Some of you may not know about my involvement with organizing and working hard to maintain access to open spaces and parks to dogs in SF and the GGNRA (SF/Marin). This is an issue very near and dear to my heart as the past/long-time webmaster for SFDOG, founder of (now defunct) District 5 Dog Owners & Guardians, and countless volunteer hours devoted to a variety of efforts/campaigns related to the issue of preserving access to open spaces and promoting responsible dog walking/handling. I feel very strongly that preserving access to these areas is absolutely vital to the quality of life and health of many SF Bay Area residents (dogs & humans of all ages) and that recreational activity such as hiking and dog walking is not at all incompatible with the protection of wildlife and the local ecosystem.
Currently and urgently, we’re trying to get as many people as possible to sign an online petition to protect recreation in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (Fort Funston, Ocean Beach, Crissy Field, Marin Headlands, Muir Beach, Rodeo Beach, and properties in San Mateo County).
With the stroke of a pen, a few GGNRA and National Park Service officials could change the mission of the GGNRA from one focused on *recreation* to that of a *nature preserve*. This change could force out tens of thousands of us who recreate in the GGNRA — both with and without dogs. If you surf, fish, bike, ride a horse, walk a dog, hike, picnic, kayak, windsurf, and any of the other ways people recreate in the GGNRA, you may be forced out. Even if you don’t walk with your dog in the GGNRA, the proposed changes in its mission will mean all forms of recreation are at risk there. Our petition, at http://tinyurl.com/protect-recreation-in-GGNRA, will show the GGNRA and elected officials that there is widespread opposition to their plans. We need to stop this while we still can.
We need as many people people as possible to sign on. Please take a moment to sign and then pass this on to other lists or people you think may be willing to sign their name to this petition.
A few staff members at the National Park Service could take away recreation for millions of Bay Area residents unless we act now. The staff has already indicated that they might very well take away most recreation in the GGNRA – that’s why we need to act together to make our voices heard right now before it is too late.
Please make sure your voice is heard by signing our petition to make sure the GGNRA preserves recreation and hears all concerns before taking unilateral action to keep Bay Area residents out of our own backyard.
Nearly 40 years ago, the City and County of San Francisco and other local governments transferred management of the GGNRA lands with the express promise that these lands would be managed to preserve recreation. Now that promise and pledge could be broken. The staff has clearly indicated they are moving to severely limit, even ban, local residents from tens of thousands of acres of what is a designated recreation area. This includes restrictions in popular areas where people surf, hike, bike and walk their dogs.
Our request is simple – keep the promise and preserve recreation in this recreation area.
The Bay Area is one of the most crowded urban areas in the nation. And the last thing we need is to lose tens of thousands of acres of recreation area because a few staff members want to designate it a nature preserve. There is room for both protecting nature and preserving recreational areas.
We are fortunate that prominent local leaders like Congresswoman Jackie Speier, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, San Francisco Board President David Chiu and the entire San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Marin County Board President Kathrin Sears and the entire Marin Board of Supervisors, San Mateo County Board President Dave Pine, as well as Supervisors Adrienne Tissier, Don Horsley and Warren Slocum, and so many others have joined our cause to preserve recreation.
But your voice matters the most.
We request all attendees to pre-register for every class they’d like to attend, even the free classes, so we can prepare for how many people will be there and make the most of our time spent with our participants. You can pre-register up to 12-hours before the class time. Thank you!
Below are photos from last year’s classes.
Hope to see you at one (or more) of our educational events this year!
In preparation for the FREE Introduction to Feeding Raw to Cats event this Sunday, please enjoy this tidbit about taurine in the feline diet:
You may have heard just how vitally important the amino acid TAURINE is in the feline diet. While animal protein generally contains adequate taurine levels for cats when served fresh and raw, you may not know that cooking, grinding, freezing and long-term storage all diminish the viability of taurine in fresh foods and absorption of this vital nutrient may be inhibited when fed along with many common non-animal derived foods/fiber.
Taurine is essential for maintaining normal vital body functions in the feline including: vision, digestion, heart muscle function, to maintain normal pregnancy and fetal development, and to maintain a healthy immune system. The life-threatening damages of taurine deficiency can take up two years to develop – it is slow to progress. A lack of adequate taurine in the diet is very dangerous and taurine deficiency can lead to blindness and heart failure due to enlargement of the heart. Fortunately, feeding a diet of fresh, raw, meats will ensure and maintain adequate taurine levels. Thus, taurine deficiency related diseases are totally avoidable by feeding fresh, raw whole foods (particularly heart muscle meat). However, many people supplement with this essential nutrient, just to be safe (general recommendation is to supplement with 35 and 250 mg a day, or 500-1,000 mg 1-2 times a week). Taurine is easy to find, affordable and safely tolerated at even higher than recommended doses in the feline.
Interestingly, one of the foods highest in taurine is living insects! Did you know the wild feline diet consists of up to 15% live insects? Yes, nature takes care to provide abundant vital nutrients to our feline friends when they hunt & consume insects. My own cat, Briar, enjoys eating many bugs as part of his varied diet. Because I have turtles as part of our family, Briar enjoys many different types of insects during the spring and summer season (crickets, mealworms, wax worms, superworms, butterworms). He also enjoys catching moths and flies, and will eat spiders whenever he can. Here’s a video of Briar gobbling up butterworms; a fruity smelling, soft bodied insect high in fat and calcium (although butterworms are not as high in taurine as crickets, flies or spiders): https://vimeo.com/88393935
By now you have probably heard the news about a voluntary recall of beef processed for human consumption at Rancho Feeding Corp. in Petaluma during the period January 2013 – January 2014. This recall is currently pending investigation by the USDA. Rancho is one of only two USDA certified slaughterhouses in Northern California that processes custom beef.
Rancho has a solid reputation among the leading beef ranchers in the region. This small, locally owned & operated slaughterhouse harvests beef for all of the top quality (pastured/grass-finished) independent beef producers in Northern California including BN Ranch, Marin Sun Farms, Pastoral Plate/Stemple Creek, Tara Firma Farms – all of which supply their custom processed beef to SFRAW.
Our vendors notified us this week that the recall has just been expanded to include “custom processed” beef. This includes all beef products custom produced for them during this period last year. Although we feel that there is no question as to the safety or integrity of our supplier’s beef products, to cooperate with the USDA recall request, BN Ranch, Marin Sun Farms and Pastoral Plate took action immediately and have already picked up all beef inventory that we had in stock. This included SFRAW Beef Grind, Formula & treats that use BN Ranch beef ingredients.
We wanted to let you know more about this recall as soon as possible – even though there have been no reports of illness (people or animals) due to consumption of these products.
As small scale, local, fully pastured beef producers, our beef suppliers are meticulous in the care and handling of their cattle from birth to box. To ensure proper handling and high quality control, as part of the custom processing procedures, they have their own representatives handle and deliver the living animals off the pasture and over to Rancho. BN Ranch representatives even “walk the line” accompanying their animals & carcasses along side USDA inspectors and Rancho staff from harvest through final packaging of every pound of the product. The meat harvested from these farms during this period of time passed USDA inspection. We trust them when they tell us that the handling was done in accordance with USDA regulations, but more importantly, to their high standards.
As stated above there have been no reports of illness, nor reports of animal mistreatment, mishandling of the animals or food related to this beef recall.
Today we learned that the recall appears to have involved product manufactured from the processing of two dairy cows (processed on a different day from the custom beef products) that allegedly wasn’t fully inspected (documented and/or labelled properly).
While there is a lot of speculation surrounding this recall, we’d appreciate your patience and ask you to reserve judgment until the matter is resolved. Every day we are learning more about what happened and is happening with Rancho. If Rancho closes for good, this will have a tremendous impact on your local beef supply.
At this time, if you have any beef products that you purchased at SFRAW and would like to return it, feel free to come in this weekend or contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please be aware of the following processes for returns:
SFRAW Brand beef formulas, grinds and Beef-Pumpkin Patties and Beef Jerky: If you wish to return any items, these products will receive immediate store credit.
BN Ranch, Marin Sun Farms, Pastoral Plate/Stemple Creek beef products: We will accept and log all returns as they come in. We are currently working with our vendors to determine reimbursement or credit for these products.
Tara Firma will accept returns, if necessary, but is standing up to the recall. Please find Tara’s position statements here:
Rancho Update #3 TFRecall2.12.14
Rancho Update #2 TFRecall2.11.14
Your Food is Safe: Rancho Veal Update TFRecall2.10.14
Please join us in supporting these outstanding producers that work so hard, and with such a thin margin, to produce the highest quality, wholesome, healthy, and safe food. This recall can have a devastating impact on their business, so it is important that we stand with them in support, just as they stand behind the very good food that they produce.
Although our freezers were emptied of beef inventory earlier this week, we have fresh beef deliveries expected to arrive on Friday. We will be using fresh beef from Marin Sun Farms to fill all beef orders and to fill the demand for walk-in sales. We currently have Prather Ranch and limited Pastoral Plate beef available for sale. Please be sure to buy this beef. We plan to produce more of our SFRAW beef products next week using fresh product from Marin Sun Farms. We do not know when we will have BN Ranch beef back in stock – please stay tuned.
2014 Member Ordering & Pick-up Calendar
Finally! With apologies for taking so long to get this updated, the 2014 order & delivery/pick-up schedule for our members is now posted to the website here. Download this PDF version to post/keep as a reminder of when to order & when to pick-up.
2014 Spring & Summer Workshops & Classes
We have also organized our upcoming schedule for our Spring & Summer workshops & classes – registration will be available in the next few days for the first series of classes. Please be sure to register in advance as space does fill-up fast (well, at least this is true for the canine classes — based on engagement last year, we will need more support for the kitty classes & workshops, so please, let are your “cat people” know about our offerings to support these educational events we so enjoy doing!)
We’re pleased to announce that Dr. Barbara Fishelson, DVM has endorsed SFRAW to allow for us to sell the full line of Standard Process supplements. Dr. Fishelson will be prescribing veterinary products, as needed, and we will have the full line of their products available for sale through the warehouse, too. I had my first meeting with the veterinary representative yesterday and our first, introductory order should be delivered by early next week – these products will become available immediately here at SFRAW!
Standard Process is a highly regarded, family-owned US company that manufactures and produces (yes, they have their own organic farm!) synergistic whole food nutritional supplements that work systemically for total wellness. Standard Process supplements are made from whole food ingredients that deliver the full spectrum of nutrition in its natural form.
Count on Standard Process® for:
• Food combinations that create synergistic effects
• Glandular support for natural cell and tissue repair
• Phytonutrients that may serve as antioxidants and support a healthy immune response
We will be getting in a variety of supplements that we think our members and customers might find useful for common issues such as skin, gut, joint and immune system support.
“The passion Standard Process has for nutrition began with our founder, Dr. Royal Lee, in 1929. Since the development of our first multivitamin, Catalyn®, our goal has been to provide nutrients for the body as they are found in nature – in a whole food state where their natural potency and efficacy can be realized. We remain committed to providing the safest, highest quality dietary supplements through health care professionals to help improve and optimize health and wellness.
Our passion for nutrition can be found within every facet of Standard Process.
• We take measures to ensure product quality every day. We follow strict guidelines to grow the great majority of our ingredients on our own certified organic farm and perform repeated testing through the manufacturing process to ensure the quality and safety of our supplements.
• Our culture values integrity, teamwork, results, initiative, innovation and passion.
• Our efforts are reflected in the numerous awards Standard Process has been honored to receive.”
Our account with Standard Process allows for us to purchase and sell MediHerb professional grade herbal products, too. If you are looking for exceptional herbal remedies, please let us know what we can order for you & your family.
If you are using Standard Process products or have an interest in them or MediHerb products, please let us know. We’re excited to make these high quality products available to SFRAW members & customers!
Learn more about Standard Process by visiting their website here:
Their complete product lists can be found here:
SFRAW / Rara Avis
250 Napoleon Street, Unit G
San Francisco, CA 94124
We now sell a unique pack of beneficial living nematodes for use around your home and garden to control BOTH fleas & ticks. The brand we carry is ARBICO ORGANICS and we’re offering the Triple Threat Combo Packs for 1/2 garden size applications.
This combination pack will help control multiple stages of development – larvae, pupae and adult stages of fleas and the egg, nymph and adult stages of ticks.
1/2 Garden Size = 5 million Nematodes. Treats approx. 1,600 sq. ft.
Pricing for this product of three will cost members $44.35+ tax. This price includes shipping. Non-members, as usual, pay 30% more.
If you want to purchase these, please stop in while we’re open to pick them up. You can also call in to pay over the phone and have us reserve them for you for later pick-up or email us (email@example.com) to get them delivered along with your regular monthly order.
LEARN ABOUT NEMATODES
Nematodes are living, microscopic organisms. They need to be applied while still alive and handled with a lot of care. We are having them shipped overnight and will store them in the walk-in cooler with a damp towel. The company has assured me that they will be viable for up to two weeks when stored in this manner. We recommend applying them within a few days of purchasing because the sooner you get them into the garden environment, the more viable and effective they will be.
Learn more about Arbico Organic nematodes here:
http://www.arbico-organics.com/category/beneficial-nematodes/89 (includes how to apply and how it works)
This is an exceptional product that I strongly recommend for all of our members that have any outdoor space (even small patios) as a critical component of your flea (and tick) control/prevention program. What’s wonderful about this product specifically is it kills all life stages of the fleas AND TICKS. Most nematodes do not control ticks at all, so this is a very unusual and unique aspect of this product – will be great for people living in areas outside San Francisco proper.
Now is the time to apply the nematodes – many of you experienced terrible flea issues last October, and this is why I’ve decided to bring this product on for the benefit of the group. I think if we all follow along with a regular application program, we can enjoy a flea-free (or greatly reduced/manageable) season this Fall and, if we stick with a regular natural flea prevention program, we can even prevent fleas in our households through next year and beyond.
Even if you don’t have fleas now, I recommend that you apply nematodes now (and 3-4 times a year) to prevent fleas.
If you are struggling with fleas now, you need nematodes ASAP, and should be applying them every two weeks until there are no fleas on your pets or in your home/garden.
Why implementing a NATURAL flea and tick prevention protocol is so important:
Even if your pet doesn’t have fleas or ticks at the moment, I have been noticing the past few years, even more and more problems with pets experiencing flea problems for the first time in their lives and/or experiencing their first allergic reactions to flea bites (this is when a pet is bitten by just one flea, they experience a dramatic allergic inflammatory skin/itching and hot spots or skin eruptions reaction that can take weeks, or even months, to recover from, even with diligent care and prevention after the single bite).
While your pets may not have fleas and may be naturally resistant to flea infestations if they have a healthy and robust immune system, fleas can be brought into your home or yard/garden by roaming neighborhood cats, raccoons, squirrels, rats or mice – as these animals always bring fleas with them and drop their eggs where they nest or travel through. In the past, this was not a problem for most pets with robust immunity, but things seemed to have changed over the past few years. We’re now seeing animals and households suffer from fleas and flea bite reactions for the first time in decades or ever.
My theory is that because people have been using the spot-on type treatments and chemical preventatives since the 1990s, we have effectively created “super fleas” that are resistant to these chemical treatments. These “super fleas” also appear to cause serious immune responses to flea saliva in pets that have never had a problem with fleas before, even if they have never been treated with the chemical preventatives themselves. I realize that I don’t have any scientific evidence or studies to support my theories, I merely have anecdotal evidence and my own experience witnessing these changes in people asking for help over the years. I was initially concerned about this happening when the spot-on treatments first came on the market. Unfortunately, my concerns about how the popular use of spot-on treatments would play out appear to becoming realized. Back then, MRSA was a new/emerging problem in livestock due to the overuse of antibiotics, and I could see this type of biological response eventually happening with the way we were approaching flea prevention in our pets.
I think is important for us to resist the urge to use those spot-on or monthly tablet treatments (even the new ones) because this approach is not the safest for effective, long-term flea control. Using poisons to control pests simply creates an insect population more and more resistant to stronger and stronger chemicals, while damaging our own pet’s health and inhibiting the host’s vitality. If we can manage to do things like vacuum areas where our pet’s frequent (home & car) daily, bathe and flea comb our pet’s regularly, keep our pet’s bedding clean, and regularly apply nematodes in the garden, most households will successfully keep fleas under control all year while not damaging our pet’s immunity/health or helping to develop a “super flea” population.
If you have fleas now or are concerned about fleas, we also recommend FleaBusters service (http://fleabusters.com/Services/usa.html#CA) for the interior areas of your home. Their application of a non-toxic borate substance in your home comes with a 12-month guarantee. This borate substance is safe to use in food areas. It acts as a desiccant to the fleas (abrades the wax from their exoskeleton) and remains in the carpets and cracks & crevices of hard floored homes for a long time. You can find the MSDS for this product here: http://www.diypesticides.com/catalog1/labels/rx_for_fleas_msds.pdf
I’d be so happy if everyone took the time to apply nematodes to their outdoor areas now so that our Fall flea season is not nearly as bad as it was last year. So many pets suffered last year; it would be wonderful if we could prevent this from happening again!
If you have any questions, let me know!
SFRAW / Rara Avis
250 Napoleon Street, Unit G
San Francisco, CA 94124