Productio Ad Absurdam

Edete Localis, Sumete Localis, Communicate et Carpe Jugulum

Inside America’s Largest Worker-Owned Co-op

See the video on Vimeo here (sorry, I couldn't embed the video here, it exceeds the max upload size). Cooperative Home Healthcare Associates has 2300 worker/owners in The Bronx.  This clip is from a longer documentary called "Shift Change", which filmed worker-owned cooperatives in the U.S. and in Mondragon, Spain, home of probably the most famous worker-owned co-op in the world.  It was broadcast on PBS this summer. "Shift Change" is distributed by Bullfrog Films but is not (yet?) available on Hulu or Netflix.  More info can be found at these links:

Food Recovery Network

The FRN chapters at colleges and universities collect the uneaten leftover food from dining halls, sports venues, and other sources on their campuses that would otherwise be thrown in the garbage, and donates these meals to homeless shelters and other organizations that help those in need.  I am proud that my alma mater UT Austin has a chapter.  Go to the website to learn more, donate, or learn how to start a chapter at your school.
  "In January of 2012, students from four colleges came together to create the Food Recovery Network, with a mission of creating food recovery programs on every college campus in the country. First, students at Brown University formed the second chapter of FRN, which successfully recovered 6,000 pounds of food in its first semester. That same month, FRN joined forces with two existing food recovery programs, Bare Abundance at the University of California, Berkeley and Food Rescue at Pomona College."
"As of May 2014, we have programs at more than 95 colleges in 26 states, Puerto Rico and Washington D.C. and have recovered over 400,000 pounds of food! We are supported by Chartwells in addition to Sodexo, Bon Appetit, and many independent dining providers."  

How to start an urban farm

urban farm
  Mother Earth News has a very short but helpful overview for how to start an urban farm.  I only quibble with step one:  have a mission statement.  Mission statements are complete wastes of time and energy to craft something in words that means absolutely nothing.  Just ask:  what do you want to accomplish with the urban farm?  But you've probably already answered that question if you are ready to take concrete steps to create farm, so giddyup and GO!

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 than traditional plots or beds.