Farm Camp: Would You Pay $460 to Shovel Crap?
With the end of school around the corner, the options for summer camp have gotten endlessly niche: there’s rock-star camp, circus-arts camp, Hollywood-stunt camp. But in what may be a backlash to the glitz of it all, the hippest new kid on the block is the lowly farm camp, with tilling the earth now seen as a wholesome and character-building respite from video games and texting. The American Camp Association (ACA) has surveyed its members to report that 83% of day and resident camps have added gardening activities in the past five years, and 19% have launched farming and ranching programs, which include raising animals. “People think kids intuitively wouldn’t be interested,” says CEO Peg Smith. “But we’re seeing the pendulum swing back.” Time U.S” article.
Citywatch: The Road Not Taken Will Make All the Difference
I love working on food issues at the city level because it offers scores of fresh and do-able ways of getting at creative solutions in so many seemingly unrelated areas. The best gifts often come in the smallest packages, thanks to the unusual leverage that food brings to the table. There’s nothing stale in what food perspectives contribute to perennial debates about toll roads, traffic jams and the pollution caused by cars in the city – problems that might seem far away from food. Nourishing the Planet (Worldwatch Institute) blog by Wayne Roberts
Amenity – Urban food growing projects
An Olympic-themed campaign is highlighting the huge diversity and potential of urban crop growing projects, says Gavin McEwan. Growing food in urban open spaces has become a nationwide trend, but in London it has received a leg-up from the Capital Growth campaign, which aims to create 2,012 such spaces in time for next year’s Olympics. “Local food growing has gone mainstream,” says Ben Reynolds, network manager of co-organiser London Food Link (LFL). “The number of people wanting to grow is huge, yet there are long waiting lists for allotments. They don’t necessarily want to grow on that scale though, and this is a good way to start.” Horticulture Week story.
Brooklyn Grange is a commercial organic farm located on New York City rooftops. We grow vegetables in the city and sell them to local people and businesses. The goal is to improve access to very good food, to connect city people more closely to farms and food production, and to make urban farming a viable enterprise and livelihood. Website.
San Diego City Endorses People’s Right to Grow Their Own Food
Community Gardeners Applaud the City’s Streamlined Regulations. Yesterday, Mayor Jerry Sanders signed into law new city rules that will help residents create much needed community gardens. The City Council unanimously approved the new regulations on June 7 in response to costly bureaucratic problems community groups encountered when trying to grow food in vacant lots. Momentum for change came after the International Rescue Committee spent $46,000 to get a permit for the New Roots Community Farm in City Heights. Eat Good Food post.
San Diego Food Not Lawns
San Diego Food Not Lawns is a food justice organization committed to enlightening people about the problems with our food system and working to address those problems with creative solutions. We run Farmer on the Block, a movie (documentary) series, a monthly potluck with guest speakers, gleaning programs and seed swaps. We also help plan the Cultivating Food Justice Conference, which is one of the largest food justice conferences in California. Learn more about each of our programs. Learn about the San Diego 1 in 10 Coalition which we participate in. Website.
‘Sharing Success’ — New Podcasts
Sharing Success is all about the fantastic success of LEAF’s (Linking Environment and Farming) Open Farm Sunday, discussing the benefits of to farmers as hosts or guests. With Susie Emmett, from Green Shoots Productions, is Andrew Nottage, who hosted a very successful Open Farm Sunday in Cambridgeshire. We also hear from green bean farmer Peter Kanyuru, who attended the very first Open Farm Sunday in Kenya. LEAF Podcasts.
Urban Fish Farming: Wave Of The Future?
Schreibman’s lab on the campus of Brooklyn College in New York is full of pipes and pumps whirring and clanking. You’re hit by a fishy smell when you walk in, and you quickly see why: Jacuzzi-sized tanks, filled with tilapia. His tanks are part of a system very different from a fish farm or natural ecosystem. Schreibman’s worked for years to develop an advanced water-recirculation system that eliminates the need for chemicals during the growth process. It filters plain old tap water in and out of a tank, constantly circulating and removing fish waste. Over the course of years of work, Schreibman says, “it just occurred to me and my colleagues that we can grow a lot of fish in a very small area, on land, under controlled conditions. And there are no antibiotics, pesticides or hormones.” National Public Radio story.
Oak Park Woman Faces 93-Days in Jail for Planting Vegetable Garden
“The price of organic food is kind of through the roof,” said Julie Bass. So, why not grow your own? However, Bass’ garden is a little unique because it’s in her front yard. “We thought it’d be really cool to do it so the neighbors could see. The kids love it. The kids from the neighborhood all come and help,” she said. Bass’ cool garden has landed her in hot water with the City of Oak Park. Code enforcement gave her a warning, then a ticket and now she’s been charged with a misdemeanor. “I think it’s sad that the City of Oak Park that’s already strapped for cash is paying a lot of money to have a prosecutor bothering us,” Bass told FOX 2’s Alexis Wiley. “That’s not what we want to see in a front yard,” said Oak Park City Planner Kevin Rulkowski. Fox News (Detroit) story.
Coles cleared over selling $1 milk
Nearly six months after Coles slashed the price of its house brand milk to $1 a litre, sparking a price war with arch rival Woolworths and triggering a nationwide heated debate on the pricing of key staples, the competition regulator ruled there was no evidence Coles acted in breach of competition rules or engaged in predatory pricing. Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Graeme Samuel said the major impact of the reduction in milk prices since January seems to have been a reduction in the supermarkets’ profit margins on house brand milk. Sydney Morning Herald story. “On the evidence we’ve gathered over the last six months, it seems most milk processors pay the same farmgate price to dairy farmers irrespective of whether it is intended to be sold as branded or house-brand milk” Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
AND IF YOU HAVE TIME
Bad Food? Tax It, and Subsidize Vegetables
WHAT will it take to get Americans to change our eating habits? The need is indisputable, since heart disease, diabetes and cancer are all in large part caused by the Standard American Diet. (Yes, it’s SAD.) Though experts increasingly recommend a diet high in plants and low in animal products and processed foods, ours is quite the opposite, and there’s little disagreement that changing it could improve our health and save tens of millions of lives. Mark Bittman opinion in the New York Times.