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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Green Talk: Growing the “Fresh” Movement

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Editor’s note: today WestportNow launches the first bi-weekly column from Westport’s Green Village Initiative (GVI), a grassroots group working to make Westport a model green community. The first topic: growing the “fresh” movement.

By Monique Bosch

We all seem to be waking up to the fact that our food system is an obese consumer of fossil fuels. WestportNow.com Image

In our industrial food system, it takes an estimated 10 calories of energy from fossil fuels to generate one calorie of food.

One study has shown that the industrial food system contributes more to global warming than anything else.

As eaters, we decide three times every day how we want to eat. 

We can use this “voting” power to choose local, organic, humanely treated “fresh” food rather than processed, chemical-laden, packaged food trucked from thousands of miles away.

The good news is that Americans seem ready to change and are seeking out locally grown food.

Here are some examples, with links, to get you and your family started in learning about and enjoying more local food:

* The Westport Community Gardens has a waiting list of over 40 gardeners and are therefore doubling in size to allow up to 130 plots. You can sign up at westportgardens.org.

* In March, the Westport Public Library will host films and speakers focusing on the local food movement on Tuesday evenings, starting March 2. (westportlibrary.org/events/2010/03/

* A series of hands-on workshops will be held regionally from March through November on topics such as building a raised bed, soil health and organic vegetable gardening, backyard chicken farming, composting, fencing, preparing and cooking food from the garden and preserving food for the winter. 

The workshops will take place at farms in Westport, Wilton, Ridgefield and Weston. (contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for more information)

* Several regional farms deliver weekly produce to Westporters through their CSA (community supported agriculture) memberships.  The Stone Gardens Farm CSA is expanding from 120 to 400 members this year. (stonegardensfarm.com/CSA)

* Westport has two farmers markets every summer, at the Imperial Avenue parking lot (westportfarmersmarket.com) and behind the Saugatuck Congregational Church. (saugatuckchurch.org/news-and-events/farmers-market.html)

* Staples High is about to begin planting its edible garden for its second season. 

* Soon Westport will have its own Town Farm, where Staples High School environmental ccience teacher Michael Aitkenhead and his family will grow produce for a farm stand and will teach others how to successfully build and cultivate their own backyard gardens, for the most local food of all.  (Westportgvi.org)

Posted 02/02 at 11:27 PM

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