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Mon, 04/12/2010 - 12:00am
The best way to eat locally is to grow your own food . . . even in the city

The Importance of Eating Locally

The choice to eat locally grown food is turning into a movement, as more and more people recognize the importance of eating locally. But if you really want to eat locally grown food, the best way is to grow it yourself. Even if you live in the city. On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with an urban farmer in the Sellwood neighborhood of Portland and the owner of an urban farm store. Nikki Hill runs Riverhouse Farm, a community-supported agriculture operation on the banks of Crystal Springs in Sellwood. Started in 2007, the RiverHouse Farm CSA  is an 8,000 sq. ft organic farm that believes a sustainable farm functions as a healthy ecosystem. For the 2010 season they have added more growing space at GeerCrest Farm in Silverton and HeartField Farm in Milwaukie, to better serve their growing number of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) members. We talk about why it's important to develop urban-rural farm networks like these in order to feed us all.

Our other guest is Naomi Montacre, one of the owners of a new farm store, Naomi's Organic Farm Supply, a few blocks north of Riverhouse Farm in the Sellwood neighborhood. Naomi's sells supplies for the urban homesteader, ranging from baby chicks to berry bushes. We talk with Naomi about why a neighborhood farm store has become a requisite feature in today's urban environment.

Coming events of interest to urban farmers:

Infarmation: http://naomisorganic.blogspot.com/2010/03/infarmation-starts-seeds-and-potatoes.html

Food and Climate Change: Step up the plate: http://www.portlandonline.com/bps/index.cfm?a=294789&c=44851

A City Hall Garden celebration / info fair and climate discussion with author Anna Lappé

Sunday, April 18 at 1 PM

According to author Anna Lappé, "If we are serious about addressing climate change we have to talk about food." Lappé will lead that conversation in Portland on Sunday, April 18 at 2 p.m. in the Portland Building when she participates in a panel discussion, Food and the Climate Challenge: Step Up to the Plate. This free event will also include other area experts discussing how food affects our personal and environmental health and the simple steps we all can take to make a difference.

The panel will follow a celebration of Portland City Hall's Better Together Garden's second year and a food gardening information fair. OSU Master Gardeners, Oregon Tilth, Growing Gardens, The Portland Tree Project and the City of Portland Community Garden program will be present to answer questions in the garden at 1221 S.W. Fourth Avenue, Portland.

Lappé's recently released book, Diet for a Hot Planet, The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do About It, states that our food system is likely responsible for a third of global greenhouse gas emissions. Yet, Johns Hopkins University reports that of four thousand articles on climate change published in sixteen leading U.S. newspapers, only 1 percent had a "substantial focus" on food and agriculture.

Just as Diet for a Small Planet, written by Anna's mother, Francis Moore Lappé, revolutionized our food consciousness in 1972, Diet for a Hot Planet will change the way we look at today's most pressing issue. Anna Lappé provides a clear account of our current condition and a road map of seven principles for a climate-friendly diet that can heal the planet.

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