Saturday, February 21, 2009

Food Democracy Now

There is a moveement underfoot, that you need to be a part of. Help fight for a healthy food system and send a message to Secretary Vilsack. Leaders of this movement have identified four specific problems to overcome :

1) Current policy is mired in a 20th century industrial paradigm, where the primary goals are limited to production volume, efficiency of feeding, and ensured profits for commodity producers and those they supply, thereby, benefiting too few.

2) People, ecosystems, and rural economies are becoming less healthy as a direct result of current American policy.

3) The efforts to solve food and agriculture challenges are not being addressed to the degree required by the scale of the problems.

4)The last farm bill cycle confirmed that too few control the debate and they are focused on protecting the status quo rather than aiding the broader population of the nation.

Following is the beginning of a draft declaration and a link for more information.

"We, the undersigned, believe that a healthy food system is necessary to meet the urgent challenges of our time. Behind us stands a half-century of industrial food production, underwritten by cheap fossil fuels, abundant land and water resources, and a drive to maximize the global harvest of cheap calories. Ahead lie rising energy and food costs, a changing climate, declining water supplies, a growing population, and the paradox of widespread hunger and obesity."

Click here to make your voice heard !

Sunday, February 08, 2009

La Famiglia

The LoPresti family has delighted Richmonders with family favorites Mary Angela’s, Piccola Italy, Maldini’s and Pronto Pizzeria. Now the family’s breaking new ground with a foray into finer dining. Read all about it in the latest issue of Style Weekly.

Dive Deep into Mediteranneo

Monday, February 02, 2009

White House Farmer

There has always been a White House Chef, but it has been a while since there has been a White House Farmer. According to, " Michael Pollan suggested the farmer be charged with transforming “five prime south-facing acres of the White House lawn and plant[ing] in their place an organic fruit and vegetable garden” whose produce will be used by the White House Chef, and given to area food banks."

Local farmer Charlie Collins was a top ten vote getter- a real honor with over 56,000 votes being cast.

The winners Carrie Little and Claire Strader had this to say

"It is a great honor for us to be recognized by our communities as potential candidates for the first White House Farmer. We are thrilled by the possibility of converting a portion of the lovely White House lawn into a lively vegetable farm. As vegetable, fruit, and flower growers, we know that a well-managed organic farm can be at least as beautiful as a lawn and certainly more engaging, productive, and inspirational.

The fact that so many farmers were nominated for the White House farmer position and that so many individuals voted in this unique “election” speaks loudly to our combined interest in local, organic agriculture. As is made clear in each farmer’s nomination, there are many skilled growers who contribute significantly to local food movement throughout our country. We are all unique. We all have a somewhat different focus be it Community Supported Agriculture, or emergency food relief, or youth empowerment. Still, we share the common cause of feeding our local communities with the freshest, cleanest, most healthy food we can coax from the soil.

Taking personal responsibility to a new level by addressing the core issues of the Obama administration’s focus, this farm could be the example for the nation. It would clearly address economic insecurity, fuel conservation, climate change, and healthcare issues in a very tangible way. Collectively, this effort could be the center of the cultural shift needed to highlight the imperative that we need to eat locally and think globally.

Together we are working toward a new future of agriculture in our country. We believe that future is grounded in small-scale, organic food production that meets the nutritional needs of people within reach of the farm and is not shipped from coast to coast at great cost of fuel, freshness, and nutritional value.With the support of more and more eaters in our communities, that future is coming nearer. A White House farm and a White House farmer will be powerful symbols for this future of agriculture, not to mention a delicious resource for the DC community. No matter who becomes the first White House farmer we stand in support of the White House farm project and would be honored to bring our spades and worm castings and hula hoes to join in the effort!

Claire Strader, Troy Gardens

Carrie Little, Mother Earth Farm"

Check out the site for more information at The Green House