Rainbow E-News - Have a Very Happy Spring!
Friday, March 20, 2009
RAINBOW ANNUAL MEETING
Sunday, April 26 – Noon
(Save the Date)
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Van Jones – now working for you and me in Washington , DC
High-profile green jobs advocate Van Jones begins work this week as a Special Advisor to the Obama administration.
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Today is the vernal (spring) equinox. The path of the sun is directly over the equator today. (It actually happens this morning at 6:44am). For the next six months the days will be longer than the nights. But for today, the forces of light and dark are in balance. See if you can get very still and find that balance inside too.
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How about some really great news!
Obamas to Plant White House Organic Vegetable Garden
Published: March 19, 2009
WASHINGTON — While the organic garden will provide food for the first family’s meals and formal dinners, its most important role, Michele Obama said, will be to educate children about healthful, locally grown fruit and vegetables at time when obesity has become a national concern.
In an interview in her office, Mrs. Obama said, “My hope is that through children, they will begin to educate their families and that will, in turn, begin to educate our communities.”
Twenty-three fifth graders from Bancroft Elementary School in Washington will help her dig up the soil for the 1,100-square-foot plot in a spot visible to passers-by on E Street. (It’s just below the Obama girls’ swing set.) Students from the school, which has had a garden since 2001, will also help plant, harvest and cook the vegetables, berries and herbs.
Almost the entire Obama family, including the president, will pull weeds, “whether they like it or not,” Mrs. Obama said laughing. “Now Grandma, my mom, I don’t know.” Her mother, she said, would probably sit back and say: “Isn’t that lovely. You missed a spot.”
Whether there would be a White House garden has been more than a matter of landscaping. It’s taken on political and environmental symbolism as the Obamas have been lobbied for months by advocates who believe that growing more food locally could lead to healthier eating and lessen reliance on huge industrial farms that use more oil for transportation and chemicals for fertilizer.
In the meantime, promoting healthful eating has become an important part of Mrs. Obama’s agenda.
“The power of Michelle Obama and the garden can create a very powerful message about eating healthy and more delicious food,” said Dan Barber, an owner of Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills , N.Y. , an organic restaurant that grows many of its own ingredients. “I don’t think it’s a stretch to say it could translate into real change.”
The Clintons grew some vegetables in pots on the roof of the White House. But the Obamas’ garden will have 55 varieties of vegetables — from a wish list of the kitchen staff — grown from organic seedlings started at the executive mansion’s greenhouses.
The Obamas will feed their love of Mexican food with cilantro, tomatilloes and hot peppers. Lettuces will include red romaine, green oak leaf, butterhead, red leaf and galactic. There will be spinach, chard, collards and black kale. For desserts, there will be a patch of berries. And herbs will include some more unusual varieties, like anise hyssop and Thai basil. A White House carpenter who is a beekeeper will tend two hives for honey.
Total cost for the seeds, mulch, etc., is $200.
The plots will be in raised beds fertilized with White House compost, crab meal from the Chesapeake Bay , lime and green sand. Ladybugs and praying mantises will help control harmful bugs.
Cristeta Comerford, the White House’s executive chef, is eager to plan menus around the garden, and Bill Yosses, the pastry chef, is looking forward to berry season.
Sam Kass, an assistant White House chef who prepared healthful meals for the Obama family in Chicago and is an advocate of local food, will oversee the garden. The White House grounds crew and kitchen staff will do most of the work, but other White House staff members have volunteered.
“First of all,” Mrs. Obama said, “there’s nothing really cooler than coming to the White House and harvesting some of the vegetables and being in the kitchen with Cris and Sam and Bill, and cutting and cooking and actually experiencing the joys of your work.”
Mrs. Obama, who said that she never had a vegetable garden before, said the idea for it came from her experiences as a working mother trying to feed her daughters, Malia and Sasha, a good diet. Eating out three times a week, ordering a pizza, having a sandwich for dinner took it’s toll. The children’s pediatrician told her she needed to be thinking about nutrition.
“He raised a flag for us,” she said, and within months the children lost weight.
For children, she said, food is all about taste, and fresh and local taste better.
“A real delicious heirloom tomato is one of the sweetest things that you’ll ever eat,” she said. “And my children know the difference, and that’s how I’ve been able to get them to try different things.
“I wanted to be able to bring what I learned to a broader base of people. And what better way to do it than to plant a vegetable garden in the South Lawn of the White House.”
The country’s one million community gardens, she said, can also play an important role for urban dwellers who have no backyards.
But, sitting in her office in the East Wing, Mrs. Obama stressed that she doesn’t want people to feel guilty if they don’t have the time to have a garden: there are still many small changes they can make.
“You can begin in your own cupboard by eliminating processed food, trying to cook a meal a little more often, trying to incorporate more fruits and vegetables,” she said.
KEEPING UP WITH THE COMMUNITY GARDEN
PICTURES AND STORIES FROM THIS PAST SATURDAY IN THE GARDEN
We’ve started several hundred plants in small pots. The greenhouse is filling up!
Volunteer Hours for This Weekend:
and a special time starting at 1pm on Sunday
See y'all in the garden!
Would you like regular updates and lots of pictures?
Join 84 current members.
Join the sustainable garden egroup here:
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Event: Fourth-Friday Film
"The Future of Food"
What: Study Group
Start Time: Friday, March 27 at 7:00pm
End Time: Friday, March 27 at 9:00pm
Where: Unitarian Universalist Church of Jackson
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Schedule of Events
Friday, March 27th
11:30 am - Fairview Luncheon- "Wellness Within Your Walls"- Jillian Pritchard Cooke
1:00 pm - Professional Seminars in Fondren " Demystifying Green" – Jillian Pritchard Cooke
- Planning & Designing Green-Anne Marie & Roy Decker
- House Retro-Fitting & Renovations–John Weaver & Jeff Seabold
- Business & Office Strategies-Jillian Pritchard Cooke
6:00 pm - Film Showing–The Next Industrial Revolution
7:00 pm - Keynote Speaker Address–"Everyday Green Living" -Laura Turner Seydel
8:00 pm - Fondren Green Fling in Fondren
Saturday, March 28th
8:30 am - Film Showing—The Next Industrial Revolution
9:30 am - Understanding Green Terminology
– Laura Turner Seydel, Chris Harth, Ph.D. & Luke Lundemo
10:30 am - Seminars in Fondren (10:45/12:45/1:45)
- Planting Green: Sustainable Gardens in the South
- Rick Griffin & Mark Patrick
- Make It Heathful, Make It Green: Cooking Locally & Deliciously
- Derek Emerson, Taylor Bowen Ricketts & Amy Phelps
- The Green House: House Retro-Fitting & Renovations
- John Weaver & Jeff Seabold
- Self-Renewal: Dietary Strategies & Self-Care
– Dr. Guangzhi Qu & Dr. Shambhavi Chandraiah
- Hunters: The Original Conservationists
- Chad Manlove & Chad Dacus
Tickets $25 - $75
Ticket orders and information are available online- www.gosaints.org