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Creating Farms That Produce Food And Energy

January 31, 2012 by  

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In this week’s episode, we discuss how incorporating an Integrated Food and Energy System (IFES) can give rural and impoverished communities better access to food and reliable energy. Farmers can incorporate IFES in two ways–by using intercropping methods and growing food and fuel-generating crops, such as acacia trees, or by integrating livestock onto their farms and using biodigesters from their manure to generate energy. Video: http://youtu.be/gPlSroOqNaY To read  about IFES, see: Innovation of the Week: Creating Farms that Produce Food and Energy.


Five School Programs Feeding America’s Children

January 31, 2012 by  

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Beyond the traditional lessons on reading, writing, and math, schools across America are now teaching their students about another crucially important subject that will build the foundation for the rest of their lives: nutrition. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 17 percent of children in America are obese.  These children face higher risks of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other diseases when they become adults. With approximately 55 million children enrolled in the U.S., schools can play a powerful role in the efforts to combat obesity. Every day, over 31 million children receive their lunches through the National School Lunch Program. These meals are subsidized the government, and made available to low-income students for free or reduced rates.  In addition, by teaching children about agriculture, cooking, and gardening, students gain a greater appreciation and understanding of where their food comes from and how it is produced. Here are five initiatives helping to teach children about nutrition across the country. 1. Louisville, Kentucky In 2003, according to a report by the Trust for America’s Health, Kentucky had the third highest level of…

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New England Patriots Win SuperBowl XLVI

January 31, 2012 by  

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Put down that six-pack and the nacho cheese dip. According to a mobile browser called Opera Mini, the New England Patriots will win the Super Bowl this Sunday. Game over. ReadWriteWeb reports that Opera Mini called 3 out 4 playoff games correctly.  The only miscalculation was that the New York Giants would lose to the Green Bay Packers (they didn’t). Opera Mini predicted both the Giants and the Patriots would win their respective league title games and go onto the Super Bowl. Now, its system of gauging online analytics (see the ReadWriteWeb story for exactly how) says the Pats will beat the Giants. You can bet on it. Las Vegas oddsmakers even say so. But Giants fans won’t let this info stop them from watching, and football fans in general needn’t forgo the wings and things party spread. Opera Mini was wrong once before and it involved the Giants. Not to mention the Giants propensity to come on strong late in the season and pull off an upset or a few (hello, Super Bowl XLVI!).


Bigger Is Not Always Better

January 31, 2012 by  

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Green stampsTime to go shopping. Time to get groceries or birthday gifts or home goods. I search the ads in the Sunday paper (yes, we still get the Sunday paper), I look at my email and check the incoming from my favorite stores and… I sigh. Bigger is not always better. That’s what I think. When ready to shop, I seldom – almost NEVER – go to Walmart. I call people who shop at Walmart ‘walmartians’… and if you’re one, I apologize but…seriously, do you know what you’re doing? You’re supporting big business when small business really needs your help. While Walmart is the favored place to shop, with Targee’ (fancy spelling of Target) a close second, I think, it wasn’t always so. Back in the day, when I was a kid, we shopped for groceries and some home goods at the A&P – the Great Atlantic & Pactific Tea Co. They gave out green stamps – not loyalty cards. You licked the stamps and put them in books and when you had enough, you could get free stuff. It was our job, we being the kids, to lick the stamps and put them in the books. You


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India: On Painted Storks and Packing

January 31, 2012 by  

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Painted Stork photo CC by Rupal Vaidya
“I’m only halfway home I gotta journey on
to where I’ll find the things that I have lost
I’ve come a long long road still I’ve got miles to go
I’ve got a wide wide river to cross”
Wide River to Cross, by Buddy Miller*
Mysore India. A few yards after embarking on a walk with a friend around Kukkarahalli Lake we saw one of the Painted Storks that live there. The lake is set in the middle of the University of Mysore and is one of the freshest places in the city to walk as well as a great place to see birds—reportedly 180 different kinds have been spotted at the lake. We hardly saw that many, but storks, being quite large, are pretty easy to see. There are 19 species of storks in the world, and while they’re abundant here in India, only one species breeds in North America (the


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Healdsburg Food, Wine & Cultural Events Thru March Including Its Jazz Festival

January 31, 2012 by  

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Since I live in the Bay Area, I tend to hear about and attend more food, wine & cultural events here than other parts of the world although I argue that it’s not enough and perhaps I don’t even know about half the amazing cultural and arts events here. If in the area or ‘can be’ wine country is celebrating via something they’re calling Epicurean Indulgence, which is being held at the Healdsburg Inn now through March 31, 2012. 20×20- Every Thursday, now through March 29: World-renowned chef Charlie Palmer’s celebrated fine dining restaurant, Dry Creek Kitchen, offers 20 bottles of wine for just $20 each. Sonoma Neighbor Menu & Live Jazz- Monday-Thursday, now until March 29: Guests can enjoy a 3-course menu at Dry Creek Kitchen while listening to live jazz in the dining room from 7:00-10:00pm. $36/person; $51 with wine pairing. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Healdsburg Education Foundation. Healdsburg Jazz Festival: “Jazz on the Menu” – Februray 2: Enjoy live jazz and signature dishes at any of fifteen participating Healdsburg restaurants. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Healdsburg Jazz Festival’s Music Education Programs. Taste the Place, Zin Restaurant

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Country’s First Carbon-Neutral Cafe Opens in Oakland, California

January 31, 2012 by  

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According to a tweet from ABC7 News, I learned the ~NOBLE CAFE~, reportedly the country’s first 100% carbon-neutral coffee shop, is now open in The Grand apartment building in Oakland. Although I’d like to shoot their website designer who makes me feel like I’m having an eye exam every time I click something on their website, the site mentions that the coffee is from Blue Bottle, with tea from Rishi. You can get French press, pour over, or siphon coffee, plus espresso drinks. There are pastries and some breakfast items, but an all-organic lunch menu will launch later. Open Mon-Fri 7am-7pm. You can read more about the café’s green practices on their Facebook page. 100 Grand Ave., Suite 111 at Valdez, Oakland, 510-444-3800. And it’s already underway, but the second annual ~OAKLAND RESTAURANT WEEK~ is on now through Sunday January 29th. You can try a bunch of special prix-fixe menus priced at $20, $30, and $40, with drink specials often included. Check it out!


Scottish Snowdrop Festival

January 31, 2012 by  

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Celebrate the promise of spring at the annual Scottish Snowdrop Festival, held February 4, 2012, through March 18, 2012. Arranged by VisitScotland, the festival includes more than 50 garden showcasing their snowdrop spots, some of which are open exclusively for the event. Properties taking part in the festival range from castles and classic country estates to woodland walks, walled gardens and urban retreats. There is also magical Snowdrops by Starlight night time experience. Everything from a footpath sprinkled with snowdrops by a waterfall which inspired Robert Burns in Perthshire, to carpets of snowdrops at Culzean Castle in South Ayrshire can be enjoyed. During a visit you can also tour castles and stately homes, visit deer parks and tea rooms or see specialist varieties of snowdrop like those at the Shepard House Snowdrop Theatre in East Lothian. One of the gardens taking part is Cambo Estate, Fife, which has 70 acres of woodland carpeted in snowdrops each year — and, it’s home to the National Collection of 300 species of snowdrop. Dates published for snowdrop openings are ‘general’ as unfortunately snowdrops do not flower to order…

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