Bring your food waste to the library for composting

Food waste collection programs are being phased in at New Orleans public libraries.

I’m glad they also mention Greenmarket and their innovative compost collection program. What is significant about the NYC market program is that Greenmarket does not occupy their market spaces constantly, so managing programs like composting require added logistics for the staff.

In data collection terms for markets, this program can be measured for its ecological, economic, social and intellectual capital benefits.

Bring your food waste to the library for composting: Yes, really | NOLA.com

Dominion wants to put a pipeline through farmland designated for conservation

On Thursday, the Southern Environmental Law Center filed a motion with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), asking the body to reject Dominion Virginia Power’s permit application for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a 600-mile natural gas pipeline from West Virginia to North Carolina.
According to the motion, Dominion’s proposed route goes through at least 10 properties that owners have placed into a Virginia conservation program intended to prevent future development.

“Dominion has proposed the largest conversion of conservation easement land ever undertaken in Virginia,” the motion says. “If allowed, it would seriously undermine public trust in the state’s conservation easement program and jeopardize the continued vitality of this critically important tool for open-space land protection.”

Source: Dominion

Louisiana Update #9: A post-flood visit with a market farmer

Spent Wednesday morning tagging along with Copper Alvarez on her BREADA Small Farm Fund site visit to Lucy Capdeboscq’s home and farm near Amite. Copper has been crisscrossing the state seeing farmers who are reporting losses from this month’s floods. It’s important to note that BREADA is not focused only on their market farmers needs, but doing their best to get funds to any market farmer across the state.  Although one of Lucy’s daughters had been one of Red Stick market vendors in the past, Lucy sells only at the Saturday Crescent City Farmers Markets down in New Orleans. As a result, she was surprised when Copper contacted her by phone, asked if she had damage and then offered an evaluation visit in case BREADA’s fund might be able to help.

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Of course, no decisions or promises are made during the visits about any support, but as Lucy commented, the contact and visit were very welcome. Crescent City Farmers Market is also reactivating their Crescent Fund and has already had Lucy fill out their short form to receive assistance. The Crescent Fund is hoping to raise enough money to handle the 8 or so CCFM market farmers who have indicated losses, by quickly offering up to $1,500 for their farm needs.

To get to Lucy’s place, one turns off the main road at the permanent sign indicating it is also the direction to the legendary Liuzza strawberry farm. Although their famous berries are still a few weeks from being planted, other products like cucumbers could be seen in some of their fields. When you know that Lucy is a Liuzza by birth , it is clear why she lives amid those fields, (just off Jack Liuzza Lane) on the land deeded her by her parents. She and her late husband Allen raised their children here and kept their land productive even when they took on other professional occupations.

Allen and Lucy joined the Crescent City Farmers Market shortly after it opened. The Caps (as their farm name is known) were a huge hit immediately due to  Lucy’s charming customer service and Allen’s practical sense for growing their traditional yet innovative items. Lucy’s arrangements of zinnias and lilies with her decorative okra, hibiscus buds and her legendary sunflowers have remained market favorites since those early days.  As Poppy Tooker wrote in the 2009 Crescent City Farmers Market cookbook: “Lucy and Al have built a reputation for forward thinking innovation. They were the first to try early harvested rapini and green garlic made so popular in California.”

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Lucy’s okra, used for her bouquets.

To me, the Caps are a quintessential market vendor type: growing traditional and newer South Louisiana products on a small piece of land behind their home within sight of other family members also still farming. As a matter of fact, on one of my visits to the farm years ago, Lucy told me how much she was looking forward to letting a shopper know that next Saturday that their favorite item had been planted that week and would soon be back at market. That deep awareness of specific customer likes seemed to me then (and still) to be the best illustration of the personal touch of direct marketing farming that I have come across in my site visits.

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Louisiana Floods, Update #1

Sunday update from Copper Alvarez, BREADA Executive Director:

Checking in with our Red Stick farmers and Main Street Market folks today — A lot of fields under water but most homes are okay…Keeping Louisiana and the Baton Rouge region in our prayers! 

Support the farms of Louisiana by donating to the BREADA Small Farms Fund.

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Sunday update from Hammond Farmers Market:
Hello all, from what we’ve heard all of our market family is safe and sound! We hope everyone else is faring well through this crazy time.

Our farmers are all safe, although fields, fences, and feed did not fare so well…If anyone is looking to help out, we are asking for livestock/chicken feed as one of our farms lost everything in the storm.

If you’re interested in donating feed to help our farmers out, please email us at hammondmarket@gmail.com or message us on or FB page.

Everything, no matter how small is appreciated.

-Ashton

 

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UPDATED: Darker blue shade shows areas that have a new flooding threat from back water off the Amite

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Dear Baton Rouge, New Orleans has your back

 

A Pissed-Off Tampa Chef Explains The “Farm To Fable” Controversy

Greg Baker, chef-owner of the Refinery in Tampa, Florida, is a 20-year kitchen veteran, having worked in Portland, Oregon, and Austin before opening his James Beard–nominated restaurant in 2010.

So does local matter? Yes, but that begs clarification. I buy produce from a variety of local farms, some certified organic, some with organic practices but not certified and some that are conventional but utilize best management practices. As different as they all are, I know that I am buying produce that is fresh and nutrient-dense because of the short trip from farm to my cooler, and grown in a manner that doesn’t harm the environment. This is where “sustainably grown” comes into play. Organic doesn’t mean a damn thing to me if it refers to a lemon that was organically grown in Israel and traveled halfway around the world to get to me. Nor do I give a rat’s ass if something is labeled organic but grown in a monoculture. I’ve toured Big Ag tomato farms a couple of hours south of me while visiting with the Coalition of Imokkalee Workers; the type that Barry Estabrook wrote about in Tomatoland. I found myself in what was essentially a desert of tomatoes — no border land, no birds in the sky to be seen. I asked the meaning of a segregated tomato desert and was told “that’s our organic section.” So local doesn’t necessarily imply sustainability. That doesn’t mean that sustainability doesn’t exist locally to you, but you’re probably not going to find it in Big Ag growing operations.

…So for anyone who is still with me, you’re probably wondering why I’m so fucking angry. It’s because there are real-world economic consequences to lying about sourcing. Not for the liars of course, who got caught lying and have lied more to cover their own asses. I’ve been scratching by for six years on very narrow margins, living up to what I claim, while others have rolled it in by lying to their customers. That’s one thing. But people saying that they’re okay with being lied to?

Source: A Pissed-Off Tampa Chef Explains The “Farm To Fable” Controversy – Food Republic