Wednesday, March 25, 2009

More Good Sustainable Food News!

This morning I got another great piece of news in my email box. Michelle Obama is not the only First Lady planting an edible garden!

Maria Shriver, California’s First Lady announced that they will be breaking ground on an edible garden in May,

As stated in the press release, “It will promote community and educational outreach and encourage all Californians, especially children, to include fresh, healthy foods at mealtime and plant their own seeds for the future.”

They are going to do this by working in conjunction with the California School Garden Network (LA Farm Girl belongs to this too), Alice Waters and California Food and Agriculture Secretary A.G. Kawamura.

This is great because California still produces over one-half of the nation's fresh fruit and vegetables and the garden will create awareness "about the important role of food, where it comes from, nutritional value, how it is grown and harvested and ultimately how it reaches the tables of those who need it most."

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Yet Another Shameless Book Plug

Torrance circa 1931, nothing but oil derricks and farms

I thought I'd just post here my good news. The interview about my book that I did with Evan Kleiman for her Good Food Show on radio station KCRW is going to air this Saturday, March 21st. It not only airs live on the radio on 89.9 f.m. here in LA, but live on the web I believe.

The show airs from 11 a.m. to noon but my portion is scheduled to be on at 11:26 a.m. I am also interested in hearing the other story about the ladies from Lomita's St. Mark's Church replanting their grape vines!

Here's the link detailing the show,

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

White House To Get Organic Vegetable Garden!

Those of you that are regular LA Farm Girl readers know that I have been posting about the calls from the Eat The View campaign for President Obama to plant an organic garden on the White House lawn.

Well, the good news is that today, they announced that they will be planting an organic vegetable garden! And, although the White House vegetable garden will be dug up and planted on the South grounds of the White House, out of view of the main house, it will still be there nonetheless!

As somebody who has been writing, volunteering, and advocating on behalf of sustainable farming and gardening for the past 10 years, it finally feels like my work has paid off and that people are realizing how important sustainable food is.

Check out the details from ABC here,

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Why Eat Locally?

My recent posts on the creation of the USDA’s People's Garden and How to Get the Most Out of Your Local Farmer's Market that are meant to encourage people to eat locally got me to thinking. Do people really know why it might be better to eat locally?

There are many benefits to eating locally. To me, the biggest benefit is that it just tastes better. Instead of being picked before it's ripe, locally grown produce has been freshly picked, meaning it's sweeter, crunchier, juicier, and all-around more flavorful than produce that's traveled thousands of miles to get to you.

It's also better for the environment because it reduces the need for transportation, meaning it reduces carbon dioxide emissions and reduces the amount of packaging necessary to transport the food.

Local eating also helps preserve, support, and protect local farmland and farmers, and it provides a boost to your local economy by keeping dollars right in your own community.

Another great thing about buying locally is that it often turns out to be healthier for you. Because you know where your food comes from, who grew it and how it was grown, you are more in control of what you eat and what goes into your body.

You have a unique opportunity to develop a relationship with the people who grow your food. This means you are able to choose foods from growers who minimize or eliminate the use of pesticide, hormones, and other unwanted chemicals, and you can ask them about how their food is grown and why.

Where to find local food? As I wrote in my posting about farmers' markets, your local farmer's market is one of the best places to find the largest selection of locally grown fruits and vegetables. To find one near you, check out the USDA’s farmer's market site.

Another great option is to join a CSA or community supported agriculture farm. This is basically a kind of "subscription" farm, where you buy shares in a farm in exchange for a share of the harvest. Most CSA's require annual or quarterly subscriptions and offer a weekly or bi-weekly box of fresh produce that's either delivered to your front door, or that you can pick up at the farm or some other convenient drop-off location.

For more great ideas and encouragement, go to To find local farms, farm stands, farmers' markets, and CSA's in your area, go to Local Harvest, Food Routes, or the Eat Well Guide.

Since I am a Californian (I am LA Farm Girl after all), there’s a great resource for buying local, California grown food, it’s the Buy Fresh Buy Local Guide which now includes portions of southern California.

(Originally published on

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

It's Women's History Month, This Year's Theme is "Women Taking The Lead To Save Our Planet"

Happy Women's History Month to all! This year's theme is not only about how women are helping our environment, but this year, Women's History Month will honor the "Mother" of the modern environmental movement, Rachel Carson.

Carson's book, "Silent Spring," was so influential in creating changes in legislation, attitudes, and inspiring activists. As part of this salute to Carson, they are going to have nationwide screenings of a film about her life, called “A Sense of Wonder" .

As they say on their web site, " Sense of Wonder Productions is teaming up with the National Women's History Project to host 100 screenings & events across the country entitled "An Evening with Rachel Carson." It's an opportunity to revisit the origins of the modern environmental movement, and learn how Carson's message can inspire us for generations to come.

We are lucky here in LA because there is a screening on March 19 at the Laemmle Music Hall Theatre in Beverly Hills,

For more info. on National Women's History Month, check out the group that led to it becoming a nationally recognized month, The National Women's History Project, You can even order goodies from them!