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When living in Chicago, Illinois (my home town), I looked forward to my weekly vegetable shares from my favorite local farmer “Angelic Organics Farm”. Living in the city with a hectic busy lifestyle, no garden space, nor balcony, I had resorted to supporting my local co-op farmer which was a better choice then shopping at the giant organic chain store for pricey fruits & vegetables at “Whole Paycheck”.  You all know what store I’m talking about.

No matter where you live, what type of lifestyle or budget, we can find better ways of eating foods that would benefit our health & family. Don’t have a backyard to garden, a balcony or deck? There are a number of possibilities in which we can be proactive in fighting the unknown food sources you get from the mega supermarkets.

  • Community Garden – find out where you can take part for you & your family growing your own organic vegetables and at the same time creating new ties with like minded people, trading crops & new plans for a better garden each year. Get to know your neighbors, share & put trust back in your community! We are at a crucial point that this is no long an option, but survival, we no longer can place trust in our government to supply us with healthy foods! What we can surely trust without a doubt, is that our commercial farmers shall provide us pushing down our throats, GMOs, toxic sprays & pesticides, unethical livestock farming, and non-labeling!
  • Supporting your local organic co-op network farmer, by registering for a seasonal selection of assorted box of fruits and vegetables, honey, etc. Packages are suited for individuals, family size containers, variety options, pick-up or delivery.
  • Support your local Farmers Market! You see an array of varieties in almost anything that is grown naturally and/or organic! I love getting my special cheeses, fruits, local raw honey, artisan bread, rare heirloom vegetables, etc.
  • Support your local health food stores, the old Ma & Pa general food stores that also supports local farmers and community homemade foods and products, high quality supplements, and environmentally safe household products, etc.
  • Finally support your more popular organic food store chain that supports non-GMOs and organic grass-feed, free-ranged meats, poultry, sustainable seafood.

Back in Chicago, when I signed up for the seasonal co-op crops at “Angelic Organics”. Yes, the very same farm from the documentary “The Real Dirt on Farmer John”! I looked forward to picking up my package every week not knowing exactly what I’ll be getting in my box. I love the excitement to create recipes according to what foods I was given for the week. I thought to myself, instead of spending money on more cloths, going out for drinks, and other unnecessarily objects, why not invest in my health, my body and state of mind? Here is the real revolution! The Freedom to control your own health & to be responsible “NOT” to be part of this insane madness that Monsanto, the FDA, and government control farming, and their dark agenda is enforcing upon us. You can be the change or be the same… instead of pointing fingers, or waiting for someone, something to save us, let’s start 1st with ourselves…

Michael Pollan: Why Eat Local?

Food, Inc. | Film Trailer | Participant Media

Watch – Food Inc.

Documentary Description:

For most Americans, the ideal meal is fast, cheap, and tasty. Food, Inc. examines the costs of putting value and convenience over nutrition and environmental impact. Director Robert Kenner explores the subject from all angles, talking to authors, advocates, farmers, and CEOs, like co-producer Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation), Michael Pollan (The Omnivore’s Dilemma), Gary Hirschberg (Stonyfield Farms), and Barbara Kowalcyk, who’s been lobbying for more rigorous standards since E. coli claimed the life of her two-year-old son. The filmmaker takes his camera into slaughterhouses and factory farms where chickens grow too fast to walk properly, cows eat feed pumped with toxic chemicals, and illegal immigrants risk life and limb to bring these products to market at an affordable cost. If eco-docs tends to preach to the converted, Kenner presents his findings in such an engaging fashion that Food, Inc. may well reach the very viewers who could benefit from it the most: harried workers who don’t have the time or income to read every book and eat non-genetically modified produce every day. Though he covers some of the same ground as Super Size Me and King Korn, Food Inc. presents a broader picture of the problem, and if Kenner takes an understandably tough stance on particular politicians and corporations, he’s just as quick to praise those who are trying to be responsible – even Wal-Mart, which now carries organic products. That development may have more to do with economics than empathy, but the consumer still benefits, and every little bit counts.

If you liked this documentary, you might also like Sugar – The Bitter Truth (Lecture) or, Global Warming: MEAT THE TRUTH

TED Talk

Over a Million views and counting, Ron Finley’s TED talk catapulted him into media darling. Watch it below:

The Ron Finley Project 

“Growing your own food is like printing your own money.”

“Gardening is the most therapeutic and defiant act you can do, especially in the inner city. Plus, you get strawberries.”

“If kids grow kale, kids eat kale. If they grow tomatoes, they eat tomatoes.”

“We gotta flip the script on what a gangsta is — if you ain’t a gardener, you ain’t gangsta.”

THE REAL DIRT ON FARMER JOHN Trailer

The epic tale of a maverick Midwestern farmer. Castigated as a pariah in his community, Farmer John bravely transforms his farm amidst a failing economy, vicious rumors, and arson. He succeeds in creating a bastion of free expression and a revolutionary form of agriculture in rural America.

The life of John Peterson, a farmer, artist and progressive thinker, as seen through family home movies, photographs, film and video. In the late 1960s, John turned his traditional family farm into an experiment of art and agriculture, making it a haven for hippies, radicals and artists. In the late 1980s, his local community ostracizes him as a devil worshipper/drug dealer, and the farm debt crisis of the time brings about the tragic collapse of his farm. Defying all odds, John eventually farms again and creates a revolutionary extended village where people and art thrive alongside agriculture.

The film is a haunting odyssey, capturing what it means to be different in rural America.

Director Taggart Siegel Collective Eye made the film in a most unusual way – shooting farmer John Peterson over 25-years of their evolving friendship, and using multiple media, from 8 mm home movies shot on the farm in the 50’s and 60’s to modern video — allowing him to capture his alternately humorous, heartbreaking and spirited life with raw drama and intimacy.

With the death of his father during the late 60s, a teenaged John takes over the traditional family farm, slowly turning it into an experiment of art and agriculture, making it a haven for hippies, radicals and artists. The Real Dirt on Farmer John charts the end of this idealistic era as the farm debt crisis of the 80’s brings about the tragic collapse of the farm.

As the intricate weave of rural America unravels, vicious local rumors turn John into a scapegoat, condemning him as a Satan-worshipping drug-dealer. Threatened with murder, his home burned to the ground, John forsakes his farm and wanders through Mexico, where he is transformed by the soulfulness and pageantry of this ancient land. Mysteriously, his quest leads him back to his hostile homeland.

Defying all odds, he gradually transforms his land into a revolutionary farming community, a cultural mecca, where people work and flourish providing fresh vegetables and herbs to thousands of people every week.

The Peterson family farm has become Angelic Organics, one of the largest Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms in the United States, a beacon of today’s booming organic farming movement.

Websites:

WILL ALLEN – GROWING POWER

About ~

Growing Power transforms communities by supporting people from diverse backgrounds and the environments in which they live through the development of Community Food Systems.  These systems provide high-quality, safe, healthy, affordable food for all residents in the community. Growing Power develops Community Food Centers, as a key component of Community Food Systems, through training, active demonstration, outreach, and technical assistance. 

Will Allen, our Chief Executive Officer believes, “If people can grow safe, healthy, affordable food, if they have access to land and clean water, this is transformative on every level in a community.  I believe we cannot have healthy communities without a healthy food system.”

Our goal is a simple one: to grow foodto grow minds, and to grow community

Growing Power began with a farmer, a plot of land, and a core group of dedicated young people.  Today, our love of the land and our dedication to sharing knowledge is changing lives.  

Growing Power’s projects fall into three essential areas:

Grow  Projects and Growing Methods – Growing Power demonstrates our easy to replicate growing methods through on-site workshops and hands-on demonstrations.  We have farms in Milwaukee and Merton, Wisconsin, and in Chicago, Illinois.  Growing Power has also established satellite-training sites in Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, and Mississippi.

Bloom  Education and Technical Assistance – Growing Power’s educates folks through local, national, and international outreach for farmers and communities.  We also run multiple youth programs, have an active volunteer base, and actively work on policy initiatives regarding agriculture.

Thrive  Food Production and Distribution – Food production occurs in the organization’s demonstration greenhouses, rural farm site in Merton, and urban farms in Milwaukee and Chicago.  We also distribute produce, grass-based meats, and value-added products through the activities of over 300 small family farmers in the Rainbow Farmers Cooperative, and the organization’s year-round food security program the Farm-to-City Market Basket Program. We also sell to numerous restaurants and small grocery stores in Chicago, Madison, and Milwaukee.

All of the above provide important opportunities for individuals and communities to network with each other as they work in partnership to promote food security and environmentally sound food production practices.

Additionally, Growing Power convenes numerous national workshops on-site at our Milwaukee facility each year; we have sponsored severalnational conferences focusing on food security; we provide technical assistance – on-site – at numerous sites around the country from Boston to Montana.

Over 3,500 individuals receive tours of the Community Food Center each year; and the Will Allen, Growing Power’s Chief Executive Officer, has been the keynote speaker at several national conferences and the recipient of numerous local, state, and national awards and recognitions.

Our Farmer-In-Chief, Will Allen

WILL ALLEN, son of a sharecropper, former professional basketball player, ex-corporate sales leader and now farmer, has become recognized as among the preeminent thinkers of our time on agriculture and food policy. The founder and CEO of Growing Power Inc., a farm and community food center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Will is widely considered the leading authority in the expanding field of urban agriculture. At Growing Power and in community food projects across the nation and around the world, Will promotes the belief that all people, regardless of their economic circumstances, should have access to fresh, safe, affordable and nutritious foods at all times. Using methods he has developed over a lifetime, Will trains community members to become community farmers, assuring them a secure source of good food without regard to political or economic forces. In 2008, Will was named a John D. and Katherine T. McArthur Foundation Fellow and was awarded a prestigious foundation “genius grant” for his work – only the second farmer ever to be so honored. He is also a member of the Clinton Global Initiative, and in February 2010, he was invited to the White House to join First Lady Michelle Obama in launching “Let’s Move!” her signature leadership program to reverse the epidemic of childhood obesity in America. In May 2010, Time magazine named Will to the Time 100 World’s Most Influential People.

To learn more about Will Allen , please click on the http://www.GrowingPower.org – (Chicago branch farms & projects)

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