OK…I quit. No, not this blog, though as infrequently as I have posted, I might as well have.
But, no…it is the managing of local farmers markets that I have been doing the last three years, that I am quitting. I am done with, all over, frustrated and somewhat mystified with how some markets end up not accomplishing many key goals. But that is a different story which I will address soon in a post called “Who Needs Farmers Markets?“.
The silver lining for me is that it frees up time to write, post and publish. With fall already in the Northwest air, our successful, sustainable farm, 19th Street Farms, will still keep me busy, but even that slows down as the days shorten. So, happily, back to communicating.
Some of you are probably asking…why bother now? It is my continuing concern over the situation around food, how it is grown, how it “manufactured,” how it is distributed, who has access to decent food, and, really determining what is healthy food, has not changed. This despite a few successful alternatives in some metropolitan areas, and a White House focus on many of these issues. (Obesity rate increases have seemingly stopped, so these very public efforts may be starting to work!). But counter that with the recent US House passing (for no real purpose) a bill to remove 3.5 million people from the supplemental food programs, mainly food stamps. Their meanness is hypocritical at every level of their political and personal lives. Shame.
There should be, instead, small government investments in innovative food systems that support a local community’s needs, wherever it is located. This would create jobs, healthier consumers and communities, and help provide green spaces where nothing useful exists now. These include not just food oriented projects, but other “plant technologies” need similar support to help them develop into efficient, widely used options. The Northwest region is alive with new ideas and projects that point to a more sustainable, more human society. They deserve wider exposure, and I want to help that effort.
One such project was a series of papers on various plant technologies that were proving they could work with the natural environment to solve problems. Aimed at Oregon’s struggling nursery industry, this was organized and funded by Sustainable Plant Research and Outreach (SPRout), an environmental organization housed at The Oregon Garden, Silverton, Oregon. I wrote four chapters that, as far as I can tell, never saw the light of day. Old story…the grant money dried up.
So, over the next few weeks, I am going to post them, with only essential changes to start. I realize the information is several years old, but much is still useful. I will then continue to update them with new research and projects. Plant technologies are becoming more common. One example is the green roof concept, now finding acceptance in the US. You will see from these papers that there are many other interesting, working examples.
Another priority task is to finally post numerous book reviews from the past few years. While they are not as immediate as they should have been, the reviews are of books that offer more, or unique, information that many, more mundane fare. I just want to point to the better sources since I now read so many books. From 1999′s The Clock of the Long Now by Stewart Brand, through the marketing theories of the brilliant The Long Tail by Chris Anderson, to the recent Pandora’s Lunchbox by Melanie Warner, are just a few examples. Read on.
Finally, I will also be adding a new section, called “Notes of a Middle-of-the-Road Radical.” It will be a place for some of the non-food, non-plant content. Sometimes I just can’t help myself and need to comment on various subjects including politics, music and unusual content. Hope to see you soon.
Tags:environmental benefits of trees, farmers markets, green roof plants, green roofs, green walls, healthy landscapes, home food production, local food movement, organic farming, Sustainable landscape, Urban agriculture
Filed Under: Benefits of Plants, Books to Read, Green Roofs, Home Food Production, Info, Marketing, Organic agriculture, Plant Technology, Sustainable Horticulture, Sustainable Landscapes, World Food Issues