Overall, this course hasn’t changed my outlook on food the way I thought it would. I guess the main reason for this is because I don’t care that much about the system behind how my food is processed and shipped. As long as it tastes good and doesn’t make me sick, I don’t really care. The only true eye opening experience I had so far was last week’s theme of food safety and how easily food born bacteria can infect my food, which legitimately scared me. But I won’t get into this in great detail- that’s what my last blog entry was for. I did find it interesting to find out that some of the “organic” foods in the supermarket isn’t actually all that organic. Now that I think about it, this shouldn’t really surprise me at all, especially considering my topic of my research paper I did last semester (green-washing in environmental advertising).
I found an article online about a program that has been set up in the Leigh Valley area that teaches about sustainable growing techniques and puts a spin on community supported agriculture. Anyone can apply to participate in this program and they encourage its participants to spread the knowledge they learned there, to other people. One example of sustainable growing they teach, and which I thought was really cool, is called straw bale gardening and it is one of the main components of the program. You can place straw bales on concrete, toss in a tiny bit of compost and plant into them. Even places with low-quality or no soil at all can start a productive garden. The reason this program is different from the others is because not only do they teach you growing techniques, but also how to set up an ASC business of your own. They teach you about writing business plans, marketing the program, establishing community relationships, providing nutrition education, and solidifying partnerships. I think that is the coolest part of this program, how they are encouraging future generations of people to expand this idea of sustainable, community oriented farming, which I also think will become a lot more important in the future.