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Posts Tagged ‘carbon footprint’

I changed the name of this blog because I am back in New Orleans and it has made me realize how a garden can inspire people, help you make friends and establish a sense of community with your neighbors.  An edible garden is meant to be shared, not tucked away and hidden from view behind a fence.  In the process of planting Brussels sprouts, onions and Swiss chard in my front yard, I have reestablished a connection with many of my neighbors as they come home from work, or walk their dogs (and one cat who walks itself with a dog).   Urban farming is important not only for catching up on neighborhood gossip, but also for reducing our dependence on oil – seriously.  According to the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture, the average American meal travels 1500 miles by the time it reaches your plate.  I don’t want Australian oranges when we get better-tasting Satsumas here!  I know all the information on how being a vegetarian reduces your carbon footprint by half, but I was a vegetarian for 7 years and it didn’t really suit me.  After working on a ranch and eating a lot of homegrown meat, I came to the conclusion that I don’t have a problem killing or eating animals, but I do have a problem with how they are conventionally raised.  And I think that if you’re willing to eat it, you should also be willing to ensure that it was humanely raised and killed. 

After lots of travel and experimentation, I have concluded that being a moderatarian/locavore suits me best.  I’ll eat anything in moderation (hopefully meat just 2-3 times per week) and try to eat mostly local food.

So I’m trying to ramp up my farming capabilities.  Since fall and winter in Southeast Louisiana are absolutely the best time of year for growing edibles, I’m hoping to have a wide variety of greens, peas, and beans for this year’s Thanksgiving feast.  Last year, I had a relatively good garden and I kept two chickens for eggs.  But this year, I hope to at least provide an entire meal for myself and guests from just local and mostly backyard/front yard food.  That means there will be no turkey on the table for us this year, but there will be duck and it is coming straight from my yard.

One week ago, I bought 10 Muscovy ducklings from a man who sells farm-raised meat at the Crescent Ctiy farmer’s market.  Ten!  He said I had to buy all ten so that his duck would start laying again.  Initially, it was an overwhelming proposition but they are cute little fuzzballs that have settled well into my backyard.  Much more entertaining than chickens, these ducks are constantly preening and bathing and flapping their stubby little wings; it is hard to envision any of them on my table in 6 and a half weeks.  Especially since I will be instigating the killing, gutting, cleaning and cooking.  But the Thanksgiving duck project has commenced and we will see how it goes.

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