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The Prying Mantis

No Justice, No Peace – reflections on organic farming, CSA and domestic fair trade.

Month

September 2016

Urban Farming in Buffalo with Food Justice Flavoring

AT 7 am on Saturday, September 17, Jack and I headed to Buffalo to take part in the annual Tour de Farms, a fundraiser for the Massachusetts Avenue Project (MAP).  Since Jack’s brother wanted to come to, we decided to go on the urban farm tour instead of the “classic” which goes all the way to the Oles Farm in Alden.  As fate would have it, a sinus attack kept Jack’s brother at home, but I am glad we took the urban route to visit six farms on the west and east sides of Buffalo.  West Buffalo is low income and struggling.  East Buffalo contends with Detroit in numbers of abandoned houses and vast empty spaces where houses once stood.

The six farms on this tour share a commitment to providing healthier food to their mainly low-income neighbors.  By farming in these blighted areas of the city, the farmers take a definite cut in one of the greatest benefits of farming – a.g. (aesthetic gluttony). But they make that up in social returns, the satisfaction that comes from getting to know your customers, providing fresh and nutritious food to people who really appreciate it and teaching young people to be self-reliant, active and make healthy food choices.

Initiated in 1992, MAP has grown slowly but steadily, providing jobs for neighborhood youth with training in growing and selling food, understanding the connections between diet and health, learning to have a voice in food system policy, and providing fresh organic produce for food apartheid neighborhoods.  MAP is fortunate to have Diane Piccard as Director – she has been with them since 1997 and initiated the Growing Green Program in 2003.

With rain storms in the forecast for early afternoon, 80 or so of us mounted our bicycles at Rich Products on Niagara Street and followed our guides from GoBike Buffalo.  First stop – the MAP Youth Garden, one of 13 sites where youngsters learn to grow food using organic practices. Claire Collie, one of the MAP farm educators, greeted us.

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NYS Organic Farmers’ Letter to Cornell: Evict “Alliance for Science” from Campus

September 22, 2016

Dean Kathryn J. Boor
Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Ithaca, New York   14850

Trustees of Cornell University, Robert S. Harrison, Chair
Cornell University
Ithaca, New York  14850
Dear Dean Boor and Trustees of the University:

As New York State organic farmers, we object to the presence of the “Alliance for Science” on the Cornell campus (http://allianceforscience.cornell.edu/).  This advocacy group for the highly controversial agricultural genetic engineering industry, funded almost entirely by the Gates Foundation, has no place at a Land Grant university.

Cornell’s mission is to conduct objective research and education whereas the “Alliance for Science” has as its stated purpose to “help foster more constructive policies about biotechnology as a useful tool in the toolbox of food security and sustainability” and to spread it around the world.

This biased presence impedes objective discussion of biotechnology on campus.

Cornell is making valuable contributions to the long-term sustainability of agriculture.  Please remove this unscientific impediment to such contributions.

Respectfully yours,

Elizabeth Henderson, Peacework Farm, Newark

Rafael Aponte, Rocky Acres Community Farm, Freeville

Kathie Arnold, Twin Oaks Dairy LLC, Truxton

Lisa Barker, Seedfolks Urban Farm, Rochester

Erin Bullock, Wild Hill Farm, Bloomfield

Krys Cail, Robinia Redux, Ithaca

Brian (’86) and Jenny Caldwell, Hemlock Grove Farm, West Danby

Bill Carini and Chrys Gardener, TreeHouse Farm, Newfield

Janet Cawley and David Stern, Rose Valley Farm, Rose

Chaw Chang and Lucy Garrison (’04), Stick and Stone Farm, Ithaca

Scott Chaskey, Quail Hill Farm, Amagansett

Ammie Chickering and Greg Palmer, Peacework Farm, Newark

Jean-Paul Courtens, Roxbury Farm, Kinderhook

Sean Dembrosky, Edible Acres, Trumansberg

Willy Denner and Claudia Kenny, Little Seeds Gardens, Chatham

Mark Dunau and Lisa Wujnovich, Mountain Dell Farm, Delhi

Lisa and Kevin Engelbert, Engelbert Farms, LLC, Nichols

Andy Fellenz, Fellenz Family Farm, Phelps

Kurt Forman, Clearview Farm, Palmyra

Stephanie and John Funicello, Stonefall Farm, Sharon Springs

Amy Garbincus, Hemlock Grove Farm, West Danby

Steve Gilman and Renata Grec, homesteaders, Saratoga

Michael Glos, Kingbird Farm, Berkshire

Nancy Grove, Old Path Farm, Sauquoit

Tom Hoag and Mary Boite, Hoag Farm, Richmond

Donn Hewes and Maryrose Livingston, Northland Sheep Dairy, Marathon

Lou Johns, Blue Heron Farm, Lodi

Nancy Kasper, Earth Eden Organic Farm and Sanctuary, North Rose

Karen Kerney, Pompey Gold Vineyards, Jamesville

Maureen and Paul Knapp, Cobblestone Valley Farm, Preble

David-Josiah Krause, Seedfolks Urban Farm, Rochester

Lou Lego, Elderberry Pond Farm, Auburn

Melissa Madden and Garrett Miller, Good Life Farm, Interlaken

Stuart McCarty and Lynn Thor, Whistle-Stop Gardens, Colesville

Lauren and Kevin McKinzey, Black Pearl Creamery, Town of Ulysses

Surik Mehrabyan, Hill Side Farm, Ithaca

Pam and Rob Moore, Moore Farms, Nichols

Thor Oechsner, Oechsner Farm, Newfield

Robert Perry, Maple Slope Farm, Homer

Ryan Platte, Burning Bush Gardens, Churchville

Mr. and Mrs. John Saeli, Saeli Farms, Geneva

Michael Saeli, Saeli Farms, Butler

Anne and Steve Sierigk, Hawk Meadow Farm, Trumansburg

Jean Siracusa, Happy Bee Heirloom Farm, Cayuga

Akiva Silver, Twisted Tree Nursery, Spencer

Nathaniel Thompson, Remembrance Farm, Trumansburg

Olga Tsogas, Smugtown Mushrooms, Rochester

Devon Van Noble, Van Noble Farm, Enfield

Bob Walker, Katchkie Farm, Kinderhook

 

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