The Future of Food

This past week, I have had several different blog topics rolling around in my head. Most of those thoughts have been about food…either the growing of, the shortage of, the cooking of, the harvesting of, the preserving of, or, yes, the genetic engineering of…..OUR FOOD!

These thoughts have prompted a couple of movements for me.  I requested Michael Pollan’s books, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, , In Defense of Food, and A Place of My Own, from our local library. As I have begun to read, I have been wishing I belonged to a book club with members with whom I could discuss my readings and thoughts. DH has been kind enough to oglige, but it would be nice to hear what others have to say.

On another path, I attempted some solar cooking last weekend and hope to share my failures with you soon. Because of those failures with a home-fashioned solar cooker, I purchased a new one from The Peddlar’s Wagon at Path to Freedom/Urban Homesteaders. I am excited about the possibilities of not heating up the kitchen and still being able to prepare a meal.

What brought me to all of these thoughts about food and has me attempting action on those thoughts? First was the Path to Freedom Sustainable Food UCLA Lectures hosted on YouTube. Part four was just recently uploaded and now we are waiting for the Q & A video to be released. In Jules Dervaes’ lecture he mentioned Deborah Koons Garcia, the wife of Jerry Garcia, who is the producer of The Future of Food Documentary about, well, the future of food.  Immediately searching YouTube for Garcia and the future of food, I found several videos from which to choose. DH and I listened to Mrs. Garcia on a radio show broadcast, as she talked about the history of the documentary and her journey with food.

This radio broadcast is a bit longer than most YouTube clips…but you will gain so much info for a small investment of your time.

Introduction to The Future of Food

The Path to Freedom Sustainable Foods UCLA Lectures began with Part One……

I had not written a post, because I was not certain what I, as an individual, could say about the mess that we appear to be heading toward. My head is reeling from everything that I am learning. Today, at Prairie Dreams, Anita posted an entry about farmers being thrown out of the Food Shortage Summit in Rome and though Rome is on the other side of the earth, I know that we are all in this together…farmers, consumers, and unfortunately, large agribusiness corporations. As Jules Dervaes often speaks…it is time for a HOMEGROWN REVOLUTION. While our backyard and patio “farms” will not head off world hunger, it might just make a difference in our own household.

I encourage all to “do your own research” and take some baby steps toward sustainability. That is all that we can all do….each take baby steps toward a success.

ABC Nightline Path to Freedom TONIGHT 11:35 PM

The Dervaes Family will be on tonight on ABC at 11:35 PM EDT.  This story was filmed last week at the Dervaes Institute and Path to Freedom. The Dervaes are role models to many on the build to a more sustainable life. Living on a city lot in Pasasdena, California, they raise most of their own food, as well as enough vegetables/fruits to run a thriving fresh market delivery business on 1/10 of an acre. Their accomplishnments are amazing!

Edit: Well, it was definitely worth the wait! Makes me want to go out and rip up my yard :).

Second Edit: For those that missed it, Path to Freedom states that it will be on youtube soon. See below….

Does this make me a Dervaes Groupie??????

Growing a Living on an Urban Lot

OH MY! 67K from 1/2 acre????  

Urban Farmers’ Crops Go From Vacant Lot to Market

“On a fringe of Philadelphia, a nonprofit demonstration project used densely planted rows in a half-acre plot and generated $67,000 from high-value crops like lettuces, carrots and radishes.

In Milwaukee, the nonprofit Growing Power operates a one-acre farm crammed with plastic greenhouses, compost piles, do-it-yourself contraptions, tilapia tanks and pens full of hens, ducks and goats — and grossed over $220,000 last year from the sale of lettuces, winter greens, sprouts and fish to local restaurants and consumers. “

Small Farms More Profitable

A snippet from an Editorial/Opinion in The New York Times~~~

Change We Can Stomach

“…small farms are the most productive on earth. A four-acre farm in the United States nets, on average, $1,400 per acre; a 1,364-acre farm nets $39 an acre. Big farms have long compensated for the disequilibrium with sheer quantity. But their economies of scale come from mass distribution, and with diesel fuel costing more than $4 per gallon in many locations, it’s no longer efficient to transport food 1,500 miles from where it’s grown. “

Eat the View!

On/Day/1!  What an incredible idea! The only way it could be better is if I had thought of it first..haha! In my sidebar you will find a widget for telling the 44th president what you think is important. The suggestion that took me to this fun site is to tell the next president to “eat the lawn”. On/Day/1 is a place to “share your ideas for a better world.”

International Kitchen Garden Day 2008

Before today, I had no idea that this event existed. I know that August 24 is a few months in coming, but I thought I would post this interesting video about the need for turning our lawns into vegetable gardens. The gentleman in the video discusses the many reasons why everyone should dedicate at least some portion of their lawn to a productive garden, but his mention of $3 gasoline dates it slightly. Oh wait…$3 wasn’t that long ago….the fear of $4 gas is becoming more and more real.

This Little Piggy Went to Market

I am so excited! We go to choose our butchering pig tonight. We are purchasing it from a local farmer, who will take it to the butcher for us. While his farm is not organically certified, he does not use chemicals on his produce or animals. In the past we have purchased beef from local farmers, but this will be our first ham.

We have discussed participating in the 100 mile diet, and are trying to move a bit into that direction, but realize that it would be so difficult to give up some of the fruits and vegetables that we so love. All citrus would be sorely missed, as would avacodo and grapes. I suppose we could grow some grapes here, but our cold winters keep us from growing many items.