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Tags: heirloom chickens, lima beans, recycled materials, summer
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Well, it has finally happened, summer. After many long months of cold and wind we have been graced by the presence of warmer weather and that glowing orb in the sky. I am grateful down to the tips of my toes as are the pumpkins and Big Mama lima beans planted at the store.
The urban farm school store is starting to take shape with plans for rare and heirloom chickens in the spring of 2009 to help deter the loss of these breeds in the United States. We have been salvaging materials and have found some of the most beautiful old growth wood, fir doors, lathe, and cedar shake. Our imaginations are running wild with visions of laying boxes and chicken runs all from recycled materials.
The demonstration garden is coming along as well, we have volunteer pumpkins from Toree’s compost pile last year and have planted a large arbor of Big Mama Lima Beans. We have plans for an outdoor workspace and classroom to hold hands-on workshops. We are excited about bringing the joy of eating from the garden to the world around us. Our gardens are growing and we are eating and canning already this year. Visit our garden journal blogs at www.kendrasgardenjournal.wordpress.com and www.toreesgardenjournal.wordpress.com to see what we’re up to in our own gardens.
We hope to see you at one of our workshops or at a Gardenforlife Party at your home. Please, note the change from Saturday mornings to Thursday evenings for classes at our store. It’s that gardening time of year and we’re both more apt to attend a class when we’re done in the garden for the day rather that when the day has just opened its door of gardening and scavenging possibilities to us and we’re sure you feel the same way!
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Tags: compost, gardening, local food, organic, reuse, sustainable, urban chickens
Categories : Uncategorized
The garden is flourishing once again despite the weather and its seemingly ceaseless greyness this spring which led to a food conversation over Toree’s perfectly prepared English tea this morning. Although we compost our food scraps in our worm and compost bins and chicken coops it never ceases to amaze how much food is going out the door instead of in our stomachs. Granted, our ladies of the fowl in nature, do produce orange-yoked eggs for our consumption from some of those scraps and the compost is added to our vegetable gardens yet the act of disposing of food still strikes us as so wasteful.
In the spirit of our grandmothers and their depression-creative souls we have challenged one another to a summer of zero food waste including packaging. That means that anything that is still edible will be eaten in the home in some form. Stems, stale bread (the green stuff will still entertain the worm palate), cheese rinds, and all will somehow by integrated back into the kitchen menu. I have the cookbook that my great-grandmother Mamie gave to my grandmother in 1934 and another that was given to her for her marriage in 1944 with recipes such as apple griddle cakes and chocolate crunch cookies marked with notes. This cookbook also has the “Wartime Supplements” section in it that is absolutely fascintating, talk about creative cooking. What so many people have forgotten is that not only can a zero waste system be done but just 65 years ago it was how it was done everyday, just as “organic” gardening was a way of life prior to WWII, food responsibility was as well.
I am mindful of the things I purchase at stores, what they are packaged in, how they traveled, where they orginated from, and who they were distributed through. I am proudly, a food system geek. It isn’t neccessary to be a geek to shop differently though. All it takes is a little time to think about what is in your basket and where it will go on the next leg of its travels. There are three things that I try to really remember when purchasing food – 1) fresh trumps packaged, local trumps organic, organic trumps conventional 2) reduce, reuse, recycle is designed as a hierarchy with recycle as the last resort and 3) every piece of plastic that has ever been made still exists today (and I won’t jump on my soapbox about health, pollution, and plastic). The bulk bags that have been used and reused will continue to be and the canvas and oilcloth bags that have been used since . . . I was a teen will continue to be as well.
Can we go the summer with zero food waste? We’ll give it a valiant effort. Join us in challenging yourself, if not to a zero food waste summer than to a reduced food waste summer. Buy locally, take your own bag, and explore the wonderful world of fresh produce, experiment with things you have never eaten before! Plant a salad garden on your patio, add thyme to nearly everything (you can never have enough thyme!) Enjoy the flavor of food again and find your creative side in the kitchen.