Monday, October 15, 2007

Blog Action Day- Local Farm Grown Produce & Low Phosphorus Detergent

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

The theme this year is the environment. What a huge and all encompassing topic. Everything turns back to our relationship with Mother Earth. Without her we will be lost. Originally I wanted to post about a large land conservation project (over 2,000 acres) near my home village in New Hampshire.

Then I thought I'd post about the efforts by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to get home/landowners to reduce use of fertilizers, manure etc. as well as wiser use of water resources, widening adoption of low phosphorus household detergents, etc. I remembered my Lovely Sister raised bay grasses in her science classes and took huge numbers of kids- any classroom size gang of middle schoolers is huge, as far as I'm concerned- to the Bay to plant the grasses. I remembered reading a newspaper article which said that many of those grasses were dying because of 'dead water.' I thought about water conservation in general.

As I floated around the CBF website I also discovered they urge homeowners to purchase fresh produce and flowers from local farms. Click here to see this page.This increases the quality of food on your table, assists smaller farms to become or remain financially viable, reduces pollution and reduces consumption of petroleum products. According to statistics I saw on the CBF most food travels over 1,300 miles before it reaches your local grocery store. Obviously this contributes hugely to air pollution & road congestion & has led to what I consider to be nutritionally deficient foods. Foods which were chosen because they travel and store well. Not because they are healthier, fresher or taste better, but because they travel and store easily. Iceberg lettuce- a total waste IMO- and tomatoes spring to mind.

So I floated around the web some more and discovered a website that allows the reader to input their zip code, resulting in a list of local farms which have various purchasing programs. Click here for a page listing other sources for locating community supported farms. I put in my zip code and discovered that a local farm sends quite a few shares (units of food purchasable by 'shareholders') to a large local food bank, as well as donating leftover produce to the same food bank. And there in a nutshell, is my blog action day topic- Locally grown sustainable produce. In other words, reduces air pollution & petroleum consumption while increasing food quality and overall health of the environment.

Related to this subject is the Slow Food Movement, link here. Graduate (my older son, for anyone new to my page) first told me about SFM when he returned from a pilgrimage to Oban Scotland, where he stayed with a hostel owner who rhapsodized about the SFM. How can we possibly go wrong by urging more communal mealtimes over delicious food? Humans are very clannish and suspicious of all whom we view as different, surely dialog over a meal table could only be helpful? We humans are losing our ancient linkage to the land resulting in the environmental illnesses we are surrounded by today.

So there it is, folks- go out there and sign up to buy locally grown, environmentally friendly fresh food. Links above. Next time you're in the store buy low phosphorus detergent, like Seventh Generation (listed as an example only). If you can't find that one, here is a link to a list of dishwasher detergent phosphorus levels, dated 2004. Here is a link to another list of detergent phosphorus levels, table halfway down the page.Eat dinner together as often as you can.

1 comment:

Alison Kent said...

Hi, Amanda

Could you email me at as I wanted to ask you a question? Thanks!