Industrial Harvest


catching up by sarah kavage

It’s been a hectic week, and I’ve got some catching up to do on recent events.  Rob (on a visit from Seattle) and I were lucky to be included as part of one of the semi-regular trips to Angelic Organics’ rural Learning Center with folks from the Heartland Alliance’s Kovler Center and their sister program, International FACES.  Both programs work with refugees and victims of torture.  Many of the refugees come from rural or agricultural backgrounds, and many of them rarely get to leave the city (for some of the folks, this was their first trip outside Chicago since their arrival in the US).   Angelic had a wood-fired oven, I had some flour, Rob had a camera, and the refugees had their traditional recipes from their home countries.  We harvested vegetables, rolled dough, and talked.

I think Rob, the son of refugees, puts into words what I can’t about the experience.

Speaking of putting things into words well, Martha Bayne really did an amazing job with her feature article about this project in the Reader.

And, one last thing, I got an answer to the question in the previous post about how farmers benefit from an increase in wheat prices if the harvest is already past.  I’ll be posting that in the comments section of the post momentarily (or maybe tomorrow).

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The latest on the Board by sarah kavage
August 6, 2010, 7:48 am
Filed under: Commodities trading

Just a quick post to mention what the wheat markets are doing lately.  Going up, up and up – December wheat was over $8 a bushel yesterday in Chicago, due to drought in Russia, crop failures and subsequent wheat export ban.  This all makes high American wheat prices.  Also makes me wish I’d stayed in the futures market…one little taste & you get greedy.

The Bloomberg article mentions potentially higher prices for foodstuffs as a result of this price spike almost as an afterthought, but of course, price increases are a major concern in the developing world.  At the same time, I’m not sure how much high prices will benefit farmers.  From what I understand, most wheat farmers sell their wheat right after harvest, and since harvest was in July, many of them would have sold their crops already.  Although July wheat prices weren’t bad, it certainly wasn’t $8 a bushel.  Anyone out there who knows more care to comment?