Many researchers believe that the potato’s arrival in northern Europe spelled an end to famine there. (Corn, another American crop, played a similar but smaller role in southern Europe.) More than that, as the historian William H. McNeill has argued, the potato led to empire: “By feeding rapidly growing populations, [it] permitted a handful of European nations to assert dominion over most of the world between 1750 and 1950.” The potato, in other words, fueled the rise of the West.
Siamack Sioshansi and his merry band of volunteer gleaners from Urban Farmers has struck again. Lamorinda Weekly reports that over two weekends in August, they harvested nearly 1,000 pounds of pears from private gardens across Lafayette. Siamack said:
70 percent of the weight of a fruit tree is made of carbon that the tree extracted from our polluted atmosphere,” he explains, “after a few years it will feed those who planted it, then it will continue to grow and feed a community. Long after those who planted it are gone, it continues to give plentifully if it is taken care of. Fruit trees are a perfect metaphor for life at its best on our planet.
Read more here.
Check out the video here.
Lafayette Community Garden will also be an education center. Today, some of us traveled to Suison Valley to learn about and pick unbelievable heirloom tomatoes at Wild Boar Farms. Wouldn’t you like to help decide if our garden will be growing Berkeley Tie-Dyes, Black & Brown Boars, Cherokee Greens, Pink Brandywines or one of the other heirlooms bred and grown by this innovative farm? Get involved today! Help us turn a parking lot into a garden plot!
The Contra Costa Times has a great story about Megan. Read about how she got started, what keeps her going and the nationwide challenges to the bee population here. For more information you can check out the Mount Diablo Bee Association.