Tag Archives: sustainability

Calling All Gardeners!

The sun is shining and the soil is beginning to warm up, so now’s the time to order seeds and plant lettuce seedlings. We’re just a month away from planting potatoes, spinach, lettuce and peas!


Photo credit: ecstaticist / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

If you need more sunshine or more land, think of joining the gardeners at the Mayo Yowell Community Garden – we’re taking requests now for plots in Madison, Virginia’s only community garden..

Carty Yowell has been getting the soil ready and will do the last prep before mid-March. Drive by and see those plots just waiting for someone to use them! The garden is on the east side of Route 29, between Shelby and Gibbs Roads (just south of Lam’s Furniture).

Roscoe Barnes is returning as the on-site coordinator this year, which is great news. Roscoe did a terrific job last year of keeping in touch with gardeners and keeping the perimeter of the garden under control!

This year we have good news – we have received a grant from the Piedmont Environmental Council to help us promote and maintain the garden. We are hoping to stretch the PEC dollars by seeking donations of key equipment and supplies as well. If you have a working wheelbarrow to donate or manure you can deliver, please let me know!

Our community garden kick-off is scheduled for 2 pm, Sunday, March 24. James Barnes of the PEC will demonstrate how you can build suitable housing for birds that need a boost in Madison County – bluebirds, wood duck, kestrals, screech owls, barn owls, and bats. If you want to be a good bird landlord but don’t want to build your own housing, James can take orders for pre-made housing.

Please spread the word about signing up for plots in the community garden and about our Community Garden Kick-off at 2 pm March 24.

See you at the garden!

Jan Richter

About That Stanford Study

Regarding that “Stanford Study”, the good people at Austin’s Sustainable Food Center writes to say..

On September 3, 2012 the New York Times published an article about a Stanford University study that allegedly dispels the nutritional advantages of organic food.  The response from the sustainable agriculture community regarding this study has been tremendous. Below we have provided links to articles we feel provide the best response to the claims made by this study.

When everything collapses,

plant your field of dreams..

URBAN ROOTS is the next documentary from Tree Media. Produced by Leila Conners (The 11th Hour) and Mathew Schmid and directed by Mark MacInnis, the film follows the urban farming phenomenon in Detroit.  Urban Roots is a timely, moving and inspiring film that speaks to a nation grappling with collapsed industrial towns and the need to forge a sustainable and prosperous future.”

Charcuterie – A Documentary

Another gorgeously-produced, compelling story from award-winning Austin director Christian Remde  – Charcuterie – A Documentary..

“Charcuterie is defined as the cookery of meat but in the past 700 years, it’s become so much more.  From the Pâtés and Terrines of France to the Salumi of Italy and Spain, the world of Charcuterie is rich with tradition.  This short documentary highlights two of Charcuterie’s rising stars, Lawrence and Lee Ann Kocurek of Kocurek Family Charcuterie in Austin, Texas.”

With their deeply-traditional, yet contemporary interpretations,  I can tell you from personal experience that Kocurek Family Charcuterie are artisans in the finest sense of that term.  From Chorizo Verde to Currywurst to Cheek-to-Cheek Terrine (and well beyond),  Lawrence and Lee Ann’s passion for their craft is evident in every morsel of their hand-crafted goods.  Find @KFACharcuterie at Austin area Farmer’s Markets or online at http://www.kocurekfamilycharcuterie.com/.  Pass the duck rillettes, please!   –Ren

Farm to Trailer

The word ‘organic’ gets tossed around a lot these days, but what does it really mean for consumers who are looking to eat well, but not spend a lot of money?

Farm To Trailer, a new documentary from local film producer Christian Remde highlights the award-winning Odd Duck food trailer in Austin, Texas and chef Bryce Gilmore’s use of only locally-grown, organic food for their menu. The film also examines the Farm To Table movement, how it’s effecting the Austin food scene and the benefits for consumers.

The film was really cool for me to watch, as it honors some of the very people and causes that I’ve come  depend upon for my own nourishment (indeed, it is where most of the food on this blog comes from).  Thank you, Christian!  Thank you, Austin!

Family Farms and Local Foods Education Day


Citizens Gather at the Capitol to Speak with Legislators


AUSTIN, TX (February 8, 2011) – Local food supporters from all over Texas will gather at the State Capitol on Monday, February 21 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to meet with legislators about issues concerning family farms and local foods.  The education day is a free event, open to the public, and organized by the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance (FARFA), a Texas-based non-profit that advocates for independent agriculture and citizens who support local foods.

“We are mobilizing citizens from across the state who support their local food community, purchase foods locally, and value their relationship with their farmers, ranchers, and food producers,” said Judith McGeary, director of FARFA and a leader in local food advocacy in Texas and nationally.

The Family Farms and Local Foods Education Day is an opportunity for Texas citizens, farmers, and ranchers to speak up for local food systems.  Participants will have the chance to learn about the legislative process, meet legislators and their staff, and work together in support of improved access to local foods.  Prior to the event, participants are asked to make an appointment with their legislators.  On the day of the event, the group will convene for a short meeting about citizen activism, communicating effectively with legislators, and the specific bills that the Legislature is considering.

Topics that will be discussed at the education day include:

HB 75/SB 237, (the “Raw Milk Bill”) to increase access to licensed raw dairy products;
Reducing unnecessary regulation of farmers’ markets;
Allowing “cottage food” producers to sell directly to consumers;
Reducing fees on small-scale cheese-makers; and
 Fair property tax treatment for urban farms, community gardens, and sustainable producers.

“We need laws like these that allow local farmers and rural economies to thrive,” McGeary said.  “Texans have already been voting for local foods with their dollars, buying direct from farmers in ever increasing numbers.  Now it’s time for our legislators to catch up.  If you care about what you eat, come tell your legislators.”

FARFA invites all concerned citizens to join in the conversation by attending this free event.  For more information about how to participate and to RSVP, visit www.farmandranchfreedom.org/upcoming-meetings.

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About Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance (FARFA)

FARFA advocates for farmers, ranchers and homesteaders through public education and lobbying to assure their independence in the production and marketing of their food, and to prevent the imposition of unnecessary regulatory burdens that are not in the public interest.  FARFA also advocates for consumers’ access to healthy foods of their choice. For more information, please visit www.farmandranchfreedom.org.