Outta space?: R. J. Ruppenthal’s “Fresh Food From Small Spaces”

Though I've been lucky to "borrow" my friends' back yard for a garden this year, during the winter I still crave growing something green and edible. But in an apartment with insufficient amounts of direct sunlight, I sometimes find it difficult to grow much of anything. I know I'm not alone in having that...

Hoe, hoe, hoe! A Victory Garden wish list

Dear Santa, December is already here, and though I'm sure you must be busy running the rush orders through your workshop and checking those lists of "naughty" and "nice" and loading up the sleigh, I'm afraid that we've been so caught up with putting our gardens to bed for the winter that we're a little late...

Grass act: Gene Logsdon’s “All Flesh Is Grass”

As the problems of industrial meat production — CAFOs, excessive waste and pollution, worker safety, and the overuse of antibiotics, among many others — become more evident and more dangerous to public health, consumers are turning in greater numbers to local and/or organic meats and poultry, especially...

Opening up: Notes from the Northeast Ohio Food Congress

When I hear or read comments that dismiss local foods as something only folks in California can do, I'm puzzled. Everywhere I go in northeast Ohio, I see farms and markets that have locally grown and produced foods for sale. So I have to wonder: is no one paying attention to us here in the heartland, or are...

Waiting is the harvest part

If you've been wondering, "Whatever happened to those Victory Gardens you Ethicureans were tending?" — well, truth is, after that last big burst of excitement with tomatoes and such finally ripening, things have kind of gone downhill. It had to happen, of course. Let's face it: in most of our areas (save...

Celebrating food independence: A review of “Depletion and Abundance”

OK, quick check: everyone who is concerned about the economic crisis turning into a depression and causing food and fuel prices to rise and pockets to empty — whether for yourself, your parents, your children, your neighbors, your friends, or anyone — raise your hand. That covers about everyone, doesn't...

For land’s sake: Farmland preservation in Ohio

My evenings and weekends lately — well, the past few months — have largely been taken up by the annual rounds of food preservation as I dry, freeze, can, pickle, and otherwise put up as much produce from this year as possible.  But when I took a day off work recently, I headed to a conference about another...

As the dirt turns (a pair of agricultural hope operas)

I grew up surrounded by farms. Though my family lived in a neighborhood on the very outskirts of our northern Ohio city, my school bus drove out into the country to pick up some of my farm-raised classmates. And in the summer, I spent the county fair week not only taking pride in my townie 4-H projects but...

A fair look at agriculture

Different folks have different ways of knowing when the summer is drawing to a close here in Ohio. Some swear by the increased volume of the crickets' chorus, others don't believe that summer is officially over until first frost, and still others adhere strictly to the school calendar, when the kids return...

The eat is on: A virtual Victory Garden potluck

If you've strolled through your local farmers market lately, you've noticed that for most of us around the continent, we're seeing the peak of harvest season. Farmers pile their tables high with intensely red tomatoes, brilliantly hued hot peppers, earthy potatoes, luscious fruits of multiple varieties, and...

Florida citrus crops attacked by bacterium, future in peril

These days, everywhere you look, a new industry or service is marketed as "greening" itself — making it more environmentally conscious by reducing its carbon footprint or assuaging its corporate guilt through any number of steps. Usually that's considered a good thing. But an article in this week's New York...

To the Victory Gardeners go the toils

Summer's heat has finally reached us all, even our northernmost Ethicurean colleagues, and if you wonder why you haven't heard much from many of us — well, you can imagine us with dirt on our hands and knees, working away in our Victory Gardens as our crops take off. And since the work never ends, I'll keep...

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