This alert just in from Kidsgardening.org, a branch of the National Gardening Association:
“Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont has included an amendment in the Farm Bill to authorize $10,000,000 to establish a pilot program for community school gardens. The Farm Bill passed the Senate by a vote of 79 to 14 on December 14 with the school garden amendment intact. The Farm Bill is now headed to conference committee where the Senate and House will determine the final version of the bill which goes to the President. Your letters, e-mails, and phone calls to your representatives in the House can help ensure that the school garden amendment is included in the final version of the Farm Bill.”
More information on the actual amendment can be found on the KidsGardening Website.
Representatives can be reached by calling the general Congressional switchboard number: (202) 224-3121.
Cooking Up a Story has a 6-min video interview with Dan Imhoff (who wrote Food Fight, a book Slow Food USA is promoting around this issue) outlining the important connections between the modern Farm Bill and our food system at large.
The more we understand the Farm Bill, the better we’ll be able to write to our senators and congressmen and let them know what we think. More info from Slow Food USA.
For those of you who are familiar with Michael Pollan’s work, you will agree that he has truly insightful perspective on how humans have come to affect the food system we are a part of, for better or for worse. In the United States, one of the most powerful influences is the National Farm Bill, which is up for renewal this year. Slow Food USA has joined with other progressive groups to educate the public and ask citizens to put pressure on Congress to change the way farm subsidies are distributed. They have complied some excellent information on their website, including a sample letter to your senators and representatives, and encourage everyone to get involved…. Now back to Michael Pollen who has written a wonderful article summarizing how the Farm Bill has gotten so out of balance. This can be viewed on his website at michaelpollan.com. Check it out and if you haven’t read any of his books, you may decide to take a trip to you local bookstore for a copy of The Omnivore’s Dilemma, his most recent work.