Fresh Food! Support the Campaign for a Fair Farm Bill
By Tia Lebherz of Food and Water Watch
About every four years, the farm bill comes up for reauthorization by Congress. Many people – especially those living in urban areas, far away from any farm land – have never heard of the farm bill and don’t think is has anything to do with their lives. However, in reality, this is one major piece of federal legislation that everyone should be keeping an eye on.
The farm bill determines how the food we eat reaches our plate. It includes everything from nutrition programs for low income families, or SNAP (formerly food stamps), to land conservation and over 1,000 pages worth of in-betweens.
What is currently not included in the farm bill are protections that ensure fair markets for our small and mid-sized independent farmers, nor rules that prevent ever-increasing mega-mergers by big agribusiness. And that is exactly what Food & Water Watch’s Fair Farm Bill Campaign is all about.
Our current food system is broken, and it didn’t happen by accident. Decades of bad food policy designed to benefit agribusinesses and mega-farms, combined with unchecked corporate mergers, have wreaked havoc on family farmers, public health and rural communities.
Our food system is no longer working for most Americans. Most supermarket aisles do not offer good, nutritious foods as feasible shopping options. What you will find is an abundance of cheap, processed foods that are generally unhealthy, or meat from factory farms produced with antibiotics and artificial hormones and vegetables raised with pesticides that are often produced halfway around the world.
At the same time, small and medium-sized family farmers across the U.S. have been driven out of business or are barely making ends meet. Our country is losing its farming backbone because big companies set unfair prices for livestock and crops, cheating small and medium-sized farmers out of money they need to cover their costs. The companies get away with it because farmers often don’t have anywhere else to sell their products.
Corporate consolidation of our food system is pushing our small and mid-sized farmers out of business, while large companies like are making record profits.
Find out how you can get involved in leveling the playing field for us all. See below.
Thank you to everyone who voted and our special thanks to Dave Eames and the ladies of the Northeast Pre-Release Center's Horticulture Program for providing these amazing designs for the Blaine Avenue Community Garden.
In the coming months we will implement this wonderful design. Check back for our schedule of work days so you can be a part of the transformation!!!
Our incredible team of gardeners, organizers and community partners put on another great day of fun... this time on the subject of herbs. The dynamic duo of Josh Koppen and Lara Roketenetz engaged us all in creating decoupage planters to put our mini herb gardens they showed us how to plant in. We then made sachets with dried lavender flowers. Hmmm, hmmm what a wonderful fragrance that was!
Lunch was chock full of herbs. We had bread, herb butter, herb cheese, lavendar cookies, roasted potates with rosemary, tomato basil soup, lentil sprouts and salad. We also had chamomile and berry iced teas. We were full as little bunnies in the lettuce patch when we left.
As always we captured the fun for those of you who were unable to make it. Please feel free to check it all out at the link below.
Souper Saturday: Fun in the Sun and Made in the Shade! The Liveliness of the Forest Edge. April 14, 2012
City Rising Farm, our Blaine Avenue Community Gardeners, and our Hough Librarycommunity partners are presentingSouper Saturdays, aseries ofhands on workshopsfor youth and adults on the second Saturday of each month from January through June. Topics include but are not limited to agriculture, gardening, and community building and are free.
The workshops will take place at the Hough Branch of the Cleveland Public Library located at 1566 Crawford Rd., Cleveland, OH 44106.
The schedule is as follows.
10:00 am - 12:00 pm Youth session Sun and Shade at the Forest's Edge! Instructors - Josh Koppen and Lara Roketenetz Environmental Educators
12:00 - 1:00 pm Lunch Soup, bread, salad provided by City Rising Farm and the Blaine Avenue Community Gardeners
1:00 - 3:00 pm Adult session Productivity Through Diversity Drawings and discussion of productivity through diversity of micro-climates. Followed by site visit to either Vel's Purple Oasis Garden or Blaine Ave. Permaculture Garden.
Instructors - Josh Koppen and Lara Roketenetz Environmental Educators
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or 216-376-3640 so that we can be sure that we have enough supplies for all who would like to attend.
Our emerging Leaders had lots of fun creating posters promoting our February Souper Saturday!
Ms. Foster one of the Blaine Avenue Community Gardeners and Ms. Spivey, the Hough Youth Librarian engaged 24 youth aged 4 - 14 in this fun activity.
I was so pleased to watch these young people bring their own experiences into play when creating their posters. I can't wait until the weather breaks and we can see their creativity in the garden! For now please enjoy their work at the link below.