15 May Notes from the Kitchen: On Sustainable Food Practices & Public Policy
Later this year, the U.S. Congress will begin debate on the 2012 Farm Bill, including many of the USDA’s programs to support sustainable agriculture and local/regional food systems. In southeastern Michigan, these programs are helping redefine our economy both in rural and urban settings. One example of this: the salad greens and spinach currently used in our kitchen were picked just a few days ago in passive solar hoop houses less than an hour’s drive from TRC. Many of these hoop houses were made possible by the high wind tunnel grant from the USDA.
The Tillian Farm Development Center located in Ann Arbor Township was created to give young farmers a venue to develop their skills and business model before investing in a land purchase or lease. A major portion of the Tillian’s startup funds and additional capital for equipment came from USDA programs.
I encourage everyone to contact your representatives in Washington and voice support for the continuation of Federal support for sustainable agriculture and local food systems. Please also take the time to look around in your own area and decide what you can do to make a difference in purchasing for your own kitchen.