May 28, 2010

Too early to think about 2012? Not really--Farm Bill discussion happening now.

Prior to 2008 our agricultural policies and practices were already recognized as problematic and in need of change. Farm Bill 2008 presented an opportunity of fix some things but resulted in more of the same. It turned out to be good for agribusiness and processed food, but came up seriously short for small farmers, communities, and real food. The next Farm Bill comes up for vote in 2012 so the House Committee on Agriculture is soliciting feedback and collecting information right now. Go to Slow Food USA for a bit of information and submit your comments to the HCA, if you choose.

The Food Bill is complicated and impacts our lives in ways I had never imagined. It sounds so pastoral and innocuous, but it is actually industrial and has had far reaching effects on everything from school lunch to the environment to African farmers. Author Daniel Imhoff demystifies it nicely in Food Fight: The Citizen's Guide to a Food and Farm Bill. If you want to read it for free ('cause you already paid for it with your taxes) a copy is available at the library. Take an insider tip and search the catalog by author to get around the faulty catalog record.

Here's what I submitted.  I put it together in about 5 minutes so it's brief, but cut and paste all you want.

May 21, 2010

Soil, fertility, compost and cold-weather gardening class in Truckee

If you garden you know the most important thing you do is take care of the soil. In this region adding compost is vital.  Craig Witt of Full Circle Compost cooks fantastic compost!  We add a truckload to our garden every year because even though we make our own compost it isn't as nutritious as his, and we need more than we can make on our golf-course property (tiny lot and huge list of rules).  Here's a chance to learn about composting and gardening from another area expert.

From my mailbox to you:

This class will be presented by Full Circle Compost from Carson City

When: Saturday, May 22 at 2:00 pm

Place: Truckee Community Garden, Truckee River Regional Park, 10500 Brockway Road (behind the playground)

Cost: $10:00. Each attendee will receive a bag of Full Circle garden soil.

Brought to you by Slow Food Lake Tahoe.

May 20, 2010

Master Gardeners Plant Faire happens this weekend, Saturday May 22nd

The annual Master Gardener Plant Fair happens this weekend! In an earlier post I talked about the benefits of including locally grown plants in your garden, and this event is the perfect opportunity to buy some if you’re not inclined to grow your own.

This is the time of year Northern Nevada gardeners really start getting geared up to plant. Even if the sunny places in our houses are already filled with starts, we still feel the need to buy other varieties. Those of us who plant strictly purchased plants flock to the nurseries and hardware stores, and impulse-buy tomatoes at the supermarket. But going to the Plant Fair is way more fun than that!

May 19, 2010

The Feds want to "protect" our food supply

My first reaction to this piece of news was anger, which enticed me to go off on a sarcastic rant referencing the benefits of government regulation in the finance and oil industry. But I’ll control myself and try to present accurate information relatively free of my own baggage, so here goes…

May 14, 2010

It's Northern Nevada - snowed last week, tomato plants next week

I know it snowed earlier this week but still, in Northern Nevada it’s time to get ready to plant those heat loving vegetable plants. Plant when the snow is off Peavine, on or after Memorial Day, or after June 10th -- pick the tradition that works for you.

If you don’t grow your own transplants then you probably buy them. And likely from a big-box store - but we have better options.

May 6, 2010

Get ready to plant your own local food - River School organic gardening workshop

Tom Stille at the River School puts these organic gardening classes on every year and they're not to be missed if you want to learn to grow your own local food in this region.  This weekend he'll cover irrigation and water conservation.  RSVP, bring $20, and get ready for the planting workshop scheduled for May 22nd. And, if the weather prediction holds, Saturday will be a perfect day to be outside.

                                                                                     Saturday, May 8 at 9:00am to 12:00pm       Map

(Pic - April 2010, our organic heirloom tomato transplants)

May 5, 2010

First Tractors and Truffles event tears it up in Fallon

From my mailbox to you...

Tractors & Truffles Showcases Nevada Agriculture & Arts

Fallon celebrated its inaugural small farm agriculture and arts event Tractors & Truffles on Saturday, April 24, with a sold-out crowd who were treated to farm tours, wine tasting, gourmet dinner and a performance by country blues artist Rory Block.

The event showcased the small farm agriculture industry that is alive and thriving in Northern Nevada. Guests toured two Nevada farms and feasted on a lunch and four-course gourmet dinner prepared almost entirely from Nevada-grown foods.