Welcome to austinagrodolce … My family and I garden with more intention and enthusiasm than allocated budget or overall design plan. It shows. Wildlife populations don't seem to notice our lack of cohesive design, they just like the native plants here. It seems by growing local we've thrown out a welcome mat. Occasionally, we're surprised at who (and what) shows up.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Sign On for Better Local Eats!

A petition is being circulated asking Obama to appoint a "sustainable" choice as Secretary of Agriculture, someone who will shift the focus away from agri-business and towards a more sustainable and nutritious food supply.

As has happened around Austin as exemplified by the CSA farm I get baskets from and last year's water problems they had, small farmers need all the help they can get to secure a better life. That includes other small suppliers as well. Ranchers and cheese makers, Dairies, all of whose traditional ways of life and hopes of getting sustainable food and food products to local markets are threatened.

As the Pitres at Tecolote put it, "When the small farming way of life is at risk, so too is the strength of diversity in the food supply chain."

Amen to that!

I have signed the petition. That places me in the good company of Michael Pollen, Alice Waters, Wendell Berry, and others who care about the health of farms in our historically great agricultural nation.

And here's a little Go Texan bit for you to add if you wish:

**In the comments section of the petition, feel free to cut and paste in the following:
Jim Hightower, former Agricultural Commissioner of Texas, promoter of local, organic, and sustainable agriculture and author of Hard Times Hard Tomatoes and other writing concerning Agri-business and food nutrition would be a great candidate for the job.

The petition can be found here.

For more perspective on this, read Nicholas Kristof's column, "Secretary of Food," from Wednesdays NYTimes:

Obama's transition team says that they are aware of the petition and said that 25,000 endorsements would get their attention, and 50,000 could really influence Obama's pick.
According to the site the petition is currently at 45,000, and signature accumulation is slowing down.

Please take 15 seconds to sign, and a few moments to pass this along to your own networks. To reiterate: this petition has the attention of Obama's team, and they are expected to make their choice public very soon, so there are only a few days left to press for a reform-minded choice.

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