Real Food

Savor the flavors of everyday real food, fresh from the garden or stored on your pantry shelves.

Add to My MSN


It seems as though everyone has at least a passing dream of selling at a farmers’ market. From backyard tomatoes, to foraged wild morels, to grandma’s incredible pound cake recipe, the possibilities often appear endless. My own journey started in 1990, when at age 16 I shuttled eggs each weekend to my local market in Shepherdstown, WV from our family’s flock. More than twenty years later, I’ve filled out nearly every application known to man, received dozens of different health department permits, and attended perhaps twenty different markets over my career. Each and every experience has been different, which makes the following question almost impossible to answer:

“Excuse me,” a bright-eyed young woman politely asked a few weeks back, stopping by my market stand. “I make banana bread, and I want to sell at this market. Do I just bring a table and set up or… umm, well… how do farmers’ markets work, exactly?”

Great question. How does it work, exactly?



Learn When the Annual Meeting Takes Place, Get Your Application In Well Ahead of Time

Once spring arrives, everyone gets excited about farmers’ markets. But the real planning starts far earlier, back in December and January. This is when the market meetings usually take place, months in advance of the start of market. Applications are reviewed then, too, so if you’d like to attend your local market, get your ducks (or potatoes) in a row by January, not June.

Identify A Need

Whether it’s run by your local government, a not-for-profit volunteer, or a professional manager, all great markets have one thing in common: they are run as serious businesses. How much planning and coordination does it take to block off a city street, select a diverse candidate pool of farmers, provide ample parking, restroom facilities, weekly marketing etc.? Most markets take several years to conceptualize, and several more years afterwards to grow into successes. If you have a bustling weekend market in your neighborhood, rest assured that it’s no accident.

Be sure to treat your own enterprise with the same degree of professionalism, starting with Business 101: Identifying your market. Does your local market really need more tomatoes, or could it use a seasonal variety of fresh berries? Speaking of those tomatoes, what happens come late summer, when the entire planet seems overrun with tomatoes? Look around… is anyone offering jarred tomato sauce, or salsa, or value-added products (vegetarian chili? sun-dried tomatoes?) to sell during the winter months?

Identifying a real need, not just what you think the market might want, will greatly increase your chances of acceptance. And to do this, you should…

Visit the Market as a Shopper, Over and Over Again

The best way to identify a need is to visit your local market, and shop there. Show up week after week, month after month. After all, you’re planning to attend as a vendor, right? You should become intimately familiar with your new business setting. And yes, that means showing up in the rain, heat, and even snow. After all, if you can’t make the effort to show up, why would your customers? Committing to this habit will not only build familiarity, but show your dedication to your fellow vendors and the market manager. Which leads me to my next point…

Get to Know the Market Manager, and Pitch Your Idea to Them

The one person who might hold a stronger bit of influence as to your acceptance into market is the manager. Seek this person out, and ask them for advice. Take them out for coffee mid-week, and inquire what products the market could use. Learn how you could help. After all, it’s always better to…

Make Friends, Not Grouchy Neighbors

Okay, so you’ve got a fig tree in your backyard, and for a few weeks summer it’s loaded with fresh, ripe fruit. There’s no harm in just picking a few dozen pints and selling it for a dollar or two at market, right? After all, it would just go to waste otherwise.

Not so fast, my figgy friend. Please be respectful, and at least check-in with your fellow farmers before doing this. Chances are, whether it’s fruit, vegetables or whatever else you might grow “in the backyard”, there’s a farmer who’s staked his or her entire growing season on that very same crop. At a minimum, don’t undercut your fellow producer just because you’ve got extra rhubarb for a week or two each summer. It’s not only rude, but wide discrepancies in pricing can be terribly confusing to the customers as well.

Full-time producers run their operation like a business, not a hobby. And finally…

Want to know more? Check out my book, Gaining Ground: A Story Of Farmers' Markets, Local Food, And Saving the Family Farm, filled with hilarious mistakes (and the occasional triumph!) I made on my own farmers’ market journey.

All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more javascript:void(0);about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page.


Last year was the very first year we went strawberry picking. It was a no-brainer this year. We had to go strawberry picking at Messick's Farm again this year. And then when we discovered that they were running a special of buy two-gallons get one free, we were on it!

When we got home with this years pick, I instantly knew what I would make first -- strawberry jam. Last year I wanted to make it so badly, but never had a chance to make anything but a quick strawberry jamy-syrup topping for ice cream. This year, it was much different.

There was some amazing, yummy goodness going on in my kitchen the other day and I just have to share the recipe with you.

This is a recipe that is found all across the internet, in cookbooks, and in your grandmas memory. It is quick and easy, and not to mention, very simple. It has been tried and tested for years, and it's about time you put it to test for yourself.

Homemade Strawberry Jam

• 2 quarts of fresh strawberries (de-stemmed and sliced in half)
• 1/3 to 1/2 cup fruit pectin (depending on your preference of thickness, 1/3 is normally fine.)
• 4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
• 1 tsp butter
• 7 cups refined sugar (organic cane juice works too)

Before you begin

Whenever making jam, you want to make sure that you have all of your utensils and ingredients together before you begin. All jars need to be sterilized and set aside before starting your jam. Make sure you have jars, lids, a ladle, and a jar funnel for pouring the jam into your jars. Have all of this ready before proceeding to make the jam.

1. Measure 2 quarts (I just use quart jars) of de-stemmed and sliced strawberries into a large bowl.

2. Smash strawberries to break into smaller pieces and to release juice from the berry. If you prefer not to have larger chunks in your jam, then you'll need to pulse your berries in a food processor a few times.

3. Pour crushed berries into a large (6 qt +) pan. 

4. Add pectin, butter and lemon juice to crushed berries.

5. Bring to a boil over medium high heat -- stirring constantly. Do not allow it to scorch on the bottom.

6. Pour in pre-measured sugar until it is completely dissolved. Stir constantly.

7. Bring mixture back up to a boil that cannot be stirred down, stir constantly for 2 minutes while it boils. Make sure you are careful and do not burn yourself! Boiling jam is extremely sticky and painful!

8. After 2 minutes, immediately remove from heat and immediately skim off what little foam may be on top of jam.

9. Quickly ladle into jars, cap with lid and ring. Do not tighten too hard — fingertip tightening. 

10. Over the next few hours your jars will begin to seal themselves. They will last in your pantry for well over a year or more. 

11. If any of your jars do not seal, remove the lid, replace with new lid, and place in a hot water bath canner for 20 mins.

-- Don't want to use commercial fruit pectin? Try making your own! Click here to find out how.

Amy Fewell is a work-at-home mom, homesteader, blogger, photographer and writer. She and her family live on a mini-homestead in Virginia where they raise heritage breed chickens, standard Rex rabbits, ducks and more! For more information about their homestead, visit them online at The Fewell Homestead.

All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page.


pretzel rolls 

Pretzel rolls, or buns, are the cool kids of the bread world right now. Not only are pretzel rolls popping up in artisan bakeries, they can now be found on restaurant menus everywhere. It seems like everyone has their own specialty served on a pretzel roll, from gourmet burgers to fast food fare.

So I thought it was time I got in on the trend. After all, I love homemade pretzels so pretzel rolls would be good too, right? Right. The whole family was coming over for Mother’s Day, making it the perfect time to try out my recipe. If you can’t experiment with family, when can you experiment! We didn’t have burgers, but sandwiches worked just as well. Naturally I didn’t want just any old pretzel recipe, so I adapted this Sourdough Pretzel Recipe from a previous post. The rolls were soft and chewy, tangy and substantial. Yes, they took a little more time than everyday rolls, but I will definitely make them again.

Make Your Own Sourdough Starter

Make your own sourdough starter by using the method I prefer, found on my website Make Your Own Sourdough Starter. Or follow the methods found in earlier Mother Earth News articles, including Creating Homemade Sourdough Bread From a Starter Mix, and a previous blog post, A Beginner’s Guide to Sourdough. It’s hard to completely fail with sourdough, so use the method that appeals most to you. I used a Rye Starter for this particular recipe but it isn’t absolutely necessary. Learn How to Make a Rye Sourdough Starter.

Prepare Sourdough Pretzel Dough

Start by mixing the following ingredients in a large bowl or the bowl to your stand mixer. Because this dough is fairly dry, it will easier to prepare using a stand mixer. However, it can be expertly prepared using only your own muscle power, and is excellent exercise!


• 1 cup rye sourdough starter
• 1 tsp salt
• 2 tbsp malted barley powder or sugar
• 2 tsp instant dry yeast
• 1½ cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
• 2 cups bread flour
• 1 tbsp melted butter
• ¾ to 1 cup warm, not hot, water

Baking The Pretzel Rolls

1. Mix all ingredients to combine. Knead by hand until smooth and elastic, about 15 minutes, or using a stand mixer for 8 - 10 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled, about 2 hours.

2. Gently deflate dough. Cut into 18 pieces. Roll each piece into a tight ball. Set on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover and let rise 30 – 45 minutes or until puffy.

3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrengeit. Fill a large saucepan or Dutch oven about half full of water and bring to a boil. Carefully add ½ cup baking soda to the boiling water.

4. Gently drop rolls into the water, no more than 2-3 at a time. Simmer about 30 seconds, turn and simmer an additional 30 seconds. Remove rolls with a slotted spoon and return to the baking sheet. Repeat with all remaining rolls.

5. Score the tops of the rolls if desired. Rolls may also be sprinkled with flake salt or poppy seeds. Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Let rolls cool for at least 15 minutes before eating. Using a sourdough starter will help keep the rolls fresh for a day or two, but like most rolls these are best served the same day they are baked.

All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page. 


Outdoor Cooking Big Green EggIt is that Green time of year again, and I am not thinking about gardening (well, OK, I am), or painting or anything else that might come to mind that is Green. In this specific case, I am thinking of the Big Green Egg. This marvel of Japanese and American engineering is a multi-functional cooking device, about three all wrapped up in one large green, dimpled device. “Tis the season,” as they say, for outdoor cooking in all its glory.

It could well be that you have never heard of the Big Green Egg, a lot of folks haven’t, so this is where this blog comes in. In fact, Eggheads, as we are known, have become a bit of a phenomenon around the world. They are quite popular in Africa and the Netherlands, for example.

Big Green Eggs originated in Japan, a number of centuries ago, and at that time they were called Kamado cookers. They were large, jar-like ceramic “ovens” that the Japanese used to cook with. The original Kamados were subject eventually to breakage, a problem solved by good old-fashioned American engineering, in this case, space shuttle technology. The folks at Big Green Egg (really, you have to go to their website at worked on the ceramics until they got it perfect. They still continue to experiment tweaking this and that, in the pursuit of an ever better Egg.

How a Big Green Egg Works

So, you may reasonably ask, how do these things work? If you can run a woodstove, you can do an Egg. If you don’t have a wood stove, do not worry. It is easy enough to get the hang of with some practice. The firebox is in the bottom chamber, which is where you put lump charcoal; I use one of those electric fire starters to get the charcoal started. It doesn’t take long, and I have been known to get the Egg fired up in ten to fifteen minutes.

Now, having said all of this, be prepared for serious heat, and if you do not watch your Egg, it can easily shoot up to 700 degrees F. Yes. I find I run mine much lower, maybe 450 to 500 for pizzas, etc. Obviously, if you are doing a cake or something along that line you want a lower temperature.

Also be careful about opening your Egg anytime it’s over 400, as it gets a blast of oxygen, and can woof at you, or singe your eyebrows. It has never singed mine, but I know someone that is has.

The Art of Cooking with a Big Green Egg

You may also seriously ask, why all this to make a steak? That is where the art comes in. It is not just that you flap a steak on, cook it and eat. That is the goal, mind you, but it is how you get there that is important. It is what you cook your steak with, the seasonings involved, but at the end of the day, it is the taste. A truly perfect steak with that charcoal smoke taste is unbeatable. You can also do whole chickens or turkeys, seafood, anything that grills or bakes.

It is also not all about the BBQ, as it can also be used as a smoker, and as I use it regularly, an outdoor (charcoal) fired oven. Does that smoke go with your chocolate cake? Yes! And your cinnamon buns? Absolutely. Pizza is where it is king, but so are breads like baguettes and various loaves. In fact, I strive to make a complete meal on the Egg, with appetizers, the main course, and dessert all done one after the other (I recommend you start with dessert first, not a bad way to go, eh?).

I must confess, the first time I saw an Egg, I thought it was the most ugly thing I had ever seen. Still, my butcher Roger convinced me, it is THE way to go, his only regret being he did not buy a bigger one. Taking that advice, I bought the Large (he has a medium). I understand they now have a double extra-large. Hallelujah!

Feel free to contact me if you would like instruction on the Egg, or any other baking/ cooking instruction at Or email me at Come visit me, you get to eat what you make!

You can also follow my further adventures on Facebook and more blogs at
All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page.



Rhubarb is a confusing plant. It looks like a vegetable, but is cooked as a fruit. Tasted alone, it is unbearably bitter. So where does rhubarb fall in the botanical spectrum? The origin is traced over 2,000 years ago to Asia where it was initially cultivated for medicinal qualities.[1] In China, the roots were dried and pulverized to treat ailments, while the plant was commonly used as a laxative to treat indigestion.[2] The medicinal use for rhubarb continued in Europe until it was discovered that the petioles (leafstalks) were edible and even tasty when cooked properly.

In the 19th century, the Victoria variety caught the British by storm. It was easy to grow, consistently tender, and reliable.[3] The obsession began. Rhubarb was used for jam, jellies, pies, custards, puddings, and fools (see below for Rhubarb Fool). It wasn’t long until rhubarb made its way across the Atlantic. 

Established as a vegetable, from the genus Rheum, rhubarb was reclassified by US custom officials in the 1940s as a fruit, under the auspice that it should be categorized according to consumption. In actuality, the change took advantage of lower tax rates and shipping laws. Interestingly, rhubarb is still classified as a fruit in the United States today.

The classification of rhubarb as fruit or vegetable is less important than taking advantage of its spring flavor. The season is short, and time should not be wasted on debates. Rhubarb is a treat to be savored, and I have been working on a variety of recipes to use it in both respects—as fruit and vegetable. 

Fruit Oriented Rhubarb Recipes

Pies, tarts, and crisps are rhubarb classics. This year, I’m attempting to be inventive with rhubarb to consume less sugar. One of the most balanced dessert recipes that I have discovered is Rhubarb Fool, a throwback from 1830s Britain. 

Rhubarb Fool Recipe


• 2-1/4 pounds rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
• 1-1/4 cups sugar (or less depending on taste)
• 2 cups nonfat vanilla yogurt
• 1/2 cup whipping cream


1. Combine rhubarb and sugar in a large saucepot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until mixture has consistency of apple sauce (6-8 minutes) while stirring occasionally. Chill the mixture for about one hour.

2. Fold rhubarb mixture into the yogurt and swirl in the whipping cream. Cover and refrigerate for 1-6 hours. 

Vegetable Oriented Rhubarb Recipes

Finding alternative (non-sweet) uses for rhubarb has proven challenging. I look forward to experimenting in the next few weeks and adding to my repertoire. I love rhubarb pie and sweet treats, but seriously, there must be other ways to consume this vegetable (dare I even say it). In this search, I have discovered an interesting Middle Eastern spinoff recipe for lentils (dal) and rhubarb from Mark Bittman. The rhubarb adds a lemony zest and fleshy texture to the stew.


Dal & Rhubarb


• 1 cup dried lentils
• 2 tbsp minced ginger
• 1 tbsp minced garlic
• 4 cardamom pods
• 1 tbsp mustard seed
• 2 cloves
• 1 tsp cracked black pepper
• add alt to taste
• 2 tbsp butter (optional)
• garnish with cilantro


1. Combine all ingredients except salt, butter, and cilantro in a saucepan. Add water to cover and bring to a boil. Adjust heat so mixture bubbles gently, cover partially and cook while stirring occasionally. Add water as needed and cook until lentils are tender (about 30 minutes). Lentils should be saucy, not soupy.

2. Remove cloves and cardamom pods. Stir in butter if using, adjust seasoning and garnish with cilantro. 

Drinkable Rhubarb Recipe Ideas

Rhubarb can be infused with alcohol or made into simple syrups for mixers. Again, more sugar! The simplest infusion that I enjoy is fresh-diced rhubarb in water. Freeze slices of rhubarb to add to summer lemonades, tea, or water for a refreshing treat.



[1] The Rhubarb Compendium

[2] Rhubarb Information

[3] Rhubarb: A Love Affair

All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page.


Radish Kimchi 

Radishes are the red and white stars of my spring pickling classes. If you have more radishes in your garden than you can eat, or if you are just looking to try something new—I say pickle them! Not convinced? Here are five reasons radishes are to be fermented.

1. First to harvest = First to ferment. The cheery round Cherry Belle radish or the longer oblong heirloom French Breakfast radishes are harbingers of the coming garden season. I know people who hardly eat radishes but plant them just because they delight in radishes’ quick growth in the cool beginnings of the waking garden. 

2. Radishes can be your starter pickle. Never fermented before? Maybe you have been hearing the rumors of how good fermented vegetables are for you. Guess what? Now that the energy of the growing season is bringing new crisp vegetables to the market, it’s time to try. Radishes are easy to pickle or ferment, even if you’re brand new to fermenting.

3. Radishes are incredibly healthy—especially in the spring when our bodies are rousing to their warm-weather selves. Eastern medicine sees radishes as a spring tonic; you can link to a little more about that and a recipe for a Spring Radish and Fennel Ferment.  A few other radish benefits are that they help with respiration and ridding our bodies of cold symptoms. They are high in Vit. C (even higher after they are fermented.) And they are calming on the digestive system since fermented probiotic-rich foods are also soothing—it stands to reason fermented radishes are a 2-for! Indeed a good gut choice. 

4. Fermenting radishes offers variety. While we think of radishes as having strong flavors, in fermenting they act as a base to whatever flavors you can dream up. If you are a kimchi fan, you probably know most kimchi recipes contain radishes.  Did you also know they can be sliced thinly and fermented as fermented radish salad?—yup here is another plug for the radish and fennel ferment. And if you like your radishes plain, simply fermenting them in a brine gives you pickles that are cheeky little bite-sized orbs of effervescence that can be popped straight into your mouth.

5. Fermented radishes are tasty I encourage you to try fermented radishes at least once even if you don’t particularly like radishes. It can be a surprise how much the flavor changes. For example that mustardy hot bite mellows out so much that it is often gone. 

Cubed Spring Radish Kimchi Recipe

Makes a little less than 1 quart 

This recipe is based called Kkagdugi, a common traditional kimchi. Kkadgugi is usually made with Korean radishes, which are much like a daikon.  I have enjoyed this type of ferment with a variety of radishes. The large daikon should be cut into cube shapes; small round radishes make little half moons.

• 1 pound globe-type radishes, quartered if small, chunky slices if larger
• 1 teaspoon unrefined fine salt
• 1/3 cup Korean red pepper powder, or 1–2 Tablespoons hot chile flakes (see note)
• 3 scallions, sliced crosswise in ½ in pieces, include green
• 3–4 cloves garlic, minced
• 1/2 teaspoon sugar, preferably unrefined
• Optional: 2 teaspoons pickled baby shrimp from Asian market

Variation: When fresh radish tops are available it is wonderful to add in a few of the tops, minced. Watercress is a traditional addition. Add about ¼ cup chopped greens.

Prepare the radishes, add salt and pepper powder and mix until coated. Massage a bit to help the brine begin to form. Set aside. Prepare the remaining ingredients and add to mixture. If using pickled shrimp, finely mince the shrimp and add some of the liquid when measuring the 2 teaspoons. Massage the entire mixture.  Taste; add salt if needed. You should be able to taste the salt (like a chip) but it should not be overpowering. You should have a brine developing.

Follow the instructions for putting the kimchi mixture in your favorite fermentation vessel. If you don’t have one, put the mixture into a quart mason jar pressing out air pockets as you go. Wipe any excess off the sides of the jar with a clean cloth or paper towel. If you have small weights put them on the ferment. Screw a lid tightly on the jar.

Put this in a corner of the kitchen to cure. Watch for air pockets forming in the kimchi. If you see them, open the lid and press the kimchi back down. If the lid starts to bubble up, simply open the lid for a moment to “burp” the ferment. Remember, this process is anaerobic.

Allow to ferment for 10–14 days. During storage, the less airspace above a ferment, the longer it will last, so fill the jars to the rim and transfer the ferment to smaller jars as you use it. This ferment will keep, refrigerated for 6 months.

Note on pepper powder: This recipe calls for the Korean-style pepper powder found in Asian markets. Look for powders with little or no added ingredients. The one that I get does have some added salt, which I adjust for by tasting when using in recipes. If you cannot find the Korean-style chile powder, use chile flakes. They are often hotter than the traditional pepper powder, so you will use much less.

All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page.



Eugene at TLW

Can a consumer culture lead us toward health and abundance? In all major United States cities there are areas that look like emerging ‘third world’ neighborhoods. Abandoned homes, where land is overgrown and houses are falling apart, closed businesses, deteriorating schools and jobless, homeless residents. This situation is created by a complex combination of factors and it most often leads to crime and violence. How does the consumer driven local food movement touch those of us living and serving in these places under police terrorism and economic apartheid? As an urban farmer for over a decade, from California to Georgia, I have been present at countless conferences and meetings promoting local organic food access.  What does food access look like in an area that is subject to police curfew or martial law?

Right now in our nation's cities we continue to experience state violence perpetrated on people of color and urban residents who are economically imprisoned within a social status based on deliberate under investment. Many of these areas are within the same zip code as neighborhoods slated for ‘urban renewal’. Is there a connection between the instigated uprisings and looming re-development plans?

I have witnessed community gardens and farmers markets used as tools to begin the process of changing a community. The outcome of this transformation often depends on who are the stakeholders directing the change and where is the source of the support for the garden, mini farm or farmer’s market. What we see in Atlanta is that gardens and markets initiated and controlled by community members in the neglected communities in Southwest Atlanta receive very little support from funders and advocacy groups. While gardens and markets in the very same neighborhoods are funded, staffed and promoted when they are installed by outside foundations and management groups. In both cases local food is being grown and marketed to ‘underserved’ communities of color. But in the case of resident lead efforts there is little support and no protection when faced with eviction or ‘redevelopment’.

Nationwide there are far more consumers than producers in the local food movement. Many consume more than fresh grown produce. The foundations and advocacy nonprofits often represent consumers of communities, consumers of funding and ultimately they consume the attention and potential of the people to achieve self reliance. My focus is in production. Increasing production in these areas that are targeted by mandates from foundations to increase food access primarily with methods that offer economically stressed residents yet another option to shop. My team and I work with residents to train them to grow the best food with agro-ecological methods for themselves and possibly begin to sell our produce on the other side of town to restaurants and chefs that pride themselves on serving the best local food. Perhaps this is why our model of a ‘grower lead’ collective is ignored by funders and resisted by well paid executive directors of consumer driven local food organizations. Still, we welcome the opportunity to share our views and experiences on a national scope in the network of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

We are committed to a local food revival. We value food sovereignty above food security. Food security is typically the organized distribution of packaged, processed and canned foods through food banks to systematically poor people in areas where there is simultaneously tremendous potential for local production. Our residents and volunteers are drowning in fast food swamps and suffocating from police warfare. For our communities food access is crucial at this moment when suburban commuters are circling, waiting to descend and colonize closer to their downtown jobs. This same access will be even more critical if and when the next police murder of unarmed citizen sets off a pre-calculated uprising that is used to justify martial law. During these explosions do the trucks continue to drive in and stock the supermarket shelves? When stores are looted and burned down are their owners still compelled to rebuild and continue to serve the abused, angry residents fresh local produce? While Whole Foods proudly publicizes their feeding of the national guard in Baltimore who will feed the innocent families caught in the political power play? Is this an orchestrated land grab?

These questions motivate us to encourage all residents and groups interested in creating urban local food systems to look closely at land issues. If we are not in a position to purchase land in our neighborhoods, than a good first step toward food sovereignty is to partner with faith based institutions that own land around churches and mosques. Create the urban gardens and mini farms on these properties in cooperation with the membership. This strategy offers stability as you learn the skill of growing and develop a plan for buying land in the future. As growers increase production we naturally become a powerful voice in the food justice conversation. It is the producers that influence and educate the consumers. As our produce is served across town and across our dinner table our opinions gain potency and our movement toward food abundance gains momentum.

All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page.

Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.