Is 2013 the Year of the Locavore?
Is 2013 the year of the locavore? There’s a saying, “As California goes, so goes the nation.” Based on what we’re seeing in the region, and around the rest of the country, I’d like to think that the Year of the Locavore has arrived! In 2006, Jane Goodall wrote the eye-opening Harvest for Hope about our broken food system. In 2007, Barbara Kingsolver wrote her pivotal autobiography, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, in which she attempted to eat locally for one year; and the same year Michael Pollan wrote the best-selling Omnivore’s Dilemma. As the nation devoured these books, a transformation in food literacy began. In 2007, “locavore” was named Word of the Year by Oxford American Dictionary, a word coined just two years earlier by a San Francisco resident. A Wake at the Wisk post.
Accidental Locavore: Top 6 Blog Posts For 2012
‘Tis the season for year-end round up lists and The Accidental Locavore is as lazy good at lists as anyone else. So, here are the top six blog posts for 2012, based on very little scientific research. Some of them were the most commented on, others were the most clicked on. Huffington Post post.
SDA’s First Ever Farm to School Grant Connects Schools to Local Agriculture
Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced a $4.5 million grant for the USDA’s first ever Farm to School Grant, designed to cultivate a larger connection between school cafeterias and local farms. The program includes 68 projects in 37 states under the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act. The projects will serve 3,700 schools and 1.75 million students, half from rural areas. Tree Hugger post.
Could Nation’s Largest Urban Farm District Stabilize Chicago’s South Side?
Officials in Chicago envision an ambitious plan for a 100-acre urban agriculture district as the foundation for reviving an area of the city now “riddled with vacant lots, poverty, and blight,” reports Lori Rotenberk. Plans for the district, which will take advantage of an estimated 100 acres of city-owned, vacant parcels located across from the three-mile long New ERA (Englewood Re-making America) Trail, are a central element in the Chicago’s Department of Housing and Economic Development’s (DHE) Green Healthy Neighborhoods initiative. The trail, which is envisioned as a linear park with foot and bike trails and farm stands, will form a spine connecting the vacant parcels, which will be “converted into farms and other agricultural projects.” Planetizen post.
Locavore movement continues to spread
So-called “locavores” are defined by their interest to eat locally-produced foods that are not shipped from faraway destinations. More than 40 years ago, entrepreneurial California chefs inspired the locavore tradition at their tables as they sought to reinvent the image of American cuisine. Today, their ideas have spread, albeit slowly, but steadily through our cultural landscape to have laid down roots in the Hudson Valley. Focused upon pushing more local ingredients for area dishes, the forces behind the group Hudson Valley Bounty count more than 500 farms, restaurants and markets spanning Columbia, Ulster, Dutchess, Orange and Sullivan counties promoting a locavore lifestyle. Register-Star story.
Girl Scouts’ Locavore Badge
As part of the first revamping of badges in 25 years, Girl Scout seniors (grades 9-10) can now earn the new Locavore badge. According to the Girl Scouts of the USA website: “When I’ve earned this badge, I’ll know how to prepare a meal of seasonal and locally grown dishes.” What constitutes “local” hasn’t been determined yet; it may mean food grown within 100 miles or food grown within the girl scout’s state. Urban Farm Online post.
The Locavore Chef March Break Food Camp at Evergreen Brick Works is a one-week program that offers urban campers ages 7–12 the chance to grow, harvest, cook, preserve, and savour fresh, healthy local food, while increasing physical fitness and exploring nature in the heart of the city. Daily activities will be held on site in the Sandra Simpson Urban Kitchen, the sun-lit greenhouse, and lush food gardens. One day will be spent off-site at an organic farm. Evergreen Brick Works post.
Higher Level Stewardship marks 10,000th agreement
HLS agreements now cover more than 977,000ha of England and represent an annual investment of more than £165m each year into the rural economy, helping farm businesses to generate economic growth and support a healthy and wildlife-rich environment. Farmers Weekly story.
Discovering the pleasures of a locavore lifestyle in Peru
Throughout the countryside, too, restaurants are serving food you used to only find at family meals. After the jungle, we headed to the Sacred Valley, where today’s farmers enjoy the same microclimate the Incas used to feed an empire. At the Hacienda Huayocari, perched high on the valley’s slope, the Orihuela family serves dishes made with ingredients taken from the land below, which is checkered with fields of fava beans and quinoa, barley and choclo — the “best corn in the world,” as Peruvians will proudly tell you — nutty and less sugary than the corn favoured in north America, with chewy white kernels the size of marbles. National Post story.
After Crispy Pig Ears, 10 Trends for 2013
IN our newly omnivorous nation, restaurant trends often have the same viral spread and short life span as boy bands — witness 2011’s crispy pig ears and sea buckthorn berries. Eating around the country on reporting trips in 2012, I saw food lovers everywhere embracing new interpretations of farm-to-table and nose-to-tail as fast as they came along. But along with the flashes in the pan, I saw some new developments that seem to have both legs and merit. Julia Moskin post in the New York Times.
AND IF YOU HAVE TIME
Webinar: How to Start a Tool Library in Your Community
In August 2012, the Center for a New American Dream presented a free webinar about how to start up a new tool library in your community. Topics included obtaining funding, finding a location, tracking tools, navigating through legal issues, and more. The webinar featured speakers from successful tool libraries around the country. Resilience post.