Friday, January 23

Garden Planning Potluck

At Wednesday’s meeting we decided to hold a garden planning session this Sunday, the 25th, at 5pm. It will be a coffee/tea/snacks potluck, so bring food and drinks if you wish (or not if you don’t). DO bring your ideas, research, garden books, artistic creativity, and friends! We’ll be planning a planting calendar for the year, devising workshops, considering planting designs, and the like. If we don’t finish Sunday we’ll continue at following meetings. So here are the specifics:

Garden Design Session
Sunday, Jan 25th
Potluck House
606 W 114th St (press a buzzer and someone will let you in)
Room 2R

No garden experience is necessary, but enthusiasm is a must.

If you’d like to come to Potluck House before Sunday, we’re having our first potluck of the semester Friday, TONIGHT, starting around 7:30pm. All are welcome—bring food!

We will meet again next Wednesday at 9pm in Hamilton 306 (unless there is a room change). The Grant Houses Garden Project will meet Tuesday at 9pm in Hamilton, room TBD.

Lastly, tips for sustainable winter eating when you tire of squash and turnips from the market, or simply want to supplement them with a wider range of foods, from the chair of Slow Food NYC, Sandra McLean:

- Shop at a locally owned supermarket. They are more likely to have relationships with small, local farms and producers.
- Make organic a priority for out-of-season produce and continue to purchase local seasonal produce such as carrots, potatoes and onions at your farmers market.
- When choosing organic, check where produce was grown and purchase items that have traveled the fewest miles. By law, produce now has to be labeled with its place of origin.
- Select items that have been minimally packaged and processed. Keep clear of those carved up "baby" carrots, pre-washed and packed lettuces and cut up apples. They are wasteful and taste like the chemicals used in their processing.
- It's just not worth it to buy fresh tomatoes, corn, peaches or berries of any kind. Wait and enjoy them in season, when you can get them straight from the farmers.
- Bring your own bags and recycle the bags that you do use.

Wednesday, January 21

2nd Annual Northeast Real Food Summit
February 21-22, 2009
University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Amherst, MA

please let alison (ap2365) know if you will be attending so we can coordinate!

First CUFSP Spring Meeting

The spring semester is up and running and so is CUFSP! Please join us for our first meeting tonight, Wednesday January 21st, to plan for all our food sustainability efforts this semester.
Discussion topics will include:

-On-campus garden planning and expansion
-Real Food NE Conference
-Sustainable food advocacy on campus

Date: Wednesday, Jan 21
Time: 9pm
Location: Hamilton 306

The Grant Houses Garden Project group will meet starting next Tuesday, Jan 27, 9pm in Hamilton Hall. Room TBA.

Also, please take a minute to read President Obama's farm policy, which promises great change to benefit small farms, new farmers, and rural communities:

Ensure Economic Opportunity for Family Farmers

Strong Safety Net for Family Farmers: Fight for farm programs that provide family farmers with stability and predictability. Implement a $250,000 payment limitation so we help family farmers -- not large corporate agribusiness. Close the loopholes that allow mega farms to get around payment limits.

Prevent Anticompetitive Behavior Against Family Farms: Pass a packer ban. When meatpackers own livestock they can manipulate prices and discriminate against independent farmers. Strengthen anti-monopoly laws and strengthen producer protections to ensure independent farmers have fair access to markets, control over their production decisions, and transparency in prices.

Regulate CAFOs: Strictly regulate pollution from large factory livestock farms, with fines for those that violate tough standards. Support meaningful local control.

Establish Country of Origin Labeling: Implement Country of Origin Labeling so that American producers can distinguish their products from imported ones.

Encourage Organic and Local Agriculture: Help organic farmers afford to certify their crops and reform crop insurance to not penalize organic farmers. Promote regional food systems.

Encourage Young People to Become Farmers: Establish a new program to identify and train the next generation of farmers. Provide tax incentives to make it easier for new farmers to afford their first farm.

Partner with Landowners to Conserve Private Lands: Increase incentives for farmers and private landowners to conduct sustainable agriculture and protect wetlands, grasslands, and forests.