Left Coast Voices

"I would hurl words into the darkness and wait for an echo. If an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight." Richard Wright, American Hunger

Archive for the tag “Santa Cruz”

September is Locovore Month

There is a lot going on in September, some of it heavy, some of it fun. 9/11 stands out this year of course. It is also back to school for children and students and sometimes there is a feeling that we spent most of the summer on snooze and now it is back to top gear. For the Jewish People, this is a time of preparation as we approach our New Year and soon after, Yom Kippur, which while known as a day of atonement, is actually the conclusion of a month of self-analysis (who can atone for all their sins in one day?).

Community Supported Agriculture

But I also discovered something else about September. It is Locovore (also spelled Locavore) Month. The Urban Dictionary defines Locavores as people who eat food that is grown locally. Food grown in your region not only results in fresher and tastier foods, but also reduces pollution, keeps dollars in the community and has fewer food safety risks.

So I thought I would brainstorm a few simple ways we could celebrate Locovore Month:

1) Consider joining one of your local Community Supported Agriculture programs, where you receive a box of veggies weekly from a local farm. I wrote about this model a few month back.

2) Go to a Farmers Market. Yes I am often critical of these because they seem so pricey, but you do make a connection with your local farmers.

Farmers Markets - making connections

3) Host a potluck and have all your friends bring dishes that include food grown in your area (allowing local microbrewery products is acceptable in my opinion).

4) Support a local community garden. One with a social justice message (as well as an ecological one) is Spiral Gardens in Berkeley. You can volunteer and get dirt between your finger nails or stop by at their stall on Tuesdays. I wrote about Spiral Gardens here.

I believe there is considerable merit in the Locovore philosophy. I am not sure that total adoption is the right way, given that there are clear advantages to having access to very healthy produce grown in climates different to our own, but becoming more aware of our local farmers and supporting ourselves with what grows in our region is a sound value.

Finally, a left coast perspective: I discovered in my research that the Locovre movement gives credit for its creation to Santa Cruz and San Jose. How’s that for some local pride!

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Alon Shalev is the author of The Accidental Activist (now available on Kindle) and A Gardener’s Tale. He is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Hillel Foundation, a non-profit that provides spiritual and social justice opportunities to Jewish students in the Bay Area. More on Alon Shalev at http://www.alonshalev.com/and on Twitter (#alonshalevsf).

Elwin Cotman – Performing in Oakland and SF

Elwin Cotman is a member of the Berkeley Writer’s Circle and I want to promote two performances this weekend. Elwin describes himself as “a writer of fantasy fiction. I am the author of “The Jack Daniels Sessions EP.” I am as old as the movie “Purple Rain.”

Elwin Cotman

That description sums up Elwin’s style. You are listening to something flowing and literary, then suddenly laughing out loud. He is more than just an author giving a reading, he is a performer. For more on Elwin, check out his blog (gotta love the blog title).

The Jack Daniels Sessions

His two shows this weekend are:

5/27, 9pm – Cafe International Open Mic, 508 Haight Street, San Francisco
5/29, 7pm -Musick Box Co-op, 3404 Market Street,Oakland.
For those of you not living in the Bay Area, here are more tour dates:
+ Sat, 5/28, 4pm: Santa Clara, CA – Baycon Science Fiction Convention
+ Sat, 5/28, 7:00pm: Santa Cruz, CA – SubRosa community space
+ Tue, 5/31, 9:00pm: Redding, CA – House Reading/Show! at Gary Piazza’s – 1336 Tehama St
+ Thur, 6/2, 7:00pm: Portland, OR – 1,000 Words Reading at The Waypost
+ Fri, 6/3, 7:00pm: Vancouver, OR – The Space Art Collective
+ Sat, 6/4, 7:00pm: Portland, OR – Red and Black Cafe
+ Tue, 6/7, 7:30pm: Boise, ID – Hyde Park Books
+ Thur, 6/9, 7:00pm: Seattle, WA – University Bookstore
+ Fri, 6/10, 3:00pm: Olympia, WA – Last Word Books
Good luck, Elwin.
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Alon Shalev is the author of The Accidental Activist (now available on Kindle) and A Gardener’s Tale. He is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Hillel Foundation, a non-profit that provides spiritual and social justice opportunities to Jewish students in the Bay Area. More on Alon Shalev at http://www.alonshalev.com/and on Twitter (#alonshalevsf).


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