We just finished filming a really incredible group of young people for an episode of our TV show, Growing A Greener World.
The Sol Food Bus Crew (L to R): Eliza Bordley, Ellen Duda, Dylan Hammond and Reid Rosemond
The TV story will air on PBS in December and is about these four farmers (aged 22-23) who are traveling and living in a retro-fitted school bus. They are on a six-month journey across America to teach people (mostly children) how to grow food and live sustainably.
The retrofitted bus runs on waste vegetable oil
The bus is a traveling classroom and mini-farm that runs on waste vegetable oil they collect from fast food restaurants along the way. This is oil that would otherwise end up in a landfill. They process it themselves and use it as fuel.
The bus is also equipped with a:
- greenhouse (to grow starts for various garden stops)
- living quarters (4 bunk beds & mini closets)
- mini-office/kitchen area
- green roof (to cool & insulate their sleeping area)
- solar panels (giving them 10 hrs of power/day)
- rainwater catchment system (to water the greenhouse)
- and worm composting system.
And it was all built by the bus crew themselves using reclaimed/recycled materials.
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For the last two weeks, I have been busy writing and producing an episode of Growing A Greener World TV that is is so cool, I just have to tell you about it!
There are four farmer-entrepreneurs in New York who are changing the way urban food is produced. They have created what is currently the largest ROOFTOP farm in America in the middle of New York City – six stories above the rush hour traffic.
Now I am not talking about a rooftop “garden”. There are lots of those around New York and there are even some restaurants who grow their own produce on the roof.
No – I am talking about a full scale FARM that is one-acre in size and it is called Brooklyn Grange. (Although they have “Brooklyn” in the name, their first farm was actually in Queens.)
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I had the privilege of visiting Polyface Farm twice in the last year – Once for a personal trip and the second time to film our TV show Growing A Greener World. This post is about what they do there and why it is so very important to us as consumers and the earth.
That and it has lots of behind-the-scenes photos!
Polyface Farm Changed the Way I Buy Food.
Joel Salatin and his Polyface Farm became household names after being featured in Michael Pollan’s book, Omnivore’s Dilemma. I have also seen Joel featured in Food, Inc and numerous other movies, books and articles about food production.
Because Joel Salatin produces meat and eggs in an ultra-sustainable way. And farmers across the country are following his lead to not only produce food in an ethical way, but restore the soil at the same time.
Before visiting Joel, I fully knew how deplorable our current food system was. I saw all the movies & read all the books. But, I have always felt a little helpless in my food choices. What difference could I make? But after spending several days with Joel, I look at things very differently. [click to continue…]
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You’ve seen the egg cartons in the grocery store: “Cage Free!” and “Free Range!”. And the newest one to hit the market “Vegetarian Raised!”
Well, you might be surprised to learn that those terms do NOT even remotely mean what you think they mean.
With the exception of “Pasture Raised”, most of the terms used on an egg carton have been hijacked by the egg industry as marketing ploys.
When I fully came to understand this, I was outraged. Obviously, most of the people who would go to the trouble of buying a “Cage Free” egg are doing it (and paying more money) because they think it is better for the environment and the chicken. They also think produces a better egg.
But that is not the case. Not even close!
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Okay – so it’s a digital magazine rather than a print magazine. But still!
Gardeners on the Go is the latest creation from Horticulture Magazine. It is a fully digital collection of articles for busy gardeners. I wrote the article on pg. 30 about Growing A Greener World TV (and some of the places we have filmed). The editors decided to use me on the cover holding a basket of produce from my urban homestead. It was fun!
You can read the issue (July 2012) at this link. It’s free!