Seasonal Eating

Path To Freedom is the web home of the Dervaes family. It's an inspiring site with lots of useful information and examples of urban homesteading. Their recent blog post Seasonal Eating sets out to provide resources to help people in the US to eat seasonally.

Slow Food Sydney have published a guide for consumers in the Sydney bio region that not only shows what's in season, it also indicates whether the items can be sourced from the remaining farms in our local bio region. It's a small self published booklet that deserves support. Covering Fruit, Vegetables, Meat and Fish grown no more than 160km from the CBD, it's $10 and available from Slow Food volunteers at Farmers Markets and a small selection of shops. Check out this site for more info.

Another useful online guide to fruit and vegetables in season around Australia can be found here.

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A look behind the increasing prevalence of supermarket-organic-products

Is Organic Supermarket Food a Lie? Revealing look behind the supermarket green wash. The example is from Europe however it is surely just as relevant here in Australia. The call to action

Here is what we can do starting today
* Stop supporting industrial food by buying it. Organic is better than conventional, but still not good.
* Build relationships with small local farmers that believe in quality and practice sustainable agriculture.
* Learn to grow our own food.

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Visualisation techniques

This is interesting, an interactive compilation of data visualisation techniques.

Visualisation Methods

Quite a few here I didn't recognise. Click on the image to load the full diagram then hover over each cell for an example.

Via MacSparky

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Chinas rising soybean consumption-reshaping-western-agriculture

Disturbing article by Lester Brown on the PRI website

"..Put simply, saving the Amazon rainforest now depends on curbing the growth in demand for soybeans by stabilizing population worldwide as soon as possible. And for the world’s more affluent people, it means eating less meat and thus slowing the growth in demand for soybeans…"

Where was once pristine Amazon rainforest, soybean harvesters march across the landscape instead.

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Ode to invention, Maira Kalman

Steve Zeoli posted a link to the work of Maira Kalman in the NY Times today, in this case an enlightening graphic celebration of the inventiveness of Benjamin Franklin. This post was part of a series - "The Pursuit of Happiness (2009)" - a year long exploration of American History and democracy beginning with a story on the inauguration of Barack Obama.

Here is the NY Times article -> Can Do

I am looking forward to checking out more of her work, especially the illustrated Michael Pollan book.

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Made by hand in brooklyn

Made by Hand is a project creating beautiful videos that celebrate the resurgent maker scene in Brooklyn

"...Made by Hand was created out of the belief that the things we collect, consume, use, and share are part of who we are as individuals. For example, the food that we eat says something about each of us, as do the tools we use and the chairs we rest on. Objects that surround the space we dwell in tell stories, and not just about us. Where did they come from? Who made them? How were they made? "

The video below features knife maker Joel Bukiewicz reflecting on how he got started and the challenging process of learning the skills. The black and white style complements the material.

"...You go into the shop and you cut yourself burn yourself, f..k something up...and you never make that mistake again..".

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John Dermer

In November we travelled down to Kirby's Flat for John Dermer's annual major exhibition.

Planning to be there early we stayed overnight in Beechworth and arrived at Johns pottery at 10 past nine, assuming we would be the first car in the car park. What a surprise to find about a dozen cars already parked up, even more of a shock was waiting for us when we entered the gallery to find half of the exhibits already proudly bearing their red stickers indicating they were sold.

There were still many beautiful pieces left and we purchased an exquisite salt glazed bowl.

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