LocalHarvest Newsletter, May 22, 2008

Welcome back to the LocalHarvest newsletter! This month's main article was supposed to be about the value of growing a little of your own food, but Michael Pollan beat us to it in a piece published in the NY Times Magazine. He did a bang up job. It's worth your time.

The article prompted several far-reaching conversations around here. It got us thinking about personal and collective action, in the garden and beyond. We are continuing the conversation in the short article below. And ... from our nutrition and cooking columnists, we include a few thoughts on the glories of barley. How's that for something for everyone?

From the LocalHarvest Store:

Taking Pollan's advice and planting a garden this year? LocalHarvest stocks a great variety of seeds to get you started. These varieties are well-loved by farmers and home gardeners alike. We also have many beautiful herb and flower plants available!

Eat more veggies than you can grow? There's still time to sign up for a CSA near you – maybe, hopefully. Find one and call soon.

If you're ready to fire up the grill and would like to try something new, you might like to try one of our more interesting grass fed and pastured grill-ables: we have elk burgers, bison brats, Cornish game hens, and much more.

The Spirit of Gardening

Last night I sat around a kitchen table with a group of relative strangers, talking about the aforementioned "Why Bother?" article. For two hours we batted around the questions it raised in us: What are the most effective ways to motivate change? Whose job is it, and what means are acceptable in times like these? How can we subvert the habitual passivity wrought by cheap energy? What role should and does fear have for us as we approach the future? How can we be more bold? (Read on...)

Menu for the Future

We recently learned about the Northwest Earth Institute (NEI), an organization that publishes discussion courses: six week's worth of conversation starters including readings, questions, quotations, and ideas for taking action. Their most recent course book is called Menu for the Future, and it's all food. The materials are thoughtfully selected and presented, and the perspective is wide: the cultural, social and ecological aspects of food choices are all explored, with an emphasis on personal choices.

We believe it is essential to talk with one other about what is happening in our food system. The impacts of domestic agribusiness and a globalized food system affect us all. Relationships are powerful. Conversations are powerful. Talking with people we trust gives us the strength to change our minds and our behavior. We recommend Menu for the Future, as an excellent starting place for these conversations.

Nancy's Nutrition Corner: Beautiful Barley

My first experience with barley was a couple of years ago at the home of LocalHarvest founder, Guillermo Payet. He was cooking up a batch for a home brew, or was it for his chickens? I can't remember. Anyhow, what I do remember is its hearty aroma and warming flavor. Little did I know at the time, but barley has many health benefits as well. The consumption of grains like barley offers protection against heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and some forms of cancer. Barley is loaded with soluble and insoluble fiber – in fact, barley is far ahead of other grains with 13.6 grams of fiber per cup! In addition to this, barley is a good source of many antioxidants, and minerals. (Read on...)

Recipe Corner: Barley Salad - By Lorna Sass

Most of us think of barley as a winter grain, but it's worth re-thinking this assumption. When writing Recipes from an Ecological Kitchen in the early '90s, I developed a recipe for a barley salad that has remained a favorite, and I often find myself making it during the summer.
(Recipes and More...)