On a recent work trip to Philadelphia, I was lucky enough to stay near Reading Terminal Market, a place I’d never visited in many a visit to the city. It was so fun to have in my backyard for a few days; anyone that knows me well knows I love a good market — farmer’s market, natural foods market, supermarket, you name it — and I’m the weirdo that likes to walk up and down the aisles to see what’s on shelf (…or what’s new if it’s a regular haunt. Sometimes I really wonder why I don’t pack it in and go work at the Portland Whole Foods. I haven’t ruled it out.).
Anyway, Reading Terminal Market is awesome and includes everything from cheesesteaks to Amish women slinging fruit butters to green juice to cannoli. And in my meandering I came across the Fair Food Farmstand — and a wall of seeds from Happy Cat Farm. I recognize that this is a total case of judging a book (er, seed packet) by its cover, but for good reason. Just look at them! Continue reading
If you’re looking for a food-related #longread, you’ve come to the right place. A few weekends ago, the Portland Press Herald published this magnum opus, “How the farm-to-table movement took root in Maine” by Meredith Goad and Mary Pols, as part of the launch of Source: Eating and Living Sustainably in Maine, a new section in the paper.
In conjunction with the Source launch, the PPH hired a powerhouse food editor, Peggy Grodinsky, held what looked to be a great party (at Urban Farm Fermentory!), and has begun to churn out respectable coverage on what it’s calling as “farm-to-table” topics. This pleases me greatly. Continue reading
My dear, smart-as-a-whip-and-passionate-about-sustainability friend, Clare, recently sent me this article from ASAP (aka the Asheville, NC-based Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project) that talks about Walmart’s involvement in food hubs — wanting to create new ones, scale existing ones, and otherwise work with “small- and medium-sized farmers” here in the U.S. and globally — and how that’s probably not a good thing. Clare asked my opinion of the piece, and because I can never seem to be succinct when asked a question like this, below is a version of my rambling response.
Dupont Circle Farmer’s Market, summer 2012
Before I go on, a little background. I do not think Walmart is perfect — far from it — though a) I worked at the company after business school (if you go back far enough in blog time you’ll see there are some Arkansas posts; maybe I’ll do a #tbt AR post…) and b) I do not think all of the issues Walmart gets criticized for are exclusive to it, but because it’s such a big target it ends up in the crosshairs (I was going to say bullseye but I suppose Target should get to keep it) more often than not. Continue reading