Join the local evolution

Posted by Sustainable OKC | Posted in Change, Community, Events, Food and Drink, Locavore, Sustainable OKC, Transition OKC | Posted on 20-04-2011

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evolve no shadowSix Oklahoma City chefs, restaurants and caterers are creating tasty local food as part of Sustainable OKC’s EVOLVE juried art exhibition and fundraiser at Oklahoma City’s first juried Local Food Challenge this Saturday, April 23, 7 p.m. at Individual Artists of Oklahoma (IAO), 706 W. Sheridan on historic film row in downtown Oklahoma City.

The Local Food Challenge is organized by Transition OKC, a program of Sustainable OKC. The art exhibition will explore sustainability, resilience and community and proceeds from the event will benefit Sustainable OKC and IAO.

Food Challenge contestants will be judged by a panel of food industry professionals as they compete for a $500 juried prize. Guests enjoying the art exhibition will also have the opportunity to sample the local food creations and vote for the contestant they feel deserves the People’s Choice award via raffle tickets.

Follow the EVOLVE / Local Food Challenge on Facebook, buy $25 tickets (or individual sponsorships!) online at Sustainable OKC’s website here or at IAO, 706 W. Sheridan, or at the door the night of the event.

It’s all about local art – local food – local fun!

Art exhibition jurors (awarding a $500 grand prize to the winning piece)

  • Randy Marks, Groundwork
  • Stephen Kovash, Istvan Gallery

Local Food Challenge contestants

  • 105Degrees
  • Chef Kurt Fleischfresser
  • Chef Kamala Gamble
  • Prairie Gypsies
  • Chef Ryan Parrott
  • The Wedge Pizzeria

Local Food Challenge Jurors

  • Gail Vines, Flip’s Wine Bar & Trattoria
  • Chef Jonathon Stranger, Ludivine
  • Linda Trippe, The Lady Chef

+ YOU vote for the People’s Choice Award

$1 raffle ticket = 1 vote / vote as many times as you like

Music

thespyfm.com

Tickets

  • $25 @ the door or online @ www.sustainableokc.org 
  • or at IAO, 706 W. Sheridan, Oklahoma City
  • or at the door the night of the event
Technorati Tags: ,,,,,sustainable okc,transition okc

One local food meal = one step toward reducing foreign oil dependence

Posted by Sustainable OKC | Posted in Change, Community, Conservation, Consumption, Energy, Food and Drink, Local Economy, Locavore, Oklahoma City, Peak Oil, Resiliency, Shauna Lawyer Struby, Sustainability, Sustainable OKC, Transition OKC | Posted on 14-04-2011

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Slide14

A couple of weeks ago Transition OKC helped host a Local Food Meet and Greet. The Meet and Greet provided a host of folks passionate about growing a local food system the opportunity to network and get to know each other better. It was enthusiastically and well-attended, with more than 110 people coming on a sunny Saturday afternoon to IAO Gallery in Oklahoma City to nosh on locally produced food, wine and do a little “speed meeting.”

The event was organized by the “Going Locavore Group,” a loosely organized and growing grassroots coalition (or alliance) of several Oklahoma City organizations focused on catalyzing and transitioning our food system to a healthier, more sustainable and resilient one – and one strategy for doing so is to localize it. The team organizing the event was for the most part all-volunteer, and although we were scrambling up until the last minute to put all the details in place – we pulled it off – a total team effort if there ever was one. If you have any interest in networking with this group, or want more info, email us at localfoodokc@gmail.com

As one of the volunteers working on this event, part of my task was to put together a slide show about the reasons for transitioning to eating local food, and to provide a high-level overview of some of the initiatives in other states focused on growing regional and local food systems. As we researched, we discovered coalitions in New York City and Vermont have aggressive strategic plans for regional and localized food sheds and the body of work on this topic is growing exponentially — encouraging.

Above you’ll find one of the slides from the presentation and I’ll be sharing more of these in the coming days. Eventually will put the whole presentation online at ThinkLady and here on Fresh Greens as well Transition OKC’s website so if it is useful in any way to other local food efforts, it’s available for anyone to use and adapt.

In the meantime, given the high price of gas these days, the fact the era of cheap, easy-to-produce oil is over, and the growing production decline in one of the U.S.’s major suppliers of oil – Mexico — thought this slide might be a good one to start with. It illustrates one way we can begin to reduce our dependence on foreign oil imports. Ebullient and grateful hat tip to Barbara Kingsolver and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, for helping us imagine a different way of eating in the world.

Imagine abundant local food. Imagine the jobs it will create and the ways it will strengthen our local economy. Envision the health it will bring to our school kids, our communities, the resilience it will give our communities. Imagine how much we can reduce our country’s oil addiction if we eat not just one, but two local food meals a week, three, five, etc. Imagine. And then try it. I think you’ll like it.

If you’d like info on how to get started eating locally head over to Transition OKC’s website where we have a page full of local food resources.

– post by Shauna Struby, this post originally appeared on ThinkLady 

EVOLVE presents The Local Food Challenge

Posted by Sustainable OKC | Posted in Food and Drink, Locavore, Sustainability, Sustainable OKC, Transition OKC | Posted on 07-04-2011

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Local Restaurants & Caterers Compete as part of EVOLVE Art Show

For Immediate Release

Media Contact: Lindsay Vidrine

405-802-5572

(Oklahoma City) April 7, 2011 – Sustainable OKC and Transition OKC are pleased to announce a Local Food Challenge on Sat., April 23 at 7 p.m. The challenge takes place at Individual Artists of Oklahoma (IAO) as part of EVOLVE, a juried art exhibit and collaborative fundraiser exploring sustainability, resilience & community. The fundraiser will benefit Sustainable OKC and IAO, and the local food challenge is organized by Transition OKC, a program of a Sustainable OKC.

Local Food Challenge participants include Chef Kurt Fleischfresser, Chef Kamala Gamble, Chef Ryan Parrott, Prairie Gypsies, The Wedge and 105Degrees. Contestants will be tasked with creating a signature appetizer or non-dessert finger food using as many locally-sourced ingredients as possible.

Three prizes will be awarded, including the People’s Choice, a $500 juried grand prize and a runner-up prize of dinner for two at Living Kitchen Farm & Dairy. Judges for the challenge will be Carol Smaglinski of the Oklahoma Gazette, Chef Jonathon Stranger of Ludivine and caterer Linda Trippe.

Tickets for the EVOLVE art exhibit and local food challenge are $25 and can be purchased at www.sustainableokc.org. Sponsorships are also available online. 

Sustainable OKC is a non-profit, grassroots organization working at the crossroads of business, environment, and social justice in Oklahoma City. For more information visit www.sustainableokc.org or the community blog at freshgreens.typepad.com.  Event and community information are also shared through Facebook.com/SustainableOKC and Twitter.com/SustainableOKC.

Transition OKC is part of an internationally renowned movement and offers an ongoing slate of free or low-cost educational workshops, film screenings and events focused on catalyzing Oklahoma City’s transition to more sustainable, resilient communities. For more info visit www.goinglocalokc.org.

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The Lost of Art of Canning

Posted by Sustainable OKC | Posted in Food and Drink, Home and Garden, Lindsay Vidrine | Posted on 22-09-2010

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I ran across an interesting USA Today article this afternoon discussing how the Local Food Movement Spurs Canning Trend and the renewed interest in canning food. Whether it's because of food safety or security concerns, or other reasons, canning is making a comeback.

The article also included a chart showing the number of households that participate in vegetable gardening — 31 million households for 2009 and ever-so-steadily climbing.

Do you take the time to preserve your land bounty? If so, what local resources have you found helpful for classes or supplies?

Posted by Lindsay Vidrine. 

Cooking with Cornmeal

Posted by Sustainable OKC | Posted in Farming, Food and Drink, Locavore, Recipe, Tricia Dameron | Posted on 30-06-2010

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Ressler Farms cornmeal

Larry Ressler's cornmeal.

I met Larry over a year ago. He was a new co-op producer—selling eggs and smoking wood—and was visiting co-op pick-up sites to meet his customers. We chatted and he asked what unmet demand there was in the co-op. Besides the typical needs at that time—produce, chicken, and bacon—I mentioned cornmeal.

Later he wrote to let me know he planted meal corn. He periodically dropped a line updating me on the corn's progress. In late June he lamented his corn was 6 inches tall, while his conventional-farmer-neighbor's corn was 6–8 feet tall. By September his corn was catching up: “It’s as big as an elephant’s eye (or something like that),” he said.

In late February Larry's cornmeal was ready. He sent me about one pound of finely ground cornmeal. It was a precious gift; I knew how much effort, thought, and consternation went into it.

This year Larry is growing about three times more corn than he did last year. Let’s wish him luck to endure this crazy weather and prevail against hungry raccoons.

Here's what I made with the cornmeal:
apple cobbler

I made one of my favorite desserts, cornmeal cobbler.
This time I made it with some apples I canned last year. But I’ve made this cobbler many times: with blackberries, blueberries, peaches, and pears. You can add different spices to the cobbler batter to complement the fruit you’re using. For instance, I added
cardamom when I made the pear cobbler.

 polenta and mushroom gravypolenta, kale, and pepper bake

I made polenta, which I baked on top of sautéed kale and roasted red peppers. Cold polenta forms a firm loaf, so I sliced the refrigerated leftovers, pan-fried the slices, and topped them with Om Gardens mushroom gravy.

lemon berry cake

I also experimented with a lemon berry cake recipe. I really liked the dense, lemony, cake-like topping that soaked up the juices from the cooked strawberries. When cooked, the batter forms a nice crisp glaze on top. This cake gets baked in a pie plate. (Disregard the springform pan in the photo. That was a bad idea.)

Lemon Berry Cake

:: 3 c strawberries, hulled and sliced (any type of berry will do)

:: 1 3/4 c sugar, divided

:: 1 c melted butter, cooled

:: 3/4 c flour

:: 1/4 c cornmeal

:: 1/2 t lemon extract

:: 2 eggs

Put sliced strawberries in a pie plate. Stir in 1/4 c sugar. In a medium-size mixing bowl combine the remaining 1 1/2 cup sugar with the melted butter, flour, cornmeal, lemon extract, and eggs. Stir until smooth. Spread evenly on top of strawberries. Bake for 40 minutes at 350˚.

Posted by Tricia Dameron. This post originally appeared on Oklavore on 6/18/10.

Growing Evidence on Ill Effects of Pesticides

Posted by Sustainable OKC | Posted in Food and Drink, Organic, Pesticides, Shauna Lawyer Struby | Posted on 17-05-2010

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A new study by American and Canadian researchers associates exposure to pesticides to the rising rates of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children. Time Magazine's Alice Park has the story.

Time mag 5.17.10

A few highlights:

Increasingly, research suggests that chemical influences, perhaps in
combination with other environmental factors — like video gaming,
hyperkinetically edited TV shows and flashing images in educational DVDs
aimed at infants — may be contributing to the increase in attention
problems.

Although Bouchard's study did not determine the exact method of exposure
in the participants, youngsters are most likely to ingest the chemicals
through their diet — by eating fruits and vegetables that have been
sprayed while growing — according to the National Academy of Sciences.

In the meantime, Bouchard suggests that concerned parents try to avoid
using bug sprays in the home, and to feed their children organically
grown fruits and vegetables, if possible.

Full story here.

Posted by Shauna Lawyer Struby

Native Views On Sustainable Food

Posted by Sustainable OKC | Posted in Community, Farming, Food and Drink, Indigenous culture, Shauna Lawyer Struby, Sustainability | Posted on 11-05-2010

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Paul Hawken, notable environmentalist, entrepreneur, journalist and author
once wrote:

“A Native American taught me that the division between ecology and human
rights was an artificial one, that the environmental and social justice
movements addressed two sides of a larger dilemma. The way we harm the earth
affects all people, and how we treat one another is reflected in how we treat
the earth …
The movement has three basic roots: environmental
activism, social justice initiatives, and indigenous culture's resistance to
globalization, all of which have become intertwined."

Our fate will depend on how we understand and treat what is left of
the planet's surpluses — its lands, oceans, species diversity and people. The
quiet hub of the new
movement — its heart and soul — is indigenous
culture."

Paul
Hawken
, "Blessed Unrest: How the
Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw It Coming"

Indigenousfoods  Hawken tapped into a growing consciousness that America's Native people
not only have knowledge to share about sustainability and resilience, but about
how these interweave with social justice, the third leg of the sustainable stool
that doesn't get nearly as much attention as some of the other so-called green
topics. This post by Shawn Termin
from the National Museum of the American Indian blog
delves into this topic
a bit. Termin writes:

"For many New Yorkers, 'Green is the new black,' according to Johanna
Gorelick, Head of Education at the NMAI, Heye Center in New York City.  Green
markets have popped up in neighborhoods throughout the five NYC boroughs;
shoppers use reusable material totes instead of plastic and paper bags; and
dedicated, earth-centric citizens of the Big Apple are anxious to learn about
the many aspects of the sustainable food movement. This was evidenced by an
attendance of approximately 350 museum visitors who flocked to the recent Earth
Day program, Native Views on Sustainable Foods, at the NMAI, Heye Center in New
York on April 22, 2010. 

Three prominent speakers participated in the programming.  Winona LaDuke
(Anishinabe), Executive Director of Honor the Earth; Alex Sando (Jemez Pueblo),
representative of Native Seeds/SEARCH; and Kenneth Zontek, author of Buffalo
Nation:  American Indian Efforts to Restore the Bison."

Termin goes on to describe what the various speakers discussed, primarily the
need for developing grassroots movements in Native communities that will support
efforts to reintroduce sustainable, healthy environments through the use of a
variety of organic and sustainable food production and practices.

Full post here.

Posted by Shauna Lawyer Struby

Wayne Coyne’s house in the news and other assorted green stuff

Posted by Sustainable OKC | Posted in Food and Drink, Home and Garden, Locavore, Sustainability, Sustainable OKC, Transition Movement | Posted on 21-02-2010

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twitter3 We’re still in the Fresh Greens reorg phase. Yes we’re slow, a little like a turtle, but since the turtle symbolizes perseverance, patience and ancient wisdom, we’re hoping this will turn out to be a useful thing.

A few months ago Sustainable OKC joined the Twitter universe and you can follow us here. Our top ten tweets from the last few months:

  1. RT @TheGreenBuff: SustainableOKC workshop Feb 27 teaches how to start yr raised bed garden. Sign up @ http://ow.ly/18HC6.
  2. Wayne Coyne’s trippy house in OKC is not so weird, on Treehugger http://ow.ly/18TDa.
  3. Right on London! RT @transitiontowns: 2,012 community food growing spaces in London: funding for London food projects: http://bit.ly/5a6g1V.
  4. RT @OKAgritourism: Early birds will get a spot in Strawbale Construction Workshop @ Turtle Rock Farm, June 6-12. Space limtd.
  5. Training 4 Transition wrkshp to org your community to make Energy Transition Plans, on April 10,11. Details coming @ http://ow.ly/16tdk.
  6. RT @TheOilDrum: WSJ reports The Next Crisis: Prepare for Peak Oil. http://bit.ly/c03AYa.
  7. RT @transitionus: How to Start a Buy Local Campaign (PDF): http://bit.ly/ahQcDG.
  8. A certain number of number of deaths caused by dioxins released from incinerators are considered acceptable. http://bit.ly/6o82G1.
  9. RT @OKAgritourism: TGI Locavore Friday, Earth Elements Market & Bakery, makin’ the season bright wi/yummy OK food. http://bit.ly/4NOkHR.
  10. RT @sejorg: RT @theCIRESwire: New rprt: Climate chng acclrating beyond expectations, urgent emissions reductions reqrd. http://bit.ly/7sOsne.

Keep on reeling in the green world

Posted by Sustainable OKC | Posted in Change, Consumption, Current Affairs, Energy, Environment, Farming, Film, Food and Drink, Home and Garden, Sustainability, Sustainable OKC, Transition Town | Posted on 11-09-2009

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Sustainable OKC, the Cimarron Chapter of Sierra Club, and Slow Food OKC are sponsoring a film series, “Sustainability on Film,” at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Wed., Sept 15 – Sun., Sept 20, with a panel discussion following the Sunday film.

The films highlight a complex array of the challenges facing us. Film Curator Brian Hearn describes the series:

As our economic, social and environmental activities become increasingly integrated on a global scale, the human species faces unprecedented challenges. In the wake of the groundbreaking documentary “An Inconvenient Truth,” filmmakers have been examining the complex issues facing our species and planet: climate change, dwindling natural resources, population growth, economic crises and political conflict. Along the way humans are finding innovative, simple solutions from growing their own food, to green building, to developing new forms of renewable energy. These films explore how we meet our needs in the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs.

Films

Wed., Sept. 16 – “Fresh” & “Food for Thought”

Thurs., Sept. 17 – “The Great Squeeze: Surviving the Human Project” & “Greening in the Heartland”

Fri., Sept 18 – “The Greening of Southie” and “Food, Inc.”

Sat., Sept. 19 – “The Garden” and “No Impact Man

Sun., Sept. 20 – “Earth Days

Join us Sunday after the final screening for a panel discussion, “Sustainability in Oklahoma: Where Do We Go from Here?” with local experts on how Oklahomans are dealing with the global issue of sustainability. Panelists for the discussion following Sunday’s film:

Bruce Edwards, Director, Urban Harvest at the Oklahoma Regional Food Bank

Kenneth Fitzsimmons, architect, U.S. Green Building Council, Oklahoma Chapter

Stephanie Jordan, Sierra Club Conservation Committee / Buy Fresh Buy Local Central Oklahoma

Jim Roth, attorney and Chair of the Alternative “Green” Energy practice group, Phillips Murrah P.C.

Shauna Lawyer Struby, Sustainable OKC / Transition Town OKC

Jonathan Willner, Professor of Economics, Oklahoma City University

Complete listing of films, screening times and summaries of each film available here.

Sun Oven saves the day!

Posted by Sustainable OKC | Posted in Christine Patton, Food and Drink, Home and Garden | Posted on 14-08-2009

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By Christine Patton
 
The Sun Oven is a versatile tool. It can bake banana bread, roast a butternut squash, cook a lasagna or quiche, and turn brown rice into moist perfection. Normally, I appreciate itGarden trellis 019 for the way it keeps my house cool in the summer and for its zero carbon emissions.

But lately, it's been doing more than that. It's been saving my bacon.

I currently have no functioning kitchen sink, dishwasher, cooktop, or oven. Because my family is doing half the work of our kitchen remodel (general contracting, prepping cabinets for paint, painting, and tiling), it's proceeding slowly. Despite the remodel that has turned our house into a disaster area for the last three weeks, we are still living and cooking at home. But how do we make a variety of healthy meals without a cooktop or oven, how can we avoid unhealthy and pricey take-out meals when our kitchen has been destroyed? The answer is: the Global Sun Oven.

I've been able to use the Sun Oven to cook dinner on almost every sunny day that we plan to eat at home, and what a blessing that is! About two-thirds of the days have been sunny since our remodel began, and I've re-discovered the variety of things that the Sun Oven can cook:

- Rice for rice and bean salads, burritos, or as a good side for anything
- Chili, stews, soups
- Quiche and cheese (and other egg dishes)
- Beans
- Potatoes (baked or cut up for potato salad)
- Roasted vegetables / ratatouille

Of course, it's cloudy today. Looks like we may have hummus sandwiches for dinner tonight!