Thursday, May 3, 2012

Links and Highlights: Keeping Local Overseas

Hello, friends!

In between bus rides and sea crossings, I've been catching snippets of food and farming news from my home country and home town. I don't have a proper post to share today, so let me simply pass along a few recent reads that I hope you'll find informative, too...

I wish we could all sit around at Food Group for a good catch-up and local food chat.

Miss you!

Local Produce in the Markets of Bologna, Italy 
The Worst Farm Bill Ever? by Tom Philpott
I wonder how things will shake out? Politics are such a mess. I think it's wise to be aware of what's going on at the national level and to advocate and speak up when it's reasonable. I'm also more convinced than ever that we must continue working on the local level (as local as our kitchens and grocery bags) to give support to the farms and projects dedicated to healthy foods and healthy communities.
"At a time when the public is increasingly demanding a more sustainable and healthy food production system, Congress is in the process of enshrining agribusiness as usual—pinching the pennies that go to sustainable food programs while propping up destructive agriculture tailored to the profit needs of agrichemical companies like Monsanto." (Read more here)

Washington County Irks Farming Community, Rejecting Tougher Codes for Agricultural Fills by Dana Tims
Who thought it was a good idea to dump construction debris on land that's supposed to be used for crops? Once again, development projects and farms at odds.
The board’s “no significant changes” direction to staff follows the outcry late last year from farmers and others, who were angered by what they saw as the reckless, widescale dumping of huge amounts of soils excavated as part of Intel’s new D1X plant in Hillsboro.

Over the course of only weeks, an estimated 780,000 cubic yards of soil — enough to fill 30,000 dump trucks — were scooped out of Intel’s Ronler Acres campus near Hillsboro Stadium and hauled to a number of sites elsewhere...

Opponents of the dumping alleged that the county had “fast-tracked” some applications, effectively smothering prime soils beneath non-productive subsoils and littering foundation farmland with chunks of rock and other construction debris. (Read more here)
1000 Acre Oregon Farm Passes from Father to Daughter by Eric Mortenson 
This article made me smile! My dad posted it on Facebook... Paul is a good family friend, and I grew up playing with his daughter Brenda during holiday parties at the seed cleaning plant. It will take all sorts of farmers to continue tending the land. I was excited to read that Brenda may consider growing more food crops in coming years...
"The adjustment is at hand in Oregon. Two-thirds of the state's farmers and ranchers are over 65; they outnumber farmers under 25 by 114 to one. Over the next 10 years, the Oregon Department of Agriculture estimates more than half the state's farmland will change ownership." (Read more here)

How about you? Any recent reads to recommend?

Join the conversation here or say hello over on Facebook.

These days, grocery shopping and cooking are oddly sporadic; lately I've been able to explore the local food culture in Northern Italy, but I'm not planting a garden this year or planning to preserve the season's coming harvest (I'm not able to Food Swap!), but I'm so encouraged by and grateful to the Contributing Writers who are sharing great posts here on Sustainable Food for Thought, and I hope you enjoy their words as well. Thank you for reading, and thanks for being a part of our corner of the digital world.

Hope this note finds you enjoying this season of life, wherever in the world you may be!


Sustainable Food for Thought Co-Founder & Editor
Landscape Architect & Kitchen Tinkerer
Bethany's spending 2012 fulfilling a crazy dream of traveling the world with her husband, Ted, and recounting adventures at She's asked some terrific friends and writers to continue sharing their real life, real food encouragements and experiences on Sustainable Food for Thought while away from home and kitchen comforts. Enjoy!


Charlotte Smith said...

How wonderful you are in Italy and still keeping up on local farm news!! I hope you are keeping a food/recipe journal that you may share when you return?

Bethany Rydmark said...

Thanks, Charlotte! I have all sorts of tidbits and things to bring home with me...can't wait to share with everyone back in Oregon :) In the meantime, I love reading updates from you and all the other food group gals. xx


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