James Samuel's Blog (62)

The Great Waiheke Plum Drive

The first Great Waiheke Plum Drive, was an event powered by Ooooby. It was an idea driven by the observation that there is an abundance of fruit in this community (it's probably true in your community too), which falls to the ground to rot. By hiring a community hall and inviting lots of people to bring plums and jars, and by providing them… Continue

Added by James Samuel on January 8, 2010 at 9:34pm — 2 Comments

The Localization of Agriculture: A Predetermined Future

The number of farms grew by 4% between 2002 and 2007. The following quote is taken from a larger article with the following headings: More small farms - More local distribution - Celebrity leadership - Victory garden redux - More entrepreneurs selling local - School gardens.- Changes ahead in the agriculture business model. The quiet revolution is well underway.



As agriculture localizes, livestock production will likely start to shift… Continue

Added by James Samuel on December 17, 2009 at 7:46am — 1 Comment

Todmorden - Britain's greenest town

It's an ordinary small town in England, but its residents claim they've discovered the secret that could save the planet. And with world leaders preparing to gather in Copenhagen in just over a week's time to debate how to do just that, the people of Todmorden in the Pennines this week issued an invitation: come to our town and see what we've done.



In under two years, Todmorden has transformed the way it produces its food and the way residents think about the environment.… Continue

Added by James Samuel on December 2, 2009 at 10:50am — 2 Comments

More land needed to meet allotment need

Land owned by the Royal Family, local authorities and large businesses should be handed to the public to be used as allotments, an independent think tank said today.



The New Local Government Network, which aims to advise councils on new ideas, said around 3,500 hectares (8,650 acres) of brownfield land was currently available across the country.



It called on ministers to "dramatically expand the number of public allotments" through… Continue

Added by James Samuel on September 15, 2009 at 6:20am — No Comments

Project: Redesign Your Farmers’ Market

How can better design ensure that food grown by local farmers is delivered and distributed to urban residents?



Demand for “good food”—defined as healthy, affordable, and fairly and sustainably produced—is rising. Whether it’s from a rural family-run farm, community-supported agriculture group, or a backyard plot, locally grown food is increasingly viewed as a solution for many economic, environmental, and health concerns.



Yet significant barriers exist in… Continue

Added by James Samuel on August 16, 2009 at 4:00am — 1 Comment

Early-Morning Agriculture Course Gaining Popularity Among Office Workers

An adult school "Marunouchi Morning University" was launched in April 2009 in Marunouchi, the area near Tokyo Station and the business center of Tokyo. The school is organized by the Marunouchi Morning University Planning Board, consisting of NPOs, a general incorporated association and some other entities. Among the many courses offered, the agriculture class has become one of the most popular. The classes start in the early morning at 7:30, and many… Continue

Added by James Samuel on August 11, 2009 at 8:56pm — No Comments

Grey Lynn Farmer's Market opens Sep 6th

Get ready all you Grey Lynn'ers, the Ooooby stall at the Grey Lynn Farmer's Market will welcome your produce.



Here's an article from Stuff. Farmers' markets are known for showcasing local produce but a new Auckland initiative is taking the concept further in a model organisers hope will be repeated around the country.



Due to start in September, the Grey Lynn… Continue

Added by James Samuel on August 1, 2009 at 5:05pm — 1 Comment

Back of a Napkin look at a CSA project

After spending a few weeks working on the plan for the Te Matuku Bay property, and an overview of the Waiheke CSA project, I made a presentation to the Waiheke CSA Trust last week. I used a book called "The… Continue

Added by James Samuel on July 16, 2009 at 3:00am — 1 Comment

Growing Power

The New York Times: July 6, 2009

Street Farmer By Elizabeth Royte*

Will Allen, a farmer of Bunyonesque proportions, ascended a berm of wood chips and brewer’s mash and gently probed it with a pitchfork. “Look at this,” he said, pleased with the treasure he unearthed. A writhing mass of red worms dangled from his tines. He… Continue

Added by James Samuel on July 8, 2009 at 9:00am — No Comments

testing html blog post

I wanted to see what would happen if I viewed page source and copied the html off the original blog post. Would I get all the nice formatting.. Well here's how it looked:



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What if I told you that America’s food system is broken? What would you say?

Would you defend it by pointing out the abundance of choices offered in today’s average supermarket, estimated to be over 45,000 items? Would you…

Continue

Added by James Samuel on July 2, 2009 at 7:22pm — 1 Comment

Growing through the transition

While in many ways the Transition Initiative is new, it often finds its roots in the past, in a practical make-do-and-mend attitude. There is an interesting emphasis on “re-skilling” communities in traditional building and organic gardening, for example: crafts that were taken for granted two generations ago but are now often forgotten. Mandy Dean, who helped set up a Transition Initiative in her community in Wales, describes how her group bought root… Continue

Added by James Samuel on June 26, 2009 at 3:40pm — 1 Comment

Fruit trees for all

A Brooklyn walkway is to be transformed into a community orchard with free fruit. The Brooklyn Transition Group has support from Wellington City Council to plant fruit trees on public land next to a track between Harrison and Garfield streets.

Group spokesman Marc Slade said there would be enough room for up to 40 trees. "There will probably be apples, pears, apricots, feijoas and other things that… Continue

Added by James Samuel on June 21, 2009 at 5:30am — 2 Comments

A message to her royal subjects?

Royal Vegetable Garden Takes Root

Buckingham Palace Plants an Organic Vegetable Garden

By LAMA HASAN, LONDON, June 14, 2009



Her Majesty the Queen is the latest person to jump on the green bandwagon by growing her own organic vegetables. It's been decades since the palace has had a vegetable patch. During World War I, turnips grew among the… Continue

Added by James Samuel on June 15, 2009 at 5:00am — 2 Comments

Community Gardens blossom



The recession and the concern over the environment have sparked a boom in community gardens across the United States. Reuters Fred Katayama… Continue

Added by James Samuel on June 6, 2009 at 10:19pm — No Comments

In a pinch

From Karen K. Brees, the author of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Preserving Food"

One of the most aggravating situations is finding you're out of a certain ingredient when you're already committed to the recipe. Sometimes, though, you've got a satisfactory substitution at hand. It just takes a little know-how...



Out of baking powder? Make your own with 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar plus 1/4 teaspoon baking soda.

Out of sour cream?… Continue

Added by James Samuel on June 3, 2009 at 4:30am — No Comments

Obama Offers Farmers $50 Million to Go Organic

Organic farming just got gubernatorial. The US Department of Agriculture just announced funding for a new organics initiative--and Obama's going to give $50 million in funding for farmers to make the switch to organic. Farmers will now be able to apply for funds that will aid them in making the transition to organic. And even though $50 million isn't a whole hell of a lot in the $787 billion stimulus scheme of things, it's nonetheless a nice boost for… Continue

Added by James Samuel on May 20, 2009 at 7:04pm — 8 Comments

A Renter's Garden Diary (3)

A huge thank you to Claire, who sent me an email to say she had read my diary and had a whole lot of seedlings I could have. She was moving house and I could help myself from her garden. I did! And without her help I would have very little to report on the gardening front.…

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Added by James Samuel on May 10, 2009 at 5:30am — No Comments

“Deep Agriculture” a talk by Michael Pollen

The Long Now Foundation

May 6th, 02009 by Kevin Kelly

Making farmers cool again

Farming has become an occupation and cultural force of the past. Michael Pollan’s talk promoted the premise — and hope — that farming can become an occupation and force of the future. In the past century American farmers were given the assignment to produce lots of… Continue

Added by James Samuel on May 8, 2009 at 5:24am — No Comments

Pavement-Bound Islanders Flock to Community Gardens

BAINBRIDGE ISLAND — Dawn Snider is hoping to deepen the shade of her faded green thumb. It’s been almost three decades since she’s had a garden, but she can still remember the taste of backyard tomatoes, squash and herbs. “It’s been a while, but I’m a gardener at heart,” the Minnesota native said as she and her partner, Bruce White, spread a load of rich, black soil into a small plot at the Johnson Farm community garden. After a long stint living in the… Continue

Added by James Samuel on May 4, 2009 at 3:00pm — No Comments

Planting a Denver hay bale vegetable garden

Here's another style of gardening. Could be fun to experiment with...

From Jaipi Sixbear on The Examiner.com "Social Networking for the Gardening enthusiast"


I'd like to share a fun garden technique with all my Denver readers. It involves… Continue

Added by James Samuel on May 1, 2009 at 4:33pm — No Comments

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