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Archive for the ‘Agriculture’ Category

Independence Day always puts me in that wistful, struggle-for-democracy, loose-the-chains-of-tyranny kind of mood. Rather than celebrating the 4th with moneyed, explosion-ridden spectacles, I’m celebrating Independence Day (Week?) by going to REwind: A Cantata for Voice, Tape & Testimony at Prospect Park on Friday night.

Cape Town composer Philip Miller’s extraordinary international collaboration is based on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings that led South Africa from apartheid to democracy. Opera superstar Sibongile Khumalo joins other South African soloists, a string octet, and a 100-voice chorus composed of Brooklyn’s Total Praise Choir of Emanuel Baptist Church, the Williams College Choir, and a South African ex-patriot choir led by choirmaster Ron Kunene. The music blends seamlessly with samples of recorded TRC testimony and stunning projected images. “The Cantata brought together the cry of our country—our pain and fears, our hopes and especially our triumphs and joys in the way we as South Africans can best express these emotions—in music and song. It was a deeply moving, most powerful and uplifting experience.” (Archbishop Desmond Tutu)

Friday, July 6, 2007
7:30 PM
Prospect Park Bandshell

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Yes, I know I’m flagrantly biting Pizappas’ schtick, but I’d like to take a moment to discuss a new, fulfilling relationship I have in my life. I’ve fallen deeply in love with the Park Slope CSA. It nurtures my body with crazy, fresh, organic produce I would never be able to afford otherwise and it nurtures my soul with fruity politics and community spirit.

For those of you who are not familiar, CSA is “Community Supported Agriculture.” Basically, one neighborhood teams up with a farm and buys one season’s worth of produce up front. For the next 5 months or so, the farm carts the produce down to a single location once a week. On the designated pick-up day, all of the neighbors who signed up for a share come get their heap of vegetables or fruit or flowers or eggs or meat or whatever they signed up for.

This is a nice thing because:

1. You eat and learn how to prepare vegetables you’ve never heard of before (i.e. garlic scapes or butter lettuce).

2. It’s cheaper than buying organic or even regular produce at a grocery store and most farmer’s markets. I’m just saying, it’s like $5 for a bunch of asparagus in my grocery store.

3. The farms are committed to organic, sustainable agriculture. So you know the food you’re getting is safe to eat (no e. coli for me!) and is not overly aggressive to the land it’s raised on.

4. It’s an energy efficient method of getting food. All of the food is grown reasonably locally (like 100 miles, as opposed to 4000 miles away). No need for airplanes, boats, etc. Additionally, because it’s delivered to one central neighborhood location, there is no wasted gas for deliveries and most people can walk their food home.

5. It’s good for independent farming because farmers get money when they need it (at the beginning of the season) and have a guaranteed market for their produce.

Okay, that is all I have to say about that. But if you’re interested in finding a CSA, the following Brooklyn neighborhoods have one:

Bed-Stuy
Brooklyn Heights
Carroll Gardens
Clinton Hill/Ft. Greene
Cobble Hill
East New York
East Williamsburg (845-943-8699)
Greenwood Heights
Kensington/Windsor Terrace
Park Slope
Prospect Heights
Prospect/Lefferts Garden
Red Hook
Williamsburg

And if you’re a sucker and you live somewhere else, you can find a CSA by state or ZIP code here.

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