Tag Archives: Slow Food

Growing Our Own Vegetables

Last summer, I decided to try my hand at patio vegetable gardening. Oh, nothing ambitious, you understand — just some tomatoes.

I signed up for a seminar on growing heirloom tomatoes through Slow Food. I got lots of great information and decided to give it a try. How bad could it possibly go? After all, I have neighbours who have beautiful vines of luscious red jewels in their gardens.

How did my experiment turn out? About as well as my first attempt at chili (read: not well). Apparently, my patio is completely void of veggie-growing sunlight. Instead of the tomatoes my neighbours were enjoying, I got two – yes two – little, hard green tomatoes. Not exactly the harvest I was hoping for.

This year, still determined to grow something, I’m considering renting a plot at the community garden. I was initially concerned that it would be difficult to locate one but a handy website, City Farmer, simplifies the search. The site offers a list of gardens divided by city, each with location and contact information. There are even gardens designated as “organic”.

I must admit, I’m a little intimidated. Will I be able to fill my plot? Will any of it grow? What if more veggies grow than I can possibly eat?

Despite my apprehension, my belief that the simple act of growing our own vegetables helps safeguard the environment, build communities, and connect the grower with their food source pretty much insists that I, at least, investigate the possibility of renting a plot. I will be visiting some of the gardens in my area over the next weeks and deciding where and if I will begin my new experiment this spring.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Alice Waters Interview, 60 Minutes

In an interview with Lesley Stahl on 60 Minutes, Alice Waters of Chez Panisse fame is touted as the “mother of the slow food movement.” While technically, this takes license with the facts (the Slow Food Movement started in Italy in the 1980’s), she could rightly be referred to as an initial champion of the concept in the US.

While many viewers, judging from comments on the CBS website, take issue with her “arrogance” (personally, I don’t see it), I think she’s been a very successful advocate in raising awareness and standards of what constitutes good tasting, quality food . And, as with any cause, it’s only when someone steps into the limelight that the general public hears about it. (Uhm, was mainstream media interviewing Ms. Waters all the years she sweating in the kitchen?)

Does the 60 Minutes clip tell the whole story? No. Can any sound byte do that? No. Does it spread the word? Yes.

If people are talking — even if they are arguing — at least there is dialogue. Frankly, I think it’s great that there is some controversy, it just helps give the topic more airplay.

Check it out for yourself and feel free to send us your comments…