School as a Garden

For the last 4 months I have been working with the school across the street, writing grant proposals, painting planter beds, planning, meeting, promoting, researching, weeding and watering to make school gardens all over the school grounds a reality. This holiday time found me drawing plans for garden kitchens. Today I found this video from Australia heartening.

In a related vein, I read this weekend that Britain's Jamie Oliver has won the 2010 TED prize. Jamie's work with England's school lunch program riveted me some years back. I have never forgotten it and I readily admit this was my inspiration for working on this School as a Garden project in my community. I wish I could watch the whole School Dinners series again.

“Every child should be taught to cook in school, not just talk about nutrition all day. Good food can be made in 15 minutes. This could be the first generation where the kids teach the parents.” – Jamie Oliver

As the TED write up states about Jamie Oliver's projects:
Campaigns such as School Dinners, Ministry of Food and Food Revolution USA combine Oliver’s culinary tools, cookbooks and television with more standard activism and community organizing to create change on both the individual and governmental level.
Oh yeah . . . YouTube

The Heat Is On

Well, for 3.5 hrs early this morning it was. I really thought I'd make it into January without turning on my little space heater. But, just before 5 am I felt so cold, despite my 3 blankets and a throw AND wearing a nightgown. Funny thing was, after 3.5 hours I woke with bright red cheeks from being so toasty.

My neighbor and I were comparing notes about this last week. It is like a game for us to challenge ourselves. The best part is our savings on electrical bills. I would live with much greater anxiety in the cold climates. I lived more than half of my life in northern climates with savage winter winds. Will power, extra layers of clothing and blankets day or night just aren't enough. Not just people, but pipes freeze. Death happens.

I would not like to go back to that without a roof full of solar panels, a wind generator, green roof, insulation, double glazed windows, complete caulking and lots of rugs and heavy drapes. What I am saying is it is expensive to live in cold climates. One exception was my daydream of living in an earth sheltered home. I even wrote a short story once with a full description of that home. I still would love to live in such a place. Meanwhile, I give thanks I am in a temparate climate. And maybe I will make it into the new year without needing to turn this on again.

Refreshed via COP15

I have been watching Democracy Now, broadcasting all week from Copenhagen.  It is refreshing to hear voices of the young, voices of the global south - the developing countries, the activists and 1st nation people around the world. The USofA perspective as seen through the corporate media, from coverage of President Obama (corporate spokesmodel) and the 24/7 fixation on far right or otherwise 'missing the point' views is spinning it's own empire story. This is true within the conference too, with the rich nations carrying on like it is a WTO or IMF gathering - rather than a UN (read: all countries as equal) conference. Leaked information called the Denmark Text, via the Guardian, tells of a plan B wherein developed countries defiled the spirit and purpose of the whole COP15 by meeting in secret and writing a version giving the richer nations the better deal. Big surprise. This is being furiously protested inside and outside the conference. This is real history in the making, by the citizens of the world - not just world leaders. I encourage you to listen to the Democracy Now broadcast from any day this last week or tune in next week.

via Guardian

Reminder: Tonight on the History Channel is Howard Zinn's production of "People's History of the United States." I will have to figure out a way to see this online or at someone's home with a television.

As Beany Reminded Me . . .

This image is one of the best ever. News of troop escalation in Afghanistan makes it clear he is on the same track as Bush. I can't see any difference except personal style, expression and look.

Beany and Mr. Beany visited this weekend. Yes, indeed, it was a great time. Beany fixed my computer while Mr. Beany was off to swim in the ocean. They treated me to an early birthday meal at my favorite slow food restaurant. It was so delicious. The time flew and now I keep thinking of things we never had a chance to discuss. I also got some Southern Indian cooking tips and gifts of Sambhar Masala and Tamarind concentrate. I have already tried these in my lentils and I am in love with this new taste.

Hat tip to Tengrain for image