Monday, July 7, 2008

$30 at the farmer's market in Southeast Michigan in early July gets you . . .

(From left to right) Green beans, two zucchini, snow peas, a bunch of radishes (with greens), a jar of local wildflower honey, a bunch of flowering bok choy, a quart of strawberries, "peaches" (that seem an awful lot like nectarines), a sweet potato, and a bunch of beets (with greens). All non-organic, needless to say, though they are local. Is it just me, or is it not as cheap as it seems it should be? Am I just spoiled as a Californian? Still, it's an incredible relief to have some local fresh vegetables and fruits even AVAILABLE. Even at this time of the year, most of the farmer's market was filled up with soap, sugar-sweet breads, and perennial plants. The local Michigan grain, even unground (before being ground into flour), is $2 a pound for wheat berry.

Oh, my GOD, this Michigan economy is going to kill me.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Unmanageable milk jugs: another reason to buy local milk you collect in your own glass bottle.

Eat the View -- Lawns to carrots and lettuce, please

One of my major aggravations about mainstream American culture is our obsession with large, bright green lawns. Being a Californian from an area where local foodie and restauranteur Alice Waters built a local organic gardening program in the schoolyard of a junior high school, where the local government offered financial support for a while to those replacing their lawn with drought-resistant native plants (in Oakland), and where the San Francisco City Hall is recruiting the community to plant vegetables on its grounds and monitoring the planting of "Victory Gardens" throughout the city, it's weird and unnerving to live now in a place where people ride back and forth every weekend on giant lawnmowers, and where I have to fight to keep my edible plants safe from the muscle men who the landlords pay to do "lawn and garden maintenance".

So, I'm excited by ideas of how to challenge the status quo on this particular issue. This is a really interesting one, and would be SO great if it were actually implemented. The concept is for the next president of the United States to reapportion the space of the White House lawn to be an organic victory garden. Take a look, and sign the petition!