I am on vacation and want you to know there are people
tearing up lawns to grow food up here!
Love your blog,
This cheery little note and photo graced my email inbox earlier this week. I loved that my friend and regular reader had taken time to send this but more than that, I could actually feel her enthusiasm as I read it.
Jill was visiting Portland, Oregon – a city that I visited in July and certainly a food mecca. I was astounded by the opportunity to have a meal with local organic produce at every turn, markets strewn throughout the city and an unexpected barometer of food vitality being the ability to find locally brewed kombucha on tap in so many places.
Clearly in Portland, it’s about a food philosophy but elsewhere, attitudes towards food are also changing. According to the World Bank Group’s Food Price Watch released on Monday, global food prices are significantly higher today than they were a year ago. Overall prices are 33% higher than a year ago but some commodities such as corn and wheat are up 84% and 55% respectively. This has devastating consequences for the poorest and most vulnerable populations.
In other, possibly less volatile communities, food prices are driving people to plant gardens. Retail sales for gardening supplies are up 10 percent over last year’s $1.1 billion in vegetable-gardening revenue. And gardeners are not just spending more. A sampling of suppliers across the US shows that sales growth in seeds, plants and fertilizers are on track for their biggest year since 1991. According to Bruce Butterfield, market research director of the National Gardening Association,”There’s a real gardening rebound this year.”
While gardens are popping up in yards everywhere, it’s also taxing some of the rules in neighborhood associations such as the one in Michigan where Julie Bass faces up to 93 days in prison for planting well-tended garden boxes of organic produce in her front yard. If you haven’t heard her story, do check it out. The city planner says that yards should have trees, bushes and grass?
In my own neighborhood, one of our local heroes has taken the idea of making his home into a farm and is now showing others how to do so. See the Urban Farm.
Have you noticed any new gardens in your community?
Pasta with Sweet Onions and Gorgonzola
Adapted from Allrecipes.com
- 1 (16 ounce) package whole grain pasta
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 large sweet onions, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 4 ounces Gorgonzola or other favorite bleu cheese, crumbled
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes until al dente; drain.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Saute onions until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in garlic, and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in balsamic vinegar.
- In a large bowl, combine pasta, onion mixture, and Gorgonzola. Toss until evenly coated, and cheese is melted.