April 28, 2010 Comments Off on Cost Comparison: Asparagus
Asparagus from Harris Teeter $3.99/Ib
Asparagus from City Market $5.00/Ib
Asparagus from local Grocer $4.69/Ib
Organic Frozen Asparagus spears 10 oz. $3.69
I don’t have any fantastic food for thought on this one. The local asparagus is a little bit more expensive, but I am hoping it goes down a little a it comes into season more so I can buy bulk and then blanch and freeze it for later in the season. The one thing I can say about all the produce, asparagus included is that it last so much longer than the stuff that I used to buy at the grocery store because there is less time between when it was harvested
April 25, 2010 § 1 Comment
At 8 yesterday morning my boyfriend walks into my bedroom and asks me if I want to go to the city market, I hear the rain, mumbled something, and rolled over back into a blissful sleepy time place. Thus blowing my chance to get a bunch of cheap local food for the week. I am pretty lucky because I am banking on the fact there are other resources. I am hoping the satellite markets are opening this week and I am probably going to have to rely on the life saver that is Relay Foods for a bigger order. I then proceeded to go run errands and stop at one of my favorite burger places where I partook in the consumption of a DOUBLE cheeseburger, that was not only delicious but convenient too. Here in lies the problem of the industrial food complex, it is way way way more convenient than local and sustainable food, and unless things change it always will be. Local food won’t become mainstream until it becomes easier for the consumer. It is very similar to what went on with organic products, their loyal customer base grew and grew and grew, but it wasn’t until large chains started carrying organic products that a whole new demographic made organic choices, because buying a whole flat of Stonyfield Yogurt at Sam’s is just as easy and cost efficient as buying a flat of Yoplait. However the problem is that this model won’t work for local food, because these large chains are a big part of the industrial food complex and something that the local food movement at it’s core, is against. The fact that large industry has in the past played such a key role in the success of food movements and food products is why the costly part of the local food movement is actually establishing strong local food systems that can serve communities; because each community has to tailor its own system to fit their resources and needs to make it work. So in order for people to commit to eating local the community that they live in has to do it first. If you think about it, this role of the community makes perfect sense, because supporting local community members in selling food to other local community members, keeps money in the local economy, and lots of people benefit from that. I will be the first to admit it’s no easy feat to change the way an individual eats not to mention an entire community but it is possible, and by combating convenience it will in turn combat price. Communities can take small and large steps to increase convenience and local food consumption in their community.
Increase the places where local food is sold by:
* Creating a variety of farmers markets spread throughout the week . I would be ideal to have a market or many markets that are available everyday, like a grocery store. In medium to large communities it helps to have multiple locations to increase access.
* Create partnerships and incentives for small grocers to carry food from local farms.
*Create resource for local food to be sourced by restaurants, here in Charlottesville we have something called the local food hub, which dedicates a large portion of its time to coordinating and delivering local food to many of the area restaurants, making it no harder for the restaurants to serve local food than it is to serve things off a cysco truck.
* Create a network of local farms and consumers so community members could easily identify the local resources they have.
Increase access to local food for ALL community members.
It’s a sad fact that the poorest members of a community often have the least resources to fresh food, many do not even have a real grocery store in their neighborhood. It is important to think about increasing access to local food for low income citizens when building a local food system. This could be accomplished by ensuring that there is a market or vendor within reasonable distances to low income neighborhoods that is selling their products at a reasonable price(because gauging low income people for convenience is NOT a solution.) Public transportation should include markets in its plan, providing ways to actually get to the market. Vendors should have the resources to and be encouraged to take forms government assistance like EBT cards and food stamps.
April 23, 2010 Comments Off on Scenes from the Roof
Last time I went to the doctor, I was complaining about how tired I was , so he tested my thyroid and came back with this answer ” you’re fine, it’s just the pace of life.” The doctor was right, life is fast. The thing I love about photography is that the process literally stops time and it’s the quiet of it all that really makes it something that is close to my heart. The thing I love about gardens , is they are always perfect subjects, they never wine or complain, they have dynamic shapes and colors, they are pretty, and you can’t really go wrong with a picture of a flower, because people like flowers, it’s true.
April 23, 2010 Comments Off on Friday Garden Lust
I’m always surprised when I actually make to Friday because every Monday I have to have a long internal dialogue about why I should get up and go to work. But Friday is here again so let us commence with the lusting.
This week I found the really awesome glass shades from Schoolhouse Electric These shades are my favorite thing on the site but they have a ton of vintage looking lighting solutions that are pretty lust worthy themselves.
I walk by this $5 serving tray every time I am in Ikea, telling myself “Jessica you don’t need one MORE $5 thing,” this only happens because the tray is always at the end of my Ikea journey instead of the beginning. It has popped up in a couple places on the web this week and it reminded how much I actually like it. So lust with me after cheap Swedish wares.
I am limited with my gardening because everything I plant has to be in a pot and tolerate full sun. So I can only dream of delicious Shitake mushrooms that I grow myself. Especially since I have not quite reached a point where I want to hide garden things in my closet.
Just this week I have fallen in love with Foxglove, but I already have too many seeds starting(that probably shouldn’t be in pots) and foxglove grow a little too tall to grow safely in pots.
They have so much personality and they have an added bonus of being a biennial. AND they look pretty fancy and dignified in vase. These are from a great design blog Design*Sponge. Who would be happy waking up to a vase full of these?
April 22, 2010 Comments Off on How Does Your Garden Grow? Well With a Little Hint of Neurosis.
I don’t think it is any big surprise that my garden is getting a little out of control, since I started it I have added around 7 pots. As a result I have sworn off gardening this weekend, mostly because I am fast burning a hole in my wallet and I am trying to practice some kind of restraint. I also haven’t bought anything to efficiently water the plants, hence the trash cans/bins full of water in the background, are they green?Yes. Classy? Always. Make sure not to miss the pictures at the end of the post because they are more better than the pictures on the top of the post.
All the leafy greens that I planted earlier this spring really crapped out. I’m pretty sure it was a combination of a heat snap a few days in early April, no mulch, and being crowded. Although even though the plants failed, they are getting ready to bolt, and I am hoping to collect the seeds and try again in the fall. The garden is the only place I can manage to have consistent optimism because I know that plants are way more resilient than me, and they have no one to yell at when their hormones go all funky , which I think helps the garden as a whole.
Plus I am super excited about all the other stuff going on in the garden. The taters’ are coming and will soon need more dirt thrown on top of them. Again I am fighting my impulses and not freaking out about needing a bigger pot.
And wait there’s more! Strawberries are so close to being in my mouth, nasturtium seeds are popping up AND flowers are blooming (attracting bees which have all been named Hector.)
April 20, 2010 Comments Off on April GGW Photo Contest Entry
In my recent trip to the National Botanical Garden I fell in love with this asparagus, so much so that I posted two pictures of in my posts of my trip. So it was rather fortuitous when Gardening Gone Wild’s photo contest theme was green world, because now I get to show it to you all just one more time(with a little more pop) this time around.