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Posts Tagged ‘local food’

Urban Food Week: London

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on September 13th, 2012

Source: SustainWeb

Urban Food Week is a celebration of the fantastic food being produced by community projects in London.

The week is a collaboration between restaurant network Ethical Eats; Capital Growth – the campaign to create 2012 new food-growing spaces by 2012; and Capital Bee, which promotes community beekeeping in London, and is to highlight the importance of buying and eating local food, urban growing and planting forage for bees.

During the week, restaurants, cafés, bars and pubs across the city will be showcasing dishes and drinks made with ultra-local fruit, veg and herbs from urban farms, and from London honey cultivated in community beehives.

Diners who submit a picture of their Urban Food Week dish or drink will be entered into a draw to win a one-day urban foraging course.

Urban Food Week
10-16 September

Go to the Ethical Eats site to find out more.

Fruit trees for Unley Park in Council trial

Posted in Models, Movements by Jessica Bird on August 29th, 2012

Source: Eastern Courier Messenger

Photo by Luke Hemer, AdelaideNow

From “Fruit trees planted in Unley park as part of Unley Council trial” by Emily Griffiths

Dozens of fruit and nut trees have been planted in an Unley reserve in a trial to encourage people to grow produce in their backyards. More than 60 trees, including pears, walnuts and peaches, were planted recently by Unley Council in Morrie Harrell Reserve in Ramage St.

Unley Community Sustainability Advisory Group member Peter Croft, who recommended the trial, said the orchard would provide food for residents and help build a sense of community. “Imagine going to a park for a barbecue and being able to get a lemon straight off a tree to season your meat,” Mr Croft, of Parkside, said. “The idea is to encourage people to grow more in their backyards. This is one of a series (and) hopefully there will be lots more orchards planted.” Under the trial, residents with dead or dying street trees can also apply to the council to have them replaced with fruit trees.

Unley general manager Steven Faulkner welcomed the project. “For a relatively small establishment cost, and given food security and the rising costs of fresh produce are topical, this is considered an innovative trial,” Mr Faulkner told the Eastern Courier Messenger in an emailed statement. Plans for another 20 orchard sites are being investigated by the council. The trial is part of the council’s Food Security Strategy, which was endorsed last year.

Read the original article by Emily Griffiths

Public fruit trees seems to be a hot topic around the world at the moment, see the post on Guerilla Grafters in San Francisco -JB

The Slow Food Almanac for 2011: Out now

Posted in Movements, Research by Kate Archdeacon on September 12th, 2011

The Slow Food Almanac for 2011 is now available to read online. Introduction by Carlo Petrini:

A recent addition to the movement’s publications, each edition paints an increasingly effective picture of what we are doing in the world.  Once again the Almanac is rich in stories that describe who we are and what we do: Slow Food and Terra Madre’s activities on every continent to defend biodiversity, promote local food through taste education and grow our network with projects, meetings and exchanges. They are stories of men and women, young people and elders, cooks and teachers who are united by the Slow Food movement – active, determined, working together to bring change to their communities. Through their perseverance and imaginative approaches, and sharing in our global network, their examples become a stimulus and an opportunity for common growth and exchange.

The 2011 Almanac speaks about us and the land we live on – our true wealth. It offers a glimpse of how vast geographic diversity and human interactions with ecosystems have allowed us to be creative and produce food in a good, clean and fair way, and thus continue to hope for a better world. This is our culture, the culture of Slow Food.

I hope you will enjoy the inspiring stories and wonderful photographs in this electronic publication. It also contains links for further information – connecting to the various sections of the Slow Food website, as well as other websites, photo galleries and video footage. Please share it with friends who may be interested in joining Slow Food.

To read the Almanac, click here.

Urban Food Production Potential: Edible Hackney

Posted in Models, Research by Kate Archdeacon on September 8th, 2011


From “Edible Hackney” by Edward Platt:

“I’m always amazed by the way that professional planning fails people,” Mikey Tomkins says, as we stand beneath a 17 storey block of flats called Welshpool House, near Hackney’s Broadway Market. Even on a bright, sunny afternoon in August, the area is not particularly inviting: people have congregated around a bench on the far side of the road, but the concrete terrace beneath the building and the three adjoining areas of fenced-off grass, are empty.

Tomkins, who is an expert on urban agriculture and a bee-keeper with hives on the roof of a nearby building, is incensed by the sight of so much wasted space. Last year, he produced a map called Edible Hackney, which imagines how the streets and estates of a small area of E8 could be turned to food production. He drew beehives on the roof of the 17-storey building and placed raised beds of vegetables and fruit trees around its base. The garages on the far side of the road became mushroom farms, and London Fields was the venue for an annual festival of local produce. The map offers a beguiling vision of a district recently ravaged by riots, and yet it isn’t entirely wishful thinking.

When Tomkins had greeted our small group half an hour before with a pot of his London Fields honey, he had explained that the tour we were about to embark on would not only take in the places where food might be produced, but the places where it was already in production.


Read the full article by Edward Platt on the Guardian.

Local Harvest: Metasite for organic & local food

Posted in Models, Tools by Kate Archdeacon on July 26th, 2011

From the LocalHarvest website:

LocalHarvest is America’s #1 organic and local food website. We maintain a definitive and reliable “living” public nationwide directory of small farms, farmers markets, and other local food sources. Our search engine helps people find products from family farms, local sources of sustainably grown food, and encourages them to establish direct contact with small farms in their local area. Our online store helps small farms develop markets for some of their products beyond their local area.

The richness, variety, and flavor of our communities, food systems, and diets is in jeopardy. The exclusive focus on economic efficiency has brought us low prices and convenience through large supermarkets chains, agribusiness and factory farms, while taking away many other aspects of our food lives, like our personal relation with our food and with the people who produce it. More and more people are realizing this and actively working to turn the tide and to preserve a food industry based on family-owned, small scale businesses. They are our best guarantee against a world of styrofoam-like long-shelf-life tomatoes and diets dictated from corporate boardrooms. The Buy Local movement is quickly taking us beyond the promise of environmental responsibility that the organic movement delivered, and awakening the US to the importance of community, variety, humane treatment of farm animals, and social and environmental responsibility in regards to our food economy.

LocalHarvest was founded in 1998, and is now the number one informational resource for the Buy Local movement and the top place on the Internet where people find information on direct marketing family farms. We now have more than 20000 members, and are growing by about 20 new members every day. Through our servers, our website and those of our partners serve about three and a half million page views per month to the public interested in buying food from family farms. LocalHarvest is located in Santa Cruz, California, and was founded by Guillermo Payet, a software engineer and activist dedicated to generating positive social change through the Internet.

Ethical Consumer is setting up a similar resource in Melbourne, Australia, and is seeking local involvement. KA

Access to Local Produce: How To Improve Affordability of Non-Industrial Food?

Posted in Movements, Opinion by Kate Archdeacon on April 5th, 2011

Source: Grist

Image: fishermansdaughter via flickr CC

From “The omnivore’s other dilemma: expanding access to non-industrial food” by Bob Comis:

A couple of years ago at a farmers market, a woman approached my stall, a little apprehensively. She looked old and beaten down. Her face was weathered and worn. Her hands looked rough and gritty. But, it was clear that she was younger than she looked. Her clothes were poor. Her jeans were worn thin around the knees and had faded spots of dirt here and there on her thighs. Before she even said a word, I imagined a life of hard work and hard times for her. She came over to the stall and without looking up at me started looking over the meat case, and then after a moment, she fingered the edge of the price sheet for a moment and then picked it up to take a closer look. As she looked, I waited, without saying anything, wondering how things were going to go. I had long ago stopped stereotyping people. Yes, I had imagined a hard life for her, but that didn’t mean that she wasn’t willing to pay half a day’s wages on pasture-raised, local pork, or grassfed lamb. I’d been surprised by too many people to make that mistake again. She carefully placed the price sheet back on the table and placed the small orange wee-bee little pumpkin paper weight back on top of it.

Then for the first time, she looked up at me. I smiled. “Hi,” I said. “Hello,” she said, and then as we looked at each other silently for a moment, I was taken very much by surprise. Her eyes quickly welled up with tears; one slipped out and slid slowly down her cheek. She raised a hand up and wiped it off. “I’m sorry,” she said. “Don’t worry about it,” I replied. “It’s just … it’s just that I am so frustrated.” I didn’t say anything. It was clear that she wanted to speak her piece. After a moment, still with tear-filled eyes, she said, “You know, I want … ,” she wiped another tear away, ” … I want so badly to stop eating grocery store meat. It’s terrible. Terrible for you. It tastes terrible. It’s all full of crap, hormones, drugs, and God knows what.” I nodded. “But this,” she said, sweeping a hand over the meat case, “I just can’t afford it, any of it.” “I’m sorry,” I said, a little uncomfortable and slightly embarrassed.

I looked away from her, around the rest of the farmers market. The people at the market were not monolithically well off, or white. It was not just soccer moms and exuberant well-off foodies. But, it was close. I didn’t know what to say. I had often been confronted by people over the price of my meat. “That’s ridiculous!” “So expensive!” “Phhftt!” One old lady even said, “you should be ashamed!” Little did she know that I already was, always had been.  I had set out in farming with a mission, to offer ethically and ecologically raised meat at the lowest price possible, low enough even for people like the woman standing in front of me at that moment. But, I quickly discovered that this was a pipe dream.

I couldn’t sell pork chops for less than $7.00/lb. and keep the farm going, and even at that price, my wife would still need to continue subsidizing the farm. The low-volume, direct market system makes it impossible. The costs are simply too high. USDA slaughter and butchering alone doubles the cost of getting the animal to market. A lamb has $3.00/lb. of small-scale, local slaughter and butchering in it! A pig, $2.00/lb. The woman standing in front of me had no idea how angry and frustrated I was. She had no idea that her tears were my tears.

I had set out to make meat broadly affordable, but instead, I was selling exclusive, high-priced meat to the well-off.

Read the full article by Bob Comis on Grist, to find out more about scaling up and calling for a commitment from supermarkets to local food.

Urban Winery Uses Local Fruit

Posted in Models by Kate Archdeacon on February 21st, 2011

Source: Springwise

The Infinite Monkey Theorem is urban winery operated by one mad scientist working out of a converted Quonset hut on a back alley in the Santa Fe Arts District of Denver.  It makes no pretensions about having a vineyard of its own. Rather, “we buy the best grapes and we make ridiculously good wine,” in the site’s own words. It’s primarily local fruit that’s used, according to the site, and the results of IMT’s efforts are now available in 125 local restaurants, wine bars and stores.

Imagine if local wineries bought up all the excess grapes people grow as shading in their backyards?  Super-local wines!  KA