hey YO!!

11 06 2008

See this jar? This jar is my favourite jar in the whole house. This jar fed me and my beloved, as well as others before us. And this jar is going to feed many more people in its long lifetime of service. This is a RETURNABLE jar. A jar that isn’t made out of plastic, and a jar that doesn’t require excess energy to be recycled because it can be re-used. I’m just a little bit enamored in case you couldn’t tell…

This jar came from Pinehedge Farms – an AWESOME group of people, making delicious yogurt, kefir, and sour cream. As it says on their website, they grow their own feed, use milk from their own cows, and make and bottle their products. And they do this all without chemical fertilizers. They call it biodynamic farming… I call it respecting the Earth. Either way, we’re lucky to have them in the Ottawa area.


food glorious food

24 04 2008

In case you haven’t noticed, food is ON the agenda these days… the international agenda. You’d have to stick your head in the sand to miss out on the rising food prices and food riots around the world. People are starting to question agriculture and food policies – and that’s a good thing because those policies ain’t working so good these days.

I don’t have all the answers. No one does. And that’s why people need to get out there and TRY TO UNDERSTAND what’s happening. So, read, read, read, and read some more!! Try publications from the Earth Policy Institute, like this one. Or pay attention to pundits, like Michael Pollan, on subjects like this. Be THANKFUL for your food, and consider making alternative diet choices. And last – but most definitely not least – seek out farmers and food producers. Talk to them and listen carefully to what they’re saying.

Food is not aplenty.

P.S. For Ottawa-area folk, here’s one place to start paying attention: check out an upcoming talk organized by the National Farmers Union: Farm Leaders Speak Out on a Globalized Food System. Colleen Ross will discuss food sovereignty, and Ubali Guerrero and Miguel Colunga will talk about how international trade agreements affect global agriculture. It’s happening on May 1st, 7pm, at Union Hall – just outside of Almonte.

in my backyard

1 04 2008

My friend Hilary is so freaking cool. And I’m only just beginning to realize the depths of her coolness. She runs a CSA and does a little bit of selling to the local farmer’s market. This woman has more tomato varieties growing on her plot than you can shake a stick at!

Tonight she gave a talk at a nearby restaurant about CSA farming practices and gardening in general. It was awesome because even though I’ve been reading dozens of gardening blogs and websites over the past few months, sometimes you really need to TALK to someone. I try not to pick Hilary’s brain when I see her out at parties and get-togethers – it’s that old                           asking-the-doctor-at-the-party-if-she’s-ever-seen-anything-like-this-before problem. But tonight I had free reign to ask all the questions I could possibly want. And I did!

And now I want my garden to GROW! I feel ready for the tomato blight and the potato bugs, and the weeding, and everything! I feel inspired tonight!!!

Note to self: re-read this post in mid-June when frustrated with the amount of work a garden takes.

winter green

8 01 2008
Last summer, I was almost manic at times, trying to store enough food to last us for a good portion of the winter. Now, in the January doldrums, I’m surprised to discover that our local food consumption hasn’t decreased as much as I thought it would. Part of this is due to research – as the months go by I have found new producers in our area. One such find includes two gentlemen who have rescued us from the produce aisle of our big-box grocery store in these winter months.

Last year – in our very first departure from big box food shopping – we joined what is known as a CSA. In the early spring, we paid a membership fee to a local farming couple. Then, as the harvests started to arrive in late spring, we received a weekly box of produce that they had grown. The produce tasted divine, and the concept changed the way we prepared food. Instead of “what do I want for dinner tonight,” the question became, “what do I have in my fridge to prepare dinner with tonight?” My fridge and I both felt more in tune with nature. And we both mourned when the harvest came to an end in late September.

So I had thought our local food would dry up during the winter months. But a season of trolling the local food sites led me to two local producers with a greenhouse and what must be one heck of a cold-storage facility – and who continue to deliver during the winter months. Their operation is not technically a CSA, in part because we don’t pay a membership fee, but that’s not my concern. My concern lies in reducing my footprint, and these two gentlemen allow me to do that. For this, I say thank you to Terry and Stuart.