Tuesday, April 29, 2008

LA Farm Girl in Shock

For those of you who know LA Farm Girl, what I am about to say might shock you. But, rather than say it myself because I simply can't get the words out, I will let Sustainable Table say it for me as follows:

"Sustainable Table fully supports the creative solution suggested today by President Bush to buy food from local farmers as a means for communities to be more self sustaining. The nonprofit program adds that purchasing sustainably-raised local food is the best option for all Americans."

That's right, W. actually said something that makes sense during his Rose Garden Speech.

President Bush said, "We are deeply concerned about food prices here at home” and the “creative policy is to buy food from local farmers.”

As Diane Hatz, Director of Sustainable Table points out:
“Sustainable Table agrees with President Bush’s statement made today that large subsidies to multimillionaire farmers should be cut."

Wow, if that doesn't tell you that something needs to be done, I don't know what will.

The food crisis has been greatly exacerbated by the huge subsidies for corn and grains that go to the large agri-businesses.

As Hatz points out: "Today’s industrial form of agriculture is funded by tax payer subsidies which can push small, family farmers out of business and pollute the environment. That’s why it is better for people to purchase foods grown locally, on sustainable family farms or at farmers markets."

Saturday, April 26, 2008

LA Farm Girl in Daily Link

Just another brief shameless post to let everybody know that LA Farm Girl was featured in the Daily Breeze's Daily Link section both in the paper and on their Daily Link blog, I am hoping it will help people want to get involved with The Giving Gardeners.

Check it out here: http://www.insidesocal.com/dailylink/2008/04/la_farm_girl_dishes_on_where_t.html#more
And, as I mention in the blog entry there, I am working on putting together a What's in Season feature here on LA Farm Girl so you will know what is and what's coming soon at your local farmers' market!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Eat Well Guide's New Green Fork Blog

The wonderful folks at The Eat Well Guide have created another awesome site, its called the Green Fork Blog and it is the new "official" site of The Eat Well Guide. The Guide is "your resource for finding thousands of farms, grocery stores, restaurants and other "green" food outlets throughout the US and Canada." If you've never used the guide, it's a great place to find out the latest food and farming news, and get farm tour and seasonal food information, book reviews, and interviews with the leading voices in the sustainable food movement.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Pledge to "Go Local" For Earth Day

Earth Day is here once again and for those who may be hesitating or who need a "reason" to become a locavore, Earth Day might be just the thing.

Started in 1970, by Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin as the first nationwide environmental protest, its goal was "to shake up the political establishment and force this issue onto the national agenda."

On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment. That first Earth Day saw a rare alignment of all kinds of groups and political parties, including farmers and urban dwellers alike.

Ultimately, it resulted in the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.

This history is a reminder that we do have the power to make a difference. And, one way to make a start is to eat local, buy local, and consider how your purchases affect your local community and environment.

Eating foods that are produced locally or grown nearby reduces transportation fuel four to 17 times (according to the Rocky Mountain Institute). That means four to 17 times less carbon dioxide pollution.

And, when you buy locally, every dollar spent in your community adds about twice as much value to the local economy than it would if it were spent at a chain store.

All of those super "bargains" we get at those big stores, aren't so wonderful, they do come at a higher cost, the loss of local businesses, the fact that we don't really produce anything any more, more use of fuel, and that we get tainted foods and other products, even toys.

Even focusing on just eating locally can make a big impact. Here's a link to a list on the PBS website about how to start eating locally, developed by the folks at the Eat Local Challenge, http://www.pbs.org/now/shows/344/locavore.html

And for more information on the Eat Local Challenge, visit them here:

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

King Corn On KCET Thursday April 17

I just wanted to let everybody know that tomorrow night, Thursday, April 17, our local LA PBS station, KCET is showing the great documentary, King Corn as part of the Independent Lens series.
Here's the specifics:

Independent Lens: King Corn, Thursday, April 17, 2008, 9:00 PM

KCET Channel 28

Can't watch at this time? Find other broadcast times during the next two weeks for Independent Lens at http://www.pbs.org/whatson/

For more on King Corn, check out their site at http://www.kingcorn.net/

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Why LA Farm Girl Hasn't Posted

View of boardwalk and wharf from West Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz
Well, I haven't posted for a few days because I took a little vacation, one I was supposed to take last month. I went up to Santa Cruz for a little R&R, to visit my sister and my old stomping grounds and to go up to UC Berkeley to see my smarty pants nephew and to San Francisco to see my niece who are now all grown up. I will spare them the embarrassment of posting their photos here on their dorky auntie's blog!

This is UC Santa Cruz, how lucky was I to go to school here?!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Plant a F.L.A.G. (Farmlab Agbin Garden)

This a photo of the park when it was "Not a Cornfield" Just a quick post to let you all know about a great project at Farmlab in downtown LA this weekend. It's called F.L.A.G. (Farmlab Agbin Garden) and they are going to be planting a temporary public garden at the Los Angeles State Historic Park (the site of their former Not a Cornfield).

This garden is in "agbins" (large planters recycled from the citrus industry) and will be on site for 6 months and volunteer gardeners will be encouraged to participate to maintain them.

The event is on Sunday, April 13 from 8 a.m. to Noon and Farmlab will be planting the first four units of this temporary garden. The public is welcome to attend and they are also looking for volunteers to take responsibility for sets of agbins as the garden expands.

This is part of a four-part exhibition at Farmlab with the subject being seed. They plan on giving some of the products from this communal garden to those in need and the seed will become part of a community seed bank. Contact Jamie Lopez Walters, Farmlab Agriculturist for more info., http://www.farmlab.org/.

Los Angeles State Historic Park is located at 1245 N. Spring St., right near Chinatown, less than a block away from the Chinatown Gold line Station and Farmlab is located just across the street.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve

(Photo Courtesy California State Parks)

While we don't have any large, flower farms left in Los Angeles County, we do have a wonderful, natural place to see spring wildflowers and now is the time to see the beautiful California poppies and other wildflowers in the Antelope Valley at the Poppy Reserve. Due to the winter rains, this year is blooming pretty well. However, don't wait too long since they won't last, with wildflowers blooming from about March through May, with peak viewing time in mid-April.

You can call the Wildflower Hotline for basic information at (661) 724-1180, or check out the site for more information, http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=627.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Tomato Mania Time!

Don't forget, tomorrow is the start of Tomato Mania at Tapia Brothers Farm in Encino! This is the place to go and get your seedlings to kick off your summer vegetable planting season.

This 3-day event features nearly 300 varieties of tomatoes, many of them heirloom varieties and it's at one of our last, local, farms, Tapia Brothers. It runs from Friday, April 4, through Sunday, April 6, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tapia Brothers is located just off the 101 Freeway at 5251 Hayvenhurst, just off the Burbank Blvd. off ramp. This the largest of Tomato Mania's seedling sales, for more info. check out the site http://www.tomatomania.com/