kill any and all bacteria with the notion that all are bad and need to die.

See also:
- Hot Farmer Alert: Meet Farmer Jay
- Grassfed vs Feedlot Meat
- Feeding the Flowers: An Eco Way to Go When You Die

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Grassfed vs Feedlot Meat

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Paul Misciagno

Choose your meat wisely because your life depends on it.

Many people I know have chosen to not eat meat and become vegetarians due to the unhealthiness of meat, and the difficulties in finding quality meats. The truth is meat can be extremely healthy and provide life saving nutrition if you make the proper choice from the butcher.

However, meat is extremely unhealthy if you choose it by the cheapest price from the grocery store.

To better understand, we need to look at the differences between grassfed and feedlot meat.

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Feeding the Flowers: An Eco Way to Go When You Die

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Paul Misciagno
Ever think of why we don't compost ourselves when we go for the big reward? Sounds a little off, right?

Well, I don't think composting ourselves and growing food out of it would be appealing, but there is a purpose for all compost and perhaps there is a more environmental way than the common burial. Now I know this is a touchy subject that will skirt on religious beliefs, but with all due respect, let's leave religion out and look at this with an open mind.

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