Sunday, November 27, 2011

Food Justice: Hunger Banquet

“Hunger is about power. Its roots lie in inequalities in access to resources and opportunities.”
-- Oxfam Grow Campaign (
As part of this month’s Food Justice conference in Oakland, I attended Oxfam's Hunger Banquet: An Interfaith Call to Action to “experience the inequities of food resources in the Bay Area.” This event was hosted by East Bay Jewish Community Relations Council, First Unitarian Church of Oakland and California Food & Justice Coalition. When I checked in, I learned that I would assume the identity of a high-income person and was promptly escorted to be seated with other guests assuming high-income identities.

Before our meal, MC Anne Quaintance, Senior Director of Programs and Services at Meals on Wheels and member of the SF Food Security Task Force, delivered the following statistics/facts:
• ¼ of all children suffer hunger
• Malnutrition and obesity are leading causes of death
• Two-thirds of income is concentrated in the wealthiest 1% of our population
• Many live a paycheck or illness away from hunger

She continued, saying there should be a human right to food. Everyone has the same basic needs, only our circumstances are different. The Great Recession has pushed many to lower-income brackets.

In the Bay Area, we see the following income distribution and household characteristics:

27% are high-income: >$100K/yr for family of 3; many food choices; access to the best medical care and nutrition information; it’s a given that children attend school; comfortable home and security; access to everything needed

50% are middle-income: $55K-$100K/yr for family of 3; lost paycheck/illness may throw them into poverty; some savings

23% are low-income: <$55K for family of 3; everyday is a struggle to meet basic needs—work, food, home; frequently hungry; lack access to healthy foods, often forced to decide between healthy food and rent/utilities

Anne asked some guests to read their character tickets. I learned that I made partner in my law firm and earned a bonus! (I told Anne that I would be happy to donate my bonus to share the wealth!) Other guests were not so fortunate, with many facing challenges like accidents, natural disasters, sudden illness, death of a family breadwinner, unemployment, etc. so they joined the low-income guests . . . seated on the floor.

This reminder of how precarious life is . . . so we’re all vulnerable to poverty and homelessness. The 1% could easily join the 99%, so it’s really in our best interests that we all look after one another. I remember Finn telling us, as new volunteers last year, about the displacement of homeless persons who formerly occupied our site before we grew The Free Farm. Now the homeless are fenced out except for our volunteer days when we’re open to everyone. Saint Paulus Church, which has been graciously allowing us to use their space, receives offers to sell . . . so The Free Farm could end up like our homeless predecessors and Hayes Valley Farm (

Before losing our appetite, the food came out . . . First to be served were the high-income guests, seated around linen-covered round tables: grilled chicken, mashed potato, mixed green salad on each ceramic plate, with stainless steel fork and knife, sparkling cider served in plastic tumblers. Next, the middle-income guests, who were seated around plastic-covered rectangular tables, were called to stand in line to pick-up their lunch: spaghetti and tomato sauce on paper plates with plastic forks, and root beer/pomegranate soda in paper cups.Finally, the low-income guests, who were seated on the wooden floor, helped themselves to jars of peanut butter, loaves of white bread, and tap water in paper cups. No plates/utensils.

Since I was role-playing a high-income guest, I had the luxury of asking whether the chicken was free of hormones and antibiotics. As vegetarian, I actually offered my chicken to the middle-income and low-income guests. As a nutrition educator, I found the high-income meal lacking grains; the middle-income meal lacking veggies (remember, tomato is a fruit) and certain essential amino acids (grains are low in lysine and isoleucine, so vegetarians combine them with legumes or milk/eggs during the course of a day); the low-income meal also lacking in veggies (though the peanut butter sandwich was a good legume+grain protein combo).
This charming boy, with hearty appetite, seated at my table had the most balanced lunch as he ate all three meals!

In exchange for our free lunch, we were asked to reflect: What does the Hunger Banquet represent in the real world, and what can be done to change things for a more fair distribution of resources?

Since I was a tax advisor who actually worked on behalf of the 1% for several years, I’ve seen how tax policy motivates human behavior to redistribute resources: offer deductions and the 1% will give to charity and offer tax-qualified employee benefit plans! Alternatively, melancholy Scandinavians pay relatively high taxes to finance a cradle-to-grave welfare system so they seem to collectively enjoy a decent quality of life. Unfortunately, while taxes are as certain as death, I often get the MEGO (My Eyes Glaze Over) response whenever I mention taxes . . . oops, guess I better stop here or I’ll lose blog readers soon!

Anyway, our banquet ended with a Call to Action:
• Advocacy for SNAP funding:
• Volunteer at a local Food Bank: Suzan Bateson of Alameda County Community Food Bank told us that her agency serves 1 out of 6 residents, and gave out orange rubber “Hope Not Hunger” bracelets
• Volunteer at a local Garden: Barbara Finnin of City Slicker Farms talked about turning vacant lots to backyard kitchen gardens

For San Francisco, I propose the following Call to Action sites (and I have volunteered with each):
• The Free Farm (of course!)
• Community Living Campaign OMI Food Network:
• Meals on Wheels SF:
• Project Open Hand:
• SF Food Bank:

Hope to see you at The Free Farm, and we can grow veggies to feed the middle- and low-income classes at the next Hunger Banquet!

Public Service Announcements:

Wed., Nov. 30, 2011, 6-7:30 pm
Film & Discussion: "DIVE! Living off America's Waste"
Koret Auditorium, SF Main Library, 100 Larkin St., (at Grove), SF
Every year in America we throw away 96 billion pounds of food. That's 263 million pounds a day. 11 million pounds an hour. 3,000 pounds a second. Inspired by a curiosity about society's careless habit of sending food straight to landfills, the multi award-winning documentary DIVE! follows filmmaker Jeremy Seifert and friends as they dumpster dive in the back alleys and gated garbage supermarket receptacles. In the process, they salvage thousands of dollars worth of good, edible food - resulting in an eye-opening documentary that is equal parts entertainment, guerilla journalism and call to action. DIVE! has garnered critical praise while raising important questions about hunger and waste in society. This is Seifert's first film and has been warmly received by audiences across the country, winning nineteen festivals thus far, including the Boulder International, Sedona International, DC Independent, and the Green Film Festival in Seoul. Discussion following the film. This is a Stegner Environmental Center, San Francisco Green Film Festival and Green Stacks Program.

Wed., Nov. 30, 2011, 6:15-8:45 pm
How to Turn the Food Movement into a Force for Social Transformation
Hotel Shattuck Plaza, 2086 Allston Way, Berkeley
Each Rooted and Rising event begins with an intergenerational dialogue on a particular topic that will transpire between a youth leader or activist and a seasoned activist or professional. After the dialogue, we facilitate a Solutions Salon, which encourages participants to utilize each other as resources. Each will be encouraged to share with the group what they are currently working on and/or what challenges they face on a personal or professional level that pertains to the topic at hand, with opportunity to give and receive feedback and resources. In Convergence in Diversity: How to Turn the Food Movement into a Force for Social Transformation, we bring prominent figures and youth visionaries from different sectors of the food movement together to discuss ways that we can fortify one another with ideas, resources and strategies. Be sure to join us at this very special Rooted and Rising. Speakers Include: Eric Holt-Giménez, Executive Director of Food First; Hai Vo, Brower Youth Award Winner 2009; Dana Harvey, Executive Director of Mandela Marketplace; Bettina Ring, Executive Director of Bay Area Open Space Council; Tania Pulido, Brower Youth Award Winner 2011.

Thurs., Dec. 1, 2011, 7-9 pm
City Chicks, Book Event with Author Patricia Foreman
Ecology Center Store, 2530 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley.
Meet author Patricia Foreman for a discussion on chickens and how they can help city-dwellers live more sustainably. Pat's new book, "City Chicks", describes in detail how to develop your own "Chicken Have More Plan" for increased self-sufficiency. Learn how to create hyper-fertile soils to produce nutritious food from your garden. Instead of using petroleum-based products, chickens will help produce organic fertilizer and compost. They can turn yard waste into garden soil and can be employed to control weeds and pests without toxic chemicals. Chickens also perform community and civic service by diverting yard and food biomass waste from municipal trash collection.

Sun., Dec. 4, 2011, 5:30-9 pm
Label GMOs for 2012 CA Ballot Campaign Volunteer Welcome

Archstone Apartments, "Library" Room, 3rd St & Folsom St, SF
5:30 pm Non-GMO potluck; 7 pm Educational program covering basic facts and talking points around GMOs, tips for gathering signatures.
RSVP: SF Regional Co-Coordinator Liz Kroboth at
This grassroots movement of concerned consumers, farmers, businesses, food safety experts all around California are working to put an initiative on the CA 2012 ballot that would require labeling of genetically modified foods (GMOs). Learn more at

Tues., Dec. 6, 2011, 6-7:30 pm
Cultivating Food Justice: Race, Class and Sustainability
UC Berkeley, Berkeley 94720
Reception: 5:00-6:00 pm, 2nd Floor Lobby, Wurster
Lecture: 6:00-7:30 pm, Wurster Hall 112
Discussion featuring book editors Alison Hope Alkon and Julian Agyeman and chapter authors Eric Holt-Giminez, Julie Guthman, Laura-Anne Minkoff-Zern, A. Breeze Harper and Sandy Brown.

Autumn: we eat what we have sown

Back in the ol’ days when most people farmed, the season marking the transition from summer to winter was called harvest—the end of the growing season. As people moved away from farms into cities, the words autumn and fall began to replace harvest, which now refers to gathering mature crops from fields and enjoying the fruits of our labor. Any surplus produce can be stored by dehydrating, fermenting (probiotic power!) or freezing.
Friend Ruby gave me a bag of “irregular” (not sold in markets) kiwifruits (aka Chinese gooseberry, or National Fruit of People’s Republic of China) for dehydrating, which intensifies flavor

Because of our Indian summer (late September to early November), the air just didn’t feel like autumn/fall until after Daylight Savings Time ended. Now with leaves falling and a slight chill in the air, I really should discuss autumn/fall seasonal eating before winter arrives on December 22. The Free Farm was closed yesterday so I could do some catching up and share cooking photos :-)!

According to Chinese Medicine’s Five Element system, the autumn/fall season is associated with metal (element), white (color), grief (emotion), spicy/pungent (taste), lungs/large intestine (body organs), and dryness (climate).

Autumn is about balance (slowing down as we transition from busy summer and getting more rest as our days get shorter) and elimination (knowing what to let in, what to let go; give and take). Spicy/pungent foods act to disperse and move qi (energy): easing digestion, strengthening the lungs (clearing cough/phlegm), distributing energy (releasing cold) and stimulating circulation to treat qi or blood stagnation. But moderation is in order because too much spicy foods can dry out lungs and result in imbalance.

As autumn prepares us for the season of rest, our nights become longer than days and we begin our cycle of introspection. Lungs and large intestine are associated with the emotions of grief and melancholy, which are not usually expressed in wood (anger)/fire (joy-excitement) dominant American culture. However, holistic Chinese medicine (unlike the Cartesian mind-body split) views the suppression of emotions as damaging so one may manifest ill physical symptoms when out of balance with nature.

Lung dis-ease includes allergies, asthma, bronchitis, chronic cough, colds, runny nose, sinus congestion, suppressed immune system, etc. Since the grief emotion, like Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), surfaces during autumn, it should be acknowledged and expressed in constructive ways, such as cathartic bawling out (watch tear-jerker “Though nothing can turn back the hour of splendor in the grass,. . . we will grieve not, rather find strength in what remains behind” farm scene at, confiding in family and friends, journaling (got blog?), meditating, praying, singing out loud:

Apples peaches pumpkin pie
Who's afraid to holler I?
That's a game we used to play.
Hide and seek was its name.
Oh ready or not, here I come,
Gee that used to be such fun.
I always used to find a hiding place,
Times have changed.
Well I'm one step behind you, but still I can't find you.
Apple peaches pumpkin pie,
You were young and so was I.
Now that we've grown up it seems
You just keep ignoring me. . .
“Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie” lyrics by M. Irby

People who don’t express, or hold on to, grief tend to suffer from lung imbalances that weaken their energy (shallow breathing, pale skin). Rather than be burdened by grief, those who have strong lungs (deep breathing by inhaling through nose, exhaling through mouth) can release the past and maintain a balanced emotional perspective. Clear thinking is associated with healthy elimination (breathing, bowel movements).

Our lungs are the only organ in direct contact with the outside so we need to take special care. Cold can injure lungs; to stay warm and hydrated in chilly climate: eat warm soups and cooked foods (including steamed fruits).

Breakfast: ginkgo nut + 5-bean/yam/taro jook (rice porridge), steamed rice noodle (soy/hoisin/sesame/chili sauces), kale/carrot salad (Prepared by Mary Fok)
Clear up lung problems by eliminating/reducing phlegm-inducing foods like dairy, eggs, high-fat meats. Bland rice has the greatest healing effect on the large intestine because its fiber speeds up intestinal transit time, while cleansing/eliminating the colon of accumulated fat and stored up waste.

Rice dishes: apple/carrot/parsley salad, steamed zucchini, bok choy/enoki mushroom (moist stir-fry), bean sprouts/red pepper/garlic chive (dry stir-fry) (Prepared by Mary Fok)

Metal seasonal whole foods: grains (rice); vegetables (broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, mustard greens, turnip greens, onion, watercress); roots (carrot, daikon, lotus root, ginger, sweet potato, taro, turnip); beans (navy, soybeans, great northern, tofu, tempeh); fruit (apple, butternut squash, chestnuts, grapes, pears, peaches, loquat, pumpkin, tangerine); herbs (basil, bay leaf, black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, dill, fennel, garlic, horseradish, Job’s tears, licorice, nutmeg, thyme); and mushrooms!

Herbal soup: goujizi (wolfberry), dangshen (codonopsis), qianzhi (foxnut), lianzi (lotus seed), yiyi ren (Job’s tear barley), dazao (Chinese date); vegetable stock made with ginger, chestnuts, dates, mushrooms (Prepared by Mary Fok)

Chinese herbs to strengthen lungs: apricot seeds (spicy-sweet tian xingren moistens dry cough; spicy bitter ku xingren stops cough by circulating qi), astragalus, sword flower, white wood ear

Soothing steamed pear stuffed with honey + ground up sweet apricot seeds/sinkiang fritillary bulb/lily bulb/dried lotus root (Prepared by Nam Singh)
Lifestyle tips to keep lungs strong, reduce stress/grief, increase stamina and support rest/relaxation:
• Prioritize and set boundaries (just say, no thanks!) so you have time for self-care (including slow, deep breathing for energy, peace and focus) -- then later you’ll have more energy to care for others
• Let the sunshine in to stimulate production of vitamin D, replenish adrenal glands, increase serotonin levels
• Exercise gently to move qi through system – as in tai chi or gardening at The Free Farm!
• Be mindful: when in grief (as in loss), think gratitude (as in value what we have) and acceptance (as in Kubler-Ross’ grief cycle resolution)

And when the going gets rough, the tough eat well and get rest!

Taoism (“way of nature”), the basis of Chinese medicine, is about balanced living within nature—through meditation, breathing, exercise and diet. When the mythical Yellow Emperor asked how one can achieve a long and healthy life, his trusted health advisor Chi Po responded: “Observe your environment, don’t get chilled or hot, balance the emotions, remain calm, and know yourself.”

Seasons are cyclical and thus continue . . .
Winter (water, black, fear, salty, kidney/urinary bladder, cold):
Spring (wood, green, anger, sour, liver/gall bladder, wind):
Summer (fire, red, joy, bitter, heart/small intestine, heat):

In addition to the four seasons, Chinese Medicine recognizes Late Summer as a transitional season. Late summer, which is equivalent to our Indian summer, is associated with earth (element), yellow (color), worry (emotion), sweet (taste), spleen/stomach (body organs) and humidity (climate). Learn more from Briahn Kelly-Brennan’s Everyday Healing Foods (which includes Mary Fok’s cooking demos and recipes) at

Public Service Announcement:

November is Lung Cancer & COPD Month: Spare the Air!
Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer in both men and women in the United States. In fact, more people die from lung cancer than colon, breast and prostate cancer combined. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) – which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis – is the 3rd leading cause of death in the U.S. Learn more at

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Ready for rainwater harvesting!

Here’s a special shout out to our volunteers who are mostly unseen on this blog, which usually focuses on our Saturday volunteer days. Led by Kat of the SF Green Schoolyard Alliance’s Tap the Sky program ( and with rain barrels donated by SF Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), they began installation of our rainwater catchment system on Wednesday. Thanks to Tree for sending these action-packed photos of this memorable workshop! Rainwater system components: barrels, spigots to access water, overflow pipe, screen lid to attach to downspout, screens on all vents Kat watches Byron measure out trough Lining up rain barrels on stable, flat area snuggled up to toolshed wall Kat & Tree figure out how to set-up catchment systems using rooftops of toolshed & office
Rick & Byron install gutter to capture rainwater runoff from office roof

Putting parts together First flush diverter keeps dirty water out--carrying away most of the dust, pollen & other contaminants that settle on rooftops & collect in gutters--to ensure that we harvest only the cleanest rainwater for our edibles! Byron admires fitRain barrel size considerations:
1 inch of rain on 1000 sq ft roof collects 600 gallons of rainwater
SF averages 21 inches of rain per year (in rainy months, then drought-like from May to October)
Do the math: (1000 x .6) x 21 = 12,600 gallons/year can be collected on 1000 sq ft roof!
Installing piping to connect spigotsMaintenance
Clean gutters regularly
Check screens to make sure that they are securely in place
Flush system with vinegar/water solution once a year, before rainy season begins
Check connection points
Make sure that users are familiar with system

“It was a dark and stormy night”

Today I arrived at The Free Farm much later after running errands like getting laundry done during the break between rains. Since I missed Wednesday’s workshop, I was happy to see Kat, Tree and volunteers continuing installation of the catchment system for our office. Here are some photos taken today with overcast skies above.

Stanley & Sophie with new volunteers
John explains daisy-chained catchment system Kat & Rick set-up catchment system for office roof Tree smiles when I compliment his SF Beekeepers Association cap :-)Stanley donated this handy, foldable table to The Free Farm

In the beginning . . .

Rainwater harvesting was used throughout ancient times, but this tradition shifted when technologies to access, pump and transport secondary water sources (groundwater and surface water) were introduced 150 years ago. Instead of valuing rainwater collection, rain came to be viewed as a source of flooding that needed to be drained away through gutters and downspouts. Water expert Peter Gleick raised the specter of “peak water” at

After experiencing the scarcity of water during years of drought, it has become necessary to conserve water by returning to our traditions. California spends 20% of its energy budget on transporting water so capturing rainwater where it falls saves money. In particular, SFPUC ( has done extensive public outreach, including rain barrel give-aways, with the goal of capturing storm water before it reaches the sewer system.

Rainwater is best for growing plants

Precious rainwater is our primary source of fresh water, one of the purest sources of water (untreated with chlorine and fluoride). Rain is a natural fertilizer, containing sulfur (helps form plant amino acids), beneficial microorganisms and mineral nutrients collected from dust in air (for plant growth) and nitrogen (helps green plants). Rain’s low salt content is a superior water source for plants because soils with high salt concentrations inhibit plant growth by reducing the ability to take up water and conduct photosynthesis. Last but not least, rainwater comes to us free!

Reminder: The Free Farm will be closed next Saturday, November 26. We look forward to having you join us next month!

Public Service Announcements:

Now: Falls prevention and Chronic Disease Self-Management Programs (CDSMP)
Each year, 1 in 3 Americans aged 65+ falls, costing over $28 billion and causing about 20,000 deaths. Many of these falls can be prevented.
Chronic diseases account for 75% of our nation's health care costs, yet only 1% of health care dollars are spent on public efforts to improve health.
By providing seniors with tools to improve self-care, the CDSMP is a low-cost, evidence-based piece of the solution in the fight against rising health costs. CDSMP is a proven program that helps older adults with chronic conditions stay healthy and independent. Funding cuts will make it significantly harder for people in need to access these cost-effective and valuable healthy aging programs.
The Senate Appropriations Committee recommended that falls prevention and CDSMP each receive $10 million next year. The House did not include this recommendation. We are very concerned that the House-Senate compromise, which is being negotiated now, may not include this important funding for vulnerable seniors.
There is a great deal of pressure to reduce federal funding for programs like these, and unless key members of Congress hear from their constituents that these programs are important, the programs are in great jeopardy of being de-funded.
To take action on this issue, click on the link below:
For more information about FREE CDSMP workshops in SF, see

Fri., Nov. 25, 2011 Buy Nothing Day!
Canadian Adbusters, which brought Americans the Occupy Wall Street campaign (, reminds us to Buy Nothing on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. Instead, plant a garden! Breathe deeply and meditate: “the fruitage of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness, self-control . . . for whatever a man is sowing, this he will also reap . . . let us work what is good toward all” (Galatians 5:22; 6:7, 10)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Getup, STOP, Bee-ing & Nothingness

Welcome interns from Getup class of 2011! Stanley recruited Andrew & Kim from 2011 Getup class

Each fall, Garden For the Environment’s Gardening and Composting Educator Training Program (Getup) students attend a project planning session to hear from representatives of garden-based projects throughout the City. Last year, Stanley, Sophie and I were among the Getup students who heard about The Free Farm from Getup grad Finn and decided to dedicate our 40 hours of community service with The Free Farm. . . got hooked and still here today!

At this year’s project planning night, Stanley represented The Free Farm and recruited four interns. We were delighted to have Andrew and Kim join us today. After they complete Getup classes next month, they will rejoin us in January to commence their community outreach hours. (Getup grads can be found building the local food movement. Our very own Lauren is profiled at

STOP! In the name of love!

Margaret with Stanford STOP members Vannida, Lily & Nina, plus April from Santa Clara
Founded by Stanford students in 2006, Students Taking On Poverty (STOP) ( is a community service and campus awareness group active in the fight against poverty by focusing on hunger and homelessness. Today, they joined us in growing food to combat hunger.

Bee-ing: “Honey, honey, how you thrill me”
Beekeeper Pam, who lives in neighborhood, will begin extracting small amounts of honey, but no decision on how to distribute this limited resource to non-vegans and those older than 1 year old.

Nothingness: Yoga + Receptive Silence
Pancho and Tree would like to make yoga + receptive silence more consistent practices at The Free Farm. Apparently, these practices have been going on for sometime though I wasn’t aware until Pancho told me and I promptly reported this in our August 6 blog posting. Jet even created signs at our entrance to publicize these pre-workday activities. If anyone is interested in leading yoga + receptive silence at The Free Farm, please contact Pancho or Tree, or

T'is the season for rainwater catchment
Tree reports that we’re getting 11 rain barrels for The Free Farm! You’re welcome to join us for an installation workshop at The Free Farm during our Wednesday workday, November 16. The Free Farm break on Nov. 26
The Free Farm will be closed on Saturday, November 26. However, I plan to update this blog with postings from my participation at this past week’s Food Justice conference so stay tuned!

Greens galore

Pia cooks quince with apples, lemon peel, cinnamon & cloves

Stanley chats with neighborhood regulars

Pia discusses dental issues with dental student Andrew

Majestic magenta

Food First!
When I mentioned that I was leaving The Free Farm early to head over to the Green Festival to check out Frances Moore Lappe, volunteers asked Who?! Frances Moore Lappe’s Diet for a Small Planet (published 40 years ago!) persuaded me to adopt a plant-based diet, which uses fewer resources than animal production so more people can be fed, and is better for the environment and our health. She also founded Food First ( to “eliminate the injustices that cause hunger.”

Frances Moore Lappe talks about her latest book, EcoMind: Changing the Way We Think to Create the World We Want (

Public Service Announcement:

Sun., Nov. 13, 2011, 5:30-7:30 pm Famine Film & Oxfam Hunger Banquet
David Brower Center, 2150 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA 94704
Screening of Africa's Last Famine, a co-production of Oxfam America and LinkTV:
Sadly, World Food Day 2011 was marked by one of the worst famines in recent history. But, with the right planning and a few new ideas, it could be the last. This 22 minute film features recent stories from the Horn of Africa and beyond, and including solutions being implemented around the world to prove that hunger isn't inevitable.
Oxfam America Hunger Banquet:
Guests randomly draw tickets when they arrive that assign them to different income levels, based on the latest statistics about the number of people living in poverty. While not all guests leave with full stomachs, many will gain a new perspective on the root causes of hunger and poverty-and will feel motivated to do something to help.
Everyone on earth has the same basic needs; it is only our circumstances- where we live and the culture into which we are born-that differ. Some are born into relative prosperity and security, while millions, through no choice of their own, are born into poverty.
We are all tied to a global food system that is broken. Yet there is a strong and growing movement of individuals and organizations working to repair and improve the system. In a world facing the challenges of the current famine in East Africa, constrained land and water, and an erratic climate, one of the best ways to combat global food insecurity is to invest in farmers and remove the barriers that limit their productivity. Please join us to learn more about the issues, the solutions, and how you can help!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Occupy gardens

We gain an hour this weekend so here’s another posting :-)

Stanley sent this photo of friends at The Free Farm on their way to Occupy SF.

While on my way to the Food Justice conference in Oakland, I took these photos of inspiring artwork and gardening activities (sort of like mini versions of The Free Farm!) at Occupy SF and Occupy Oakland.