Category Archives: locavore
Earlier this week, this blog discussed the dilemma facing people everywhere who want both spot-free dishes and clean watersheds. Well, yesterday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency highlighted another part of the Chesapeake Bay‘s chemical runoff problem: It announced a crack down at the chicken and dairy farm run by the Petersheim brothers of Lancaster County, Pa.
EPA inspectors slapped the Petersheims with a $6,000 fine for allowing runoff from animal manure and milkhouse washwater packed with nitrogen and phosphorus to end up in a tributary of Chickies Creek, which feeds the Susquehanna River and eventually meets the bay.
According to the EPA press release, the brothers’ farm in Manheim, Pa., has about 80 dairy cows and produces eggs from about 36,000 hens. Is that a lot? After reading about the country’s massive factory farming operations that produce most of the eggs — and don’t forget the salmonella! — in the country, the Petersheim operation doesn’t sound terribly large and impactful. And, that just illustrates how diffuse and complicated a pollution problem the Chesapeake is facing. The EPA has outlined its plan to step up the long-running cleanup efforts, here. But the task is daunting and environmentalists have expressed lot of skepticism over the plans rolled out by the states bordering the bay. Meanwhile, the farmers are pushing back: A group of Virginia farmers are coming to Washington tomorrow to complaint about the EPA’s “heavy-handed” approach to the cleanup and lobby against stricter new legislation in Congress, according to this AP report.
Has the massive salmonella egg recall piqued your interest in “food activism” and the growing urban farming movement? Well, here’s an invitation I received today that perhaps appropriately combines foodie activities — sampling locally made (or at least organic) snacks and libations — with learning more about something called the Neighborhood Farm Initiative.
Tastings: Sample a variety of organic wines and samples of locally grown snacks
Topic: Getting Your Hands Dirty: Food Acitvism in Metro DC, a discussion with the Neighborhood Farm Initiative (NFI)
Date/Time: Sunday, August 29th from 2:30-5:00 PM
Place: Fountain Framing, 3311 Rhode Island Avenue, Mount Rainier, MD 20712
Cost: No charge
What is the alternative food movement and what are people in our area doing to support food activism? Maureen Moodie and Bea Trickett of the Neighborhood Farm Initiative will discuss food access and food security in the metro DC area. NFI recognizes our concern for food security, food access and healthy living and will also discuss ways to successfully grow organic gardens at home. They will bring in produce grown from farms at Fort Totten and Fort Dupont for your sampling. Tax-deductible donations to the organization are greatly appreciated. For more information about NFI, please see their website at http://www.neighborhoodfarminitiative.org or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
According to the Center for Neighborhood Technology, we spent a lot of our income on housing and transportation. Check out this new “H+T Affordability Index” to see how different U.S. cities compare. You can also zoom in your particular neighborhood, right down to a few block radius. My particularly neighborhood: 24 percent of income is spent on housing but when you add transportation to that it comes to a whopping 39 percent. But it could be worse. Just outside D.C., some people are spending more than half of their income on H + T combo.