Prop 37


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In November, residents of California will vote on Prop 37.  If passed, it will be required that foods containing GMO's be labeled.  Companies like Monsanto are  spending lots of money on making sure this does not go through.  But like other countries around the world, we have a right to know what's in our  food.

Even if you don't live in California, you  can still show your support.   Here's a link to more about Prop 37 and its likelihood to pass, as well as a NY Times article by Michael Pollan.

Today, my former Social Justice classmate Sarah at Fumbling Towards Grace will be featuring a guest post by your truly!  The guest posts will be a semi regular series on how food and eating can either further or hinger social justice.  
My roommate made this tasty bruschetta a few weeks ago with ingredients from our CSA box and our community garden veggies.  We're still gathering tomatoes and a bit of basil, and I hope to make this dish a few more times before our first frost.  As my favorite characters from Game of Thrones like to say "winter is coming."  

Follow this simple semi-recipe to make some tasty bruschetta with your end of season tomatoes, basil, and garlic.  Mmm...

Ingredients: 6-7 ripe plum or 3-4 beefsteak tomatoes, 2-3 cloves garlic minced, 3-4 Tbsp olive oil, 6-8 basil leaves, 1 loaf French or Italian bread, parmesan cheese to taste.  

(Not so precise) Directions: Dice tomatoes and mix with garlic and basil leaves.  Slice bread, 1 cm thick.  Toast bread until just turning golden brown in toaster oven or regular oven at 400 degrees.  Remove bread and top with tomato mixture.  Toast for several more minutes to warm tomato mixture.  Top with parmesan cheese and serve after the cheese has melted slightly.  Add salt and pepper to taste if desired. 

With this type of recipe, I usually change my ratio of tomatoes to basil to garlic to olive oil with every batch.  Trust your instincts and taste, and adapt the recipe to fit your taste.  Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes.  

- Mary pimmel
This evening, I’ll make my way to the food pantry where I pick up my CSA share.  I can’t believe it’s already Week 16.  That went by quickly!  The weeks have brought me produce I love, like arugula, cauliflower and tons of delicious fruits.  I’ve also enjoyed turnips and pattypan squash, which I probably wouldn’t have bought on my own.  My CSA share has also allowed me to discover that I’m not a huge fan of beets.  I roasted them and added goat cheese, but something about it just wasn’t right.  But you know what’s great about the way this CSA works?  All leftover produce goes to the individuals who use the food pantry.  So when beets are one of the items to take, I know that I can leave them for someone else to enjoy.

 I’m often reminded that we vote with our dollar, and the decisions we make can bring change (even if it seems to take a lot longer than we would like).  There have been times when I’ve found myself in the grocery store comparing prices of organic and conventional produce.  “They want that much for organic broccoli?”, I’ve often
thought.  No way.  But then I remember I have a job that pays me a salary where I can afford to spend more and purchase organic.  And by joining a CSA where everything is organic (amazing!), I'm not only helping this family stay in business, but I’m also promoting the way they choose to farm.  It’s really a win-win situation.  Plus, everything tastes great.

 I have 7 weeks to go before my CSA share ends for the season.  I know that as it gets colder, and the share has come to an end, there will be days when I’ll choose to go to the grocery store rather than the farmers market for my weekly produce.  It’s a much shorter trip and doesn’t require taking a subway to get there.  On those days, there’s a good chance I won’t know where my food is coming from.  But I do know that I have still can make a choice in what I buy.  And it seems like that's enough to carry me a few months before it’s CSA season again.
-Marina Morrone

I went to Portland, Oregon for Labor Day weekend and had a chance to stop by the Beaverton Farmers' Market to pick up a few treats.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I'll just leave you with a few images of some of my favorite finds.  Couldn't get over the beauty of the produce.  
It's been several weeks since I gave an update about the delicious food I've been receiving in my CSA box this season.  We've had tomatoes, onions, corn, kale, garlic, potatoes, cauliflower, leeks,  and a few other really tasty vegetables.   
Besides the flavor and the freshness of our CSA, I've been enjoying our CSA for the support it has provided to our local farmer at Lotfotl Farm.  In our state, this summer's drought has threatened the livelihoods of many local farmers.  Some of these farmers relied on  a single crop or relied mostly on the sale of their crops at farmers' markets.  With the support of the guaranteed income from CSA participants, our farm and our farmer will be able to stay in business.  Great tasting and nutritious food that also helps to strengthen the local economy?  I can't think of many things better than that.  
I visited home this weekend and spent some time with my mom in her garden.  All my trips home now include a mandatory tour of the garden.  I really enjoy being able to talk "garden" with my mom after so many years of just listening!    
Photographing the garden allows me to view it in a new and different way than I did before.  I love capturing interesting views and details of all the treasures my mom has planted.  
And now the sad picture...Though parts of my mom's garden are still flourishing, one of her raised beds was decimated by voles.  Have you ever suffered from a vole attack?  They're indiscriminate and hard to get rid of.  My mom may or may not be offering rewards to anyone willing to help her capture the varmin.  Such is the life of a gardener.  
It's been almost a month since my last garden update, and a lot has changed since then!  Most of the lettuce is gone as are the peas and radishes, but a few tasty things have taken their place.   
Two of my favorite new additions are my cucumber and beautiful Japanese eggplant plants.  The cucumber plant has started to go crazy, and I love the shape and flavor of the cucumbers.  
I picked a few beets recently and roasted them with potatoes, garlic, and rosemary and served them with a dash of goat cheese.  Delish!  This is my favorite way to eat beets.  I accidentally picked one of my carrots, and I now I'm mustering all of my self-control to let my carrots grow a bit longer. 
And finally, my tomatoes are starting to go crazy!  My golden cherry tomato plant has about 30-40 green tomatoes that will all probably ripen at the same time.  I see lots of tasty spaghetti sauce and caprese salads in my future!   I'm most excited about my huge Zapotac (I pronounce them Zap-attack!) Pink Pleated tomatoes.  I purchased them from You Grow Girl author Gayla Trail's etsy shop, because they looked awesomely huge and pink.   I grew this baby from seed and have watched it grow larger and larger all summer.  Can't wait to try one.  

I'm hoping the first frost holds off long enough for me to be able to plant and harvest a few cold weather crops.  Might have to learn how to build a cold frame to protect my little babies!

How is your garden growing?  
This week we are introducing a new feature at Peas and Justice.  Jay and Eileen, two good friends of mine, will be writing about their chicken ownership adventures in Chicago.  Jay will be writing most of the pieces as a how-to guide in raising chickens, and hopefully convincing some folks (like me) to start their own chicken raising adventure!  Please feel free to comment and let us know if you have chicken questions that you'd like answered!  --Mary
Greetings from Chicago and the “Dancing Chicken home for Wayward Cacklers,” namely, Mae, Jello, Abu and Mehidabel.  These four girls are our chickens:  Mae is a Red Star, Jello is an Easter Egger, Abu is a Silver-Laced Wyandotte and Mehidabel is an Austrolorp.  They are all characters who keep us entertained.  We decided to keep chickens for the novelty of it and because, believe it or not, they are easier to care for than a dog.  They need feed (which costs “chicken feed” to buy), clean water and a safe place to sleep; beyond that, they are pretty self-sufficient.  No need to take them for a walk, no need to spay them, no training (unless you count them getting us to give them treats on demand).    

There's a petition going around asking Trader Joe's to stop selling meat that has been raised with antibiotics.  As you may know, I'm a fan the company and do often shop in their stores for items I don't get in my CSA share.  A few months ago, TJ's signed CIW's Fair Food Agreement, agreeing to pay the Florida workers who pick their produce a fair wage.  If they signed one, they can definitely sign another!

Here's the link to add your name to the petition and tell TJ's we don't want antiboitcs in our meat:

-Marina Morrone

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