A Political Sea Change for the Good Food Movement

WaveIt’s been just a few weeks since our political world took a turn into uncharted seas. We had been progressing along swimmingly, making progress on the likes of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, local organic food hubs and vibrant conservation programs. We had the luxury of squabbling over the recommendations of the NOSB wrangling over every nuance of organic production. We took the National Organic Program for granted as an institutional “holy maceral” that would carry us someday into regulatory utopia.

All of that came to an abrupt halt last November when the new political tide rolled in. These uncharted waters are like nothing we have navigated before, and the good food movement should take heed and consider rowing with a united stroke if we are to remain afloat.  Continue reading

Peeling Back the Onion: What this Election means for Food and Agriculture

yellow-onionEarly November in California signals the end and the beginning of many things. This year as the election looms, I cut and chop the last dry farm tomatoes from Molino Creek Farm. Each slice marks the conclusion of these ruby orbs of delight. I make caponata to extend the last vestiges of summer flavor in my kitchen. As I peel back the onion, I muse on its ability to make me weep and the way it will transform into a sweet caramelized crescendo.

This election has been much like an onion with its multitude of sharp layers, sometimes bitter, yet holding sweet potential for food and agriculture. Let’s peel back the layers this November to see where we can make progress in Food and Ag policy.     Continue reading

A New Year of Organic Occasions and Sustainable Summits: Hello Sweet Sixteen

2016It’s that time of the year when we set aside the champagne and brie, or beer and curds depending on your longitudinal coordinates. We pull our resolutions up by their proverbial boot straps and get back to work, turning another corner on our good food journey. Sweet sixteen is upon us and so too is a year full of congregations and confluences to satisfy our organic urges and sustainable impulses. Mark your calendars now so you don’t miss out! Continue reading

An Organic Tribute on the Farr Side

Sam FarrI spent my early years in Santa Cruz county digging into the organic food movement through hard work and elbow grease at Community Foods. I had my head down stocking local Swanton berries, Betty’s bodacious Bings, the Russel’s brilliant leaf lettuce and Mark Lipson’s outrageous dry farm tomatoes. I had no time or sensibility for politics or policy, I just knew the trucks had to be unloaded by hand and the customers satisfied with fresh organic produce by the hour. It was to be much later that I realized there was an unflagging champion in my very own district working hard on the state and national level to further organic. His name is Sam Farr. Continue reading

Three Organic Reasons to visit Washington DC

Melody DCI am excited about attending the OTA Policy Conference and Hill visit next week, April 14-16th 2015. Not only will the cherry blossoms be at their ultimate blushing peak, but the air itself will be flush with excitement. The week that organic advocates descend upon Capitol Hill has come to be regarded as Organic Week in DC, and for good reason.  We always have a battalion of organic stakeholders armed with expert knowledge and a passion for the organic community. It’s one of the reasons that organic had so many wins in the 2014 Farm Bill! It’s nearly a sold-out event so if you haven’t already registered do try to attend. If you cannot attend, then plan some time to visit DC in the months ahead. There are three organic reasons to visit Washington DC this year! Continue reading