Archive | September, 2013

Food Justice

20 Sep

What is Food Justice?

According to a quick Google search of this query, Food Justice is

Communities exercising their right to grow, sell and eat healthy food. Healthy food is fresh, nutritious, affordable, culturally-appropriate and grown locally with consideration and deep care for the well-being of the land, workers and animals, critters and all creatures.

The Food Justice Project at the Community Alliance for Global Justice adds that Food Justice is

the right of communities everywhere to produce, distribute, access, and eat good food regardless of race, class, gender, ethnicity, citizenship, ability, religion, or community.

And, lastly, a quick look on Wikipedia clarifies Food Justice as a “collective approach to achieve food security.”

[the Food Justice view] notes that globally enough food is produced to feed the entire world population at a level adequate to ensure that everyone can be free of hunger and fear of starvation. That no one should live without enough food because of economic constraints or social inequalities is the basic goal.

Look at that last one again.

globally enough food is produced to feed the entire world population at a level adequate to ensure that everyone can be free of hunger and fear of starvation.

If the United States is the world’s largest agricultural producer, the land of plenty, then why then do 1 in 6 people within her borders struggle with food insecurity everyday? (hunger facts, feedingamerica.org) But this plight is definitely not only in the “land of plenty.” According to the United Nations’ World Food Project, 870 million people in the world do not have enough to eat. (hunger statistics, World Food Programme, www.wfp.org)

One Man Does make a Difference

All these numbers, all this talk is very big, but it’s not too big for one individual to make a difference. Growing It Forward is not a new solution; it is not a total solution. Growing It Forward is one man’s vision to make a difference using what he knows he can do; that is growing good food to help feed the needy in his area.  If he only feeds one, then that is one less hungry man, woman, child; one less hungry mother, father, son, or daughter. That is one more student able to pay attention in class, one more retiree able to buy his medicine, one more mother able to feed her children. That is one more. That is one less. One is more than none.

If this one man can make a difference then so can you. Join the fight to end hunger in your area. Yes, there is a need in your area too. Stand up for Food Justice; stand up and say that good food, plentiful food is not only for those who can afford it but for everyone regardless of the ability to pay. Make a difference today by helping to end hunger in your area. Start by doing what you can because one man, one woman, one person does make a difference.

Fighting the Urge – A practice in patience

13 Sep

Many gardeners will tell you that this hobby, as some call it, is indeed a practice in patience. As such it is very counter-cultural to today’s “gotta have it now” mentality. Now this is beginning to sound a bit familiar. Maybe I’ve posted on this subject before.

Anyway.

So we have this new plot and the possibilities are seemingly boundless and I find myself eager to plant my first vegetable and even more eager to pull it back out and hand over to the intended recipient. Who will undoubtedly thank me gratuitously for such a beautiful specimen and lament the fact that they mush soon clean, carve, and cook such wonderful in order to feed the many mouths they serve. I wish growing were that simple and easy.

Maybe it is more simple than we realize sometimes. At least for us gardeners. I mean what do we really do except dig and furrow, sow and weed, and then pick and pull. All the real work is performed by the miracles of nature, and just to slap my pride in the face again, nature will grow a seed to harvest regardless of my efforts digging and furrowing, watering and weeding; and many times better than when I interfere, or so I have witnessed from time to time.

No, now is not the time to sow in my selfish pride, but rather now is the time to practice patience. Wait. Let the soil rest and build itself up. Now is not the time to sow.

Everything in its season.

The cover crop of Winter Rye is sprouting. Soon it will transform this red clay into beautiful black soil

The cover crop of Winter Rye is sprouting. Soon it will transform this red clay into beautiful black soil

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die;

a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;

a time to kill, and a time to heal;

a time to break down, and a time to build up;

a time to weep, and a time to laugh;

a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;

a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

a time to seek, and a time to lose;

a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

a time to tear, and a time to sew;

a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

a time to love, and a time to hate;

a time for war, and a time for peace.

(Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, ESV)

Image

PicPost – A few views from the plot

13 Sep

Thought I might share a few shots from around plot #32 this morning. Some shots are from a neighbor’s beautiful growth. It was all so beautiful that I had to snap a few to share.

We’re growing dirt.

9 Sep

When a fellow community gardener asked me the question, “What are you growing?” I promptly and humorously answered, “Dirt. We’re growing dirt.”

That is in fact the current vector in this first season for RCCG plot #32; dirt. Dirt is where it all starts. So we are taking the time to treat it well and in return it will treat the plants we impose upon it well. Lord willing.

First, we measure and layout the beds and walk paths between the beds. In this case the plan is simple; three 5′ x 20′ long beds with narrow 18″-24″ walk paths between them.

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Then we spade, fork , and dig up the beds piling them high and mixing in some Used Coffee Grounds (UCG) to add organic matter into the soil, attract worms, and build up volume. We also scrape all the top-soil out of the path between the beds, piling it on the growing beds, and refilling the paths with mulch.

Then we cover the mounded beds with cardboard to shield it from the baking sunlight and allowing the worms to work thru more soils beneath the protective shade while also choking out and preventing weed germination.

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Then we water the cardboard in place. Afterall that is what you do when you are growing something, you give it water. And little helpers just love to water the garden.

Remember to Grow some Forward.

Cover Crops Basics – What Are They – And How And Why To Use Them For A Great Garden!

3 Sep

Old World Garden Farms

Anyone who follows our blog regularly knows the importance we place on using cover crops in our garden. Quite simply – they are the best way to easily and inexpensively build your garden soil into super soil.  Cover crops are simple to plant, easy to maintain, and easy to incorporate into the soil in the spring.  We get so many questions to the blog on cover crops – so for today’s gardening post – we thought we would write a basic course on cover crops.

WHAT IS A COVER CROP?

A cover crop is a specific planting of a crop like annual rye, clover, buckwheat or others that is designed to give its entire resources back to the soil. Instead of harvesting the crop – it is incorporated back into the soil to add vitality, nutrients and organic matter.

BENEFITS

The list of benefits for cover cropping goes on and…

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