Thursday, September 22, 2011

I'm still here...

but I've been so busy with food and food matters this month that I haven't had time to write anything for this blog.

Before Labor Day weekend I did an almost final edit of the copy for the Food Audit for Congregations which I've been coordinating for the Episcopal Committee on Science, Technology and Faith. It still has a few little things to be fixed up, but with some help from my fellow Committee members I think it will be up by October 1, available as a free pdf download.

I also wrote an article on how we can address environmental and economic issues at the same time through food system actions for the Association of Episcopal Deacons domestic poverty initiative. Unfortunately the AED web site does not have a link to that email blast - something I'll ask about.

Meanwhile, I've been trying to stimulate some activity in the churches around World Food Day, Sunday, October 16, and the new Food Day being developed here in the U.S. for October 24. Personally, I plan to celebrate World Food Day - I'll be preaching at my congregation - because I don't understand the provincialism of creating another one eight days later. But if you haven't read what I wrote about both for our diocesan email blast, picked up now by National Episcopal Health Ministries, here's the link:

Here in Sonoma County we've had fall "back to business" meetings of the Policy Committee and the full Food System Alliance already this month, and I spent a good chunk of two days at last week's national - really international - Heirloom Expo - held at the Santa Rosa fairgrounds. An opportunity to see friends and make some, look at way too many varieties of pumpkin and winter squash, put in some volunteer time at the IGrow booth, hear a few speakers - and my favorite, beyond food, see some heirloom breeds of sheep - churro and shetland.

Organizing for gleaning in the Sonoma Valley is challenging - like managing a hydra - with the need to consider where and when to glean, who will glean, and when which organizations can take which kinds of produce. I was thrilled to learn all the Sonoma Valley Unified School District is doing with nutrition, school gardens and ag ed, and attended my first FFA fundraiser. I made some great contacts there! But I'm still chasing an opportunity for a first successful glean for which we can get some publicity this fall.

And, of course, there is my own garden, and the produce I attract from other people's gardens. I'm pretty tired of zucchini bread, even though I have three good and different recipes, and have been taking it to share at bible study, etc., and somehow I ended up with too many green beans. I have green beans in the freezer, some vegetable recipes, too, like ratatouille, and in jars zucchini pickle relish and dill beans. Now tomatoes are finally here in force and winter squash is on the horizon. I have more apples - 12 jars of sauce so far - and fragrant quinces from a friends mini-farm, too.

It's not over, either. This is a free weekend for me, so when I am not cooking - I'm thinking chutney which can go to the various church bazaars - I hope to catch the local seed savers' meeting, and maybe get to a few of the venues which I haven't visited on Sonoma County Farm Trails open farms weekend. October is looking like just one harvest feast after another, until the season wraps up - at least I hope it will - with the Community Garden Summit here on November 5.