Monday, July 28, 2008

Can You Help? Flowers Needed!

Well, the very sweet woman who runs the AIDS Circle of Life Program phoned me this a.m. and she is heartbroken. One of her clients passed away and she would love to fill up the place with flowers for his funeral service.

So, if you or somebody you know has extra flowers, please let me know so that I can get them to her. I sure wish I had my network better set up for things like this.

You can email me at, or even phone me at (310) 543-1917.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Farmer's Share

I received this very eye-opening link in my email box this morning from the National Farmer's Union (NFU). Did you know that farmers and ranchers receive only 20 cents of every food dollar that consumers spend on food at home and away from home?

According to the US Department of Agriculture, off farm costs including marketing, processing, wholesaling, distribution, and retailing account for 80 cents of every food dollar spent in the United States.

Here's what they found farmers received for some goods:

Fresh Carrots (2 pounds): Retail, $2.99, Farmer $.84
Lettuce (2 pounds, 1 head): Retail $1.99, Farmer $.37
Fresh Potatoes (10 pounds, Russet): Retail $3.00, Farmer $.72

"The Farmer’s share is derived from USDA, NASS “Agricultural Prices,” 2008. Retail based on Safeway (SE) brand except where noted."

How sad is this? It makes you wonder why we have any family farmers left. How can they survive and what keeps them going?

Remember: this is just one example that demonstrates what's wrong with our large, consolidated food system and it illustrates why direct marketing ventures such as farmers' markets, CSA's, and farm-to-institution programs are so vital. Please, whenever possible, buy directly from a farm or farmer and help support them.

In case you are interested in learning more about the NFU, which was founded in 1902 to help the family farmer address profitability issues and monopolistic practices while America was courting the Industrial Revolution,

Friday, July 11, 2008

Meals on Wheels Needs Fresh Fruit!

Again for those who read both of my blogs, sorry about the repetitive posts but this is very important and I wanted to get the word out to as many people as possible. I received this on my Master Gardener list and thought I'd pass it on in case any of you have extra produce to donate.

Meals on Wheels West out of Santa Monica is interested in receiving fresh fruit to supplement the diets of their home bound disabled and elderly clients.

They say that with the increase in food costs, fruit has been eliminated from the meals prepared by their food suppliers. But, their clients say they want to receive fresh fruit!

They will deliver the fresh fruit within one day of receiving it, so I will be glad to deliver it to them if you get it to me since we are still in the process of organizing The Giving Gardeners more formally. Just drop me an email:, or leave a comment here.

Please consider helping. I am also going to be checking with the Meals on Wheels here in the South Bay to see if they would like some fresh fruit as well.