Productio Ad Absurdam

Edete Localis, Sumete Localis, Communicate et Carpe Jugulum

Really Really Free Market in East Austin

The last sunday of every month, East Austin is overtaken by a festival of free happening at Chestnut Community Park.


Chalk this up as yet one more think I didn't know about.  The Really Really Free Market is a gathering for reuse, recycling, sharing and community building, from 1-3 pm.  My Irish class isn't meeting this Sunday so I think I may go check it out.  Read more about it here.  

Sustainable Food Center’s “Citizen Gardener” course beginning soon

The SFC is will begin their Citizen Gardener course on 9/13 at Pease Elementary School.  "This class series will teach you how to turn your bare ground or Bermuda Grass lawn into raised and in-ground garden beds that are small enough to manage, but big enough to provide real food. This hands-on course covers Central Texas specific topics and addresses the challenges and benefits to growing in our climate. Learn about composting, rainwater harvesting, mulching components, bio-intensive gardening, bed-building and more in a series of 3 classes. After completing the classes students complete 10 hours of volunteer work in any one of our partner gardens in order to gain the designation as Citizen Gardener. The hours spent as a volunteer enhance students gardening knowledge and build awareness in their communities about the benefits of gardening." The cost is $45, $10 of which is for a criminal background check.

SNAP Gardens added to the blogroll

Did you know that SNAP (food stamps) can be used to buy food-producing plants and seeds?  I sure didn't.  I did know that SNAP can be used at the farmers markets to buy fresh food (and I am always happy to see people at the markets using it, because it seems to me that this possibility is not given the publicity and attention it deserves), but not to grow your own.  Worried about water usage?  Head on over to the Food is Free page and learn how to make wicking beds/boxes, which use considerably less water.

Rose Goslinga: Crop insurance – an idea worth seeding

A very good TED talk about crop insurance in sub-saharan Africa, including building the price into the price of seed, and using satellite technology to help predict/measure rainfall for the farmers who are insured.  Think of microinsurance the way you think of microloans.   goslinga  

Born and raised in Tanzania, Goslinga was working for the Rwandan Ministry of Agriculture in 2008 when the minister had a bold idea: could they offer insurance to small farmers to protect them in case rain didn’t come when needed? Goslinga ran with the idea and founded the Syngenta Foundation’s Kilimo Salama program, which is Swahili for “safe farming.” Last year, it insured 185,000 farmers in Kenya and Rwanda against drought, and it was recently spun into a company called ACRE.


More local food goodness in L.A. – seafood!

Connie_and_Teds_Arch_092   My friend took me to Connie & Ted's in West Hollywood (Santa Monica Blvd) for lunch yesterday, because I just can't get seafood in Austin anywhere but the Whole Foods Mother Ship (and boooooy, do they make good seafood there!).  I had the most delicious grilled fresh cod with an herb crust, perfectly prepared, with equally perfect and flavorful fingerling potatoes.  My friend had a cup of Rhode Island clam chowder - New England style but with half the cream, no I'd never heard of it either - and what she described as the "cutest lobster roll I have ever seen!"  Judging by the look on her face, she was as happy with her meal as I was with mine.  We indulged in dessert:  homemade chocolate chips cookies, house-made cookies & cream ice cream sundaes with house-made hot fudge and salted caramel toppings.  If you're in L.A., you simply must head to Connie & Ted's for lunch or dinner.  Trust me.  You won't be sorry. In fact, we were so happy and were served so quickly, I forgot to take photos.  Except of the cider bottle because I want to remember this cider!

Cooperation Texas can now take direct donations!

One can be a one-time, monthly, quarterly or annual donor.  Sustainers (recurring donations) who donate prior to 9/25 are invited to a sustainers' gathering at Black Star Co-op on 9/25.  I have happily become a monthly sustainer. Cooperation Texas is an organization committed to sustainable jobs via creation and maintenance of worker owned cooperatives.  Their Cooperative Business Institute (CBI) is a comprehensive training program designed to equip participants with the skills and resources needed to start and manage a worker-owned cooperative.  Trainings, consultations, and workshops in the Cooperative Business Institute cover topics ranging from the history, principles and values of cooperatives to the legal, organizational and business needs specific to worker-owned enterprises.  Some of the graduates went on to found Green Dahlia cleaning service, whom I hire for my home.

Keeping it local in L.A.

Duck confit poutine at Littlefork in Hollywood on Wilcox.  Chef Josh Rabbi was in the kitchen, even though it was his birthday yesterday, and Kristi was keeping us amused at the bar.   poutine       We also enjoyed these delectable delights, maple eggs with crispy bacon.  The eggs had a custardy texture and the maple flavor came through in a way that surprised me.  The bacon is house-cured for a week with brown sugar and salt then smoked for three hours with applewood chips.  (sorry, all their site photos are on Instagram, so I can't insert them, only the links). We also had lobster rolls, some of the best in L.A., they look like this sans brisket.  And we had the best smoked trout I've ever had, of which they have no photo, with a potato salad that this redneck appreciated greatly and which even my potato-salad-hating friend enjoys.