Out of Reach (Dec 2-8, 2009) SF Bay Guardian.
I meant to post a link to this article when it came out about two weeks ago and well…forgot. It is a really well-written article that highlights a really big concern with the food movement world-wide; how do we make good food accessible to everyone? Amyitis’ initial mission was to provide produce to Boogaloos restaurant as a reaction to this very issue. I thought, “get a restaurant employee (me) to grow local organic produce for a greasy-spoon style diner= affordable prices for priceless food, violla!” Well, for those that have been following our story here at Amyitis, you know that, while we made some waves, nothing quite worked out as planned.
Streams of resistance from many points on high lead us into the heart of this quandary when we started growing for The Corner. We started out aiming to make healthy food cheap and accessible as we thought possible (and I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but even eating out at a diner isn’t cheap anymore) but instead ended up growing exclusively for the most upscale restaurant in our fleet. Why? Well, for so many reasons, not the least of which being, menu, client volume, and product consistency, the upper-crust Corner was the only establishment truly equipped to handle the produce. We were well-intentioned but foiled. Why? Frankly, the roots of the issue go deep and touch on many different sources. The blogging world nor I are prepared (or even interested) in the type of diatribe I could go on about food, accessibility, and equal share to all parties concerned. For the record however I will suggest that the heart of this issue is that our cultural movement around food has caused us to open our hearts and minds but not always our wallets. Though a generalization, it is clear that developed nations (primarily the US) don’t value the true cost of our food, that which sustains us. Why, I ask, do we live in such a way where being a farmer is a dead-end job? Better yet, how do we change that? If we all understood and supported with our mouths and our wallets the true costs of food, what would our world look like? What would our schools look like? I want to live in a world where the local hero is the woman who grows my tomatoes and our national heros are the suits who are figuring out how to make access to good food the rule not the exception. Here at Amyitis, we are scheming for ways to bring fresh food to people who need it and pay our rent at the same time. While we don’t have all of the answers, we know the issues. Maybe with your help we can all make some headway. Read the above article and make some waves with us.
More on the Detroit urban farming movement. A video from Sara Cross:
Hoping to spend tomorrow discussing sustainable & safe food systems? Well, you have *two* intriguing events to choose from December 1st 2009.
The first promises some controversy. Our friends at Slow Food SF are organizing a panel discussion featuring panelists from both sides of the food movement aisle.
The Slow Food SF Eat In, September 2009
Starting at 6:45pm at the S.F. Public Library’s Koret Auditorium (100 Larkin & Grove) the panel will feature Douglas Gayeton (author of the book Slow: Life in a Tuscan Town), Sarah Rich, Sam Mogannam from Bi-Rite, farmer Casey Havre, chef Michelle Fuerst, and Slow Food SF’s very own Dava Guthmiller. After this spirited debate Slow Food will be hosting a book signing/exception/reception at 18 Reasons in the Mission. (Via Mary Ladd & SFoodie)
Looking to learn more about Permaculture in the Mission tomorrow? Look no further! December 1st 7-9pm Movie Night @ The Red Poppy Art House (2698 Folsom Street @ 23rd Street) will be showing the Geoff Lawton film, Introduction to Permaculture Design (What I’m sure will be) a spirited Q & A will follow the screening with Kevin Bayuk and David Cody answering your questions. Given David Stockhausen’s recent and very positive experience with Permaculture this event is too tempting for us to pass up. Hope to see you there!
Posted in Food Movement, Food Safety, local food, mission district
Tagged 18 Reasons, California, Casy Havre, Dava Guthmiller, David Cody, David Stockhausen, Douglas Gayeton, edible landscaping, Food Movement, Geoff Lawton, Kevin Bayuk, Mary Ladd, Michelle Fuerst, mission district, permaculture, permaculture sf, Sam Mogannam, SF Public Library, SFoodie, slow food, Slow Food SF
“A genderless, loose-knit association of some 300 impostors worldwide who agree their way into the fortified compounds of commerce,” The Yes Men are back with a new film and all new corporate pranks! The Yes Men, along with the Think Outside the Bottle Campaign are spreading the word that bottled water, while often making claims of health benefits, is less regulated than city water and has serious environmental consequences. Plus about 40% of it comes from the same source as tap water. (Via Huffington Post Green)
The Yes Men Change The World (see trailer below) is now playing in very select cities, and the (hilarious) 2003 film, The Yes Men can be watched via Netflix streaming. Enjoy!
Michelle Obama has proven herself to be (probably) the most powerful ally in the local food movement.
With the White House Kitchen Garden, Mrs. Obama is showing the country that the best way to change eating habits is to get out there and start digging in the ground. The vegetable garden has been a rousing success, and sparked a lot of dialogue, school field trips, TV show appearances, and apparently some really amazing yams.
Mrs. Obama has created both the White House Kitchen Garden and the White House Farmer’s Market, and she is actively striving to create a discourse regarding changing the way we eat. She commented, “I hope the garden will be an introduction to a new way for our country to think about food.” (Via Huffington Post Green.) Recent television appearances all seem part of her plan to mainstream the discussion of local, safe, and nutritious food.
Michelle Obama stopped by Sesame Street yesterday and spoke to Big Bird and Elmo about growing food and being healthy.
A White House Kitchen Garden Top Chef episode featuring Mrs. Obama is coming soon.
Plus, she really truly does have some amazing clothes, doesn’t she?
The official Kitchen Garden video:
Posted in farmers, food, food security, gardening
Tagged backyard farms, edible landscaping, education, Food Movement, Katie Conry, Kitchen Gardens, Michelle Obama, Urban Farming, White House Garden
“One doesn’t have a sense of humor. It has you” -Larry Gelbart
I don’t know who it was that said “show yourself to the world, and the world will show itself to you”. In fact, maybe it was me that said that after all….err maybe not. At any rate, this week we at Amyitis found some truth and humor to that sentiment. In this case, it wasn’t so much me who was putting myself out there as our new Amyitis team member Katie Conry. As you may remember, Katie recently joined Amyitis to spread the digital-word by helping us develop our web presence. Well, as it turns out, she’s on fire! Within a week or two we’ve seen a huge spike in blog traffic due to Katie’s management and enterprise. Last week, Katie thought it would be fun to submit a photo of me to The Huffington Post‘s “Hot Farmer” contest as a good way to reconnect with Amyitis’s fanbase and network with the farming community at large. The results that we’ve seen are both flattering and well….hilarious.
Amyitis Gardens and its apparently not-so-humble founder, yours truly, quickly found himself at #1 on the Huffington Post contest after a preliminary email blast explained the competition to our fans and supporters. Before the email I found myself at #4. Needless to say, I am flattered and amazed (especially since I didn’t think said photo exploited my best traits, my personality ;-)).
What does this mean, you ask? Well, besides having a little fun with a farmer’s ego while simultaneously exploiting terrible puns with words ‘hoes’, ‘growing’, and ‘dirty’, it could really mean a lot for Amyitis. If we win the contest, we get the chance to be guest bloggers on huffingtonpost.com plus the added benefit of increasing our web presence and fan base. We are aiming to create an Amyitis community through this blog and our farms. On a serious note, this is a really silly way to promote our burgeoning network of small farmers nation wide. Amyitis doesn’t believe in real competition within the farming community. We strive to connect and support others that are helping move our nation to a new and continually evolving food consciousness. By participating with this competition you are helping to advertise a food movement that is doing just that. We might as well have fun doing it, no? So, what are you waiting for? Stroke my ego and vote ’10′ for David Stockhausen. Your support for the food movement is just a click away.
Apparently Ready Made Magazine thinks it’s quite a bit of fun too. They have mentioned the contest and consequently Amyitis Gardens on their website at ReadyMade.Com. Why not see how far we can take this?
p.s. You may now notice the “share” widget on the top right side of the page (and at the bottom of every post). Share Amyitis with your friends on Facebook & Twitter.