the "Buying food from within 200 miles" letters archive.

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. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . bottom set. They all open in a second browser window)


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From ???@??? Sat Mar 13 06:44:27 1999
	 from wavetech.net (pm-3-065.dynam.WaveTech.net [206.146.145.66])
	by riptide.wavetech.net (8.9.0/8.9.0) with ESMTP id LAA10129
	for ; Fri, 12 Mar 1999 11:00:13 -0600 (CST)
Date: Fri, 12 Mar 1999 10:54:34 -0600
Message-ID: <36E946C9.EC5F1A7E@wavetech.net>
References: <19990312063013.GSTS4@localHost>
From: Betsy Barnum 
Organization: Great River Earth Institute
To: positive-futures@igc.org
Subject: Re: [pf] Organic - what does it mean?

Jill wrote:

> >  and that if it is a choice between lucrative mainstream labeling
> >that lowers the meaning of the term so that it means almost nothing, and
> >growing food healthily and sustainably, then we need to choose the latter.

And Stan King replied:

>  All I'm suggesting is that there are alternatives other than the
> two you proposed (if I understand your statement correctly).
> We can have organic standards and labeling that do mean something.
[Betsy:]
We do seem to have organic standards that mean something now--with the system that is currently in place. But it does seem, with what the USDA is continuing to propose regarding national organic standards that would make all other existing certification programs illegal, that it might indeed come down to these two choices--a meaningless label that says "USDA organic" or knowing the farmer and her practices.

After the public outcry last year, we know that, at least for now, the USDA organic label won't include genetically tampered foods, sewage sludge on fields, or irradiation of food. But many other objectionable practices were also contained in the proposal, and as far as I know most of the rest of them are still being considered. If the USDA organic label allows things like factory farming for cattle, a certain percentage of chemicals used, non-organic feed and antibiotics for animals, and especially if the rules continue to completely ignore the idea of ecosystem health or caring for the land long-term, then that label will be meaningless in my view. I would then have to rely on knowing the local farmers and their methods to make sure my food was being grown with the health of people and the Earth in mind.

We can have organic standards and labeling that do mean something, but only if the USDA listens to the people who grow and eat organic food, and not to the agribusiness corporations that want to maintain control of the food supply their way.

> I'll restate my example: the California organic law has been
> successful in 1) defining what constitutes organic 2) giving
> food buyers the information they need to make an informed
> decision. 3) Substantially increasing the amount of pesticide/herbicide
> free food in California.
This is great for the people in California. As I understand it, there are something like 40 or 50 different organizations and states that certify organic food right now. California's organic law is one of the most highly-regarded certifications around. I see it on many things that are available in the co-ops here in Minnesota.

But if we are going to move toward regional food production and distribution, every state or region will need its own certification or standards. A national set of standards is, in my opinion, probably not only impossible (given how the USDA is approaching it) but unnecessary. Food being shipped an average of 1,400 miles to our tables is a situation that simply can't continue. It's not sustainable. In a regionally-based food system, national standards would be irrelevant. And, I still think it's ideal for everyone, and I mean *everyone*, in cities to have some relationship to the land and to how and where their food is grown. This is far away now, but I think it is not at all unrealistic in a society where people grow much of their own food and get the rest from within 50-200 miles of their home.

Betsy
--
Betsy Barnum
bbarnum@wavetech.net
http://www.reocities.com/RainForest/1624

**************************************
"And I think in this empty world there was room for me and a mountain lion.
And I think in the world beyond, how easily we might spare a million or two of
humans And never miss them.
Yet what a gap in the world, the missing white frost-face of that slim yellow
mountain lion."
        --D.H. Lawrence

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From ???@??? Mon Mar 15 05:44:16 1999
	 by pm2.124.igg-tx.net with Microsoft Mail id <01BE6DA4.B107DFE0@pm2.124.igg-tx.net>; Sat, 13 Mar 1999 22:56:12 -0600
Date: Sat, 13 Mar 1999 22:55:10 -0600
From: Jodi Hickcox/David Williiamson 
Message-ID: <01BE6DA4.B107DFE0@pm2.124.igg-tx.net>
Subject: [pf] 200miles
To: "positive-futures@igc.org" 
Dear Betsy.
How can people in desert or mountainous areas get food year round from thier own 200 mile radius. I assume you mean food grown locally and prepared or preserved, canned frozen or whatever-still locally. . Are you suggesting the snowy winter states have food that only their area grows? That Michigan can't have Texas or Florida citrus fruits? ever?
I'm not sure if that sounds like a giant step backward. the beauty of living in a big nation is partly the commerce between regions, each area marketing what others dont have.
I used to live in fruit growing southern Michigan. If we couldn't sell our fruit to out of area buyers, waht would we do wiht it , let it rot? If one likes grapes ought one move to a sandy soil area and get a job there?
What do I get to eat in Houston? /Santa Fe / Chicago?
Has any one a guide to what grows where and not at all elsewhere?
I hate to say it out loud in black& white, but this 200 mile idea, to bolster sustainability, would logically have to include, shoes, cars, paper products, and what else????? Its not just food that moves more than 200 miles to reach consumers.

Kids & adults in Kentucky love the grape juice & jelly from our concord grapes. should they not have access to it? Or do you think co-oping the processing of fruits & veggies (for the farmers profits instead of corporations) is reasonable to keep profits out of middlemans hands?

"Marionettes are everything to me; they are my mother, my world, my bank, my egg and my chick." -- Yaya Coulibaly 

Jodi Hickcox

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From ???@??? Mon Mar 15 05:44:34 1999
	 from kc-ent-16.itol.com (kc-ent-16.itol.com [209.83.59.25])
	by admin.itol.com (8.9.3/8.9.3) with SMTP id GAA14030
	for ; Sun, 14 Mar 1999 06:39:18 -0600
Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 06:39:18 -0600
From: Jill Taylor Bussiere 
Message-Id: <199903141239.GAA14030@admin.itol.com>
Subject: Re: [pf] 200miles
To: positive-futures@igc.org
Jodi,
I think that is the most unresolved issure of bioregionalism - does this sustainability thing mean I can't have oranges for breakfast?
. . . Maybe we could just concentrate on getting things there in a more sustainable way - what are the most sustainable ways of transportation? We could just be careful with that aspect just like with everything else. So we could get into a sustainability checklist labeling sort of process? With eventually the label taking up the whole surface of the product.
. . . ___Paper on this label from a sustainably grown forest
. . . ___This product shipped by sustainable means
. . . ___This product grown on a sustainable farm
. . . ___This label printed with soy ink
. . . ___This product biodegradable
. . . ___etc. Or maybe symbols for each, like the cute little irradiation symbol (just being facetious about that). Twenty thousand years ago, sea shells from the Peruvian coast were traded into the North American continent - and red pigment from eastern Canada throughout the continents, so it's not a new idea- this trading from region to region.
. . . Jill
At 10:55 PM 3/13/99 -0600, Jodi wrote:
>Dear Betsy.
>How can people in desert or mountainous areas get food year round from
thier own 200 mile radius. I assume you mean food grown locally and prepared
or preserved, canned frozen or whatever-still locally. .  Are you suggesting
the snowy winter states have food that only their area grows? That Michigan
cant have Texas or Florida citrus fruits? ever? 
>I'm not sure if that sounds like a giant step backward. the beauty of
living in a big nation is partly the commerce between regions, each area
marketing what others dont have. 
>I used to live in fruit growing southern Michigan. If we couldn't sell our
fruit to out of area buyers, waht would we do wiht it , let it rot? If one
likes grapes ought one move to a sandy soil area and get a job there?
>What do I get to eat in Houston? /Santa Fe / Chicago?
>Has any one a guide to what grows where and not at all elsewhere?
>I hate to say it out loud in black& white, but this 200 mile idea, to
bolster sustainability, would logically have to include, shoes, cars, paper
products, and what else????? Its not just food that moves more than 200
miles to reach consumers.
>
>Kids & adults in Kentucky love the grape juice & jelly from our concord
grapes. 
>should they not have access to it? Or do you think co-oping the processing
of fruits & veggies (for the farmers profits instead of corporations) is
reasonable to keep profits out of middlemans hands?
>
>"Marionettes are everything to me; they are my mother, my world, my bank,
my egg and my chick." -- Yaya Coulibaly 
>
>Jodi Hickcox
>

Jill 
Wi zone 4-5

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From ???@??? Mon Mar 15 07:07:34 1999
	 (from gordonse@localhost) by shell.one.net (8.8.7/AD2000) id MAA32398;

Date: 	Sun, 14 Mar 1999 12:52:19 -0500 (EST)
From: Sharon Gordon 
Message-Id: <199903141752.MAA32398@shell.one.net>
Subject: [pf] 200 miles & ideas on growing your own complete diet
To: positive-futures@igc.org
Obtaining food from within 200 miles sounds to some people as though it might be restricting what they can eat. If it feels too restrictive, try setting some intermediate goals. For instance choose a goal such as getting 50 percent of your food from within 200 miles. Then gradually increase the percentage. Most people will want to have a few things which are difficult to grow in most areas. Favorite foods that come to mind are cinnamon, coffee, tea, and chocolate.

Some people will want to grow as much of their food as possible. Others might want to join an established CSA. Others might want to get together with other people to hire a local farmer to grow their family's food.

If you want to grow most or all of your food, how can you do it?

Taking your growing climate into consideration, what crops will give you good nutrition? Which produce lots of food in a small area? Using a nutrition book or computer program, how much would you need of each food per day for complete nutrition? If you like as many things as possible to be fresh, you may want to design different gardens for different seasons to answer this question. In this process there are two ways of thinking for the approach to design. One is to design a plan based on your favorite foods. Another is to design a plan for the smallest amount of space needed to grow a basic healthy diet in your climate. The favorite foods aren't usually the most efficient for a particular area. Most people combine the approaches. However I would suggest that if you want to make a radical change in your diet, try buying it from the grocery store for a month and see if you like it enough to eat it consistently. It's easier to be succesful if you start a garden that is close to your preferred current diet and then change it over the seasons to be more efficient. It takes time to find and try new recipes for the new combinations of food to determine what you like.

The best way to get the most food in a given unit of land is to grow it biointensively. In this method the plants grow in beds with their leaves touching rather than in long rows. This shades out weeds and makes best use of compost-fertilizer and water. The difference in yields is quite amazing. For instance using the regular US row methods, you can get about 10 pounds out of 100 square feet of ground. With biointensive methods a beginner could expect 32 pounds out of the same area, and a more experienced person about 72 pounds. With about 7 years of developing the ground and your own skills, you could get around 108 pounds. As an experienced gardener, I can usually get the medium levels within the first year or two in a new garden. So far I have rarely lived at a place long enough to get the top yields across the board, though usually at least a few things will do that well.

There are two main ways to create a biointensive bed.. One is to double dig it and incorporate compost. Another is to raise it with a good soil mix. Both ways benefit from growing fertilizer crops to add to the soil. Both of these methods only require a shovel, preferably a D-handled shovel. So they are low in tool use needs.

Once you have figured out what you need to grow, calculate how much you need of each crop to meet your nutritional needs. Then plan when you need to start plants and transplant them so that they will be ready at an appropriate time. Also consider how your garden might fit into your overall yard plan. Look at some books on permaculture to consider as many aspects as possible for making your yard a healthy productive climate.

When choosing varieties, consider yield, taste, disease resistance, keeping qualities and whether the crop is ripe all at once or spread out over time. For instance, if you want some cucumbers for pickles and some for salads, you might plant one type that is ready in a short period of time for pickles and some that ripen over a long time period for eating fresh. In some cases, you may want to plant early, midseason, and late varieties of a crop to get this span of harvest. Cabbages work well with this strategy and some seed companies now sell a cabbage mix to help with this. In other cases, such as with radishes you can stagger the initial planting.

Consider also whether you would like to grow your own seeds rather than buying them all new each year. If so choose open pollinated rather than hybrid varieties. (You can, however, grow most hybrids out to a stable form of the hybrid if you would like to experiment for several years.) One advantage to saving your own seeds is that you develop a strain that is suited to your area. There are organizations devoted to saving and exchanging open pollinated heirloom seeds such as Seed Savers Exchange(SSE). SSE has been so successful that there are now more different op varities offered by SSE than by all the rest of the US seed companies combined.

Once you have the basic foods growing well, consider growing other things that you would like, perhaps your own grapes for vinegar or wine, plants for baskets or paper, aromatic wood for grilling, bamboo(contain it!) for trellises or furniture and seeds to press for oil. A small plot of medicinal herbs can meet many usual household needs. There are people working now to get the wheat yields up to 26 pounds for 100 square feet. At this rate a person could have a loaf of bread every week for six months from one growing bed. Freshly ground grain in fresh bread...and maybe some fresh oregano from your herb garden with flecks of sundried tomatoes and fresh garlic perfuming the bread...sounds good doesn't it?

In planning your garden time table, consider how much you want to have fresh and how much preserved in some way. In general the more you can have fresh, the more nutrients you get. Also it's less work and fewer resources are used. By having most food fresh, you also avoid those crunch times caused by needing to preserve a large harvest at once.

Season extenders such as cold frames are the most efficient. Green houses and row covers help too. Solar operated greenhouses or alpine houses use a little more in terms of resources, but can be used off the grid efficiently.

To preserve your harvest, solar drying is very efficient. Canning, freezing, and root cellars work well too. Have a back up plan if your freezer is completely dependant on electricity from the grid though.

In addition to the benefits to your health, your finances, and the environment from growing what you need, it's also great fun to go out into the garden and choose ripe foods and design a meal around them. Traditional favorites of salad, strirfry, and soup can be made from whatever is available on a day. But try some different things as well. Fresh corn on the cob for breakfast is a delight. I much prefer an ear or two of corn to a bowl of cornflakes. You may make other similar discoveries.

 Sharon
 gordonse@one.net
 

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From ???@??? Mon Mar 15 09:30:45 1999
	by shell.one.net (8.8.7/AD2000) id NAA00012 for positive-futures@igc.org; Sun, 14 Mar 1999 13:09:25 -0500
Date: 	Sun, 14 Mar 1999 13:09:24 -0500 (EST)
From: Sharon Gordon 
Message-Id: <199903141809.NAA00012@shell.one.net>
Subject: [pf] 200 miles/garden/yield data
To: positive-futures@igc.org
The yield data in my previous post about gardening was for green beans:
10 pounds for regular US row methods, and 30, 72, and 108 for biointensive at improving levels of experience and soil fertility. Usually, you can get at least 3 times the yield at a medium level of biointensive gardening compared to average US yields. Ten times as much as average seems to be the top yield at the present.
Sharon
gordonse@one.net

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From ???@??? Fri Mar 19 13:27:20 1999
Date: Fri, 19 Mar 1999 13:27:20 -0600
From: Betsy Barnum 
Message-ID: <36F2A518.7184B3A0@wavetech.net>
Organization: Great River Earth Institute
References: <01BE6DA4.B107DFE0@pm2.124.igg-tx.net>
To: "positive-futures@igc.org" 
Subject: Re: [pf] 200miles

Jodi Hickcox/David Williiamson wrote:
> How can people in desert or mountainous areas get food year round from 
their own 200 mile radius. I assume you mean food grown locally and prepared 
or preserved, canned frozen or whatever-still locally.  Are you suggesting 
the snowy winter states have food that only their area grows? That Michigan 
can't have Texas or Florida citrus fruits? ever?
[Betsy Barnum:]
I'm suggesting that sustainable food production can't be achieved when food is being transported long distances as a regular practice. As a practical matter, I think this does imply that people eat food that can be produced in the region where they live.

This could well mean a significant change in diet. What Cuba has done to make itself sustainable agriculturally is a model that shows it not only is possible but that it is much better than the chemically-intensive and import/export-based food economy that we have now and that Cuba used to have. When the Soviet Union fell apart in 1989, Cuba lost its main trading partner. It had one of the most chemical-based and high-tech farming systems in Latin America--but it could no longer get pesticides and fertilizers, gas and parts for farm machinery, nor could it sell its sugar, the main export crop. Since people could not live on sugar, it became necessary for Cuba to return to a farming system designed to feed the people, not primarily to trade.

The people garden throughout the city, in yards, in street medians, in parks, on the grounds of schools, retirement homes and other institutions, growing vegetables and especially the root vegetables that were staple foods for centuries in Cuba. Farms, which are a mix of state-owned, privately owned and cooperative, produce all sorts of food, especially grains, dairy products and meat, using primarily organic methods.

It took several years to make the transition, and from what I've read they were lean years for most folks. Last I heard they were still rationing milk, with young children first in line. I also read that the people were unhappy about the reduction in variety and the return to basic food, few luxuries or "treats." But they had little choice, since the U.S. embargo is still in effect, and it seems to have been a good thing in the long run. I think the experience of Cuba is a model for moving from unsustainable to sustainable agriculture.

> I'm not sure if that sounds like a giant step backward. the beauty of 
living in a big nation is partly the commerce between regions, each area 
marketing what others dont have.
> I used to live in fruit growing southern Michigan. If we couldn't sell 
our fruit to out of area buyers, waht would we do wiht it , let it rot? 
If one likes grapes ought one move to a sandy soil area and get a job there?
Sustainable agriculture does mean, I think, significant changes in both the mentality of what people expect to have available, and also in the diversity of what is produced in each region. Citrus fruits can't grow in Minnesota or Michigan, apples won't grow in Florida or south Texas. But the degree of specialization that currently exists has been driven by the increasingly global economy, not by such limitations on where things can grow.

Regions could easily produce a much wider variety of foods than they do now, if the economy were organized that way. But not the almost endless variety that we are accustomed to having available.

Another point about locally produced food is that it is more appropriate for the climate than things that won't grow there or are out of season. The body of a person in a northern winter doesn't need lettuce and fresh strawberries. It needs potatoes, onions, rutabagas, squash for sustained energy and warmth.

> What do I get to eat in Houston? /Santa Fe / Chicago?
Desert regions are probably more limited in what they can grow. What did native people in those areas eat? What did people 100 years ago eat?
> Has any one a guide to what grows where and not at all elsewhere?
Most gardening guides worth their salt have this information.
> I hate to say it out loud in black& white, but this 200 mile idea, to 
bolster sustainability, would logically have to include, shoes, cars, 
paper products, and what else????? Its not just food that moves more 
than 200 miles to reach consumers.
I'd say you're right. Obviously, not everything can be locally produced, but a whole lot more can be than now is. We've been deluded by the notion of "economies of scale" into thinking that small enterprises aren't competitive or economically viable. The truth is, even for things like steel manufacturing, small plants are more efficient, from what I've heard. And every region has plenty of secondary materials--recyclables--around to keep manufacturing plants going for a long time without needing any raw materials.

Smaller size and a regional economy also means more possibilities for cooperative ownership, as well as increasing the likelihood that businesses of all sorts will be better "citizens" because they have a stake in both the ecological and social health and well-being of the community.

> Kids & adults in Kentucky love the grape juice & jelly from our concord grapes.
> should they not have access to it? Or do you think co-oping the processing of 
fruits & veggies (for the farmers profits instead of corporations) is reasonable 
to keep profits out of middle-mans hands?
Grapes could probably grow in Kentucky, couldn't they? If not, perhaps grape juice and grape jelly become an infrequent treat for Kentuckians, just as citrus fruits become a rare treat for people in Michigan.

It's not as bleak as all that, though. There are plenty of ways to extend growing seasons and even create microclimates for special plants like bananas. I was just looking at a booklet last night by Eliot Coleman, author of _New Organic Grower_, one of the bibles of small organic farms and market gardeners, about how he is harvesting lettuce in December on his farm in Maine from an unheated "field tunnel"--essentially a gigantic cold frame dug into the ground. He plants in early fall, so the plants can grow while the days are still long enough for growth. Then, when daylight falls below 10 hours, the plants essentially stop growing but can be harvested and eaten fresh.

Amory and Hunter Lovins, in their mountaintop home in the Colorado Rockies, have banana and citrus trees in greenhouses that are either completely solar heated or very minimally supplemented with grid power. Methods for extending the season and even growing things way out of their zone needn't be high-tech, expensive or energy-intensive.

Personally, I find it appealing to reduce the number of choices I have for food and concentrate on eating things that are locally produced in season or preserved from the summer. I do buy broccoli once a month or so in winter, it being one of the few veggies my son will eat, and packed with nutrition. The broccoli I can buy here in March comes from California.

I also buy grapefruit, again because my son likes it and he eats so little good food. I've almost quit buying orange juice. I buy potatoes, onions, garlic at the co-op only if they are grown in Minnesota or a neighboring state (still farther than 200 miles). I could foresee a time when I could get along without citrus fruits, except for treats, and could eat broccoli and fresh herbs grown in a solar greenhouse. Canned tomatoes, applesauce and frozen vegetables and berries almost always run out before these things come into season again, but they make for enjoyable meals most of the winter, and increase appreciation for the fresh ones when they are in season.

Betsy

--
Betsy Barnum
bbarnum@wavetech.net
http://www.reocities.com/RainForest/1624

*****************************
One speaks of living on the earth but in truth life is held within the earth. 
An atmosphere woven from life circles the planet. Every movement, every breath, 
every response, the least thought is shaped to the curve of this mass. Even 
time and space bend to it. Like a child in a womb, all we know exists inside 
this outer body. And all is dependent on it.

--Susan Griffin, The Eros of Everyday Life, 1996

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From ???@??? Fri Mar 19 14:13:04 1999
Date: Fri, 19 Mar 1999 14:13:04 -0600
From: Diane Fitzsimmons 
Message-ID: <36F2AFD0.407A9E3D@pop.ou.edu>
References: <01BE6DA4.B107DFE0@pm2.124.igg-tx.net> <36F2A518.7184B3A0@wavetech.net>
To: "positive-futures@igc.org" 
Subject: Re: [pf] 200miles

Betsy Barnum wrote:
> I also buy grapefruit, again because my son likes it and he eats so little 
good food. I've almost quit buying orange juice. I buy potatoes, onions, 
garlic at the co-op only if they are grown in Minnesota or a neighboring 
state (still farther than 200 miles). I could foresee a time when I could 
get along without citrus fruits, except for treats, and
> could eat broccoli and fresh herbs grown in a solar greenhouse. Canned 
tomatoes, applesauce and frozen vegetables and berries almost always run 
out before these things come into season again, but they make for enjoyable 
meals most of the winter, and increase appreciation for the fresh ones 
when they are in season.
> 
[Diane:]
The talk about going to regional food markets and the changes in diet that would necessitate reminds me of all the pioneer stories I read as a child. What did kids get in those days for Christmas? In just about every book I read it was an orange -- to be savored through taste, smell, touch and sight.

Gosh, I enjoy oranges but I bet I'd enjoy them even more if they were a rare treat. I know we who advocate simple living don't like to talk about the d-word (deprivation) but doing without makes the doing with that much more sweeter when you do.

I imagine many of us already practice a form of regionalizing our food by trying to buy only in season. I don't buy winter strawberries from Chile. Besides, I enjoy the roadside stand strawberries in the summer so much more.

FWIW, Diane



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From ???@??? Fri Mar 19 15:56:02 1999
Date: Fri, 19 Mar 1999 15:56:02 -0500
From: Sherry Boyd 
Message-Id: <199903192053.PAA22320@server1.mail.virginia.edu>
To: Betsy Barnum , positive-futures@igc.org
Subject: [pf] Re: 200miles


I agree whole heartedly with Betsy. We do not have to have the variety that we are accustomed to and we cannot continue in this fashion as we all well know. Do we wish to wait until we are forced or make the changes slowly bit by bit. I agree also with whomever wrote that the first thing to do is to start eating seasonally is possible whatever is available fresh in your area.

My family has been gardening organically for nearly 20 years. Because we are vegetarians, we can provide about 80% of our own food and still have one full time working person and one 2/3 time working person. We eat what is in season and what we can preserve ourselves. Mostly during the winter our diet consists of pastas, fresh (root cellared) potatoes, carrots, cabbage and vegetables which we have canned and frozen. Our fruit is whatever we have canned (peaches, apples, applesauce) or frozen (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries) and until about April 1st we have root cellar apples, a particular old time variety that will keep.

My parents live in Florida and send us via mail a case of oranges as our Christmas present. We occasionally buy bananas but only as a treat, organic ones and not Dole. We could clearly do without these. We have found that we really look forward to those oranges and what we call orange season which for us is when they are ripe in Florida. We are the same way with fresh asparagus. We have not found a way to can or freeze asparagus that we like the results and so we eat it by the ton when it comes in for about 5 or 6 weeks and enjoy it fully. Then it is over until next year.

We look forward to the ripening of each new thing during the gardening year and wonder how people manage to have both fresh tomatoes and fresh lettuce at the same time without buying one from Minnesota and the other from Georgia. For us, it is far too hot for lettuce by the time the tomatoes ripen up. Is the combination of lettuce salad with sliced tomatoes a post world war II phenomenon or just not possible in my neck of the woods?

We do not have a green house but would really like to as our biggest "loss" most of the year is fresh lettuce for salads. It seems it is either too hot to grow it or too cold. So for salads, we use cabbage mostly. We can lettuce fresh locally during the winter from those who have green houses but it is very very expensive. In the summer, it would have to be imported from a much cooler climate. We could solve our winter problem with a greenhouse but A solar greenhouse would require a fair expenditure of funds it seems and so far we have not been able to do that. Would love to hear from anyone who has ideas in that regard as well as anyone with an idea of how to grow lettuce that is not bitter in the summer time in Virginia.

Attitude is what I am really talking about here. What is more important? Infinite variety or living within our means-literally?

Sherry Boyd
In the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia

DISCLAIMER: Use of advanced computing technology does not imply an
endorsement of Western Industrial Civilization.

CLAIMER:
Only after the last tree has been cut down,
Only after the last river has been poisoned,
Only after the last fish has been caught,
Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.
   >>Cree Indian Prophecy<<



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From ???@??? Fri Mar 19 14:35 1999
Date: Fri, 19 Mar 1999 14:35 -0800 (PST)
From: Stan King 
Message-Id: <19990319223543.FAHI14456@localHost>
To: positive-futures 
Subject: Re: [pf] 200miles

Jodi Hickcox wrote:

> How can people in desert or mountainous areas get food year round from 
thier own 200 mile radius. I assume you mean food grown locally and 
prepared or preserved, canned frozen or whatever-still locally. .  Are you 
suggesting the snowy winter states have food that only their area grows? 
That Michigan cant have Texas or Florida citrus fruits? ever?
Betsy Barnum replied:
>I'm suggesting that sustainable food production can't be achieved when 
>food is being transported long distances as a regular practice. As a 
>practical matter, I think this does imply that people eat food that can be 
>produced in the region where they live.
[Stan King:]
The people in our society are conditioned to have instant access to anything. We want to be able to get in whatever type of car we want and drive whenever and where ever we want and live anywhere our heart's desire. We want to be able to have any type of food any time we want it. Living off of the earth's capital, rather than its interest, and being awash in oil has enabled us to do this. A society that looks at the price of something rather than its true cost has supported this. Of course, as Betsy indicates, this is not sustainable. We probably have decades, rather than centuries before we are out of oil.
(There is an Scientific American article which explores this at:
http://matu1.math.auckland.ac.nz/~king/Preprints/book/diversit/extra/oil/oil2.htm)

Perhaps we will have alternative technologies, perhaps not. I think again the question is what is sustainable. Also, if for whatever reason (e.g., Y2K) we had a disruption to our oil supplies, we would be figuring out to survive on locally grown food right now.

The original question asks how people in mountainous areas or desert areas will get their food. I would get to the root of that question and ask if people should be able to live where ever they want even if it's beyond the carrying capacity of the land. A yes response is a reflection of our culture's disregard for the natural world and a lack of compassion for those (non-humans) who live in it. How many species have we driven to extinction because we believe we can live/drive/ eat whatever/when ever we want?

Homo Sapiens and our hominid ancestors have subsisted quite well on locally foraged food for probably 99.99% of our existence. It's true that moving to locally grown food will result in less overall variety, but I'll bet we enjoy it more. I wouldn't touch Chilean grapes with a ten foot pole. I suspect if I ate grapes year round I wouldn't enjoy them nearly as much as I do when I eat them in season. There are also ways to increase local variety and growing seasons by using Permaculture concepts, where a lot of work is going on to create sustainable, local agriculture. (For more on Permaculture look at:
http://www.nor.com.au/environment/perma/.)
Also, imagine how much happier and healthier we would be if we all ate locally grown
"slow food" (as opposed to "fast food")?

Best Regards,

Stan



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From ???@??? Sat Mar 20 19:09:38 1999
	from kc-ent2-9.itol.com (kc-ent2-9.itol.com [209.83.59.69]) by admin.itol.com (8.9.3/8.9.3) with SMTP id RAA20832 for ; Fri, 19 Mar 1999 17:53:58 -0600
Date: Fri, 19 Mar 1999 17:53:58 -0600
From: Jill Taylor Bussiere 
Message-Id: <199903192353.RAA20832@admin.itol.com>
To: positive-futures@igc.org
Subject: Re: [pf] 200miles

>Also, imagine how much happier and healthier we would be if we all
>ate locally grown "slow food" (as opposed to "fast food")?
>
>Best Regards,
>Stan
>
Yeah!!!! I agree wholeheartedly. I like Big Macs - and ate one every few weeks. ( I grew quite fond of them in college - I worked at McDonald's to get myself through school). Am trying not to now- the org. conference helped - you guys on pf help. Plus, I always have healthy, organic, often home grown food at home - so I try to talk myself into something else. I am used to giving myself unhealthy treats - to make life a little better, when if I ate "good food", I would really be treating myself and making life better in a sustainable way rather than in the moment.

Jill

Wi zone 4-5



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From ???@??? Sat Mar 20 19:09:51 1999
	 from PRichter1@aol.com by imo26.mx.aol.com (IMOv19.3) id qKJVa26764 for ; Fri, 19 Mar 1999 19:23:47 +1900 (EST)
Date: Fri, 19 Mar 1999 19:23:47 EST
From: PRichter1@aol.com
Message-ID: <440ecf3.36f2ea93@aol.com>
To: positive-futures@igc.org
Subject: Re: [pf] 200miles
About this 200-mile sustainability thing:

One of the things I like about being a minister is that I get to hear people's stories -- people of all ages. One of the stories that I hear consistently from those who grew up in the depression-era is that one of their biggest Christmas treats was an orange in their stocking. They really looked forward to getting an orange at Christmas. I hear this from lots of people. Arnie, was this your experience??? This is hard to conceive when we can get so many different varieties of oranges year round (and I look forward to clementines around Christmas).

I have come to primarily food shop at a coop, at produce places/farm markets, and ethnic markets. I really hate to set foot in a grocery store and probably only go once or twice a month. I have to admit to being something of a foodie, but I'm doing better. I don't like those commercial strawberries -- I like the locally grown ones when it is their *time*. And I was ecstatic to find red raspberries growing out back of the little house I moved into last summer (too bad I have to move this summer). I started making raspberry muffins and all of that when I realized that they taste best just fresh off the bush. For weeks I ate raspberries all day long. I guess I'm saying that I am more and more leaning towards eating locally.

I was browsing in a bookstore today (ok, it was one of those big chains -- sorry), and I looked through a book about Irish monasteries in the middle ages off the coast of Ireland on rock piles that aren't even really islands. The author talked about their diet as being very spartan -- probably makes David's look exotic. They could not grow much but were able, probably, to ship in lots of grain. Bread was a mainstay. The veggies were probably grown in the sparse soil, but forget about fruit except for the occasional berry. Evidently even sea food was not eaten much. It was interesting. I would love to move towards a more minimalist diet. Could I survive without my balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil? Why is this so hard????

Blessings, Priscilla
(who is beginning to interview at various hospital chaplaincy programs -- wish me luck!)



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From ???@??? Sat Mar 20 19:09:53 1999
	 from PRichter1@aol.com by imo27.mx.aol.com (IMOv19.3) id qULWa13699 for ; Fri, 19 Mar 1999 19:27:03 +1900 (EST)
Date: Fri, 19 Mar 1999 19:27:03 EST
From: PRichter1@aol.com
Message-ID: <819cf74a.36f2eb57@aol.com>
To: positive-futures@igc.org
Subject: Re: [pf] 200miles
Diane, I sent my reply to Betsy's post off before I read yours. All I can say is, "Great minds think alike".

Priscilla

Diane wrote,

 > The talk about going to regional food markets and the changes in diet
> that would necessitate reminds me of all the pioneer stories I read as a
> child.  What did kids get in those days for Christmas?  In just about
> every book I read it was an orange -- to be savored through taste,
> smell, touch and sight.
> 
> Gosh, I enjoy oranges but I bet I'd enjoy them even more if they were a
> rare treat.  I know we who advocate simple living don't like to talk
> about the d-word (deprivation) but doing without makes the doing with
> that much more sweeter when you do.
> 
> I imagine many of us already practice a form of regionalizing our food
> by trying to buy only in season.  I don't buy winter strawberries from
> Chile.  Besides, I enjoy the roadside stand strawberries in the summer
> so much more.
> 
> FWIW, Diane
> 

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From ???@??? Sat Mar 20 19:10:14 1999
	 from arnie (arniea.seanet.com [204.182.72.148]) by mx.seanet.com (8.8.8/Seanet-8.7.3) with SMTP id VAA03976; Fri, 19 Mar 1999 21:37:58 -0800 (PST)
Date: Fri, 19 Mar 1999 18:41:09 -0800
From: Arnie P. Anfinson 
In-Reply-To: <440ecf3.36f2ea93@aol.com>
Message-Id: <3.0.5.32.19990319184109.007f4530@pop.seanet.com>
Subject: Re: [pf] 200miles
At 07:23 PM 3/19/1999 EST, PRichter1@aol.com wrote:
 >About this 200-mile sustainability thing:

>They really looked forward to getting an orange at Christmas. I hear this
from lots of people.  Arnie, was this your experience???   
No, Priscilla, I don't even remember that much of a luxury. And I do remember having frequent colds during the winter. But remember, this was mostly during the Depression or pre-depression when my family were also struggling financially.

I agree with those who said (implied?) that things we have too much of loses its appeal; it's this _becoming-sated_ thing that I see happening to so many, ESPECIALLY the young people. S H U D D E R, UGGH! ... But then - I know how Un-American (or even un free-market) this attitude is! We've got to keep CONSUMING, otherwise the "economy" will collapse, won't it?!! I'm willing to risk it.

Arnie

Education is what survives when what you've learned has been forgotten.

In times of rapid change it will be the learners who will be in a position
to lead.  The learned will find themselves equipped only to deal with
things that are past.

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From ???@??? Sun Mar 21 06:53:03 1999
	 from default (gageppp30.hwcn.org [199.212.94.230]) by james.hwcn.org (8.9.1a/8.9.1) with ESMTP id KAA24172 for ; Sat, 20 Mar 1999 10:06:59 -0500 (EST)
Date: Fri, 19 Mar 1999 21:57:03 -0500
From: "Ronald Hands" 
Message-Id: <199903201506.KAA24172@james.hwcn.org>
Subject: Re: [pf] 200miles

> Diane wrote,
> > The talk about going to regional food markets and the changes in diet
> > that would necessitate reminds me of all the pioneer stories I read as a
> > child.  What did kids get in those days for Christmas?  In just about
> > every book I read it was an orange -- to be savored through taste,
> > smell, touch and sight.
I'm beginning to feel like one of those pioneers...
  Actually, the Christmas orange story is exactly as I remember it in my childhood (during the Depression). Oranges, in our house and in many others, were a Christmas-only treat. They were Sunkist, they came individually wrapped in tissue paper, and they were a taste sensation that lived in the memory for many months.   (And the wooden orange crates were a treasured by-product, useful for all sorts of things.)
  Similarly, ice cream was something I remember as a once-a-summer treat. Our family (two children, two adults) would buy a carton of ice cream, hand-scooped, and probably totalling about half a pint. For 25 cents as I recall -- but remember that was probably an hour's wage for my factory-worker father.
  No home refrigerator then and certainly no freezer (and even for those who did have refrigerators, the freezer compartment was just big enough for an ice cube tray) so the ice cream had to be eaten immediately. And it was!
  The town we lived in near the end of the Depression had a fruit store, so somebody was buying the stuff, but it wasn't us.
  I can't remember what the banana situation would have been, but I seem to remember they were more plentiful than oranges.
  Ah, but those locally-grown strawberries! And the first Harvest apples! And the first new potatoes. And elderberries picked at the roadside and swiftly translated into elderberry pies!

  Incidentally, someone was talking recently about recycling. Strangely enough, during the Depression when North America was awash in resources and unsold goods, there was still a lively recycling market. As children, we would collect huge mounds of old newspapers and take them to the "junk dealer," hoping for vast rewards -- and then have to settle for a cent or two. Incidentally, he operated in a barn that was located right in a middle-class residential area -- so much for single-use zoning. The neighborhood wasn't visibly degraded by his presence, and the fact that he was an amiable drunk was probably just one more facet of our education.

  Speaking of year-round gardening, Ferenc Mate's fine book A Reasonable Life: Toward a Simpler, Secure, more Humane Existence has a chapter tucked in at the end by Eliot Coleman and Barbara Damrosch explaining how Coleman puts fresh food on the table, year-round, in Maine.

-- Ron
Hamilton, ON

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From ???@??? Sun Mar 21 06:53:06 1999
	 (from gordonse@localhost) by shell.one.net (8.8.7/AD2000) id LAA20918 for positive-futures@igc.org; Sat, 20 Mar 1999 11:52:42 -0500
Date: 	Sat, 20 Mar 1999 11:52:42 -0500 (EST)
From: Sharon Gordon 
Message-Id: <199903201652.LAA20918@shell.one.net>
Subject: [pf] 200 miles -- Want to try it?
Anyone want to try growing a large percentage of their food this year or make a start at it?

I sent some info to the list a week or so ago on some ways to accomplish it using biointensive planting which gives good yields for less work and is sustainable.

I think it would be fun to share the planning and share info about what sort of day to day food results are gained. We could give each other ideas about tasty ways to prepare the harvest too.

Also, would some kind person send me back a copy of the post? I needed to pass it along to someone else and it seems not to have saved properly. Thanks! (title 200/garden/yieled data or similar).

Sharon
gordonse@one.net

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From ???@??? Sun Mar 21 06:53:11 1999
	 from pm7-219.roanoke.infi.net (pm7-219.roanoke.infi.net [205.216.36.219]) by fh106.infi.net (8.8.8/8.8.8) with SMTP id NAA26378; Sat, 20 Mar 1999 13:34:01 -0500 (EST)
Date: Sat, 20 Mar 1999 13:25:36 -0800
From: Sallee Ebbett 
Message-ID: <36F41250.3330@roanoke.infi.net>
Subject: Re: [pf] 200 miles--Want to try it?
Sharon,

I'll agree to participate! As much as I can, I grow vegies and herbs in pots on my patio (I live in an apartment). Last year was pretty bad, with the exception of hot peppers - I'm not sure why they did well and nothing else did! I had more than I would ever need and don't intend to grow them again for awhile.

Does anyone out there use the phases of the moon to plant by? I've heard of it for years, but finally found a decent description of it in John Jeavons' "How to Grow More Vegetables."

Does anyone have any tips on container gardening and FRUIT - as in berries (I think I'm too late in the season, but would like to think about it for next year)?

When you get a copy of your original post, could you forward it to me? I can't seem to find it, but had thought I'd saved it.

Thanks,

Sallee (in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia)

 -------------
Sharon Gordon wrote:
> 
> Anyone want to try growing a large percentage of their food this
> year or make a start at it?
> 
> I sent some info to the list a week or so ago on some ways to
> accomplish it using biointensive planting which gives good yields for
> less work and is sustainable.
> 
> I think it would be fun to share the planning and  share info
> about what sort of day to day food results are gained.  We
> could give each other ideas about tasty ways to prepare the
> harvest too.
> 
> Also, would some kind person send me back a copy of the post?
> I needed to pass it along to someone else and it seems not
> to have saved properly.  Thanks! (title 200/garden/yiled data or similar).
> 
> Sharon
> gordonse@one.net

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From ???@??? Mon Mar 22 05:45:09 1999
	 (from gordonse@localhost) by shell.one.net (8.8.7/AD2000) id KAA15155 for positive-futures@igc.org; Sun, 21 Mar 1999 10:10:35 -0500
Date: 	Sun, 21 Mar 1999 10:10:35 -0500 (EST)
From: Sharon Gordon 
Message-Id: <199903211510.KAA15155@shell.one.net>
Subject: Re: [pf] 200 miles--Want to try it? (fwd)
Sallee posted some info about her gardening:
> I'll agree to participate!  As much as I can, I grow vegies and herbs in
> pots on my patio (I live in an apartment).  Last year was pretty bad,
> with the exception of hot peppers - I'm not sure why they did well and
> nothing else did!  I had more than I would ever need and don't intend to
> grow them again for awhile.
The only reason I could think of is that if your patio or pots are black/dark material, and your summer was warm, the pots may have gotten too hot for most of the vegetables. Peppers tend to like warmer soil than most plants so they might have been verrrrry happy with the warm soil. Is there a way you can block the sun from hitting the pot itself once the weather gets warm?

The only other thing I can think of is if you got some bad potting soil in most of your bags except for the soil you put in the peppers. I once got some soil in a bag that turned out to have a pH of 3. Pretty much nothing will grow in soil like that.

> Does anyone have any tips on container gardening and FRUIT - as in
> berries (I think I'm too late in the season, but would like to think
> about it for next year)? 
There is an interesting commercial strawberry planter that is a set of stacked circular beds, with the top being the smallest circle. You can get a ton of strawberries in this. There are also terracotta or pottery jars with cutouts that work well with strawberry plants. For the frugal, consider a white plastic 5 gallon food bucket from a bakery or restaurant (free or $1 usually). Cut some holes in the sides of the bucket, put a perforated pipe in the center for watering(plastic, or can make your own if you do pottery work).

Another thing you could do this year is blueberries--get two that will pollinate each other. Grapes on some sturdy support are fun too.

Most fruits would work ok this year. Most people don't get much from potted fruit trees, so if you have limited space, vegetables may do you more good. But if you really want one for just picked fruit go for it!

Sharon
gordonse@one.net

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From ???@??? Tue Mar 23 05:46:56 1999
	 from pop.ou.edu (dyn0-85.educ.ou.edu [129.15.102.85]) by styx.services.ou.edu (8.9.1/8.9.1) with ESMTP id JAA07962 for ; Mon, 22 Mar 1999 09:00:27 -0600 (CST)
Date: Mon, 22 Mar 1999 09:05:33 -0600
From: Diane Fitzsimmons 
Message-ID: <36F65C3D.33D7C2CF@pop.ou.edu>
Subject: Re: [pf] 200 miles--Want to try it?
Sharon Gordon wrote:
> 
> Anyone want to try growing a large percentage of their food this
> year or make a start at it?
> 
I'm taking my first baby step. To celebrate my 43rd birthday on the first day of spring, I began what I hope will eventually become a bio-intensive garden such as advocated in Square-Foot Gardening and by John Jeavons. I've done a little salad gardening before but never with an eye toward long-range soil stewardship and food production. I've been interested for many years but have always had one excuse or another to put it off one more year (we will move soon, the landlord won't like it, the house is being painted and the chips will get in the soil, etc.) Well, we're still here, the landlord doesn't care and the house was never painted! So, I'm going to start anyway!

Day One: The 12-year-old and I took turns overturning the damp, clay soil, disrupting decades of suburban lawn. Transplanted the soil clumps to parts of the yard in need of fill-in. Warned the 12-year-old it will be the new Millennium before we have a beautiful garden like on the cover of Square-Foot Gardening.

Day Two: We will purchase the vermiculite, peat moss, manure, etc., to help the soil, plant my 10-year-old's science class bean plant and nurse my muscle soreness from Day One!

I will keep you posted!

Diane F.

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From ???@??? Tue Mar 23 06:36:29 1999
	 from clb5q.virginia.edu (bootp-109-239.bootp.Virginia.EDU [128.143.109.239]) by server1.mail.virginia.edu (8.8.7/8.8.7) with ESMTP id NAA29734; Mon, 22 Mar 1999 13:09:57 -0500 (EST)
Date: Mon, 22 Mar 1999 13:12:19 -0500
From: Sherry Boyd 
Message-Id: <199903221809.NAA29734@server1.mail.virginia.edu>
Subject: Re: [pf] 200 miles--Want to try it?
Diane et al,

Hats off to you!!!! What a great thing to do with your 12 year old. What we do matters so much more than what we say.

For clay soil......put gypsum in to help create loam. It's a wonder mineral for those of us in the hard packed clay soil of the foothills here. Hope it helps you on your way.

Sherry

----------
> From: Diane Fitzsimmons 
> Day One: The 12-year-old and I took turns overturning the damp, clay
> soil, disrupting decades of suburban lawn.  Transplanted the soil clumps
> to parts of the yard in need of fill-in.  Warned the 12-year-old it will
> be the new Millennium before we have a beautiful garden like on the
> cover of Square-Foot Gardening.
> 
> Day Two: We will purchase the vermiculite, peat moss, manure, etc., to
> help the soil, plant my 10-year-old's science-class-bean-plant and nurse
> my muscle soreness from Day One!
> 
> I will keep you posted!
> 
> Diane F.

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From ???@??? Tue Mar 23 13:06:41 1999
	 from CathGeorge@aol.com by imo15.mx.aol.com (IMOv19.3) id cYWJa24800; Mon, 22 Mar 1999 19:21:48 +1900 (EST)
Date: Mon, 22 Mar 1999 19:21:48 EST
From: CathGeorge@aol.com
Message-ID: 
Subject: Re: [pf] 200 miles--Want to try it?
Rubbermaid makes a "Green Cone" food waste composter. You put your kitchen waste in them. I have two and use them both -- when one gets full I switch to the other and eventually what you get is rich dark beautiful compost. If anybody's interested maybe I can find out where you can get them. The City of Seattle gives them out for a nominal cost if you attend their really good class on recycling.

I've been doing a bit more food gardening each year -- still a real novice, plus I work many hours a week so that cuts into the available time. But as a wonderful lifestyle thing to do, and to teach our children -- this ranks way up there. My most time-effective crop has been broccoli and kale and

Also, for the first time in my life I've picked and eaten dandelion leaves. I get about a cup of the little ones, before the flower heads have formed. I put them in salads and to my amazement, they taste fine. There they are; it seems a shame to dig them up and waste them. My yard has no sprays or anything, so I know they are safe. You'd probably have to be careful if you get them from median strips or places like that.

"Listening" to the talk about 200 miles makes me more determined to buy local produce. It mattered to me before, but this group has made it closer to my mind, every day.

-- Catherine in Seattle


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From ???@??? Tue Mar 23 16:26:53 1999
	 from steve (dial-22-MAX-BBVT-01.ramp.together.net [207.41.57.150]) by mx02.together.net (8.8.8/8.8.8) with SMTP id WAA13983; Mon, 22 Mar 1999 22:47:03 -0500
Date: Mon, 22 Mar 1999 22:41:52 -0500
From: "Donna Faith K-Brooks" 
Message-ID: <000401be74df$1efd5340$963929cf@steve>
Subject: Re: [pf] 200 miles--Want to try it?
Hi Catherine,
I would love to know where to get those food composters. We're living in town now and saving food scraps and this would make it a lot easier.
Thanks!
--Donna, coming out of lurkdom--
-----Original Message-----
From: CathGeorge@aol.com 

Date: Monday, March 22, 1999 7:48 PM
Subject: Re: [pf] 200 miles--Want to try it?

>Rubbermaid makes a "Green Cone" food waste composter.  You put your kitchen
>waste in them.  I have two and use them both -- when one gets full I switch
to
>the other and eventually what you get is rich dark beautiful compost.  If
>anybody's interested maybe I can find out where you can get them.


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From ???@??? Wed Mar 24 05:48:57 1999
	 from CathGeorge@aol.com by imo13.mx.aol.com (IMOv19.3) id 7BZBa17081; Mon, 22 Mar 1999 23:48:41 +1900 (EST)
Date: Mon, 22 Mar 1999 23:48:41 EST
From: CathGeorge@aol.com
Message-ID: 
Subject: Re: [pf] 200 miles--Want to try it?
Donna,

I have sent a query about the green cone compost things to Rubbermaid, by e- mail. They say they'll get back to me within a week, and I'll forward what they say.

-- Catherine in Seattle


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From ???@??? Wed Mar 24 05:49:30 1999
	 from localhost (gthomas@localhost) by acad.suffolk.edu (AIX4.2/UCB 8.7/8.7) with ESMTP id JAA56794; Tue, 23 Mar 1999 09:33:40 -0500 (EST)
Date: Tue, 23 Mar 1999 09:33:40 -0500 (EST)
From: gthomas@acad.suffolk.edu
Message-ID: 
Subject: [pf] 200 mile try
I have been a "salad" gardener for the past two years and hope this year to grow a "real" garden, based on John Jeavon's methods, in my community garden plot. I have read so much from so many sources, though, that my head is spinning. Dig? Double-dig? Newspaper and compost, black plastic mulch -- ahhhhhhhh!! We've also tended to have very pretty gardens, but not particularly bountiful gardens, so it's gonna be an adjustment to give up attractiveness for utility, but I really want to try. I'm also often confused by planting times. For example, we're zone 6, so we should plant peas and beans while it's cold, but our compost never makes it to the garden until May or June. Do I plant now or wait until the compost is on?? This is really a question for my organic gardening list. But anyway, just wanted to say, Yes! I'll try, too.

Glynys
Boston

> Sharon Gordon wrote:
> > Anyone want to try growing a large percentage of their food this
> > year or make a start at it?
> > 
On Mon, 22 Mar 1999, Diane Fitzsimmons wrote:
> I'm taking my first baby step.  To celebrate my 43rd birthday on the
> first day of spring, I began what I hope will eventually become a
> bio-intensive garden such as advocated in Square-Foot Gardening and by
> John Jeavons.  I've done a little salad gardening before but never with
> an eye toward long-range soil stewardship and food production.  I've
> been interested for many years but have always had one excuse or another
> to put it off one more year (we will move soon, the landlord won't like
> it, the house is being painted and the chips will get in the soil,
> etc.)  Well, we're still here, the landlord doesn't care and the house
> was never painted!  So, I'm going to start anyway!
> 
> Day One: The 12-year-old and I took turns overturning the damp, clay
> soil, disrupting decades of suburban lawn.  Transplanted the soil clumps
> to parts of the yard in need of fill-in.  Warned the 12-year-old it will
> be the new Millennium before we have a beautiful garden like on the
> cover of Square-Foot Gardening.
> 
> Day Two: We will purchase the vermiculite, peat moss, manure, etc., to
> help the soil, plant my 10-year-old's science class bean plant and nurse
> my muscle soreness from Day One!
> 
> I will keep you posted!
> 
> Diane F.
> 


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From ???@??? Wed Mar 24 05:49:33 1999
	 from kc-ent-38.itol.com (kc-ent-38.itol.com [209.83.59.47]) by admin.itol.com (8.9.3/8.9.3) with SMTP id JAA09621 for ; Date: Tue, 23 Mar 1999 09:07:14 -0600
From: Jill Taylor Bussiere 
Subject: Re: [pf] 200 mile try
Sounds like maybe you weren't asking, but I have an opinion on your deliberations that I can't seem to hold back.

From my own experience, and hearing discussion among other gardeners (some if it on the famed "tomato trial" list) I would recommend that you Don't use black plastic. Organic gardening strives for a healthy interactive soil, and black plastic cuts down on that activity, either by heating up the soil so that things that you want die or die down somewhat, or by cutting off air. Your idea of newspaper and compost is an excellent one.

Peas do need the cool weather, so you wouldn't want to wait on them. You can coat the seeds with pea innoculant to help the peas make the most of what they have. I don't know the John Jeavon method, but I have heard it so much the past few days, that I feel I need to look into it. We plant our peas in wide rows - maybe 2 inches apart about 10 rows, in a wide bed 30 feet long. The close planting allows the peas to support each other, shade the ground to retain moisture, and keep weeds down, although you still have to weed through about twice in the season. Then the newspaper/compost would go between wide rows.

Most beans like hot weather, except the purple ones, but aren't as fussy as other plants about their soil, so I wouldn't worry about them TOO much either.

Maybe you could double dig for your root crops, and not for the others. If it looks too intimidating to do it for all. I would single dig for the other crops, though.

Well, good luck.

At 09:33 AM 3/23/99 -0500, you wrote:
>I have been a "salad" gardener for the past two years and hope 
>this year to grow a "real" garden, based on John Jeavon's methods, in my
>community garden plot.  I have read so much from so many sources, though,
>that my head is spinning.  Dig? Double-dig? Newspaper and compost, black
>plastic mulch -- ahhhhhhhh!!  We've also tended to have very pretty
>gardens, but not particularly bountiful gardens, so it's gonna be an
>adjustment to give up attractiveness for utility, but I really want to
>try.  I'm also often confused by planting times.  For example, we're zone
>6, so we should plant peas and beans while it's cold, but our compost
>never makes it to the garden until May or June.  Do I plant now or wait
>until the compost is on??  This is really a question for my organic
>gardening list.  But anyway, just wanted to say, Yes! I'll try, too.
>
>  
>Glynys
>Boston
>
Jill
Wi zone 4-5
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From ???@??? Thu Mar 25 19:29:33 1999
	 from pavilion (ip151.van13.pacifier.com [216.65.140.151]) by smtp.pacifier.com (8.9.1a/8.9.1) with SMTP id WAA14248 for ;
Date: Wed, 24 Mar 1999 22:54:21 -0800 (PST)
From: dwills@pacifier.com (Diane Wills)
Message-Id: <199903250654.WAA14248@smtp.pacifier.com>
Subject: Re: [pf] 200miles

>Dear Betsy.
>How can people in desert or mountainous areas get food year round from
their own 200 mile radius. I assume you mean food grown locally and prepared
or preserved, canned frozen or whatever-still locally.  Are you suggesting
the snowy winter states have food that only their area grows? That Michigan
can't have Texas or Florida citrus fruits? ever? 
I know the people of Tibet live at an altitude of 15,000 feet up where it is cold and bare, yet they somehow manage to produce all their own food and live off the land. Also, my mother and her family grew up on a farm in Northern Alberta and they produced most of their own food (and most of the year lived off of canned fruits and vegetables since the growing season up there is so short).
>I'm not sure if that sounds like a giant step backward. the beauty of
living in a big nation is partly the commerce between regions, each area
marketing what others dont have. 
Well I've been taking the "Sustainability" class from the Northwest Earth Institute and from what I am learning in that class is that commerce is not a sustainable thing, especially over long distances. For one thing, there are shipping costs (in fossil fuels) associated with shipping. Plus, if a major depression hits (or the infrastructure falls apart with the Y2K thing as some people believe) or we suddenly run out of fossil fuels, Americans simply won't know how to grow their own food because we have lost knowledge of farming and have imported so much food and there would surely be mass starvation in America. The only reason there wasn't mass starvation during the Great Depression of the 1930's was that people still knew how to farm and produced their own food when they didn't have jobs to support their own families.

Also, when food is imported, it is frequently raised in countries where there are no environmental laws and the use of any chemical or pesticide can be used, no matter how environmentally destructive or harmful to humans (at least in the US the worst chemicals/pesticides are outlawed although US farmers (and homeowners as well) use far too many chemicals). Plus I have learned that many third-world countries that export food to the US often do so at the cost of feeding their own citizens, thus causing more starvation in their own countries.
Taking this class has convinced me that, at the very least, the basics of supporting life, such as food or water, should be produced locally (at least enough to live on), possibly only using imported food for special occasions or as seasonal treats. Sure, it may mean that in some areas people have to do without some things they are used to, but what could possibly be more important than sustainability. Americans have just gotten used to having too much variety of food and taking it for granted and they now expect it. To live sustainably, we are going to have to give up alot of what we are used to, and there is no way around it.

Another interesting fact is that locally and organically-grown produce is much better quality and fresher than what's grown and bred to be transported long distances without spoiling. Local farms can grow and produce much better vegetables and a wider variety, since they don't have to travel long distances, and often they sell their produce to expensive restaurants. I am considering joining a CSA (community-supported agriculture) farm in this area for that reason. Americans have gotten so used to the fruit and vegetables produced by the big corporate farms that they aren't aware of how much better locally-produced vegetables can be.

>I used to live in fruit growing southern Michigan. If we couldn't sell our
fruit to out of area buyers, waht would we do wiht it , let it rot? If one
likes grapes ought one move to a sandy soil area and get a job there?
>What do I get to eat in Houston? /Santa Fe / Chicago?
It also turns out that a wide variety of fruits and vegetables can be grown most places.
>Has any one a guide to what grows where and not at all elsewhere?
>I hate to say it out loud in black& white, but this 200 mile idea, to
bolster sustainability, would logically have to include, shoes, cars, paper
products, and what else????? Its not just food that moves more than 200
miles to reach consumers.
Ideally it would. At the very least, if we must import something, it should be of such high quality that we'd just buy it once and it would last the rest of our lives. Remember, once we run out of fossil fuels, we won't have any choice but to get everything locally (and if we don't learn to at least grow enough food to sustain ourselves locally, we (here in America) will starve once fossil fuels run out).

In case anyone is interested in reading this booklet from the Northwest Earth Institute (and I highly recommend it), their address is:

921 SW Morrison St., Suite 532
Portland, OR 97205
(503) 227-2807
It has really opened up my eyes and helped me understand exactly what I can do differently to truely live more sustainably and helped me understand the reasoning behind it.

Diane Wills

-------------------------------
|    dwills@pacifier.com      |
|        Diane Wills          |
| Vancouver, Washington, USA  |
-------------------------------

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From ???@??? Fri Apr 02 07:17:41 1999
	  from localhost (bshimada@localhost) by flagstaff.Princeton.EDU (8.9.1/8.9.1) with ESMTP id LAA25351; Thu, 1 Apr 1999 11:27:46 -0500 (EST)
Date: 	Thu, 1 Apr 1999 11:27:46 -0500 (EST)
From: "Beverly W. Shimada" 
Message-ID: 
Subject: Re: [pf] 200miles
On Fri, 19 Mar 1999 PRichter1@aol.com wrote:
> One of the things I like about being a minister is that I get to hear people's
> stories -- people of all ages.  One of the stories that I hear consistently
> from those who grew up in the depression-era is that one of their biggest
> Christmas treats was an orange in their stocking.  They really looked forward
> to getting an orange at Christmas. I hear this from lots of people.  Arnie,
> was this your experience???  This is hard to conceive when we can get so many
> different varieties of oranges year round (and I look forward to clementines
> around Christmas).
Sorry to jump in here so late. I grew up in Pittsburgh in the 50's and 60's and we got oranges in our stockings, along with a small wrapped gift and a candy cane. Those oranges were the best. We did have oranges to eat otherwise too but maybe not so much as to become sated. (I think we mostly at home-canned fruit in the winter, and frozen-concentrate orange juice.)
> a more minimalist diet. Could I survive without my balsamic vinegar and extra
> virgin olive oil?  Why is this so hard????
Well, don't forget there are places (I think) where these things are minimalist/local. It isn't so crazy to want them; they are good, basic foods in the Mediterranean! It is only because it is your lot to live in Pittsburgh that they are luxuries.
> Blessings, Priscilla (who is beginning to interview at various hospital
> chaplaincy programs -- wish me luck!)
Good luck!

Beverly

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	Beverly Wilson Shimada		bshimada@phoenix.princeton.edu
	Department of Civil Engineering and Operations Research
	Princeton University		Princeton, New Jersey, USA

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From ???@??? Fri Apr 02 13:50:40 1999
	 from arnie (arniea.seanet.com [204.182.72.148]) by mx.seanet.com (8.8.8/Seanet-8.7.3) with SMTP id MAA15851; Thu, 1 Apr 1999 12:54:42 -0800 (PST)
Date: Thu, 01 Apr 1999 12:10:52 -0800
From: "Arnie P. Anfinson" 
Message-Id: <3.0.5.32.19990401121052.007c32e0@pop.seanet.com>
Subject: Re: [pf] 200miles

At 11:27 AM 4/1/1999 -0500, Beverly W. Shimada wrote:
>On Fri, 19 Mar 1999 PRichter1@aol.com wrote:
>
> Christmas treats was an orange in their stocking.  They 
>really looked forward to getting an orange at Christmas. 
>I hear this from lots of people.  Arnie, was this your 
>experience???  
Guess you missed my comment on this. I don't remember anything like this. Perhaps we were TOO POOR even for that -- or we can always blame my memory -- at my age I'm permitted to use the "forgetting" excuse -- right?

A slightly related subject. I've just been invited to have lunch with a person I'm trying to `lobby' on WELLNESS (he's in the Health Promotion Dep't. of an HMO) and he wants to take me to my favorite restaurant. I've warned him that I'm hard to impress, perhaps because my pallette is not as sensitive as it used to be! I like to say it is because I "eat to live". "Fancy" food is an extravagence!! Yeh, I know: Get a Life!

Be well, . . Arnie

Education is what survives when what you've learned has been forgotten.

In times of rapid change it will be the learners who will be in a position
to lead.  The learned will find themselves equipped only to deal with
things that are past.


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April '99 Positive Futures messages sorted by:
[ thread ] [ subject ] [ author ]
Date: Thu, 08 Apr 1999 08:54:11 +1200
From: David MacClement (davd@reocities.com)
At 19:23 19/03/99 EST, Priscilla Richter <PRichter1@aol.com> wrote:
>About this 200-mile sustainability thing:
> ...  One of the stories that I hear consistently
>from those who grew up in the depression-era is that one of their biggest
>Christmas treats was an orange in their stocking.  They really looked
>forward to getting an orange at Christmas. I hear this from lots of people.
> Arnie, was this your experience???  This is hard to conceive of.
> ... I guess I'm saying that I am more and more leaning
>towards eating locally.
** I'm only now reading through the "200 mile" thread, as part of building up an archive of it on my website. (Big job.)

** I grew up in Canada during WW-II, then in New Zealand until 1959, and in both cases we did exactly that: my mother would do all she could to be sure we had an orange, usually in the toe of our stockings/sox. (I still remember how we "savored through taste, smell, touch and sight". Thanks, Diane!).

>I was browsing in a bookstore today .., and I looked through a book about
>Irish monasteries in the middle ages off the coast of Ireland on rock piles
>that aren't even really islands. The author talked about their diet as
>being very spartan -- probably makes David's look exotic. They could not
>grow much but were able, probably, to ship in lots of grain. Bread was a
>mainstay. The veggies were probably grown in the sparse soil, but forget
>about fruit except for the occasional berry. ...
>
** _I_ feel a real kinship with those monks. And I'm guessing the differences would be less than you might think. The cabbage, carrots and bread would be the same (a very similar climate - maritime); I have a little rolled oats plus Weetbix - they'd have porridge year round; and (surprise) the Marmite was developed from the scrapings from the making of beer, and is called a yeast extract - I'm pretty sure the Irish monks made beer - they might have originated what is now Marmite! We both would use honey; with luck, year round.
>Blessings, Priscilla (who is beginning to interview at various 
hospital chaplaincy programs -- wish me luck!)
>
** This letter of Priscilla's is from 3 weeks ago: how's the job search going?

David.

David MacClement <d1v9d@bigfoot.com> 
 http://www.reocities.com/Athens/Delphi/3142/index.html#top
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