Archives for the month of: June, 2015


Kimchi-Love here, maybe addictive passion, but I am not alone. Variations are fun and endless and you will be rewarded for experimenting with what you have. Read the rest of this entry »

Climate Space

Lome Declaration of Oilwatch Africa on Climate Justice and Food Sovereignty in Africa

Members of Oilwatch Africa network met in Lome, Togo, on 9 June 2015 and robustly considered the implications of the world’s stubborn dependence on fossil fuels on climate, food sovereignty, nutrition and well-being in Africa.

Participants at the conference shared experiences on impacts of extractive activities on their communities and countries. The conference particularly examined the environmental and socio-economic impacts of oil, gas and coal extraction. The impacts on food production, water pollution and deforestation were discussed as well as the growing trend of land grabbing on the continent.

Oilwatch Africa frowns at the trend where corporate interests and international groupings, such as the G7 and the like, aimed at polluting our biodiversity, grabbing our lands, water and seeds, are being promoted under the banners of Africana being hungry and now being malnourished, stunted and going blind…

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DACS; (c) DACS; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

DACS; (c) DACS; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Something reminded me of this great article I read a few years ago about cabbages in art.  I especially like Alexandra Harris’s description of Stanley Spencer’s painting “The Dustman”:

“This 1934 work shows the resurrection of rubbish from an ordinary household dustbin: all our forgotten scraps gloriously risen from the dead. Children hold out a broken teapot and a jam jar, and – in the middle of the picture – there’s a bedraggled but beautifully deep-veined cabbage. For Spencer, this was a painting about the things we forget to worship: ‘All the signs and tokens of home life, such as cabbage leaves and teapot, which I have so much loved that I have had them resurrected from the dustbin because they are reminders of home life and peace.'”


What extraordinary pictures.  They show a family breaking the first Ramadan fast in Gaza, just last night, where so many people still live in dangerous homes destroyed last summer.  I saw these photos posted via We Are Not Numbers, an organisation that seeks to tell individual stories as a way to fight injustice. Read the rest of this entry »

Reallyreallyreally worth a read, and please share around . Francis is an amazing, righteous Pope, and though I don’t identify with the religious stuff in any religious way, I feel the spiritual truth of it all very deeply. As much as we want the people to lead and the leaders to follow, it feels a relief this time for a true leader to lead from a place of such integrity, truth and vision.


Fermented Preserved Lemons: delicious in dressings; refreshing in drinks. Tart, salty, bitter, tangy, matured in lemon juice and sea salt, Preserved Lemons are a great larder item for the lacto-fermenting cook.  I made a batch several months ago, and they’ve really come into their own. I’ve been playing with them a bit, and getting obsessed with their bold brightness– or is it a bright boldness?–how they refuse to be denied presence, they refuse not to shine. Read the rest of this entry »

I love the anti-plastic-waste activists in my life. My friend Rina, who founded the brilliant SESI (Schools Ethical Supplies Initative) in Oxford, and Anne-Marie of the website Zero Waste Chef share a vision that we can eat better, fairer, and more healthfully when we eat what comes outside the world of pre-packaged (and over-packaged) plastic.  SESI is a great model for refill shops in that it responds to customer need and desire and keeps it simple and very conscious ethically.  Zero Waste Chef continually teaches us how we can cook and eat beautifully without packaged, processed foods. Yay them!

Wish I could buy more food around here from loose bins, bringing my own containers.

And this film was made by students taught no doubt with inspiration and love by my friend Zoe, video activist extraordinaire, at Film Oxford.

My friends inspire me, and I with this post I hope to inspire you too.   Hey– if you’re reading this and you know a bulk selling group or business, link to them in the comments! It would be fun to see different versions of this work 🙂  I’m pretty sure somewhere I saw a market stall in a food market that offered this service, can’t quite recall where…

Enjoy this clip from “Bedknobs and Broomsticks.” Thanks to Nyrees of Sandwell and Birmingham Permaculture Group for sharing it. She’s a weed-eater along with the best of ’em. 🙂

Marguerite Patten has died.  I cherish my copies of her Coronation Cookbook and We’ll Eat Again: A Collection of Recipes from the War Years (Rose-Hip Syrup; Potato Pastry two ways) with its insights into ration cookery and government advice. Her Basic Basics Baking Handbook is also a treasure of fundamentals from which one can vary and play– no food-porn pictures, just practical descriptions that really could make a modest domestic goddess out of anyone.

Watching and listening to her when she’s an old lady, you see she’s really got the long view as a food educator and, indeed, activist. Love that she’s such a pressure cooker aficionado.

When you get a chance, and if you can, have a listen to the Woman’s Hour radio show featuring her wise, comforting voice as it was in 2009.  RIP, Marguerite Patten.

Was just out in the cool, long-light evening, turning the compost with a garden fork and musing on decay. When I see worms in bins, garden beds or in the soil, I imagine a better future in which that zoological multitude replenishes and renews the earth of Earth. Recent research is telling us how important earthworms are in the carbon cycle and offer some positive news regarding climate change. Read the rest of this entry »

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