Some of you may be getting tired of my social/political entries... but its heavy on my mind lately... I can't help it.
This week Murv was able to do a workshop on our land for a high school economics class which may turn into a teaching position for him at an alternative high school doing a greenbuilding class next year-- very cool! It was really great to have enthusiastic kids come to our place and see what we are trying to do. One of the things he talked to the students about was that he does not want to encourage a "sky is falling" mentality or a critical attitude toward where we are today as a society, but that we would like to do all we can to give be more conscientious citizens of the planet and give future generations alternatives and solutions to some of the messes we are handing them. Hence the reason he is so passionate about using products generated from the waste stream in our own communities to put back into the community in useful ways that are healthy, as well as making less of a carbon footprint and harnessing energy sources that are limitless, etc...
I have seen three or four articles in the paper lately that are food for thought... This morning I read in the paper that an 18 wheeler diesel truck currently costs $1300 to fill up and gets between 4.5-6.5 MPG. Are you wondering why food prices are going up? Then I saw this awesome article about a FARM charter school in Austin that is teaching kids math, science, art etc.. by growing preparing and selling food! They also have a strict policy about making healthy eating choices at school. The teachers say since they have implemented this vision in their school they have seen the students be able to pay attention, learn more, have more energy and stay focused! Imagine that... cut out cheetos and coke and you can actually pay attention and learn better... ? Really? And teach them those habits while they are still young so its not so hard to give all the crap up. Give kids hands on opportunities to learn and give them lifelong skills of being able to grow their own food. How intelligent is that?
Last week my friend Jamie and I went to Farmer's markets and talked to local farmers and producers about supplying our food buying group with their products. They were very excited (like hungry animals almost) about the prospects of being able to supply what they grow to larger groups without having to travel to 5-10 farmers markets every week and constantly losing profit because of rising fuel costs. I looked into their eyes. They are a dying breed. They work so hard and can barely stay alive. If they get too much rain, or not enough, or some pest that wipes them out they could literally lose their livelihood. If some dumb kids decide to set off fireworks in their orchards, it could take them three years to recover (true story told to me by a peach farmer). They live by the sweat of their brow, and are largely unknown and unthought about. I promised myself I will buy their food whenever I can instead of opting for the grocery store convenience of hormone and pesticide ridden food grown hundreds to thousands of miles away and shipped across the country. TRY TO BUY LOCAL if at all possible-- we all win! That's my spiel for the day... and with it a tribute to Arnosky Family Farms-- they are about 15 miles down the road from me and along with growing exquisite flowers, they provide goat cheese, herbs and fresh vegetables-- and they have an inspiringly beautiful happy barn which came to be through an old fashioned community barn raising!