November 2008


Dear Davida–

It’s been a long time, about 30 years. finishedpieIn fact, you may not remember me, but you will live in my memory for a very long time. Way back then, you did me the honor of teaching me how to bake an apple pie. You didn’t just tell me how; you didn’t just show me how; you stood there and instructed me, making me get my hands and mind working on mixing everything up and learning the secret of your crust. It is that crust that has garnered attention over the years and which, with the great filling, has given me bragging rights to making The World’s Best Apple Pie.

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saladOne of the mantras of the eat-local movement is to eat what is in season. This has several advantages, among them reduction in energy used in shipping foods hundreds or thousands of miles, as well as saving the monetary and environmental costs associated with the energy saved. Other advantages are the increase in dietary variety and improved nutritional quality. Instead of eating the same half dozen foods all the time, sometimes from local sources, sometimes from a hemisphere away, eating locally means consuming early, late and winter season foods as they are available.

I’m now producing food year-round, so I am changing my eating habits to match what I produce. (more…)

Yes, Michael Pollan lives nearby in Berkeley but, no, I didn’t have dinner with him. My Michael Pollan dinner was a Michael Pollan type dinner. In The Omnivore’s Dilemma, he describes several dinners he had, to illustrate four different food chains described in detail in the book. One of those meals he prepared for friends, primarily from food he had grown, gathered or hunted himself. That’s the kind of dinner I mean. (more…)

I’ve often viewed agriculture, urban agriculture in particular, from a resource perspective. In order to grow food, people need access to land, water, genetic stock and knowledge. I’ve taken for granted one absolutely essential resource: energy from the sun. This is available to everyone, everywhere, right? (Of course, I’m ignoring the far north and far south polar regions, that lose sunshine for months at a time.) Turns out I am wrong. I need to include access to sunshine as one of the critical factors. (more…)