Currently Browsing: Agtivism: Growing, cooking, doing

Cooking outside my comfort zone, pt. 1: A remembrance of squash blossoms past

In honor of Farmers Market Week next week, I vowed here to get out of my market rut and cook outside my comfort zone. That's how I came to be picking up these beautiful squash blossoms on impulse at the Berkeley, Calif. Farmers market on Saturday. Squash blossoms, or fiori di zucca as they are called in...

Cook outside your comfort zone in honor of National Farmers Market Week

It's the height of summer, and the tables of farmers markets around the country are overflowing with firm-fleshed, scarlet tomatoes; bunches of fragrant basil; and -- depending on where you live -- juicy stone fruits, avocados, and more. Such bounty makes it easy to celebrate National Farmers Market Week...

Want to grow food on City of Oakland land? Here’s how

By Stephanie Paige Ogburn We’ve all seen it: the vacant lot down the street that gets full sun, or the underused city park choked over with weeds. And many of us have thought: I bet that would be a great community garden space, if some enterprising growers could take it over. For most of us, the thought...

U-Pick, u-pack, u-preserve cherry madness

By Mat Rogers Recently my wife and I took a day trip to the cherry and apricot orchards of Enos Family Farms in Brentwood, California, which offers pick-your-own-fruit harvesting. We drove through golden hills dotted with oaks under deep blue skies. We wandered though the shaded, quiet, picked-over center...

New law in Michigan makes it easier to sell homemade foods

A new law in Michigan makes it easier for home cooks and bakers to sell certain types of foods at farmers markets, fairs, flea markets and other locations (but not grocery stores or restaurants). Under the law, people can sell up to $15,000 of food made outside of an inspected kitchen without a license....

Yes we icon: SOLE food movement needs images

To mark the opening of "Water, Rivers and People (Agua, Ríos y Pueblos)," a photography exhibition about people's relationship with rivers and their struggle to protect them from destructive dams, mining projects, and other threats, International Rivers held a panel discussion with two of the exhibit's...

Contain your enthusiasm: Review of “From Container To Kitchen”

As an apartment-dweller, I know the frustration of not having enough soil to call my own for a garden. (Why do you think I garden in other people's yards?) For many years, I've had a small assembly of various-sized pots to keep some of my favorite herbs close at hand, and I've even tried growing the...

Getting Lodi’d: It’s raining apples!

When nature calls on the farm, we listen. Meaning, when a fruit with a short shelf life becomes suddenly ripe, there's no choice but to drop everything else. Did you know there are 7,500 cultivated varieties of apple? Tart or sweet, red, green and yellow. Some are good for pies, others for sauce, still...

When push comes to chèvre at Lucky Penny Creamery

Before Local Roots Market opened late last year, we expected gaps in the products offered. One specific category of products –- cheese –- kept us from limiting our definition of "local" to "within 100 miles" as we weren't sure how many cheesemakers we would find in the area. Boy, were we wrong. Turns out...

Battling the bugs—and the temptation to use chemical WMDs

I'm at war with the common stalk borer. As much as I believe in sustainability and chemical-free agriculture in theory, I've never been more tempted to use insecticides as I am right now. For years, the signature for my email has been a quote from the agtivist-scientist Vandana Shiva, "Sustainability begins...

Chicken expert Gail Damerow answers newbie questions

Cluck, cluck, cluck. Bwaak! These are not sounds I expect to hear on a stroll in my North Oakland, Calif. neighborhood -- the usual soundtrack is more like thumping bass, sirens, and the rattle of fast-food paper bags. And yet chickens are pecking in backyards on practically every block, in converted sheds...

Mapping the farm with my ears

Ever since taking a cartography class in graduate school, I've had a penchant for maps. Full of information, they elegantly highlight places and ideas that we may have missed otherwise. As a visual person, I can appreciate the splashes of color and clean designs. But not all maps are visual. We can create...

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