While in some ways I hate to give Caitlin Flanagan any more web traffic for her flameball of an article about school gardens, the response has been very heartening. Here’s a link roundup:
As someone who comes from a long line of experiential educators, as well as someone who watched a number of very very smart family members struggle with dyslexia (and thrive when given something concrete to do), I think anything that gets kids connecting what they’re learning in the classroom to applications in the real world is a great thing …
Ugh. So Saturday afternoon I thawed out some of last year’s antelope, marinated it, and made some skewers with a few onions out of the garden (for Chuck) and with onions and tomatoes and zucchini for me. Three in the morning and my sweetheart is not well. I’m a little rumbly in the tummy, but he is Not A Well Man. It was very very sad. And a long night.
Morning strikes and he is still Sick Like Dog. He sits in the living room watching football and ignoring a cup of black tea while I go out back and feverishly enclose the vegetable garden in bird netting. Sometime during the Long Night, I decided that it must have been the onions. The chickens have been in that bed a lot, and because I was afraid of overcooking the very lean antelope, the onions weren’t as cooked as I’d have liked. They were crunchy. All night I had visions of germy chicken feet, and contaminated onions and so, despite Chuck’s conviction that it was the antelope, I went out and banished the chickens from the garden.
In the spring, when the ground is soft, I’ll have to continue the copper-pipe trellis I have around the perimeter of the other beds, but for now I have a very loving-hands-at-home bamboo fence covered in bird netting. And a “gate” made from a couple of old pieces of green epoxy-coated wire fence. It’s not pretty, but it works. Two days and no chickens in the garden. And I kind of like the enclosure — it’s sweet in there. Like the Secret Garden. I did find a sparrow caught in the bird netting this afternoon, but I got him out and tucked away the stray piece in which he’d caught himself.
And by this morning, the tide of unpleasantness seems to have subsided. But I feel terrible. Here I am, so-called food blogger, and I poisoned my beloved! My grandmother gave me food poisoning so many times as a kid that I think I’ve got pretty good antibodies, but really, I’ve never actually given anyone food poisoning before. I feel terrible. I don’t know if it was those germy chickens, but it can’t hurt to fence them out of the food crops. Sheesh. Tonight I think it’s going to be something plain, like pork chops and rice (and ripe tomato salad for me, the one who eats vegetables).
Way back in my youth I worked in New York for a company that repackaged magazine material into cookbooks — our biggest client was Gourmet Magazine. So I’ve watched with great interest as Ruth Reichel has taken that hoary old magazine, run by women from the suburbs who at least in the late ’80 were still known to come to work in plaid skirts and knee socks (knee socks! I remember my shock that grown women would go out dressed like old girls — oh, and in blouses with those big floppy bows that women wore in the ’80s in lieu of men’s ties. Sigh), at any rate, I’ve been thrilled to see the magazine move into the modern world.
The past year or two they’ve even started added a regular feature on food politics. This month’s article is particularly worth reading: Politics of the Plate: Florida’s Slave Trade, Tomatoes, Migrant Workers: Food Politics : gourmet.com.
The article is truly appalling — but having grown up around migrant workers in the landscape and horse business, I know how easy it is for such a vulnerable population to be taken advantage of — go take a look. It’s a really interesting article.