Pictured here: squashes and pumpkins at Love Apple Farm, where I've been visiting lately. There are many reasons I've not been writing—all of October, even. Foremost, I've got some steady part-time work, and second to that, we've had more visitors and socializing in the last three weeks than in the past ten years. Some other projects and interests have popped up—not the least of which has been the birth of a baby boy in the house next door, and I've been (self-)appointed Court Photographer. I'm behind in e-mails and in other areas of life.
I only have time today for three brief announcements of some events very soon, and maybe you can avail yourselves of them. And then I hope to get back in the saddle with blogging. Much is happening on the local farm scene, and most all of it is wonderful.
Saturday, November 15
Raising Chickens (and Ducks!) in Town
Saturday, November 14, 10 am - 12:30 pm
Louise Cain Gatehouse, UCSC Farm
Learn how to raise and care for chickens and other poultry in an urban environment. Taught by Paul Glanowski and Cooper Funk, graduates of the Apprenticeship program and the founders of "Urban Eggs," this workshop will cover the basics of tending small flocks in town, including coop design, breeds, and predator control.
$20 for members of the Friends of the UCSC Farm & Garden; $25 general public. Space limited. For more information or directions, call 459-3240, or email Joan Tannheimer.
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In support of “Farms Not Arms”
& “The Farmer Veteran Coalition” project (with FarmsNotArms.org)
Meet The Gold Star Mothers, Veterans and Farmers
6PM At the Swanton Berry Farm-Stand in Davenport CA
Join us for special appetizers followed by Organic Spaghetti Pasta with Dry Farm Tomato Marinara, Warm Bread with Local Goat Cheese Baked with Chadwick Garden Garlic and Herbs, Peak of Season Salad, Local Wines
A fine meal finishing with Swanton Berry's own strawberry shortcake & coffee (from the Community Action Network)
Call to reserve a space or for advance tickets call: Gail 831-479-9560 or Forrest 831-234-5490
or online www.farmsnotarms.org
Location- Hwy 1, 2 miles North of Davenport, CA
EDIT: According to Christina Waters: "Appetizers of Pacific mussels and oyster mushrooms sautéd in chardonnay and shallot butter, will be accompanied by grilled Swanton artichokes with Meyer lemon aioli."
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Thursday, November 20
WILD FARM ALLIANCE PRESENTS FOOD SAFETY GONE ASTRAY:
THE MISGUIDED WAR ON WILDLIFE
A Teach-in for Media, Decision Makers, and Stakeholders
Plowing the fields of change: Since the 2006 E.coli outbreak in spinach, agri-business practices conducted in the name of "food safety" have caused serious environmental harm and may actually be counterproductive to keeping our food safe. Even before the spinach incident, related systemic problems were brewing. This event brings together national and regional experts who will demonstrate how over-reactions and superficial fixes are threatening the sustainability of our food systems as well as human health and wildlife - while also identifying paths to a future of safe food. You will be presented with fresh perspectives and the latest research on critical US food safety challenges.
Wild Farm Alliance will bring together national and regional experts who will demonstrate how over-reactions and superficial fixes are threatening the sustainability of our food systems, human health and wildlife, while identifying alternatives. Speakers will present fresh perspectives and the latest research on critical US food safety issues since the 2006 E.coli outbreak in spinach, and reveal how agri-business practices conducted in the name of “food safety” have caused serious environmental harm and may in fact be counterproductive to keeping our food safe. Even before the spinach incident, related systemic problems were brewing.
· The real and imagined risks of food pathogens;
· Food safety-induced habitat destruction and research on the low risk that wildlife pose;
· CAFOs and the rise and spread of antibiotic resistance pathogens;
· Onerous food safety practices imposed on family farmers who don't grow risky crops;
· New food safety strategies being developed by farmers and agencies
The following individuals will attend and make remarks:
· Robert S. Lawrence, MD, Director, Center for a Livable Future/Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health;
· Andy Kimbrell, Director, Center for Food Safety;
· Jo Ann Baumgartner, Director, Wild Farm Alliance;
· Dave Runsten, Director, Community Alliance with Family Farmers;
· Dan Imhoff, Director, Watershed Media;
· Becky Weed, Farmer, 13 Mile Lamb and Wool Company;
· Representatives from several environmental protection agencies
Thursday, November 20, 2008
9am - 4pm PST: Main event (includes mixer lunch for informal interviews)
In-person: One Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA
Webcast Available for Media
CONTACT: Jo Ann Baumgartner, Director, Wild Farm Alliance, 831-761-8404 or email@example.com
Patti Bond, Publicist, Wild Farm Alliance, 831-464-7748, firstname.lastname@example.org
Center for a Livable Future, John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Center for Food Safety
Ecological Farming Association
Full Belly Farm
Organic Farming Research Foundation
Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation
• • • • • • • • • • •
Upcoming reports on a visit to Love Apple Farm with my friend, Simon, whose book, Eat My Globe, is coming out in May; a review of a lovely new cookbook all about seasonal eating: Eat Feed Autumn Winter: 30 Ways to Celebrate When the Mercury Drops, by Anne Bramley, with whom I attended and presented at the FamilyFarmed.org EXPO in Chicago back in 2006; and even some (gasp!) writing about food we've actually been eating.
Now: where you when you found out that Barack Obama was going to be the 44th President of the United States? I was in a meeting that night between 7:00-8:00, and at 7:45, said to the woman with me, "I'm itching to call Bob to find out more." She nodded eagerly, and Bob told us how things were going. He said, "It's like Pepperland when the color came back."
I got into my car shortly after 8:00, and heard NPR call the race for Barack. I was downtown, and I could hear cheers erupting all around me. (That later turned into a melée downtown that lasted for hours: I'm sorry I missed it.) I hurried home, and felt alternately more elated than I've felt in years, and curiously disappointed that I didn't get to enjoy at least a couple of hours of build-up before knowing he'd won. However, given the stinky prior two elections, this was a small trade-off.
Having grown up in the Deep South, my joy alternated for days with a kind of surreal feeling, and I was literally unable to talk about it without choking up for three or four days.
I share the disappointment of so many that Proposition 8 passed, but am not deeply worried about it, because there are so many outcomes that are hopeful. It's discrimination, and that's not legal. If you know anyone who supported Prop 8, please have them watch Keith Olbermann's eloquent commentary. (Hanky alert: I had tears streaming down my face.)
So, that's all for today.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: "Yes, we can. And we have. And we will."
Comments are open: where were you when you heard the good news? (I'm already working on getting Barack to just MENTION farms in his policies at the new Change.gov website.) Isn't it cool that we can call him Barack? Bob says, "He IS the American Eagle."
Thanks for visiting!