FARM BILL ~ Can the 2012 Farm Bill protect the Ogallala Aquifer?

(NOTE: Can we assume that any route chosen will PREVENT THE XL PIPELINE FROM DELIVERING A DOUBLE-WHAMMY TO OUR FARMLAND? (that's grist for another article, we hope)  The arguments made here echo our own common-sense understanding of the abusive and long-term negative effects of conventional agriculture AND tar-sands development on our environment... the water comes first.)



Can the 2012 Farm Bill protect the Ogallala Aquifer?

Default badgeavatar for Julene Bair
29 DEC 2011 7:45 AM
Kansas wheat.Kansas wheat.Photo: Brian McGuirk

My father farmed in Kansas and envied those lucky farmers in the wetter states to the east of us, who could grow 200-bushel corn and other lucrative crops like soy beans and sugar beets. He had to satisfy himself with wheat, a drought-tolerant crop first brought to the States from a place in Russia much like ours. There, they called such arid places "steppes." Here, we called them "plains."
To look at the pale-green buffalo grass that covered the High Plains, you would never suspect that an aquifer holding as much water as Lake Huron lay beneath. But we knew about the aquifer. Its waters seeped to the surface in some otherwise dry creek beds, feeding rare ponds where we sometimes went fishing. And my pioneer grandparents had drilled down into the aquifer and erected windmills that we relied on to pump the water we needed to exist.
The technology to tap more water from the aquifer arrived in the 1940s, but it wasn't until the mid-sixties that my family had saved enough to drill our first irrigation well. Bumper profits rolled in. By the time we sold our farm in 2006, we had five wells pumping 200 million gallons out of the aquifer every growing season. In all, Plains farmers were pumping 6 trillion gallons. That's 1.5 trillion more than the Colorado River carries to the Southwestern United States.
Ogallala aquifer mapThe Ogallala Aquifer sits below 174,000 square miles of crop and rangeland from South Dakota to Texas.The Ogallala Aquifer is vast. It underlies portions of eight large states -- 174,000 square miles of crop and rangeland all the way from South Dakota to Texas. But it is also invisible. So it's not surprising that until the debate over the Keystone XL pipeline erupted, few people had ever heard of it. Then for several months, its melodious name was broadcast all over the national news. Now that the aquifer is safe from the pipeline (for the time being), there's another risk worth examining:industrial agriculture.
Nebraska landowners stepped up to protect the Ogallala from potential pipeline spills. Now they should do their damndest to stop the overpumping and nonpoint-source pollution that have already made parts of it unusable. If it is not protected, then many parts of the aquifer will either run dry or be too polluted to use by the end of this century. This is especially frightening because it would take thousands of years for the Ogallala to replenish itself.
While in most cases groundwater is "owned" by states, which oversee the rights of farmers to tap it, the federal government greatly influences how much farmers use. Corn is one of the most water-intensive crops grown in the region, demanding over a foot of irrigation water in the western Kansas climate, and closer to 20 inches in hotter parts of Texas. Yet the federal government mandates ethanol production. Responding to the resulting increase in corn prices... (more at


BADSEED Funky Friday HOLIDAY Farmers' Market - KCMO @ 4-8pm @ 19th & McGee - 20111230

Dearest Eaters -


Yeah, yeah...I know it's a little late in the game for such "scrooge-like" sentiments, but I'm still grumpy over the fact that I spent Christmas Day bed-ridden with a nasty virus!  From a distant bedroom, I managed to hear the faintoohs and awes as my 6 month old son opened presents with the extended family on his first Christmas.  Although I am a radical farmer & avid anti-consumer who shuns non-functional (environmentally destructive) "gifts", I sure did hate to miss out on all the festivities.  There's something about having a kid that makes you "leave your extremism at the door" especially around the holidays.  I mean c'mon - Grandma & Grandpa are NEVER gonna listen to your desperate pleas for "NO MORE PLASTIC TOYS" so you just gotta let it go and let the lil' monster voraciously rip off (and eat) the wrapping paper in a joyous frenzy hoping that (at the very least) it ends up in the recycling bin and not the trash!!  As for the excess toys - Well, I'll trip over those and break my neck by New Years!!  Good riddance!!!  Anyway - the point is, I missed out on all the fun and the FOOD and I was pretty pissed off about it.  However, on a more POSITIVE note, I did have a pretty fantastic (early) Christmas thanks to those of you who attended our Holiday Market on the 23rd.  What can I say - the house was packed and it was a freakin' blast!!!  We raffled off a killer Farm Basket and at the end of the night (to my surprise) the vendors presented me & Farmer Dan with our very own Farm Basket!!  It was absolutely touching and so very thoughtful.
Dan and I bust our butts for the "food revolution" and it was really nice to be recognized for our efforts by those whom we care about so deeply: our precious FARMERS!  As for the EATERS - THANK YOU for supporting the cause (Irish coffee in hand!) and putting LOCAL FOOD on your holiday table.  May those tasty leftovers last a good long time and may your NEW YEAR's feast be just as delicious!!  Speaking of New Years - we've got your menu covered this Friday at the BADSEED!!  



A project of BADSEED - Brooke Salvaggio & Daniel Heryer
5500 Bennington Ave., Kansas City, MO 64129
Welcome to URBAVORE - an off-grid, diversified, urban farmstead in the heart of KCMO. Born in 2011, URBAVORE is working towards the creation of an “edible oasis” that brings organic growth, sustainable life, and creative solutions to a city neighborhood.  We grow an extensive variety of heirloom vegetables noted for their unique appearance and extraordinary flavor, as well as an array of culinary/medicinal herbs and edible flowers. URBAVORE is a non-certified, beyond organic operation dedicated to respecting both the health of the individual and the environment. It is our aim to build community and collective consciousness through the universal pleasure that comes from eating good food.
*Locally-grown, locally-milled Artisan Flour (

Herb'n Gardener
Lew Edmister
17th and Belleview, Kansas City, MO 64108
For the “meanest greens” in town, check out Lew's gourmet selection of urban-grown goodies.  He grows a mouthwatering array of  lettuces, spicy mustards, arugula, and gourmet salad mixes on KC’s west side. Other tasty morsels include heirloom tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, okra, and filet beans.  New For 2011 -RUSTIC BREAD straight from Lew’s hand-built wood-fired oven.  YUM!
RUSTIC, Hand-crafted BREAD from Lew's hand-built, wood-fired oven!!!

JJ Farms

John & Judy Kaiahua
8531 E. 81st Terrace, Raytown, MO 64138
John has been growing organically since 1984!!  He plants, weeds, and harvests all his own crops on urban land that has been chemical free for over 20 years.  Produce includes a wide array of vegetable offerings as well as apples, peaches, and pears in season.  John is originally from the far off lands of Hawaii where he comes from a long line of pearl divers!!  Now he spends his days out of the ocean and in the dirt, growing righteous foods for the Kansas City community.  Lucky us!
*Bok Choy

Avery's Produce of Hoyland Farm

Avery Lominska
North of Lawrence
Street-musician turned farmer, Avery Lominska, will be carrying on his father's legacy with an UNBELIEVABLE selection of homegrown goodness.  
Avery's father, Bob Lominska, is a regular "rockstar" in the organic growing scene.  He's been plowing the way for over 30 years.  He's an encyclopedia of (dirt-filled) knowledge and an inspiration to his son who has boldly followed in his footsteps.  At 31 years old, Avery has been a full-time farmer for 7 years!  Take a bite out of a strong family tradition this Friday!!
*Shitake Mushrooms
*Sweet Potatoes
*Bok Choy & Tot Soi
*Swiss Chard
*Mustard Greens
*Nappa Cabbage

Western Hills Produce

Alice & Marvin Huenefeld
Wellington, MO


Alice is famous for her utterly delicious baked goods made from homegrown, hand-milled whole wheat flour.  Her tasty breads, cakes, cookies, and muffins are complimented by an assortment of jams, jellies, pickles, and relishes all made from ingredients sustainably grown on the farm.  Marvin adds his own touch with one of a kind wood-turned items handcrafted with the utmost care and creativity.  Products can be found during the regular growing season at the Westport Farmers' Market.  
*Farm Fresh Brown Eggs
*Wholesome Baked Breads
*Sweet Treats
*Canned Goods
*Wood-turned items by Marvin

Parker Farms All-Natural Meats

Tom & Paula Parker
Richmond, MO
"We produce all-natural gourmet beef, lamb, pork, poultry, and eggs.  All of our beef and lamb is 100% grassfed. They are never fed any grain, animal by products, antibiotics, or injected with growth hormones. We have been practicing Management Intensive Grazing since 1997. It is our goal to care for all of the livestock that we have been blessed with, in as natural and humane a manner as we can.  Our chickens for meat and eggs are also raised on pasture with green grass under their feet as much as the weather in this part of the world allows.  Our hogs are fed grain, but do live outdoors with dirt under their feet.  We do not use any petroleum based pesticides or fertilizers on our pastures. We believe that healthy people, and healthy animals start with healthy plants and a healthy, biologically active, soil community.  Our meats are available at the BADSEED Market or through our Community Supported Agriculture shares."
*Grass-fed BEEF in ground and assorted cuts
*Pork Products: Chops, Brats, Breakfast Sausage, Italian Sausage, & Spare Ribs
*Lamb Cuts: Ground Lamb, Shoulder Steaks, Rib Chop (butterfly cut, loin chops), Leg (bone in whole, shanks, lamb liver)
**Pastured Chickens !!!!
*Tea Towels, Hand-made Teas, Candles, and Gourd Bird Houses from the lovely Parker Girls!!

Wells Family Farm
Kim & Steve Wells
King City, MO
Our Grass Fed Operation has proven time and again that quality, taste, and tenderness take a dedicated plan.  Not only the processing aging, but the types of feed our animals consume are of vital importance.  We inter seed our pastures and hay fields with additional varieties of grasses and legumes each year.  We also learn from our neighbors and contacts of many new veggies that are wonderful forage. learning all we can to create a superior product.
*Certified Organic Grass-fed Beef

Rocky Creek Valley Farms

Elizabeth & Gary
Rayville, MO
 Lizzy is an herbalist turned farmer who cultivates glorious acreage north of Richmond, MO.  Lizzy's diversified farmstead includes organic vegetable & herb production, free-range laying hens, and dairy goats.  Lizzy also offers classes in sustainable gardening and herbalism.  Check out her website to learn more!!
*Herbal Teas
*Healing Salves
*Herbal Tinctures
*Free-Range Eggs

New Traditionalist - Artisan Bread

Chris Glenn
Kansas City, MO
Chris produces old-world, rustic loaves from the finest locally-grown and milled flour on the market.   His breads are made from a sour-dough "starter", lovingly kneaded, and baked to perfection in a wood-fired oven.  Flour and water never tasted so good!    
*Sunflower Seed Multigrain
*Sicilian Loaves

Miller's Honey

Les MIller
Independence, MO
Les Miller only produces the best damn RAW HONEY on the market.  No joke!!  He is an encyclopedia of knowledge when it comes to sustainable bee keeping and uses 100% natural and holistic methods for managing his hives which range from 60 to 100 at any given time.  His honey is sold in various quantities, and 1 gallon jugs are available on request!  Bees wax candles and other by-products are also available for purchase.
*Raw Honey
*Bees Wax Candles
**DISCLAIMER - We haven't seen Les in weeks!!  Where is that guy??  I cannot get a hold of him.  Cross your fingers that he shows up this Friday!!!

Hippie Chow Granola

Lexie Johnson
Suburban Kansas City
Small-scale producer of high-quality, high-character natural foods. Our gourmet granola is handcrafted in small-batches with 100% natural ingredients including organic Kansas oats and local wildflower honey. Peace. Love. Granola.
*Original Mix
*Cafe Blend
*Chai Spice
*Peanut Butter Banana
*Mocha Hazelnut

Oddly Correct Coffee Roasters

Kansas City, Missouri
"Serving the nano coffee needs of the believers in a nano consumer lifestyle"
*Micro-Roasted Coffee by the bag and by the cup


John & Sandy
Mission, KS
John & Sandy's hand-crafted, organic body products are petroleum and chemical free and will not pollute the planet or irritate your skin!  Furthermore, they are luxurious and fragrant and oooh soooo wonderful.  They have the mother-load of offerings including tooth paste, dish soap, and detergent!!!...(not to mention your more typical health and beauty products).  Lather up and feel good!!!
*Bar Soaps, Body Scrubs, Facial Sprays, & a whole lot more!!!

Other goodies include:

Certified Organic Flour from Heartland Mill


LIVE  NUDE  VEGETABLES!! and other organic delights...

Eat Local for the Holidays!!


Yours Truly,
-farmer and MILK mistress of the BADSEED

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