These guys are doing great work in Kansas City.
Livestock cause desertification, right? Not so fast:
Tim Diebel retired from the ministry to go back to the land and started www.taprootgarden.com. Fortunately for us, he was willing to serve as our interim minister at Norwalk Christian Church. I appreciate all his sermons, but especially his “earthy” ones and it has been good to get to know him better. His writings at www.taprootgarden.com are a quite enjoyable read.
Want a great way to learn about new approaches to agriculture? Market gardens, CSA marketing, pest control in organic agriculture, small grains, Fertility Management, poultry and more…
Check out Practical Farmers of Iowa Farminars: http://www.practicalfarmers.org/farminar/
Join Practical Farmers of Iowa while you are at it!
Just because a food is local doesn’t mean it necessarily took less energy on its way to your kitchen. Check out this article over at The Oil Drum:
The Fourth Annual Farm Crawl will be winding its way through beautiful South Central Iowa this weekend (I might be a bit biased as it is where I grew up). It’s free to visit an orchard, pumpkin farm, goat dairy, vegetable growers, and a potter. For just $6 you can navigate the 18 acre corn maze at Dan-D Farms, south of Knoxville.
Check out their website at: www.farmcrawl.com
Rob Scott over at http://onestraw.wordpress.com has a steady stream of great information and inspiring projects. Be sure to check out his latest. The Methane Midden: Epic Shit & Jean Pain Composting Join me in supporting his Project on Kickstarter.com
As for me, I’m seriously contemplating building this outdoor combination grill/oven/smoker featured recently in Mother Earth News and before this fall converting a pair of old patio door insulated glass units into a solar air heater.
I have a habit of reading about five different books at a time. This winter I managed to finish a few. Two on local foods that I highly recommend:
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life
This book by Barbara Kingsolver "is the story of how her family made every attempt to feed themselves animals and vegetables…from the same place where they worked, went to school, loved our neighbors, drank the water and breathed the air." It’s a very enjoyable and enlightening book, it discusses the impact industrial agriculture is having on our world, the joys and challenges of growing your own food, and includes tasty recipes. Quite a combination.
The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
Michael Pollan, explores the origins and ramifications of four meals: Fast Food, Grass Fed, Big Organic, and Perfect. I love this book, it’s an enjoyable read and a very thorough look at the economics, ecology, culture and taste of food. This is a book that I both started and finished this winter. 😉
I’m just getting started on Wendell Berry’s The Unsettling of America: Culture & Agriculture You can’t read about local food systems without hearing about Wendell Berry and I thought I’d better go back to one of the sources. Four chapters into it and this book is densely crammed with insights that are still relevant today. Like a rich meal this one is best enjoyed by taking one’s time to savor.
The Iowa Food Cooperative website is up, the storefront is ready and we’ve had a ribbon cutting and our first delivery day. Here are some photos from the morning. You can become a member of the cooperative to buy and sell Iowa products at www.iowafood.org.