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Eating local? [01 Jul 2008|10:34pm]

Hey, folks, even way up here in Vermont we're getting local produce now. Tonight's dinner included locally grown baby leeks, and dessert was strawberry shortcake with berries we picked yesterday. I'm taking pics every week at my CSA when I pick up my share:

Arcadia Brook Farm.
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Whatcha lookin' for? [27 Mar 2008|10:32am]

[ mood | curious ]

I am curious about the connections between consumers looking for SOLE food, and the farmers/producers supplying it.

Those of you involved in the 100-mile diet, or the Eat Local Challenge specifically, how difficult would it be for you to procure everything in your daily diet from local sources?

What do you consider basic staples, and are they produced locally?

 What items that you consider staples are missing from your area?

What items are available, but prohibitively expensive?

The obvious items, foods that have been traded far and wide for centuries, are excluded. Spices, chocolate, coffee, etc.


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Local eating in the Delmarva region [25 Mar 2008|12:24pm]

(x-posted a couple of places)

The article for which I was interviewed on local eating is out:


What both amuses me and ticks me off is that the photographer didn't give a rats ass about the subject of the article, he just wanted pictures where he could include what was colorful and pretty, which is why that big stack of oranges in Delaware in March is the focus of the picture of me supposedly shopping for local foods. Oy.
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Announcement and request [13 Mar 2008|10:08pm]

(x-posted with some related groups)

Just in case anyone pokes into here who is from the Delmarva peninsula region, I've started a yahoo group called "Delmarva Locavores" which you can join at http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/DeLoca/.

Also, I need a small picture/icon to use for this group. Does anyone have anything in their userpics (or anyplace else) that would be appropriate and that you wouldn't mind my using? If so, please post it here, or if it's a userpic, post using that pic and letting me know I can copy it.

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It's Getting to Be That Time of Year [12 Mar 2008|06:45am]

Greetings, everyone! I'm your moderator and I've taken terrible care of this community - I apologize. With the recent deep interest in local food, sustainable food, feeding ourselves in the wake of high oil and commodity prices/much higher food prices, etc - plus spring! -I do believe it's time to resurrect this place.

Now that the vernal equinox is nearly upon us (next week!) and Daylight Savings has already kicked in, the likelihood of fresh, local food outside of CA, OR, TX, HI, and FL becomes more of a reality. Example: I just picked up some local spinach at my co-op last night (I'm in Illinois, and the farm in question is 10 miles outside of town) and am starting my own seeds this weekend, so we're getting ever closer. I've had local eggs all winter (sadly, I don't have chickens anymore, but I know my egg supplier, so it's the next best thing).

I'm excited, people! So let's get this community back into action - today's topic is your local Farmers' Market. Do you have one? Describe it. Who runs it - your municipality or a volunteer or a non-profit? Is it grower-only or is it a market featuring art/crafts in addition to the food? How often is it held? How often do you go? What are prices like relative to grocery stores? Are there rules about what's considered local? Is it organic only or are there conventional and transitional growers as well?

Our market goes every Saturday, May -November. It's outdoors near downtown; it's run by the City; lots of farmers, but also lots of art, crafts, and performance, there are hot food vendors; everything has to be made/grown by the seller in our state of Illinois; there are no rules about organic/conventional or transitional. I've gone every Saturday for the last 12 years.

Hope to read more responses!
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What to do? [05 Mar 2008|03:21pm]

This NYT opinion article was written by a farmer. He talks about how he - and other farmers - are penalized by the federal government for growing fruits and vegetables.

This is not right.

What can we do? Other than write more letters and buy local?

I feel so ineffectual.

x-posted to my own journal
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Eat Local Fair Feb. 12 Albany, NY [24 Jan 2008|10:29am]

You're invited to participate in the
Eat Local Fair: Meet Your Farmer
February 12, 10 am-2 pm
Concourse of the Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY
Sponsored by the Regional Farm & Food Project and the Hudson Mohawk RC&D Council
The Regional Farm & Food Project will be promoting the benefits of eating locally grown food, including fresh fruit, vegetables and grass-fed and pastured meat, with information on CSA farms and on ordering meat from local farms.
We're inviting the CSA farms and the farms that sell meat directly to the public to participate in the fair.  This is an informational event, so bring order forms, photos and brochures describing your farm.  You're welcome to set up a display, but if you want to offer samples, because of Health Dept. regulations, you have to notify us in advance and pay for a permit from the Health Dept. ($10).  According to the Special Events manager at the Empire State Plaza (ESP), 6000-7000 people pass through the concourse on a typical weekday.
This is also a good opportunity to advertise for summer internships on your farm.  We are sending flyers to the career/employment offices of area colleges advertising that farmers will be at the fair looking for summer interns.  Not to mention the fact that many state workers have college-age children that may be interested.
ESP will provide a table and a wooden easel (can support lightweight poster ~ 2 ft. wide) for each farm.  Electricity will also be available if you want to set up a computer for a slide show, etc.  We are asking each farmer to chip in $10 to cover the table rental fee.
If you or someone you know is interested in participating, please contact Cheryl (Cheryl@...). 
Cheryl Nechamen
Regional Farm & Food Project
home phone: 518-346-4820
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September eat local challenge? [05 Sep 2007|08:45pm]

Is anyone else doing the September eat local challenge? If so, how's it going?
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Save a Tree [26 Jan 2007|04:35pm]

Earlier today, I was reading the blog of chocolatier David Lebovitz and he was discussing some fabulous jam some old friends of his make. They have a single tree of Blenheim apricots in their backyard and they make jam and you gte on a waiting list and in July they ask for money and you can buy a single pint of this delicious and rare jam.

So, I poked around the site and learned from the jam makers of We Love Jam that their tree is an endangered breed.

Once popular, and of superior flavor, the Blenheim is hardly ever found any more. Why? It doesn't keep well.

So, when I emailed to get on the waitlist (I love jam too!) I asked about seeds. Well, Eric and Phineas got right back to me and said they would be happy to mail me a seed, and seeds to anyone who wanted them. They would love to see the Blenheim make a resurgence.

Their tree is located in San Francisco, so, while I will attempt to start one at my new (and much sunnier office), I think all of you out on the Left Coast ought to write to these gentlemen and ask for a seed. Tell 'em Nicole from gala.ws told you about their jam and the seeds and you'd like one. Maybe get on the waitlist for jam, too ;)

Now, Right Coasters ought to try as well. According to Wikipedia, the apricot can withstand temperatures as low as -30F. However, that doesn't say if the Blenheim can, but it can't hurt to try. Especially if you have a nice southern facing wall to grow it against.

ETA: Eric & Phineas wrote this to me:

Our tree is actually in Santa Clara - the heart of Blenheim
territory. Apparently cold weather doesn't affect them in the winter, and they
love hot summers, but hate moisture.

(x-posted to eat_local, gardens_not_gas, landscapers and my personal journal.
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100 Mile Diet [09 Jan 2007|03:58pm]

[ mood | happy ]

Today I found (via an LJ friend) This great website called 100 Mile Diet. The link I am providing is great! It lets you put in your US or Canadian zipcode and shows you what a 100 mile radius to you includes as a tool to help you "eat local". I'm glad to see I've got until PA since my favorite milk (Natural By Nature) comes from there* :)

*I know PA is big, but it's hard enough to find pastured milk in the Manhattan, and I won't give that up! My eggs come from Brooklyn though :)

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Intro [25 Aug 2006|08:25pm]

Hi! I live in the Pioneer Valley in western MA, and as I'm beginning to realize, it's like a charmed circle of wonderful opportunities for eating locally. Though my household and I haven't taken the CSA plunge yet, we're planning to join one this spring ('07). My friend sydneycat and I share some garden space on her porch (on the 4th floor of our building). This year I grew Ace and Lipstick variety sweet peppers, some ornamental hot peppers, Bright Lights swiss chard, basil, nasturtiums, mixed greens, arugula, and Gold Nugget and Matt's Wild cherry tomatoes.

Today I went out and bought a cooler at one of those "end-of-summer" type sales. There's a wonderful local dairy that delivers door to door for a dollar a week, only they won't deliver to apartment buildings. Luckily, one of my housemates owns his own business within walking distance, so we're going to get our milk, eggs, and ground beef delivered over there and walk it home every week. We'll see how that works out.

I guess my favorite thing about eating locally is the farmer's market that sets up every Saturday in my front yard. No, really. My building is across from the parking lot where they hold it every week, and I can see the produce out my bedroom window when I wake up in the morning. I plan to enjoy it as much as possible for the next year or two until we move again. :)
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Act Now to Stop The "Food Uniformity Bill" in the Senate! [15 Jun 2006|08:11am]

[ mood | aggravated ]

S. 3128 is the companion bill in the Senate to HR 4167, the National Uniformity for Food Act bill passed in the U.S. House. This bill would eliminate current state and local food safety and labeling regulations and pre-empt any future ones that aren't identical to federal ones. Members of the House put special interests before public interest when they approved H.R. 4167, the “National Uniformity for Food Act”, with a vote of 283 to 139.

We still have a chance to stop this legislation in the Senate! Our Senators need to know we oppose any attempts to strip state's abilities to protect and inform their own citizens concerning food safety and labeling issues.


It’s easy to call: Call the Senate switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask for the offices of your Senators.

The message is simple: Let them know you are looking to them to stand up for the rights of our local governments and citizens to protect our public health and food supply by OPPOSING S3128.

Talking Points and Background Information:

Reduction of food safety in many states: The “uniformity” to be achieved by this bill is in many instances the uniform absence of food safety regulation—a potential boon to the food industry. The bill requires all state food safety laws to be identical to the requirements of the Federal Food and Drug Administration. And, since the states regulate many food safety issues not covered by the FDA, many laws will be voided and replaced with no law at all. While the bill would allow states to seek a nationwide warning from FDA, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the government would spend at least $100 million to answer petitions for tougher state rules. Also, food industry lobbyists will be able to focus efforts against these regulations in one place—instead of working in all 50 states.

Covert legislative campaign? Despite H.R. 4167’s far-reaching implications, it was brought to the House floor without a committee hearing, which would have allowed lawmakers to hear testimony from proponents and opponents from industry, government and advocacy groups. "You wonder why the Congress would do its work in this way," said Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles, accusing food industry lobbyists of waging "a covert legislative campaign" The bill has been opposed by many environmental, health and consumer rights organizations, 39 state Attorney Generals, 7 state Governors, the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, the Association of Food and Drug Officials, the National Conference of State Legislators and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture.
thank you for taking the time to act on this important issue!

New York:

Senator Hillary Clinton,
Voice 202-224-4451, 212-688-6262
Fax: 202-228-0406

Senato Charles Schumer
Voice: 202-224-6542,212-486-4430
Fax: 202-228-3027

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Interns wanted [02 Apr 2006|09:29pm]

If this is not appropriate, please remove it.

My name is Nora, and I'm the field manager of a modified CSA in Berks County, Pennsylvania. We're currently looking for interns - the weather is warming up and there's lots to do! Benefits include room, board, and a stipend. If you want some experience working on an organic farm, please feel free to contact me, or check out our website - http://www.coveredbridgeproduce.com. Thanks!

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[27 Mar 2006|02:35pm]

Hi everyone I don't think this has been posted but if you go here you can find farmers markets, grocery/co-ops etc.. in your area. http://www.localharvest.com.

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Eating local is better than eating organic [26 Mar 2006|09:58pm]

So we always talk about how eating organic food is more sustainable, because it doesn't use petroleum rich fertilizers. It's pretty obvious that eating locally non-organically grown foods is better than eating organically grown food from South America. But eating locally grown food may also be better than eating regionally grown organic food--if the organic fertilizers are trucked in over a long distance. From the article My Saudi Arabian Breakfast:

For decades, scientists have calculated how much fossil fuel goes into our food by measuring the amount of energy consumed in growing, packing, shipping, consuming, and finally disposing of it. The "caloric input" of fossil fuel is then compared to the energy available in the edible product, the "caloric output."

What they've discovered is astonishing. According to researchers at the University of Michigan's Center for Sustainable Agriculture, an average of over seven calories of fossil fuel is burned up for every calorie of energy we get from our food. This means that in eating my 400 calorie breakfast, I will, in effect, have "consumed" 2,800 calories of fossil-fuel energy. (Some researchers claim the ratio to be as high as ten to one.)

But this is only an average. My cup of coffee gives me only a few calories of energy, but to process just one pound of coffee requires over 8,000 calories of fossil-fuel energy -- the equivalent energy found in nearly a quart of crude oil, 30 cubic feet of natural gas, or around two and a half pounds of coal.

So how do you gauge how much oil went into your food?
Read more...Collapse )

Please go read the whole article, it's very good. Originally posted by powershutdown in powerswitch. X-posted to peakoil_prep and daily_granola.
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Cool article! [22 Jan 2006|07:45pm]

I love reading articles detailing peoples' Local Food Challenges.

This one's from the UK:


:: crossposted to not_quite_rural ::
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Local Eats article [26 Nov 2005|12:03pm]


I like that they're doing this on the scale that they are. It's an opportunity to educate a lot of people.
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Labeling for food (forwarded) [23 Sep 2005|11:12am]

[ mood | annoyed ]

Analysis Shows How Millions of Dollars Spent in Lobbying and Elections Has Helped Thwart Key Food Labeling Law

A new Public Citizen investigation illustrates how big agribusiness used millions of dollars in lobbying expenditures and campaign contributions, and a network of Washington insiders with close connections to the Bush administration and Congress, to thwart a consumer-friendly provision mandating country-of-origin labeling, popularly known as COOL.

Mandatory country-of-origin labeling would require beef, pork, lamb, fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables, fish, and peanuts to be labeled with where they were raised, grown or produced. Although the 2002 Farm Bill stipulated that the new program be implemented by September 2004, mandatory COOL has been postponed by Congress - where lawmakers are under intense pressure from the meat and grocery industries - for two years. In June, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to once again delay COOL's implementation for meat until 2007. Industry is strongly lobbying the Senate to either delay the funding for the USDA to work on COOL or turn it into a "voluntary" program.

"If you ask consumers, they'll tell you they want COOL, but it's apparent that Congress isn't listening. We've already watched members of the House dismiss their constituents by voting to delay this important consumer act. We urge the Senate not to follow in their footsteps," said Wenonah Hauter, director of Public Citizen's food program. "Consumers deserve to know where their meat is produced, and in light of all the problems our food system faces on a daily basis, COOL would serve as a vital precautionary measure."

Among the investigation's findings:

- Twenty-one companies and trade organizations that outspokenly oppose the mandatory COOL law and have registered to lobby against it have spent a total of $29.2 million to lobby Congress and the executive branch on COOL and other issues from 2000 to 2004. These groups are some of the biggest names in agribusiness and include the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA), Wal-Mart, Cargill, Tyson Foods, the American Meat Institute and the Grocery Manufacturers of America.

- These companies have marshaled an army of at least 160 lobbyists to oppose COOL. Among these lobbyists, at least 45 (or 28 percent) previously held positions in the federal government, many working on key agriculture issues such as COOL.

- Key lobbyists from the meat industry who fought COOL before it became law later were hired in strategic positions at the USDA, which was charged with crafting the regulations to implement COOL. Under their watch the agency estimated an initial one-year implementation cost of up to $3.9 billion, with few benefits, which served to bolster critic's views that COOL would be too expensive to warrant implementing.

One revealing example of the influence of money in politics lies in Arkansas, where lawmakers strongly supported country-of-origin labels for all food because of the state's catfish industry, which has suffered in recent years by an influx of a catfish-like species from Vietnam. But once the delegation got its way on fish labels, support disappeared for broader COOL legislation. All six members of the delegation are co-sponsoring a bill that would end the requirement for COOL labeling of meat. They received $338,500 from COOL foes in the last three election cycles. Also, among sponsors of the voluntary COOL legislation, the Arkansas delegation accounted for the only three Democrats among the top 30 recipients of contributions from COOL opponents: Sen. Blanche Lincoln and Reps. Marion Berry and Mike Ross.

"It is easy to understand how money works against consumers' interests in politics by considering that the COOL legislation made it through Congress with a strong show of support a few years ago, only to be corralled by a strong industry lobbying effort capped by a cornucopia of campaign cash," said Frank Clemente, director of Public Citizen's Congress Watch.

To read the report, "Tabled Labels: Consumers Eat Blind While Congress Feasts on Campaign Cash" go to www.citizen.org or http://www.sustainableagriculture.net/COOL_PubCitPressRel.php

This is from Billie Best, Regional Farm and Food Project, http://www.farmandfood.org/

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Kitchen Garden Day [25 Aug 2005|09:06am]

Thought you guys might be interested in this!

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Eat Local Challenge [29 Jul 2005|10:20am]

Check it out.

Anyone on board for this?

I have some problems with it, ie the fact that it's really not available to folks without a relatively decent amount of money and/or the ability to make local food choices with their money, but I'm intrigued. I don't think I'd be able to get my family completely on board, but we are definitely going to step up our efforts to eat within a 100 mile radius.
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