Posts filed under ‘Organic’
A couple weeks ago my friend asked me to take some photos of the Beach Flats Community Garden in Santa Cruz which they can use for their upcoming blog. Some of them turned out pretty good.
From my Santa Cruz Indymedia post:
The weather is warming and this years summer crops at the Beach Flats Community Garden are coming up. It’s been over a year since the Garden was first threatened with closure by the overburdened and resource-strapped Community Center which oversees it. Since, members of the community have banded together not only that once, but again last December, to make sure the garden stays open, the second time in the face of city budget cuts. Despite the threats, gardeners continue to plant, tend and harvest.
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.
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.
Not only is kimchi so tasty, it’s good for you! Kimchi is a yummy Korean fermented salad usually made with cabbage and various spices, similar to sauerkraut. I love it when it’s really garlic-y! Lately, it seems like everyone is talking about probiotics and fermented foods as essentials to digestive health, so take a clue and get yourself some! Check out this homemade batch by the Urban Homesteaders made with homegrown carrots, daikon radish, green onions and cabbage.
If you’re in the Bay Area, Santa Cruz-based Happy Girl Kitchen is doing Fermenting and canning workshops which you can attend for a small fee. The day is complete with local organic lunch! Fermenting and canning your own food is a great way to use up the excess harvest from the garden and is good for the planet since there are no food miles from your plate to your backyard.
Also introducing “Foodie” category!
When people begin consciously eating, i.e. local and organic or growing their own food, the primary reason is usually a self-serving one, to not ingest pesticides. While this is true and undoubtedly a great reason to eat organic food from your local farmers, the real benefits are actually far more selfless, watersheds (and local water supplies) are spared from farm chemical runoff, use of oil to manufacture and ship seeds, pesticides and fertilizers is spared, conditions for farmworkers are healthier and the surrounding environment for animals is preserved. From GardenMandy, Real Reasons Why We Should Buy From Local Farmers:
Some people say the key to freedom is empowerment and self-sufficiency. Not everyone agrees, but most people who are concerned about the environment at all see that there really is a need for people to buy and use food from local growers.
No matter your reason for making this lifestyle choice, the first step is to find your local farmers market so you can talk with the farmers themselves. You can find your local farmer’s market using this handy map Farmer’s Market Search tool at culinate.com. You simply type in your city and a Google map appears highlighting all the regional farmer’s markets. Click on them to get information about when they are open during the week and what seasons.
Some familiar themes about how Americans eat and its links to disease were put together nicely in a 20-minute talk by Mark Bittman of the New York Times, “What’s Wrong with what we eat.” In one mentioning the importance of a whole-plant-based diet (it’s not the beta-carotene, its the carrot), Bittman touches on the meat and agribusiness industry, disease, junkfood marketing, and the “organivore” and “locavore” responses to the industrial food industry all while noting the importance of our food choices on climate change.