Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Swapping Vegetables

"Wish you could turn your excess plums into lemons, or maybe even a little cash? Use this site to find neighbors to swap with or sell your excess produce to. Or if you specialize in growing tomatoes, find neighbors who specialize in other produce and form networks to share in the variety. Even if you don't have a garden, Veggie Trader is your place for finding local food near you."

Kris at the Forge Flyer alerted us to a new site that creates a Craigslist-style listing of home-grown produce and services. Veggie Trader lets people list either items or services they have to offer to trade for items or services they want. If you have carrots galore, you can trade them for beets. Listings are categorized in a variety of ways, including by type of fruit or vegetable, and are searchable by proximity to one's zip code. There are already listings there for herbs and other veggies to trade in 21212.

Of course, this is a fantastic idea for a service. But let us offer a word of warning: As with any site that facilitates transactions between strangers, you should approach initially with caution. First of all, you should be sure that any vegetables you acquire (particularly root vegetables) are grown in clean, toxin-free soil. You should probably visit the growing site and check it out. Is the garden bed set up next to a house with peeling paint? That's a bad sign.

For trading with your Forge neighbors, don't forget the Rodgers Forge listserv. You can connect and trade with other Forge farmers there, too!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Seeds and the future of food

Sorry, more videos. We'll stop being busy in about a week. Fortunately, there are a lot of good videos out there. This one is part of the latest crop released by TED, about the future of genetic diversity and seeds. Cary Fowler describes his work on the seed vault that recently opened in arctic Norway. I made a reference to that seed vault in an op-ed about the importance of agricultural education in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Friday, September 4, 2009

an edible schoolyard

Unfortunately, we're too busy to post real articles at the moment, so we're offering up more videos -- this time of the Edible Schoolyard projects. Lots of you are probably aware of Alice Waters and her Edible Schoolyard in the Berkeley public schools. This is important work that has been imitated across the country.

And here's a related video, from TED: Ann Cooper, talking about the importance of getting kids to understand where food comes from, which might help them eat better.

Imagine what could happen if we pursued these kinds of projects at our local schools. This could be important for the children of Rodgers Forge.