Wednesday, April 21, 2010

How does twitter help grow food?

That was the subtitle of my talk at Ohio University last night, where I was a guest speaker for earth month. I explained to the students how if you pour water on your computer while it's on the twitter homepage, actual food will grow out of your keyboard.

But seriously.

Sustainability coordinator/guru Sonia Marcus hosted me for a super fun day during which I visited an Environmental Journalism class, participated in a round table lunch discussion, chatted with a News Writing class, and gave a talk focused on Building Online Communities in the food movement (see above).

I really enjoyed talking with the students, and having the opportunity to reflect upon my writing, reflect upon this blog, and how it ended up being the foundation for allowing me to "become"/call myself a writer. In thinking about things, and in being asked to answer smart questions, I came up with answers that surprised me sometimes.

Professor Hans Meyer covered my talk here. My main takeaway: every time I see a photo of myself giving a talk, that is what I am doing with my hands. Also, n.b. that his students were assigned to live tweet my talk, and I really enjoyed reading their commentary once the talk was done. You can read the comments here, and please take note that I was described as "adorable." I will dine out on this for the next week at least.

Lastly, I mention Athens, the only town in Ohio that could make you forget the other lame places in Ohio. Super locavore, nestled in Appalachia, home to wild pawpaws and black walnuts, and a local cafe that has slow food posters all over the walls, and delicious homemade bialys-Athens, I heart you.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Bits & Pieces

1. My friend John is famous! John is a great cook and a great guy. I just randomly found this piece about him on Apartment Therapy. He's too modest to have sung it from the rooftops, natch.

2. I sing from the rooftops. I wrote this piece on Gristle, a book edited by Moby, all about the negative impacts of industrial meat production.

3. Well and Good NYC covers what to bring for lunch. I bring my lunch almost every day--as do most people at my office. I love that I work in a place where that's the norm.

4. Just ate my first ramps of the season, at the end of a long, hard day. Thanks, Deena, for bringing them to me, and for 4 years of friendship & laughs (& for getting all of my "Friends" and "Seinfeld" references).

Monday, April 12, 2010

Crop Mob

Well, Flash Mobs have already hit the mainstream (I saw one on a season 5 episode of "Weeds" last night); aren't we all ready for the Crop Mob now?

About 2 months ago the NY Times ran a piece on Crop Mobs in the Chapel Hill, NC area, describing it as a "monthly word-of-mouth (and -Web) event in which landless farmers and the agricurious descend on a farm for an afternoon." The food movement got giddy with excitement. Within a week or so, a CropMobNYC group popped up on Facebook and I signed on up.

This past Sunday 4 Crop Mobs were scheduled for four different urban farms around town. I went to Bed-Stuy Farm, where 20 of us met with the generous and inspiring Rev. Robert Jackson and Rev. DeVanie Jackson. We tilled, and clipped, composted and shoveled, hammered and sawed. Also we broke for snacks and ate DeVanie's homemade fig jam from last season's figs.

We brought our own work gloves, our own water bottles, and our own lunch. I left the house in a hurry, throwing together this curried chicken salad quickly, with what I had on hand--kind of like the Crop Mob itself.

Curried Chicken Salad
Leftover roast chicken, cut into chunks
1 large celery stalk, diced
2 tbsp raisins, dark or golden
1 cup Hawthorne Valley yogurt
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 shake cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste

Mix together all ingredients except the chicken, celery and raisins
Then add the rest and stir well

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Food Porn

This article in the Times about people taking pics of their food and posting them on the interwebz made me think a few things.

1. Why are they always "breaking" trend news that broke like 5 years ago? Yawn.

2. I just can't get that excited about pictures of food.

You've probably noticed I don't have many pics on here (trying to be better about it). I don't have a fancy camera and/or a stand-along flash to get things just right. I appreciate the simple beauty of the pics on blogs like 101 cookbooks, Not Eating Out in NY, Smitten Kitchen, and Chocolate and Zucchini. But the charms of, say, Food Porn Daily are lost on me.

I like words more than pictures, I suppose.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

My first day of spring

Spring faked us out a few weeks ago, sunshine bursting through the clouds. I hope none of you fell for that. I did--sent my winter coat to the dry cleaners and everything.

Real spring was this weekend and I headed out to the farmers market hopeful, heady with excitement about ramps. I saw no ramps. But I did buy tulips and daffodils, knowing full well my cats will eat the leaves and make themselves sick. Also Flying Pigs eggs, with two pale green ones that I scrambled up for lunch.

For dinner, a giant Quattro's spring chicken, roasted with 2 different varieties of heirloom potatoes, including the Makah Ozette (a Slow Food Ark of Taste variety) which is delicious but hard to clean. I had to get inside all the nooks and crannies with the tip of a very sharp knife in order to pick out the dirt. Tried to rationalize the bits left behind by thinking about the article I read in the recent food issue of the Oxford American, all about the Southern tradition of eating soil.

Next week, the hunt for ramps continues.