Guest post by Christina Radisauskas
Last week I went to a film and discussion series entited “Label Me Confused: What organic, free range, and all those other words really mean” at a local theater. Several organic farmers gathered to discuss the benefits of choosing to eat locally produced and/or organic foods rather than typical supermarket fare. It started with the showing of the film “My Father’s Garden,” a documentary about the perils of using chemical pesticides and fertilizers (50% of the top soil in the U.S. is just GONE!). Afterwards, a panel of local farmers discussed the processes of becoming certified as organic farmers, and what the labels on the food we buy really mean. Of most interest to me was the question of whether buying certified organic food was better than buying locally produced food. The average food item in the United States travels 1500 miles before reaching the dinner table! And many local farmers use sustainable and/or organic processes on their farms. Becoming certified is expensive and time-consuming, and a lot of small, local farmers just don’t do it.
Here are some links of interest-
Sustainabletable.org – A site addressing many issues of eating, living, and growing sustainably. The ‘shop’ page is helpful in finding conveniently located stores that sell locally produced food items.
eco-labels.com – A site devoted to clearing up what labels really mean.
Short articles addressing local vs. organic foods:
How ingenious is this: a flower shop where rather than buying cut flowers, you buy photos of plant bits that are then constructed into 3-Dimensional arrangements.
Wolf Klein’s Der Blumenladen (The Flower Shop) is part old-school flower shop, part mad take-out menu, and part wacky flip book with a splash of conceptual art (at least that’s the impression given by Google’s translating tool — the site is in German). What’s more, patrons can mix it up by choosing leaves and flowers of assorted plants to build a monster plant or keep it simple with a sole flower. Whatever your floral tastes, cut stems last a week at best, while a photo lasts a lifetime Ã¢â‚¬â€œ no care required.
Come out to Earth Day Spring Festival events this weekend at Budapest Park here in Toronto!
When: Sat, April 22. 2006.
10:30 am – 4 pm
Where: Budapest Park (on the waterfront at the bottome of Roncessvalles Ave., just east of Sunnyside Park and west of the Palais Royale.)
Stop by the You Grow Girl tent. We’ll be selling the You Grow Girl book, t-shirts, buttons and more at event prices. I will also be giving a hands-on seed-starting workshop at 11:00 am. Bring a container (poke some holes in a margarine container) and take home a seedling in the making.
Admission is FREE!
As if gardening with living plants isn’t enough to keep me occupied, I’ve recently become obsessed with plants crafted from paper. Download and construct your own garden of indoor houseplants, from the Epson Hong Kong site. Patterns include ivy, lucky bamboo, saguaro cactus, and a cute barrel cactus.
Guest post by Emira Mears
I’m a pretty big fan of Branch the currently online/soon to also be a physical store in San Francisco that bills itself as a purveyor of Sustainable Design for Living. They have a pretty great gardening section that seems to be a combo of novelty grow-in-one containers and some graceful design pieces like the Perch birdfeeder.
I just received their latest email newsletter and was inexplicably charmed by the very absurd Plant Me Pets. I think it might be the kind of situationist overtones of their “Plant Me” and “I’m the Tomato” badges that really seals the deal for me. I might just need one of these for work to remind me of the dirt waiting for me at home.