The Great American Milk Drive

Families that depend on Feeding America food banks receive less than one gallon of milk per person, per year. Make this holiday memorable and give the gift of milk to those in need. For every share of this video, a gallon of milk will be donated to a local food bank.

Feeding America will match each donation Gallon-for-Gallon through December 31st.

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http://milklife.com/give/holiday

* via Milk Life
http://milklife.com/give?utm_campaign=target_moms_2014&utm_medium=OLA&utm_source=nfl

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California among states selected by USDA for participation in the Pilot Project for Procurement of Unprocessed Fruits and Vegetables

Pilot will support schools’ efforts to procure more fruits and vegetables; Offers new opportunity that supports local producers and local economies.

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WASHINGTON, December 8, 2014 – Today USDA announced the selection of eight states to participate in the Pilot Project for Procurement of Unprocessed Fruits and Vegetables, as directed by the Agricultural Act of 2014, also known as the Farm Bill. Under the pilot, California, Connecticut, Michigan, New York, Oregon, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin will be able to increase their purchases of locally-grown fruits and vegetables for their school meal programs.

USDA Foods – provided by the USDA to schools – make up about 20 percent of the foods served in schools.  States use their USDA Foods allocation to select items from a list of 180 products including fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, poultry, rice, low fat cheese, beans, pasta, flour and other whole grain products.  This pilot program will allow the selected states to use some of their USDA Foods allocation to purchase unprocessed fruits and vegetables directly, instead of going through the USDA Foods program.

“Providing pilot states with more flexibility in the use of their USDA Foods’ dollars offers states another opportunity to provide schoolchildren with additional fruits and vegetables from within their own communities,” said Kevin Concannon, USDA Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services.  “When schools invest food dollars into local communities, all of agriculture benefits, including local farmers, ranchers, fishermen, food processors and manufacturers.”

These states were selected based on their demonstrated commitment to farm to school efforts, including prior efforts to increase and promote farm to school programs in the state, the quantity and variety of growers of local fruits and vegetables in the state on a per capita basis, and the degree to which the state contains a sufficient quantity of local educational agencies of various population sizes and geographic locations.

This pilot is designed to support the schools’ pre-existing relationships with vendors, growers, produce wholesalers, and distributors, and increase the use of locally-grown, unprocessed fruits and vegetables in school meal programs. While the pilot does not require sourcing locally grown foods, the project will enable schools to increase their use of locally-grown, unprocessed fruits and vegetables from AMS authorized vendors.  Unprocessed fruits and vegetables include products that are minimally processed such as sliced apples, baby carrots, and shredded lettuce. For more information about the pilot, please visit the Pilot Project for Procurement of Unprocessed Fruits and Vegetables website.

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE.

* via CDFA Planting Seeds Blog
http://plantingseedsblog.cdfa.ca.gov/wordpress/?p=7327

Veggies on the roof: Urban farming in LA

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At the Jonathan Club downtown, not everyone took it well when an infrequently used paddle tennis court on a fifth-floor roof was sacrificed to gem lettuce, swiss chard and microgreens.

Executive chef Jason McClain, of course, was thrilled. His father, a retired landscape architect, flew in from Alabama to build the garden, installing neat rows of galvanized horse troughs in which vegetables and herbs now grow.

Club members walking on the artificial turf track nearby pass tubs filled with citrus and fruit trees. The dinner menu lists “our home-grown items”: broccolini, baby carrots, yuzu, blueberries, figs, snap peas and heirloom tomatoes.

“I mean, you cut a tomato and it’s like a real tomato. The juice runs down your arm. It’s never been refrigerated,” McClain, dressed in crisp fresh chef’s whites, said Tuesday morning to a busload of visitors on a daylong tour of urban agriculture and local food systems.

“It’s just magical. You’re in the middle of downtown Los Angeles. It’s really great at 5 o’clock, when the traffic’s going and you hear the obscenities, and I’m up here snipping arugula.”

The visitors — who included growers, urban policymakers, consultants, entrepreneurs and representatives of nonprofits — wandered around the vegetable beds and asked questions as they got a taste of the garden.

Waiters served a drink called an Autumn Escape, featuring garden-grown rosemary, fresh pressed pineapple, cinnamon, lime and club soda, and offered spoon-size tastes of lemon verbena crème caramel and dainty Warren pear financiers, decorated with leaves of just-picked arugula.

A serious, note-taking group, the visitors were interested in the practical ins and outs: That the garden yields as much as $150,000 worth of produce every year. That it cost about $40,000 to build. That it provides work for a local urban farming venture called Farmscape Gardens, whose farmers plant the Jonathan Club’s seeds, compost the beds and rotate the crops.

The tour was organized by Seedstock, a Los Angeles-based company that offers consulting services and disseminates information about sustainable food projects. It hosts an annual conference on sustainable agriculture, which begins Wednesday at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. This year’s theme is “Reintegrating Agriculture: Local Food Systems and the Future of Cities.”

As they left the 120-year-old private club and headed back to the bus, tour members talked about what they had seen. Didn’t the galvanized tubs burn up in summer? Did that tree really produce edible olives?

Niki Mazaroli, program officer at the Leichtag Foundation in Encinitas, said one of her foundation’s aims is to help struggling people reach self-sufficiency. She said she hoped Jonathan Club members with means might look at the garden there and get inspired to invest in the sort of urban agriculture projects that create livable-wage jobs.

That was the kind of effort underway at the next stop — a farm on the grounds of Pasadena’s Muir High School that was as wild and lush and loud as the Jonathan Club garden was tidy, crisp and quiet.

At Muir Ranch, roses bloomed and sunflowers blared and squashes bigger than bowling balls grew under enormous leaves.

Mud Baron, the goateed project director, wore flip-flops, sunglasses and a brown cap that said “GROW!” in big green letters. On the belt of his jeans was a leather holster keeping his pruners at the ready.

He spoke of the farm’s community-supported agriculture program, in which people subscribe to get weekly flowers or boxes of fresh produce. How much of what’s in the selection comes from the farm, but he also buys from other local farmers, thus helping support them. How, contrary to its reputation, Pasadena has many people in need, including many Muir families. How getting young people interested in the garden was one way to push them toward better futures.

Looking out over the rows of vegetables and flowers, he pointed to a young man who was helping set up a long table for lunch. Manny, he said, now 20, had gotten training in the garden, learning how to plant and install irrigation systems. He’d also learned about flowers and had just done all the flowers for a wedding, earning $20 an hour.

“At the heart of what I’m trying to do is to teach these kids to be entrepreneurs,” said Baron, who then talked of further plans — for a food truck run by students and a charter school centered on making things — that would teach kids how to grow vegetables, how to pickle, how to weld benches and how “to really do something.”

A catered lunch in the garden came next, featuring salads of kale and quinoa. Baron clipped flowers and arranged them like headdresses, which he got the visitors to place on their heads. He took photographs. Everyone laughed.

These two projects, L.A. Prep and L.A.Kitchen, certainly sounded exciting, but they were almost too much to process at once on such a bountiful day.

* via CDFA Planting Seeds Blog
http://plantingseedsblog.cdfa.ca.gov/wordpress/?p=7180

Target + TOMS: One for One, For All

Check out the new Target + TOMS collection that releases November 16th!

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* via Target
http://pressroom.target.com/multimedia/toms-for-target-look-book#sf33409142

Fun Apple Stamp Tote

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Did you know you can use apples, just like potatoes, as stamps for creating your own designs?  I opted to keep the “apple effect” and kept the apples fully intact.  It was super simple and easy enough for kiddos to tackle this project all by themselves!  I envision this as a cute teacher’s gift or even a reusable grocery bag!

 

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MATERIALS:

  • Generic tote
  • Ripe California apples
  • Fabric paint
  • Fabric pen

DIRECTIONS:

1. Cut your apple in half

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2. Place a large amount of paint onto a paper plate

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3. Saturate the flesh of the apple

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4. Place the painted apple onto the tote.  Press down to make sure the apple makes contact with the fabric in every spot.

***Keep a piece of cardboard in between the tote layers to prevent paint transfer***

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5. Lift the apple to reveal your design!  Each print will be  a little different.  That’s what makes this stamping so unique!

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6. Mix your colors and apple slices if you prefer

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7. Use a fabric pen to outline the stamp and make the image stand out

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And DONE!

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*via CA Grown
http://cagrownblog.com/tutorial-apple-stamp-tote/

 

CA Grown Snap A Selfie

Don’t forget, there’s still time to “Snap A Selfie”.

Help make a difference and post up a selfie with the CA Grown logo or any California grown or produced item in support. #cagrown #california #cowpalace #buycalifornian

California Grown partners have committed to donating a pound of food to California food banks for every #cagrown that is posted on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook between now and the end of October.  Participants must take a photograph of the CA Grown logo or anything grown or produced in California (this could be flowers, wine, apples, milk, beef, etc) and use #cagrown in your post.

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* via CA Grown Blog
http://cagrownblog.com/ca-grown-promotion-helps-food-banks/

CA Grown “Snap a Selfie” Promotion

The Cow Palace is taking part in CA Grown’s new promotion to help local food banks. Help make a difference and post up a selfie with the CA Grown logo or any California grown or produced item in support. #cagrown #california #cowpalace #buycalifornian

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California Grown partners have committed to donating a pound of food to California food banks for every #cagrown that is posted on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook between now and the end of October.  Participants must take a photograph of the CA Grown logo or anything grown or produced in California (this could be flowers, wine, apples, milk, beef, etc) and use #cagrown in your post.

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“We love checking in and seeing all the photos with the #cagrown.  What’s most heart warming is seeing  kids post photographs, even though they are young, they can make a difference,” says Nick Matteis, Executive Director of California Grown.

* via CA Grown Blog
http://cagrownblog.com/ca-grown-promotion-helps-food-banks/