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Artists explore urban sustainability at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

"Gatherers — Fallen Fruit, Elysian Park," 2005, giclee print, photo courtesy of David Burns, Matias Viegener & Austin Young (downloaded from YBCA's press room) A new exhibition of artists' responses to the concept of sustainability opened at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco last...

A foraged wild mushroom feast at Les Jardins Sauvages

When I was young, I hated mushrooms. At least, I thought I did, but I hadn't really ever eaten them. I was under the impression that they were slimy and gross, which was the basic opinion of my parents. The only mushrooms I ate until my late teens were from a can, fried with onions and well-hidden in...

Sweet potatoes provide Kansans multiple culinary possibilities and new crop potential

One Kansas City-area program had lots of sweet potato plants, while another had people who know how to cook sweet-potato greens. The two got together recently and showed off the culinary possibilities to a gathering of people interested in good food and sustainable agriculture. The result was an array of...

“Homegrown”: New documentary on Pasadena urban microfarm

Just got an email from the director of "Homegrown," what looks like a cool new documentary. It's about the Dervaes family, who run a microscopic organic farm in urban Pasadena, California. They live on one-fifth of an acre, and their garden takes up less than a tenth of an acre: just 3,900 square feet. From...

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...

Videos posted for Slow Food Nation’s Food for Thought series

Good news for all you folks who couldn't make it to Slow Food Nation on Labor Day weekend, or who, like me, did attend but didn't manage to get tickets to all the events you wanted: Slow Food has posted full, high-quality videos of all the Food for Thought lectures on its website. They are hosted via...

More kudos to Slow Food Nation: Bioplastic utensils with improved labeling

In a post about bioplastics a few months ago, I lamented the failure of some bioplastic manufacturers to label their products as biodegradable or compostable: a fork that was supposedly biodegradable had absolutely no markings at all. At the Slow Food Nation Taste Pavilions* over Labor Day weekend, I ran...

Report from TASTE3: Peter Reinhart on life and death in breadmaking

At the TASTE3 conference in Napa, instructor and author Peter Reinhart told a fascinating life-and-death tale about breadmaking. Although a baker with Reinhart's years of experience might have some tales of Lethal Weapon-style escapes from exploding flour mills or daring bread-delivery runs through a...

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 youth these days

A highlight of my summer was the occasional e-mail I received from a friend in New Hampshire who has returned to our small town to start her own farm. Her parents, my family's closest friends, are organic farmers, so it's not exactly a new science for her. But it was a long, long struggle to buy land;...

So good, it’s not legal: A visit to Polyface Farm

By Johanna Kolodny I didn’t find out until the end of Polyface Farm’s Field Day last month that this gathering -- set in the Blue Ridge Mountain town of Swoope (pronounced Swope), Virginia -- was illegal. Polyface owner Joel Salatin, the farmer made famous in Michael Pollan’s “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” was...

Snapshot from Slow Food Nation: Native American plants in the Victory Garden

I had intended to do some "man in the garden" interviews while I hung around the Victory Garden watching the crowds come through. But my first set of victims were so interesting I talked to them for the entire half hour I had in between lectures. Maestra Macuilxochitl, Luz Alvarez-Martinez, and Carlos...

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