Currently Browsing: Agtivism: Growing, cooking, doing

Survey explores why Americans garden, but not why they don’t

[Update 6/24/10: corrected heading for column 2 in table] With a terrible economy and lots of coverage of gardening in the mass media, more and more Americans are growing food in home and community gardens. According to a 2009 survey, almost a third of American households intended to grow food that year, a...

Growing with the grain: Review of “Homegrown Whole Grains”

As you may have guessed by now, I love to bake. And since part of my self-employment now entails baking goods to sell at Local Roots, I'm keenly interested both in sourcing what grains and flours I can find locally — as well as growing what I can. Thanks to the inspiration offered by Gene Logsdon in his...

So long office, hello farm!

Maybe there's something in the air (or soil or water).  Maybe it's the growing (no pun intended) interest in farming around the country.  Maybe... it's just time.  How else do you explain not one, but three Ethicurean contributors heading off into a new field? Unlike Stephanie and Steph, though, I'm not...

The first rule of farming: Be prepared

(Steph Larsen photos)Everyone knows the Boy Scouts' motto: Be Prepared. While my immediate inclination is to ask "For what?", it's as good a command as any to live by. One at which I failed miserably last week. I came home from work and went out to the sheep paddocks to make sure they looked healthy and had...

Two recipes – and lots of opinions – from ‘Farmers Market Desserts’ author Jennie Schacht

Summer fruits from the farmers market are the supermodels of the produce world. Just like Heidi Klum doesn't need makeup to be beautiful, a super-fresh White Lady peach or Seascape strawberry doesn't need extra sweetening or seasoning to shine. But given the right recipe—one designed expressly for fruit and...

Students slice and dice for a better future in ‘Pressure Cooker’ documentary

With a supervisor who doesn't mince words and likes to yell, men and women battling over hot stoves for their big chance, and a ticking clock and other on-camera conventions, Pressure Cooker could be mistaken for a prime-time reality show. But it's actually a "real" story about students in the Culinary Arts...

Michael Pollan on the rise of the food movement(s)

Pollan nation: In what is ostensibly a five-book review for the June 10 New York Review of Books, journalist Michael Pollan has an epic essay charting the emergence and character of the food movement. Or, as he puts it, "'movements,' since it is unified as yet by little more than the recognition that...

Green acreage: A farm by any other name

Editor's note: In a new series called Green Acreage, Steph Larsen chronicles the sprouting of a small but sustainable Nebraska property. --------------------------------- Last December, I bought the farm. Clearly I mean this in the literal, not euphemistic, sense. (Although I've spent some time pondering...

The Edible Schoolyard brings learning to life

The cover story of this week's East Bay Express has a provocative teaser: "Berkeley's Edible Schoolyard teaches students how their food is produced and prepared. Is this overdue innovation or a distraction for kids who should be learning math?" So part of me was expecting a thrashing like the one delivered...

Unlocking Genetic Diversity with the Backyard Seed Vault Project

By Mat Rogers The 1979 children’s book Ox-Cart Man describes a colonial family who spends all year raising a crop and an ox, building the ox’s cart, and making mittens, brooms, and candles. Then the ox-cart man sets off to market to sell the crop and the mittens, brooms, and candles, then the ox, then the...

Goldman Prize winners fight against CAFO pollution, shark finning and monocultures

The Goldman Environmental Prize was awarded to six grassroots environmental heroes from around the world in San Francisco last Monday night. Three of the six 2010 winners are working directly in food-related areas. Lynn Henning's 300-acre corn and soybean farm in Lenawee County, Michigan, has twelve meat...

Monkeying around: Berkeley woman hires out fruit-picking primate

I was eating breakfast at North Berkeley's Guerrilla Cafe the other day when I spotted a sign on the other side of the room with this intriguing headline: "MONKEY FOR HIRE." After ordering their waffle of the day (buckwheat!), I went over to take a closer look at the sign. It read, "Are you tired of looking...

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