Saturday, September 27, 2008

Graze the Roof!

Glide Memorial
(a progressive church/community services center) is now host to another amazing program--a rooftop garden for youth! Put together in 4 months with the help of many great volunteers this space has been transformed to a space of beauty that is now producing healthy , local food for people who need it the most and providing youth a place in the tenderloin.
A self-watering container. A feat of technology.

A garden made from the excesses of our transnational food system. All items can be found in the trash behind suburban big box grocery stores...Planters are all made of reclaimed wooden pallets, painstakingly plied apart, sanded, stained and reformed. Inside are lined milk crates to keep soil out but allow for good drainage.

Dresser drawers converted to salad producers! missed photo op---the awsome murals all around the space.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Should our libraries have seeds too?

Our shared food knowledge is disappearing. Our knowledge on how to grow our food and how to prepare and preserve our food is not being documented or recorded or learned or taught. Can we find ways for our public institutions to support, to document, to nurture this knowledge?

I love this exhibit that is just a stones throw from the Civic Center Victory Garden--it's a compelling way to start the conversation. Maybe this is so close to my heart because it blends two things that absolutely capture me--libraries and gardening.

"This project is a seed planted in the cultural soil of the city to be nurtured, irrigated and grown to full maturity by the San Francisco community.

Through this art project, we propose that our Public Library system create a new branch dedicated to seed exchange, as well as the loaning of gardening tools and literature associated with farming, gardening and urban greening.

The simple seed is at the core of a new narrative about urban preoccupation in a sustainable food system. the seed poses the question: What are the ethical, and social ramifications of feeding ourselves today?"

What do you think? For more info and pictures about this exhibit look here.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Fallen Fruit Takes New Life

The NYTimes reports on a new wave of urban gleaning--when community activists harvest the bounty of neighborhood fruit trees. Figs, citrus, apples & so much more that would otherwise go to waste is donated to food banks and helps spread community and local food knowledge.

This is one of the most inspiring actions going on in the local food movement--check out groups like Fallen Fruit or Amity Works for inspiration.

Ball of joy

I got to hang out with this one all weekend...I'm going to be the coolest Aunt. Ever. Why? Cause she makes it easy, she's happiest little one I've seen. Highlights? Watching her sleep, waking up to her in the morning, her first trip to the beach when she wouldn't stop talking.

The strangest thing I found out is that she just makes me want to LOVE and show my love. No holding back, no limits, no bullshit. & not just with her, with everyone.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

a day to look towards hope

The 7th's hard to look at hope today, with no real action towards ending the fear and hatred in the world at the root of it all, when I've spent the last week screaming at the radio as I follow the elections that have become such an outrageous circus. But every time we succumb to cynicism, we chip away at Democracy.

So it's a good time to look towards hope---to look at the clouds and create your own vision. Thanks for inspiring me with your photos mr. p.albert Check them here.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Had an incredible potluck birthday celebration at my place this weekend--I'm so lucky to have so many good people in my life that can cook some damn good food (and can knit, jam the best dam blueberries, and get zenned out). Can't believe I don't have any photos of the feasting: black bean salad, spinach dip, spring rolls, homemade pizza and breads, quinoa salads, chickpeas saladed and masala-ed, broccoli wonder, carrot cake, crumbly cookies, and a trifle complete with birthday candles. Lots and lots of wine, and a little homebrew too. MMMMM. Thank You!

Inspired to Travel...

Check out this article/blog/videos for good ideas on traveling cheap in Europe. My sister will be settled in Copenhagen by the end of many reasons to go. Now. I've got the travel itch.

Monday, September 8, 2008

The value of preaching to the choir?

On August 27th, Vandana Shiva spoke to a small crowd at the Sonoma County Day School tucked in a typical suburban business park. Her message was one of food sovereignty, of global responsibility, of a complicated web of dysfunction that is our world agricultural system.

Eloquent, insightful, funny, activism rooted in science--the talk was rejuvenating for me and a small group of my foodist friends that piled in the car to drink in Vandana's speech. But what really hit home was that the audience was all of a piece--the food activists and local farmers that have made the Bay Area an incredible model of a thriving local food system. Vandana was preaching to the choir. While value of rejuvenation & inspiration shouldn't be overlooked...I, at first, felt angry that her message wouldn't be conveyed to the uninitiated. The people who need to hear it the most.

But now I see one value of preaching to the choir---she taught me how to speak more eloquently about these issues, she gave me resources and ideas from which to make my arguments, she was imbuing in us the tools to keep up the fight.

Here are a few of her ideas that inspired me...

We need to call global warming/climate change by it's proper name. "climate chaos" climate does not change in predictable ways

We must change from an oil economy to a Soil economy.

In some places saving seed has become a CRIME.

GMOs as a solution do not increase yield, GMOs increase toxic production; not yield increasing technology, a vulnerability increasing technology.

We need to look at the greenhouse gas emissions of big ag.

It's never too late to stop doing the wrong thing & start doing the right thing. time I'm bringing someone who has yet to hear the message.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Slow on the Slow Food Nation post...

Still marinating on my Slow Food Nation Experience. But here are some of the things I'm reading about it:

See: Great photos of the art exhibit that was the Taste Pavilion at Fort Mason and other shots from the weekend.

Learn: A great resource w/ great guest bloggers.

Think: An important perspective from a local EJ/Foodist group.

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Birthday that's supposed to last forever...

the passage into my 29th year was a beautiful one--a relaxed morning punctuated by a big egg scramble with tomatoes, basil & goat cheese. Followed by a few hours soaking up the sun on Ocean Beach with my love, made complete with a simple picnic. It was so hot I could actually wear my bathing suit without a sweater and it felt so good to wade into the water.

I wanted to go the beach to completely relax, to remember that I'm just a tiny part of something bigger, something that moves and breathes no matter the political tides or social order, that there are things I can admire for their beauty and unknowedness. Standing on that part of the beach that becomes ocean for just a moment when the waves crash at your ankles and then recedes leaving a completely different, changed landscape. That's what I wanted to be reminded of as my day of birth passed through me.

But the day was not yet complete--it finished with a sunset walk along Crissy fields and my first meal at Greens, a vegetarian restaurant made famous by my heroine Deborah Madison. It was exquisite--the view, the menu from which I could choose anything without a second thought to broths laden with chicken or produce laden with pesticides shipped from other continents, no it was all local and meat-free....

Pinot Noir + Poblano chili and corn fritters + figs grilled on rosemary skewers stuffed with goat cheese over a bed of watercress. Then filo with goat cheese and savoy spinach cherry tomatoes and fresh chanterelles on the side + parpadelle with summer squash and cheese. Black berry gallette with lavender ice cream, rasberry sauce and one candle. Absolutely, ridiculously decadent.

What's more is that this weekend was so full with the happening that was Slow Food Nation--I'm still processing it all, so there will be more blog posts to come...

29...I don't feel anything for it yet, I'm not scared of 30, I don't have preconceptions of who I should be or how I should be at 29 or at 59. All I know is I'm going to get more wrinkled and I hope I love my wrinkles. And more hairs will turn grey by the day, I hope that I love that grey. I do hope that this year I continue to challenge to grow to learn to be in the moment to keep promises to myself to define more clearly my path to be more open to play more. Here's to a year that has yet to take shape.