Archive for May, 2009

Is Access to Land a Human Right?

Calabasa a la jardin de la comunidad de la playa en Santa Cruz

Calabasa a la jardin de la comunidad de la playa en Santa Cruz


Fantastic piece by Antonio Roman-Alcalá over at Civil Eats today. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about access to land and it’s implications on our food system. As we watch the trend of home (food) gardening grow, questions arise not only about how to do it, since recent generations have lost the tradition of passing down that art, but WHERE to do it. A record percentage (over half) of the global population lives in cities. So it follows, that for the first time in human history, more than half the human population has extremely limited options when it comes to feeding themselves. The local food movement is surely drawing attention to this issue, but as local food gains importance, supply will surely become an issue. This is where access to land becomes a key component of our food future. Finding suitable ground is one of the biggest barriers to entering the farming profession. Not only is the good stuff too expensive to purchase, leasing is risky. Maybe the ground has had chemicals sprayed on it. Maybe you’ll be able to work it for one or two years, only to lose your lease, thereby losing the precious investment you’ve made building the soil.

But why are we still in a situation where the rich get to decide the best uses for land, while hard working, intelligent, compassionate, humble workers just do what we’re told?

The “Slow Money” principles (obviously drawing it’s name from the Slow Food movement) is attempting to address this issue. It feels like it’s in infancy stage, but there could be some excited ideas here. I’m personally convinced there is something to banding people together to buy back farmland for our collective good. Maybe collective purchase of land is our next step together in taking back our food system.

May 22, 2009 at 12:37 pm 1 comment

Turkey Hatching Time!

BabyTurkeys

My friend David and his girlfriend have been turning turkey eggs for the past several weeks in an incubator at their house. Finally, the turkeys have arrived! The turkeys will be going back to live on the farm soon after their incubation and hatching in Santa Cruz. Click on the picture to get a close up view. They are so cute!

May 5, 2009 at 10:27 am Leave a comment

Shoutout to Freshman Farmers

I recently came across the Freshman Farmer blog (thanks, Bridgett!) and it is awesome! A collection of young farmers blog about what’s happening on their farms. There are some great photo slideshows of life on the farm and the posts are written with great voice and funny! For example, here’s some Farmer Math:

Silence! The units are a little different, but the concept is very familiar. Observe:

P(Rain) = Q(Uncovered Wood)/Q(All Wood) U “Oh, it’s not going to rain this week.”

This formula illustrates the probability of rain as being equal to the percentage of vulnerable wood you left exposed after saying, “Oh, it’s not going to rain this week.”

But we are not done yet. Notwithstanding the above:

P(Rain)=0 if TankRefill () = False

This states that no matter what, it will not rain if you don’t refill the water tank.

Awesome.

May 2, 2009 at 1:01 pm Leave a comment


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