food security – what’s that all about?

my friend likes garlic.  she also likes local.  but the garlic she had seen at the supermarket were all grown far far away, so she planted some last fall because she knows it grows here.  that’s a part of food security.  remember that Halloween when the pumpkins were all sold out?  all the ones that grew were gone and there was no truck bringing in any more?  that’s a part of food insecurity – absence of supply.

food security is when all people at all times have access to enough food to meet their physical and cultural and economic needs, and the food is created in a sustainable, socially just manner.

the food system is everyone, from those who grow to those who make to those who sell to those who eat and the ground it grows from and the rain that falls and the trucks or planes or boats that move it.

it’s big deal!

so thegreenrock.ca Green Team talked to Rick Kelly at the Food Security Network Newfoundland and Labrador.  he shared his insights about sustainability and the importance of ‘local’ and ‘fair trade’ in a food secure system.

check it out!  and have a look over at Root Cellars Rock http://rootcellarsrock.ca/, lots of great ideas about planting, picking preserving and more.  and, coolly enough, lots of buzz about growing garlic!

down to the dirt – worms make the world a greener place

last summer thegreenrock.ca green team took a trip to bay bulls and met with Christa Williams, co-owner of the J&C Sod Farm, and the Trouters Special Worm farm.

they found out that worms work magic!  from chowing down on kitchen waste to making nutrient-rich soil that needs no harmful chemicals to get stuff growing they are the green bomb.

winter is a great time to start a vermi-composter right in the kitchen (see vermin in the kitchen blog post), and it’s never a bad time to think about making your garden grow.

check it out, online and in person.   1 Main Witless Bay, Newfoundland, 709 334-3531   or email at jcsodfrm@nf.aibn.com

worn well – the sustainable shirt on your back!

why was kathy wearing a bag?

a few weeks into summer 2011, thegreenrock.ca green team felt the need to branch out from the very cool but worn-a-lot conservation corps t-shirts.  kathy, mike, and anna (devin stayed home) checked in with carol-ann at frenchy’s.  they got good gear!

summer is now long gone, but t’is the season, and frenchy’s has more great stuff – to give as well as to get!  check it out!

Frenchy’s Thrift Boutique ~ Best Dressed. For Less. ~ Torbay Road Mall
141 Torbay Road, St. John’s     579-7390    http://on.fb.me/Frenchys

the DOOMMATE! – baddest habits for your habitat

do you know this guy?  some people’s not-green habits might make you cry!   the greenRock Green Team did some seriously creative bad thinking to make this story but note please that the environmental footprint of this video is minimal (no toxic waste in river!)

the trash versus the recycling

i have been a green wanna-be for a long time.  one day three years ago i put out one bag of trash – great accomplishment for the family of five that we were then.   that was my last true green trash moment.

alas my success was not sustainable.  not even after curb-side recycling came into effect one year ago.  so i scraped for joy where i could get it.  my tuesday song was ‘hooray hooray it’s garbage day!’

the black cowers under a net next to the blue pyramid

the black cowers under a net next to the blue pyramid

today was a true great moment in the green.  today the volume of recycling more than quadrupled the volume of the the one black bag.

my trash triumph was the product of a much front-end effort and co-operation on the part of the house habitants.   we have three boxes in the kitchen for recycling – beverages, containers, and paper-ish things.  all six of us rinse (when necessary) and toss what’s been used in the appropriate box.  two of my three children are responsible for putting them in the appropriate larger boxes downstairs in the storage room.  my mother – a 72-year old consumer who essentially requires an environmental mitigation project of her own – puts her newspapers in a wicker basket.

it’s taken a long-time to get here, but not through lack of effort.  i was depressed for two days last summer when i was out of blue bags, and the collectors took all the bags that were out as garbage (despite the big R sign!).    i’ve driven miles and miles to bring the cardboard to someone who would use it.   and i’ve recognized the correlation between the the things that come into the house and the things that go out.

i’ve learned much.  like in the city of bradford, ON, you must pay if you want more than one bag of garbage collected per week.  you buy a tag for $2 and put it on the bag.   a friend told me that ten years ago, in BC,  trash had to be sorted eight ways.   i’ve also felt the shame of having my recycled beverage containers refused due to an unacceptable bottle (balsamic vinegar).  i know it’s best to put the big black bag in the big black wheelie bin before adding bags of non-composting kitchen waste rather than removing the smaller bags from the bin to a trash bag.  (ie, in the hot days of august i saw what maggots look like).  i know how much more efficient it is space-wise to ‘tear down’ the boxes.

most valuable, though, is that which we all know but forget to practice.  i’ve learned that making an easy front-end sorting situation for the recycling, and engaging the family to help makes recycling days holistically rewarding rather than an upward struggle that saw me sorting frantically on tuesday mornings, and viciously righteous about it all.

i’m happy to know that.  and very happy that the recycling has won.  so is the man who puts the black bags into the truck, and, most spectacularly, so is my mother.   the one black bag was tossed before i could shoot!

blue wins!

the one black bag was tossed before i could shoot