Archive for the 'Community Agriculture' Category

A Kosher Chicken in Every Pot – Part 1

 

Wise Organic Pastures – The Processing Plant

This Article is Cross-Posted on KosherEye.com

Our Bubbie and “grand” Bubbies may have known how to make a famous roast chicken and of course, chicken soup, but certainly did not face the same chicken challenges that the kosher shopper faces today. Most chicken is no longer raised in the back yard! The consumer is now faced with numerous choices in quality, type and price.

Chicken has become a multi-billion dollar industry in America. Kosher chicken is no exception, but is somewhat more complicated. There has been extraordinary growth in kosher poultry sales in the last few decades. Along with observant Jews, many non-Jews and Jews who don’t necessarily adhere to kosher laws now purchase kosher poultry. Why? There is a perception that kosher certification adds a layer of clarity and transparency to poultry purchases. In addition to the FDA and government regulatory agencies, the processing plant must adhere to the specifications of a supervising kosher agency and rabbinical authority. Many consumers welcome this extra layer of inspection.

Support The Creation of a Community Olive Oil Press in Berkeley

California is  ideal for olive growing, though the potential for making olive oil is not being reached by the community due to the cost and labor involved.  Andy Dale has decided to take matters into his own hands by using Kickstarter.com to raise the money needed to create a community olive oil press.  With olive trees already growing, the idea is that people will be able to put the fruit to use in creating natural, local, fresh olive oil.  Dale has calculated that with the oil press charging either a fee or a percentage of olive oil, it will be able to sustain itself and even grow, eventually becoming a fixture in the Bay Area community.

Let’s Stop Wasting Millions on Food Aid

Originally posted on Food Forever – The AJWS Food Justice Blog.

When I think about international food aid, what comes to mind are the challenges of distribution—who’s getting what and how much of it? But then there are the hidden costs of shipping. A recent IRIN article discusses the results of a Cornell University study that revealed the alarming fact that U.S. taxpayers spend about $140 million every year on non-emergency food aid in Africa. They spend roughly the same amount to ship food aid to global destinations on U.S. vessels.

$280 million. That’s a LOT of money. And the truth? It only benefits a very small constituency at the expense of taxpayers and recipients.

Fighting Obesity and Food Insecurity, One Click at a Time

A long-time reader of The Jew and the Carrot, it’s easy for me to see the importance and power of conversations within the Jewish community regarding eating, nutrition, food politics, and sustainability. However, the Jewish imperative for justice does not allow us to stop at environmental or personal levels. Rather, we have to continue our pursuit of justice to ensure that everyone has access to fresh, seasonal produce, healthy food options, and the skills to prepare healthy meals. The Nourishing Kitchen of New York City is an organization working to do just that for the East Harlem community.

Dill Pesto

This entry has been cross-posted at http://yourhealthisonyourplate.com.

Right now, the dill is taking over my herb garden in its lovely, flavorful and feathery bloom. My attempts to use it don’t usually make a dent in the amount growing, even as I leave plenty to seed next year’s crop, or to share with the next interested gardener. Mostly, I have been cutting it into salads. I could also add it to butter, or make pickles, or hang some upside down to dry. The dill is everywhere, self seeding from beautiful, zebra-colored seeds given to me a few years ago by a patient who also grows startlingly lovely lavender roses.

Hazon CSA Site Spotlight! Father/Daughter photo exhibit

In 2008 Maya and Zach Kassutto embarked on a father-daughter photo-documentary project of their Hazon Community Supported Agriculure project at Kol Ami in Elkins Park, PA.

As Zach says, it was Mayas bat mitzvah year, and she wanted to engage in a mitzvah project that was meaningful to her. Her bat mitzvah coincided with the harvest holiday of Succoth. Photographing the CSA seemed like the perfect project, especially since she also has a passion for vegetarianism, the environment and photography.

Does Bill Clinton Really Want to Help Haiti for the Long-Term?

By Josh Berkman, Associate Director for Media and Marketing at American Jewish World Service (AJWS). Cross-posted on Food Forever The AJWS Food Justice Blog.

Bill Clinton was back in Haiti last week, echoing a major concern of many in the international development community that the upcoming hurricane season poses a huge threat to the country. In addition to nearly a million people living in fragile temporary shelters in the large cities, the agricultural infrastructure in rural areas — already severely damaged — could be completely blown out by even a minor hurricane. He again spoke of his concern that Haiti’s population remains dependent on foreign aid. He has pledged $2 million from his foundation, half for disaster preparedness and the other half to the Haiti Reconstruction Commission (IHRC).

Progress in Cleveland at Gan haOr

Ellen Botnick shared the following photos with us from the Cleveland garden. Things are looking beautiful since last we posted. Check out that old story here and click below the jump for some more lovely photos.

Weighing in on the Food Production Debate

By Josh Berkman, cross-posted on From the Ground–the blog of American Jewish World Service (AJWS)

Over the last week, an important discussion has emerged in the blogosphere about the best ways for hungry nations to produce food. The debate began with a piece by Wellesley professor Robert Paarlberg, published in Foreign Affairs. Paarlberg argues that sluggish food productionrather than price explosionis responsible for food insecurity in the Global South and that the only way to produce enough food is through advanced technology, increased chemical use and genetically modified seeds. He marginalizes organic farming as quaint and unrealistic as a solution. It’s time to stop rejecting biotech and industrial food production, Paarlberg claims, and realize that it is the only way forward.

All about Community Supported Agriculture from Val at the Hazon CSA in Cherry Hill

Check out this podcast interview with Val Yasner from the Hazon CSA in Cherry Hill. Val makes a great case for eating locally and sustainably — and she’s hard at work making sure the 2010 season is as strong as last year’s at Temple Beth Shalom. Val’s on at about minute 18 (how appropriate!). Gut shabbes, everyone.

Hazon’s Food Programs Featured on Civil Eats Blog

Check out this post about the Jewish Food Movement on Civil Eats. It is great to learn about the Food Movement from two of Hazon’s core characters – Judith Belasco, Hazon’s director of food programs and Sue Carson, one of Hazon’s key lay-leaders in the food movement. Sue co-chaired the 2008 Hazon Food Conference and helped start a Hazon CSA program at her synagogue in Merion Station. The article includes these reflections from Sue about her experiences at the Conference:

Growing Food Justice: How going local can help feed our cityand the world.

As Shavuot approaches and we reflect on the significance of harvest festivals in contemporary (urban) times, the AJWS-AVODAH Partnership is hosting an interactive program on hunger in NYC and what you can do about it! If you are in the NYC area you should definitely check out this event.

Date: Wednesday, May 12th

Time: Light dinner and registration at 6:30pm, program at 7pm sharp

Place: The Commons on Atlantic, in Downtown Brooklyn

Address: 388 Atlantic Ave (map)

To register: Click here

Speakers include:

Watch Food, Inc. for free on PBS

food-inc-poster

If you haven’t had a chance to see Food, Inc., carpe diem! PBS recently aired it on POV, television’s oldest showcase for independent non-fiction films. POV has also put the entire film on their site for free viewing for a limited time. It’s only up until April 28, so check it out today!

A Year in Review of the Hazon CSA program

csamap

We’ve just begun to distribute our Hazon CSA 2009 Season Report, and we figured that sharing it with our JCarrot readers might be fun for you all. Each of the carrots on the above map represents all of our CSAs for the 2010 season, but to learn more about what happened in 2009 in our longest standing food program, you can download the report. For instance, did you know the following?

In 2009:

  • The Hazon CSA program grew to 32 communities in the United States and Canada, with forty-one partner organizations, including synagogues, day schools, Hillels and JCCs and twenty eight partner farms.