I’m guessing at this since JuicyMaters covers cooking and yurts and homesteading, but I think most of my visitors here have at least a passing interest in all three. If you think about it, they are all related.
People with a real interest in food usually have an interest in where it comes from, which leads to an interest in homesteading and producing your own food. People who are homesteaders generally have an affinity for a simple, frugal lifestyle, and yurts fits that perfectly.
With that in mind, I’d like to tell all of my visitors, yurt types, homesteaders, and foodies a little story that should interest all of you… And will hopefully spur some of you to action.
There’s a little farm up in Michigan called Baker’s Green Acres. Perhaps you’ve heard of it, because they received quite a bit of publicity nationwide over the last year or so. It’s a little farm owned by a fellow named Mark Baker and his family. They run a small cow share operation and do other farming type things, but their specialty is raising pigs. I’ve never tasted a bite of their pork, but from what I’ve heard their pastured pigs produce some awesome meat.
For almost three years now, the Michigan Department of natural resources has been battling with Baker’s Green Acres to force Mark to kill all of his pigs, as the DNR has decided that they are feral. It doesn’t matter that the very definition of “feral” is an animal that lives in a natural environment, undomesticated and uncontained, while Mark’s pigs are not allowed to run wild and are contained. The DNR does not care about that; all they care about is that commercial pork producers in the state of Michigan look at small production, pastured pork producers as competition, competition they can use the force of government, at the point of a gun, to put small producers such as Mark Baker out of business.
Make no mistake: the entire point of the DNR’s attack on Baker’s Green acres and Mark Baker and his family is about killing off competition for commercial pig factories.
Getting small farmers to shut down their operation is what the DNR’s actions are all about. Several small pork producers in Michigan have knuckled under and “depopulated” their farms of pigs (that means they obeyed the DNR’s orders to kill all of their animals.
And the DNR has found a toady in Modern Farmer magazine and one of its writers, Jesse Hirsch.
The magazine whose website printed the article, Modern Farmer, wants to be a hip version of Countryside & Small Stock Journal, but fails miserably. The best description I’ve heard of it comes in the comments on one of the videos on Bakers Green Acres YouTube channel, from a commenter called LomoDaniel, who said:
I picked up a copy a month or two ago and was not impressed. It’s a bunch of yuppies having a mid life crisis, wanting to shed their cubicle for a barn. They have ads for clothing that is freaking expensive trying to fit this country aesthetic. No substance, just a lot of high end LL Bean posers.
The description seems to fit well.
Why would Modern Farmer and Hirsch write such a sloppy piece of garbage “journalism”? A comment I left on a post on Mark Baker’s Facebook page sums it up well (Parenthitical comment mine):
Had Hirsch put things in context (read the article, linked here, and pay attention to the edit Modern Farmer added due to the outcry), the result would have been heads nodding in agreement with Mark, because our freedoms ARE being eroded, having a couple of guns around IS normal (300 million privately owned guns in the US), and it would have been obvious the reporter doesn’t check his facts. Taking the DNR’s word on the $20,000 figure without checking easily available public records is, at best, sloppy journalism.
This isn’t the only sloppy piece written by Hirsch. It appears he wrote this the way he did for one of two reasons:
1. He’s a shit-stirrer, but not a very good one.
2. He is a toady of the Michigan DNR, setting Baker up for a violent armed raid on his farm. Imagine a crew of DNR thugs being briefd on the raid they are about to embark on. “Men, be very careful…this Baker guy has violent tendencies. In an interview he said the only reason we hadn’t raided him yet is because we don’t want to get shot at. Be ready for him to back that up.”
Don’t think it can happen? Don’t think government in this country would do such a thing? Ever heard of Randy Weaver? Ever heard of Ruby Ridge? Google them.
The DNR has backed themselves into a corner. They are desparate people…and desparate people are the most dangerous people you’ll ever encounter. And yes, they would try to set up a farmer who refuses to kowtow to their unconstitutional demands for a Michigan version of Ruby Ridge.
Marek and his family need your support
- The biggest thing you can do to support Mark, his family, their farm, and the right to make your own food choices is to spread the word about his situation…spread this article…as far and wide as possible. Light is the best sanitizer, and the more sunshine that can be shone on this situation the more dangerous it is to the Michigan DNR to act forcefully against the Bakers. Spread the word about this so the DNR cannot act in secret, with no one aware of their actions.
- Go to the Bakers Green Acres website and read more about the situation and about the Bakers’ operaation, and if you feel the cal donate to their legal defense via the donate button on the right side of their page.
- Contact the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and tell them to quit persecuting Mark Baker. The director’s name is Keith Creagh and his phone number is 517-284-6367.
If you live anywhere near the Baker farm, show up at the hearing on March 11 to show support.
For a good summary of what is going on, please take a few moments to watch the interview with Mark Baker, below.