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Buy Fresh Buy LocalThe Buy Fresh Buy Local plan connects farmers and consumers in direct marketing. This is another excellent step in expanding the local food movement in Central Oregon.
http://www.cascadebusnews.com/news-pages/e-headlines/3371-connecting-farmers-chefs-and-local-food

Mr. Moon and his chickens on his farm.

Mr. Moon and his chickens on his farm. Photo courtesy of Thomas Osborne.

Safeway is taking a step in the right direction with its certification requirements for humanely produced eggs (see this Seattle Times article). But we’ll continue to buy our eggs from John Moon, an eightysomething farmer in Terrebonne, OR who produces free-range eggs, honey and vegetables on his farm near us.

Here in the Northwest, we love salmon and work to protect our salmon runs. Wild salmon could potentially be threatened if GMO farmed fish escape, not to mention the unknown effects on human health. The possible benefit of somewhat cheaper salmon is not worth the enormous risk. Sign this petition to let the FDA know you won’t eat genetically modified fish.

Lots of communities have restrictions on what homeowners can do. Our rural neighborhood bans poultry. In the town where I grew up, you can’t park an RV in your driveway. One homeowners’ association in nearby Bend, OR bars residents from hanging laundry to dry outdoors.
But Orlando’s law against having a sustainable vegetable garden in your front yard, reported in this interesting story in the New York Times, is the epitome of stupidity!

Sustainable Travel section of traveloregon.com

Visit the Sustainable Travel section of traveloregon.com

I love living in Oregon, and love that our state tourism agency actually has a section of its web site devoted to green travel.

The dining room at Elevation restaurant

The dining room at Elevation restaurant in Bend, OR
on the campus of Central Oregon Community College.

I really appreciate that Elevation, the restaurant operated by the Central Oregon Community College Culinary Institute, is supporting local growers and hosting farm to table dinners. Even though I couldn’t go there for dinner on my birthday yesterday as I wanted to because they were closed for a special Meet the Farmer dinner. We’re going tonight instead. Can’t wait.

Just back from Chicago after spending Mother’s Day with my mother. It was a beautiful time to visit at the Morton Arboretum. Flowering trees, shrubs, daffodils and tulips all in bloom. After the very cold spring here in Central Oregon — the coldest April in about 30 years — this was especially delightful.
Now finally it is warming up. Time to get my own garden ready.

Redbud trees in bloom, Morton Arboretum

Redbud trees are in bloom in the background, with daffodils and jonquils filling the meadow in foreground. Photo by Ed Hedborn, thanks to mortonarb.org. Go to their site to see more.


I had 15 yards of garden soil (2/3 sandy loam, 1/3 organic mushroom compost) delivered a couple of weeks ago for my planned vegetable garden expansion to create a second 20 x 20 raised plot. I’ve rented a tractor, and this weekend my friend David who knows how to drive one (he grew up in Texas, which explains a few other things about him as well, like his love of country music) is coming over to place boulders to form my plot, and fill it with the garden soil.
Meanwhile, in my original plot, this week I’m planting my cold-tolerant seeds and starts: lettuces, spinach, carrots, radishes, asparagus crowns, seed potatoes, beets, chard, and several kinds of peas.
When the soil in the new plot is warm enough (I’m investing in a soil thermometer), the more tender veggies will go there: tomatoes, eggplant, squash, beans, corn, peppers and more.

Oregon State University’s extension service, like all aspects of state government, is facing budget cuts and looking at ways to reduce expenses, including layoffs. I want efficient government as much as the next person, but cutting back a free service on which so many farmers, ranchers, growers, 4-H kids and ordinary backyard gardeners rely would be a mistake. The extension service promotes sustainability across many dimensions: conserving water, building soil health, promoting integrated pest management and reducing use of pesticides,  supporting the local food movement, and distributing research-based, scientifically proven information about how to grow crops and gardens and raise animals in ways that are good for the planet. AND IT’S ALL FREE!

The university (and state government generally) should be focused on streamlining its layers of management and bloated bureaucracy, not reducing services rendered directly to taxpayers.

This article on bendbulletin.com addresses the impact here in the High Desert.

Thanks to Slow Food High Desert, I discovered this “Nightline” segment on a family who grows all their own food, keeps chickens and goats, harnesses solar power, recycles graywater and makes their own biodiesel — all on a regular-sized suburban lot in L.A. Watch this amazing video!

Ever since reading novelist Barbara Kingsolver’s “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle,” an account of her family’s effort to eat only what is produced in their county for an entire year, I have been thinking about whether I could become a localvore. Could I live without orange juice and grapefruits? Easily! I hate citrus. Give up bananas? Not so easy. Give up coffee? Definitely not.
But I know that I CAN make a little more effort to buy food produced locally whenever I can. I live in a rural area, so it’s easier for me than for many people. I have a great vegetable garden in the summer. If I had a greenhouse, I could have lettuce and other cool-season crops year round and probably even tomatoes for five months. There is a producer of hothouse tomatoes about 20 minutes up the highway. There are a few producers of all-natural beef and pork near me. One is only two miles away. I’m already buying my organic, free-range eggs from a woman nearby. There’s a dairy in my town. A winery less than 5 miles from my house.
It’s not as convenient as stopping at the supermarket on the way home, and I might drive a little more, but I would be supporting local growers. I’m starting to build my map, to see what I can source nearby.
Check it out. Make your own!

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