Garden and food labels: Fact or Fiction

Urban Ag Guru

As we prepare to celebrate Earth Day on Friday, many take time to celebrate a more earth-friendly garden practice.

Many garden products claim their contents are “environmentally friendly,” and many websites share recipes to do certain things “without chemicals.” Are these claims true?

If you peruse a garden center, farmers market or grocery store, you’ll see a whole bevy of different labels — “chemical free,” “natural,” “organic,” “certified organic” or “GMO free.” What do these labels mean, or do they mean anything at all?

One of the easiest labels to understand is “natural” or “all-natural.”

It is simple to understand because it doesn’t have an official meaning. None of the agencies that regulate labeling of food or garden products has such a designation. The “natural flavor” many processed food products contain just had to come from a natural source at some point — many of them are derived from base…

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Welcome to Outaways Forge

My interest in blacksmithing dates from early childhood. I’ve always been fascinated by the heating and shaping of metal into different, new, and usable items.

Some of my equipment dates back to the early 1900′s and originally belonged to my Maternal Grandfather and a Great Uncle. Other tools have been acquired through online auctions, found at yard sales and flea markets, while others have been made by me for specific uses when I did not have the correct or usable tool.

Since I have a “real” job my blacksmithing time is limited to a couple of days a week, if I’m lucky. I have no “formal” catalog, but completed items available for purchase, and sometimes “works in progress” will be featured on these pages.

I’m not an “artist blacksmith” and stand in awe of much of the work these folks turn out. I just feel honored to stand in their presence and be lucky enough to glean a tip or technique I can apply to my own work.

My work is mostly utility items that would be found in daily use around the farmstead or cabin in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and on the trail Westward as America grew.

Thank you for taking the time to visit and please come back often for updates on new items.

Yancey Davis

Fairview, North Carolina

December 19, 2009


A bit of whimsy.

Shoe heels peined into “tail fins”, brushed bright, then while still very hot brass brushed for the “Gypsy gold” finish. Fun little demo piece.

Welded spoon

Oval 1/8″ thick “blank” forge welded onto 3/8″ square stock, then formed into the spoon bowl.  Shaping the bowl  gets  interesting.

First spoon

Trade axes

Trade axes

A few more projects

“Custom” fireplace tongs for a friend.