Friday, January 30, 2009

White House Farmer

The White House is considering transforming part of the White House Lawns into an organic farm to raise fruits and vegetable to be used not only in White House Meals but to donate to local food pantries. Several farmers across the country have been nominated, including Will Allen of Growing Power . Growing Power conducts workshops and demonstrations in aquaculture, aquaponics, vermiculture, horticulture, small or large-scale composting, soil reclamation, food distribution, beekeeping, and marketing. Will turns compost into energy to heat his green houses in the winter and has been integral in educating inner-city dwellers about the importance of organic farming and energy efficiency.

Here is Michael Pollan's article in the NY Times that inspired the conversation about a White House Farmer and further consideration of US food policy:
Farmer in Chief

Learn more about the inspiring farmers who have been nominated to be White House Farmer and cast your vote: (After Jan 31, names of the top three vote-getters, plus all their information and comments, will be forward to an Obama staffer).

For info on Obama's rural planning: barackobama.come/issues/rural
By the way, Sam Kass, a proponent of local food, will become one of the White House chefs.

Friday, January 09, 2009

The Laundromat Project

An exciting new project from the folks at "Create Change"...

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: 2009 Create Change Public Artist Residency Program
Applications are due by February 20, 2009

The Laundromat Project is a community based arts organization committed to the well-being of communities of color living on low incomes. We understand that creativity is a central component of healthy human beings, vibrant neighborhoods and thriving economies.

Every year our Create Change program invites artists to mount public art projects in laundromats throughout Brooklyn and Harlem as a way of increasing the quality of life in communities of color living on low incomes.

Artists who participate in the Create Change program are able to use their creative practice as a vehicle to build relationships with and among their neighbors. They are charged with placing art-making in the context of everyday living by:
producing a site-specific, socially relevant installation at a laundromat in their neighborhood; engaging neighbors and fellow laundry patrons as participants in their
creative process; increasing their own visibility as an artist and a neighbor

Program participants receive a stipend and a materials budget to complete their Create Change project; professional development and access to a supportive network of colleagues; as well as opportunities to share their work with a broader public.

To learn more about the Create Change program, download an application and get answers to frequently asked questions, please visit:

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Off the Grid in Milwaukee

Here is an exciting project (and blog) that some friends have started in Milwaukee:
Currently, they are looking at creating urban water treatment systems and training as well as book club focusing on DIY health. There are also lots of interesting links and information about a variety of topics - from aquaculture to composting to wind power.