daily links::a food waste cookbook!, news on teen hunger, and more

2016-09-24

There’s a cookbook called Amazing Waste with recipes entirely devoted to cooking with scraps,leftovers,etc. I haven’t had a chance to look through the entire thing yet but this looks like the kind of cookbook I would write. Am writing. These kinds of recipes are great for food pantry users (at least my food pantry) where you might end up with produce that is not the prettiest or freshest.

The entire cookbook is available for free RIGHT HERE.

Thanks to my local food waste reduction -anti hunger group Friendship Donations Network for passing along that info.


·:   Five Questions with JoAnne Berkenkamp, Food Waste Expert and Advocate  – there’s a lot of food waste going on but it’s getting better thanks to mainstream recognition and initiatives to reduce waste


:· some new research reveals some sad information about teenagers living in homes with food insecurity  . Even if teenagers do have access to programs that give them food,they’re too worried about what their peers will think to use them openly but also they are underserved by programs like The Backpack Program, which focuses on elementary aged kids. This is something touched on before here when one of our readers was trying to develop a program for older kids.

As a result, in households where hunger was most acute, teens reported engaging in all kinds of risky behavior to obtain food, including: shoplifting food directly, selling drugs for cash and/or engaging in “transactional dating,” i.e., engaging in sexual relationships with older adults in exchange for food and money. In a few communities, some teens even viewed going to jail as a viable option to ensure regular meals. The report also revealed the degree to which hungry teens look out for each other and for their younger siblings, often forgoing meals or sharing their food with those also in need.

Here’s a summary of the full report: Impossible Choices

My teenager’s high school made school lunch available for free to ALL students, regardless of income. If high schools did that widely, this would eliminate so much of these issues. Her school also has Free Food Friday where food donations picked up from a local rescue agency is available in the school lobby for anyone to take home. My daughter very rarely gets anything because it’s completely gone by the time she has a chance to check it out. Even when she is there on time, it’s difficult to get anything. No one is shy about taking food home. Now I have to wonder why these students have no reluctance to take free food. The school is a small charter school that focuses on sustainability and social justice (nope, don’t go off on me about how awful charter schools are) . Is it just that the culture of the school is centered on taking care or others and being stewards of the earth? A lot for me to think about there. I asked my daughter what she thinks and she says it’s because the school works hard to be a safe space for everyone and “no one judges people for things like that”.


Meanwhile in my community, the school district just expanded their Fresh Snack Program to include another school so that it now serves 1,200 elementary students. The Youth Farm Project (which one of my older kids worked at and let em tell you…that’s an AMAZING program) and other local farms provide a weekly snack to be served with the intention of expanding food horizons and food accessibility. It’s awesome.

My 6 year old was very critical of the yellow watermelon mentioned in the article linked above. He spent his summer growing his own watermelon, so he’s an expert now.
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He’s a super proud watermelon farmer.  I think we actually have a couple left to harvest. I plan on making this watermelon pie. YESSSSSSSSS.

Book Review: Our School Garden!

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Our School Garden! by Rick Swann, illustrations by Christy Hale

I read a lot of gardening books. It is very rare that a gardening book gives attention to food accessibility for low income families and food banks yet here those things are in a kids book. It’s not a standard story with typical narration although it does follow one story of a boy named Michael who is feeling alone in a new city and school but finds a home and connections through the school garden. The story is told through poems and standard narration with pages that also teach other concepts. There’s a lot of good information about basic gardening (like using the example of Three Sisters Gardens to talk about companion planting) and also great inspiration.

The illustrations by Christy Hale  are wonderfully warm and engaging and show a lot of diversity that is often lacking in children’s books.

Here’s some photos I took of a few pages that give a feel of what this book is like…

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I got this copy from our local library but it’s also available at readerstoeaters.com . There’s a lot of other titles there I am SO excited to check out (a kids book about Will Allen!)

 

 

Lunchtime Links: A Commercially-Zoned Community Garden, a no-waste concept supermarket,and Women Food & Ag reporters you should know about

 

Feed Fayetteville plants community garden in downtown commercial zone | Fayetteville Flyer

There are very few community gardens that exist in commercial zones. In my local “green” city, I walk by so many commercial properties with landscaping space like this bank in Fayetteville, Arkansas that are either poorly tended or just have impractical shrubs and inedibles. Cities and businesses need to follow the Fayetteville example here.


 

 This concept supermarket has no packaged products, reduces #foodwastepsfk.com/2014/05/origin… via @PSFK

When the article refers to it as a “high end co-op” , that makes me think that it’s another concept that won’t benefit low income people.

 


“24 Women Food and Agriculture Reporters You Should Know About ” by ow.ly/x6yRV via @CivilEats

[D]oes it really matter who writes the stories, and who makes the decisions about deploying resources and presenting news? Yes, I think it does. Here’s one small example of why: Women who write are more likely, according to the study, to quote at least some women in their articles. That diversity of outlook and that range of voices are worth pursuing because it better reflects the world.

I think it matters,too.

 

Lunchtime Links: Food Stamp enrollment declining,freezing food safely…. + + +

Media preview Hey, this might be good news? Enrollment in SNAP has started to drop. (But in the back of my mind, I’m thinking about how GOP reps wanting to emulate California’s success in discouraging enrollment to many eligible low income people.… )


Five Things To Know About Freezing Foods Safely

Safe prep for freezing, safe thawing…and the freezing food things you need to know. This info comes in handy when you hit a cheap produce bounty. Sorry I can’t do more to help with freezer space. Maybe some TARDIS magic to make it bigger on the inside?


Media preview Awesome urban gardening shot by @corneliadlabaja via



Becoming a water wise gardener is . . . GardenWise! Tips on conserving water pottsmerc.com/lifestyle/2014…

I was thinking about all of you gardeners out there with water issues the other day when watering my garden. We save rain water but sometimes even that doesn’t cut it. Grateful we don’t have a water shortage and that we don’t have to pay a water bill. Here’s hoping this year isn’t too droughty or too floody for us all.

I leave you with some relevant music… This is on my Homestead Mix playlist. Came on while writing this post, so figured I should share.

Growing Power: An urban farm that grew a million pounds of food on 3 acres

I’m pretty impressed with Will Allen and his organization Growing Power.

He had a few acres of land in Milwaukee and turned it into a farm in 1993. Growing Power now consists of six greenhouses, an apiary with 14 beehives, two aquaponics hoop houses ,250 chickens, and a few dozen goats. In that space, organic and non-GMO food is grown with the idea in mind that it’s accessible and affordable for everyone. The farm also serves as an educational “idea factory” and living classroom where people can learn about acid-digestion, anaerobic digestion for food waste, bio-phyto remediation and soil health, aquaculture closed-loop systems, vermiculture, small and large scale composting, urban agriculture, permaculture, food distribution, marketing, value-added product development, youth education, community engagement, participatory leadership development, and project planning.

Not only is Growing Power proving that small farms can be productive and practical, the farm is dedicated to food justice and breaking through barriers the factory farm and food industry have created to making healthy food accessible for those with low incomes.

 via Growing Power’s Facebook page

Creating an urban garden space

An Urban Revitalization Project (click for a video!)

This was a parking lot. This is a project done by a woman who bought an old ice house and renovated it to live in, in an urban area. The garden is her own space that goes with the property but I think it’s a great example of what can come from urban spaces. There are certainly obstacles when we’re talking about converting abandoned lots and parking lots … permission from the property owner,code enforcement… yadayada…but  these things are easier to overcome when you get a few like minded people together to fight a little bit  (or a lot) for the project. I find if you emphasize, “It’s for the benefit of our community “, you get farther and gain more support.

The Farmery

Ben Greene has this idea to bring fresh,locally grown produce to the city, especially where food deserts exist. The Farmery consists of stacked shipping containers and a greenhouse in the middle. The food will be grown and sold right there in one location.

In this video, Ben breaks down how it all works
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Interior shots of the Farmery and furniture we designed for it.

Here’s another video that shows the actual concept