Monday, February 25, 2008

Farms, Gardening, Laws and Civic Action

Here's local and national things you can do to improve your personal food supply.

1. The Farm Bill is a massive domestic spending program that does both good and bad. Besides supporting unsustainable corporate mega-mono-fossil-fueled-unorganic-agribusiness with subsidies that keep the price of processed foods artificially low, it also funds a small cozy program known as the Community Food Project. The CFP's goal is to "help ensure that low income people have access to good, fresh food, that communities are feeding their people well, and that family farmers are able to find markets for their products." This program is in danger of being axed from the Farm Bill. Everyone should have access to excellent, healthy food. That's a given, once you think about it. But our political representatives need to hear it from us. So. About those calls. Please take three minutes and call your House of Representatives member and both Senators and tell them two things:
  • Tell them that you are very concerned that continued CFP funding is in jeopardy in the Farm Bill.
  • For the Senators, please thank them for the Senate's support, and ask them to make sure the final bill contains $10 million in mandatory funding.
  • Urge your Representatives to contact conference committee leaders to make sure that $10 million in mandatory funding is included in the final version of the bill. If your Representative is a Democrat, have him/her call Chairman Peterson; if your Representative is a Republican, have him contact Rep. Goodlatte.
Here's the number of the Congressional switchboard: 202-224-3121. Remember, this is only a start. Imagine if our Farm Bill looked like this!

2. Locally, Silver Lake Farms is offering organic gardening courses for the month of March. There are a number of interesting courses I am eager to signup for:

Organic Gardening: Introduction

The Stuff of Life: Composting & Vermicomposting

"Dine From The Harvest" with Chef Matthew Roberts

Everyone Learns in the Garden - a class for children, moms & dads

Start an Organic Kitchen Garden with Marta Teegen of HOMEGROWN

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