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Sep 02
2009

School lunch standards

Posted by Bruce Robinson in youth , volunteer , teens , students , policy , nonprofit orgs , medicine , legislation , Health , government , food , farms , families , education , Congress , children , agriculture , activism

Bruce Robinson

School lunches are free for many students, but filling up on empty calories has some long-term costs. That’s why Slow Food activists are pushing for more funds and better nutritional standards to upgrade what the next generation is eating.

The biggest of the six Sonoma County “Eat in” events will take place Monday, from 4-7 pm, at Santa Rosa’s Bayer Farm park and community garden, at 1550 West Avenue in Roseland. It's a joint undertaking with LandPaths. which manages the site. Susan Campbell of Slow Food Russian River, a co-cordinator the event, describes what they have planned there.

Beyond the “eat-in”events, Slow Food is working to mobilize widespread public support for changes in the 1946 School Lunch Act when it comes up for reauthorization later this year, says Jerusha Klemperer, the national coordinator for Slow Food USA’s “Time For Lunch” lobbying campaign.

 

Details on the local events can be found on this full list of Labor Day "Eat-In" events in California.

 

 

 

Jul 12
2009

Drake's Estero

Posted by Bruce Robinson in wildlife , resources , recreation , politics , policy , parks , open space , ocean , nonprofit orgs , news , Marin , legislation , history , government , fish , farms , environment , Congress , coast , activism

Bruce Robinson

 The long-running debate over an historic oyster farm in Drakes Estero, within the  the Point Reyes National Seashore,  has jumped from western Marin County to Washington D.C., and shows few signs of cooling off.

Fredrick Smith, Executive Director of the Environmental Action Coalition of West Marin says that, Senator Feinstein's statements to the contrary, he fears that her legislative intervention on behalf of the Drakes Bay Oyster Company will set a bad precedent that could have wide implications.

 

The fate and future of the Drakes Bay Oyster Company and the Estero has been a long-running and hotly debated issue in the Point Reyes area for years. Recent developments have been chronicled by the Point Reyes Light.

The gorgeous airborne view of the estuary below was taken by Sonoma-based pilot and photographer Robert Campbell . See more of his work here .

 

 

Apr 29
2009

Good Humus Farm

Posted by Bruce Robinson in food , farms , environment , economy , conservation , chemicals , business , agriculture

Bruce Robinson

 Organic farming is hardly a novelty any more in Northern California, but that's only one way this kind of agriculture has changed over the past 30 years.

 Jeff and Annie Mains and their Good Humus Farm in Yolo County are one of the quintet of family farms featured in the new 5-part public radio series, Five Farms. There's more about the series below.

 Having spent three decades as an organic farmer, Jeff Mains has seen that business model undergo some big changes, a transformation that leaves his more than a little uneasy.

 Flowers, fruit, tomatoes and an array of other brightly colored produce are on display at the Good Humus Farm booth at the Davis Farmers market, which Annie Mains helped establish as a student in the  1970s. 

Counterbalancing the industrialization of organic farming is the mounting interest in sustainability and local sourcing for food. That's what gives Jeff his optimism about the future.

'FIVE FARMS: STORIES FROM
AMERICAN FARM FAMILIES'

Most Americans know little about where their food comes from and even less about the lives of farming families who plant, water, feed, herd, harvest and deliver that food to market. "Five Farms: Stories From American Farm Families" confronts that information gap head on.

This remarkable series of five one-hour documentaries uses compelling first-person storytelling to personalize the lives and work of five farm families in New England, the South, the Midwest, the Southwest and West Coast. By tracking these families for a full year-long cycle of the seasons, "Five Farms" reveals the resiliency of the American farmer and documents what they do to help feed the nation, while being caretakers and conservationists of the lands and resources they use. "Five Farms" profiles people who work hard and make considerable sacrifices, but who can also flourish, and for whom the benefits - including a deep understanding of the land they work - are rich.

William MacLeish introduces each episode of this powerful series, helping listeners make the critical connection between the food on their tables and families who work to produce it.

 

Mar 24
2009

Bees vs. Mandarins

Posted by Bruce Robinson in wildlife , policy , legislation , land rights , government , food , farms , environment , economy , conservation , business , animals , agriculture

Bruce Robinson

 An ongoing dispute between beekeepers and citrus growers in the Central Valley raises questions that could profoundly affect agriculture throughout the state.

 

Read the state's proposed rulemaking language here.

 

 

Serge Labesque, with one of his hives.

 
 

There's also a solid, dispassionate summary of the whole issue on the Civil Eats blog.

 Petaluma's Libery 4-H club maintains a comprehensive website on beekeeping basics.

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