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Olney Friends School in Ohio grows food to grow enrollment

The farm-to-school movement has been gaining ground lately as advocates encourage administrators to bring more local food into school cafeterias. But at Olney Friends School in Barnesville, Ohio, eating locally goes beyond farm-to-school: for this small college-prep boarding school, it's farm-AT-school all...

Q&A with Michele Simon — activist, attorney, badass

It's always fun to talk with someone who has such a sense of purpose that she doesn't feel the need to make nice. Michele Simon is one of those people. Let me be clear: Simon, a public health attorney for the Marin Institute, and author of Appetite for Profit: How the Food Industry Undermines Our Health and...

Life as a give-a-shit-atarian: On loving peas, beets, and Tom Robbins

Self-identification is one of those never-ending challenges that occupy humans. Even highly self-aware people seem to spend a lot of time defending and refining their self-definition. Last week, someone proposed that people who care about climate change be known as "climate hawks." There are the endless...

An artisanal plea from a fed-up foodie

When you find me behind bars, locked up for a fit of lexical rage, please know that it was granola that pushed me over the edge. Not just any granola: "artisan granola." Presumably its makers meant artisanal granola, made in limited quantities using traditional methods, rather than crunchy-buttery-nutty...

I am woman, hear me store: Review of “The Complete Root Cellar Book”

Now that the farming season is winding down along with my energy levels, I find that I’m really grateful that the food preservation method I lean on most for the produce harvested at this time of year is the simple task of root cellaring. Not that I have a root cellar: I keep my living space temperatures on...

Bean there, done that: A tour of Hodo Soy

Farmers markets are far more than a source of good food from small farmers and a place to build connections among the community. They can also serve as incubators for food businesses, places where new entrepreneurs can try selling prepared foods on a small scale or where experienced market participants can...

One sick chicken

With a few exceptions, the animals on my farm are not pets. My sheep and chickens have jobs to do -- eating grass and bugs, making eggs and meat and babies. If they don't do their job, they don't stay on my farm. That isn't to say that I don't treat them well or care what happens to them. In stark contrast...

Notes from a new farmer: Q&A with Michael Gallagher, Square Roots Farm

In every school, there is a legendary former student -- the one whose academic prowess knew no bounds. "Brilliant," people marvel about this student, even decades later. "That kid was brilliant." (Or, here in New England, you might hear: "Wicked smaaaaaht.") At my daughter's school, that individual is...

Fish tale: Walmart’s sustainable seafood pledge has a long way to go

When big corporations make pledges to improve their sourcing practices, it's important to hold them accountable. After all, it's easy to hold a press conference pledging a new green policy; it's not so easy to fulfill the pledge. This was one of the action points in an article in the journal Oryx that I...

Grow vacancies: Gene Fredericks is thinking inside the city’s big box

They're the bane of urban and suburban areas alike: the vacant, boarded-up K-Marts and Home Depot Expos, squatting like concrete cowpies amidst a landscape of weedy parking lots. But where most people see blight and a waste of space, San Francisco Bay Area entrepreneur Gene Fredericks sees opportunity: to...

Math lessons for Budiansky: Industrial concentration vs. local choice

On Friday, New York Times op-ed contributor Steven Budiansky challenged local food advocates to rethink their math, mainly about food miles. As it happens, I was already doing some food calculations that day -- but not of the sort Budiansky discussed. My numbers included the following: As of Friday, 450...

Neophobia 101: When picky eaters confound Ethicureanish intentions

My four-year old ate a vegetable frittata the other day. Mind you, this hardly ranks among the most staggering of childhood achievements. It's not exactly up there with the 2-year-old who gained admission to Mensa, or the kid who paints like Rembrandt, or the 13-year old best-selling author. But in our...

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