Sunday, September 2, 2007

In the news: Tierra Miguel farm bought by Pauma, Organic farmer gives away produce to charity, and Area high schools sponsor organic garden programs

Pauma band buys, will maintain organic farm: After about a year of uncertainty, the Pauma Indian band has partnered with the Tierra Miguel Foundation (one of our area CSAs) to purchase the 85-acre organic farm that the Foundation bought in 2004 with state grants. The grants required that the Foundation find a permanent buyer for the farm within two years, and they have been concerned that it would fall into the hands of land developers. With the Pauma purchase, the Foundation will be able to continue farming on the parcel. Not only that, but the Pauma band has pledged to financially support the Foundation for the next ten years. This is an important step towards preserving the land for organic agriculture.

Garden Sprouts Community Service: Ken Birch, an organic 1/4-acre farmer in Escondido, donates almost everything he grows to the charity Interfaith Community Services, making organic, local food available to about 50 homeless individuals who otherwise would never be able to purchase it themselves.

School programs teach urban teens to grow and prepare their own healthful foods: City Heights High School sponsored a cooking and gardening class this summer that gave students an opportunity to grow their own produce and learn how to cook it. Morse and Crawford High Schools were also mentioned for their garden and healthful cooking programs. This is a very interesting piece that highlights the disparities between the poorer areas of this city and wealthier neighborhoods, and what that economic difference can mean in access to local, organic food. It is also an interesting cultural commentary as many of these students are first-generation immigrants who wish to be able to continue the culinary customs of their birthplace as well as embrace American traditions. Very heartening!

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