Thursday, July 9, 2020

Beef: It's what for (a planet destroying) dinner

Just filing this link here and promising to rev up this blog again after six weeks away with a long reflection soon.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jul/02/agriculture-cattle-us-water-shortages-colorado-river

Sunday, May 24, 2020

A story that tells the tale of our messed up food system

and also reveals how messed up the USDA is.
It's appalling that our local produce aggregator and distributor, FEED Sonoma, with existing relationships with many small-scale farmers, was passed over, and a grant awarded to a personal care products distributor. What?!?
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/05/22/trumps-signature-effort-direct-farm-surplus-needy-families-abruptly-withdraws-large-contract-amid-criticism-programs-rollout/
The article also includes a good summary of the situation with the food supply chain nationally, about which I hope to write more soon. Getting my head around anything has been difficult these past ten weeks.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

For future reference

Because really - where are people getting all this extra time?
https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/review/best-food-cooking-movies
There are a few movies here I'd like to see. Some again, but not Chef. I couldn't figure out why people raved about it. I think Big Night is among my most watched movies ever.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Stuck at home?

I don't know about you, but I am finding more than enough things to amuse me. I thought that on house arrest I might have to resort to cleaning, but so far I've only tackled a few deferred chores. There are so many extra opportunities in the knitting community I feel a bit overwhelmed with the choices. I've got food on hand, exchanges on the Bean Club Facebook group are frequent, and I will go out to the community garden to check on a few young things and to harvest the last of the sprouting broccoli and some more over-wintered chard. 
But now there is this: a one hour zoomed learning opportunity each day starting Monday the 23rd. 1 p.m. Eastern, 10 a.m. Pacific.
https://slowfoodusa.org/slow-food-live/

Friday, March 6, 2020

The End of Farming?

I'm not quite clear what the point of view of this article is, but it offers a nice ramble through the changes - or not - in British agriculture and rural land uses. There are many resonances here with our own issues in the United States. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/feb/25/the-end-of-farming-rewilding-intensive-agriculture-food-safety

"Intensive agriculture prioritises a bumper harvest – the annual dividend – while the new approach [re-wilding, also known as environmentally friendly regeneration] emphasises the preservation of the initial capital – the land itself."

One of the farmers quoted in the article, of the conventional-intensive sort, opines "that there is no in-between." 

Really? It seems that part of the press to maintain the get-big-or-get-out, input heavy style of farming as we have recently known it, is the need to feed more people in the coming decades. But I have to ask - isn't it just colonialism to think it our (affluent westerners) responsibility to feed the world? What about helping the 2/3rds world to develop appropriate, sustainable technologies to feed themselves? What about joining in the fight globally for economic and political reforms that increase access to land for small scale farmers? And why, on the home front here and in Britain, is it so black and white that we cannot encourage no-till practices, the restoration of hedgerows, and the return of mixed farming even in large-scale agriculture? 

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Faux Spring garden report

This weather is lasting way too long. High 60s out at the garden today, and no serious rain in the 10 day forecast. I did some weeding. And I watered - yes, on President's Day weekend - the favas, garlic and sprouting broccoli. After a long wait, the sprouting broccoli is sprouting.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Here We Go Again

It's not a food story. Well, you can eat Cannabis, perhaps even consider it part of a balanced diet, but it's certainly not one of the four or five food groups and you won't find it on My Plate.
But it's the same old story of "get big or get out" in a state and country where rampant capitalism thwarts the integrity of human communities and their ecological context.
Here's an op ed from the Los Angeles Times:
https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2020-02-11/cannabis-farms-california-agriculture-regulations