July 21, 2008
According to The Mildweed, USDA says that the 2008 winter wheat crop is impaired, compared to 20-year historic data. (photo via www.freefoto.com) Because of severe drought and flooding, only 45% of this year's crop is rated good or excellent. Because an increasing number of countries are prohibiting exports or imposing tariffs on food exports, the world cannot afford a bad U.S. wheat crop this year. You might have noticed that GardenSnob is a little obsessed with wheat and other food supplies. We have been called "horders", paranoid, even murderers (um, think pigs) and I suppose it's true. However, everyone has seen those haunting bread line pictures from the depression (and from yesterday in other parts of the world) and it would be foolish not to consider this a real possibility, given the current state of affairs. We at GardenSnob are paranoid horders and would much prefer to be dining on potatoes au gratin from our stash in the basement instead of waiting in a line for some dry bread made from genetically altered wheat. More realistically, we would like to slurp on a juicy tomato from our own backyard rather than spend a few days in the hospital pumped up on antibiotics after contracting salmonella from a tomato from who knows where. To that end, we say stock your pantry, put your 2-week emergency kit together, and get to know your local farmers.
It might seem a little crazy to plant wheat in your yard, but the Hungry Ghost Bakery in Northampton, MA doesn't think so. (photo via Caleb Kenna/Boston Globe) To promote community awareness about locally grown food, they have been handing out wheat berries this spring and encouraging customers to plant a 10'x10' plot of wheat in their front yard. Later in the summer, these plots will be harvested by hand. Two nearby farms are growing spelt and rye for them and they are also looking for an heirloom variety of wheat that will grow well in the area. (news item via Acres, USA, The Voice of Eco-Agriculture)
July 20, 2008
This article by Keith Good of FarmPolicy.com, summarizes a week's worth of news on the global food crisis and international food trade. By limiting imports and growing more food of their own, many countries are getting serious about feeding their people. GardenSnob thinks this is a great idea. Stay tuned for coverage on our own experimental wheat plot. For more articles like this one, subscribe to www.organicconsumers.org.
June 16, 2008
Fiskars Project Orange Thumb has announced their 2008 Community Garden Grant Recipients. That's right Fiskars is paying people to garden - or sponsoring them really. Each selected garden receives $1,500 worth of the latest Fiskars garden tools, and $800 for green goods. Grant recipients were chosen from over 500 applicants through a unique selection process, and individuals were asked to express their passion for gardening through music, art, and photography, along with their thoughts on the positive impacts of community gardening and their plans to manage and improve current and proposed garden sites. Check out the link below to read not only about the winners, but also about the garden's themselves.
At Fiskars - Exceptional Gardens