food independence

Autumn 2011 to Autumn 2016

•Graduate college
•Establish comfortable career
•Obtain Registered Veterinary Technician license
•Maintain same bland, mundane relationship
•Turn 21
•Add alcohol & constant partying
•Become engaged to bland, mundane human
•Add long distance running
•Establish clean eating habits
•Subtract alcohol & partying
•Lose close to 100lbs
•End engagement
•Subtract bland, mundane human
•Find self
•Add CrossFit
•Subtract long distance running
•Add amazingly strong & perfect man human
•Surgically subtract 7.5lbs of loose skin
A beautifully positive and radiant woman happy in her own skin with those around her & the life she has made for herself.

Don’t kick a cookie while it’s down!

That should be a shirt. Look on my society6 page and maybe it is! Probably not though. I’m lazy. But maybe it is? Go look!

I want life.

Let's talk about seed libraries

Okay, so I’ve seen mention a few times of seed libraries in a solarpunk context, and I want to talk about that for a minute because HELL YES. Two facts before we begin: one, I am a librarian by trade, so I freely admit to being super biased toward anything and everything that smacks of libraries; two, my home state happens to have a kickass seed library that was shut down not too long ago.

First of all: seed libraries are an absolutely fantastic idea. Not only are they a great way to preserve a wide diversity of plant life, especially heirlooms and varietals that would be difficult to find and grow otherwise, but they are a cost effective, community based way to encourage sharing and gardening (with all that entails, like reduced carbon footprint, small-scale and sustainable agriculture, and food independence).

The community aspect is especially important here, I think: rather than expecting each person to obtain their own seeds, you have the option to purchase a small number of seeds collectively and share them among the community. Participating members can switch crops regularly, to prevent the soil from getting tired, without giving up on certain crops completely. Plus, as a community you can use seed libraries as an affirmation that sustainability is important, while offering ways to actual support sustainable practices (gardening) within the group. I’d be hard pressed to think of anything more solarpunk than that, unless you turned them from formal institutions into super local community-based efforts, a la the Little Free Library program.

Secondly: holy accessibility, batman! I mentioned above the cost-effectiveness, but I wanted to mention it again because it is important. Seeds are expensive, especially if you have an interest in uncommon varietals, like purple potatoes or heirloom tomatoes.

Add to that the fact that some seeds are patent-protected (I’m looking at you, Monsanto), with farmers expressly forbidden from replanting any extra/leftover seeds from one season to the next, and you have HUGE monetary barriers to entry in gardening and farming. Small scale agriculture is virtually impossible, and definitely not economically sustainable, when you are required to pay through the nose at the beginning of each growing season for seeds. Purchasing seeds collectively, saving and replanting them from year to year cuts out one of the major barriers to local sustainability efforts: the cost. Fight capitalism through sharing!

There are two big problems with seed libraries, though.

One: they run counter to capitalistic ideals, and specifically threaten large companies that have made major profit off of seed patents (yes, I’m talking about Monsanto again). While this does seem like a good thing at first glance, these companies are also responsible for major advances in agriculture and food science. Remember the time they created a new rice strain that included beta-carotene to reduce childhood blindness and malnutrition?

If seed libraries go large-scale (or just get really popular), we run the risk of reducing funding going toward scientific food-based research, so we’ll need to find an alternate way to make sure that necessary research gets funded. Although we are privileged enough here in the U.S. to get away with disliking GMOs, other countries depend on them for basic nutrition, so we need to make sure that appropriate progress is still made when it’s needed.

Two: there are concerns that seed libraries may increase the spread of agricultural diseases. Literally the very last thing that a solarpunk society needs is another Great Potato Famine, which is a risk when seeds are stored and distributed by untrained people who don’t know what to look for. I don’t have a good solution to this one (dammit, Jim, I’m a librarian, not an agricultural engineer!) but maybe someone else does? Is there any easy way to decontaminate or identify spoiled seeds in the collection, or are we all going to start seeing witches everywhere because of spoiled wheat if we give seed libraries a try?

Does anyone else have any thought on seed libraries? What are some good ways to overcome the issues inherent with them?

Who wants seconds? We’ll save you one of Claes Oldenburg’s Two Cheeseburgers, with Everything.

[Claes Oldenburg. Two Cheeseburgers, with Everything (Dual Hamburgers). 1962. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2015 Claes Oldenburg]

  • Mom: If you eat that hot pocket now, you're going to spoil your dinner.
  • Me: I'm 18, I'll do what I want.

Indonesia’s 70th Independence Day was celebrated around the world, including at this year’s World Expo hosted in Milan, Italy. As part of the festivities, 11 Indonesian chefs created the world’s largest “Nasi Tumpeng”, which is a cone-shaped rice dish with side dishes. Nasi Tumpeng symbolizes gratitude, and has been a tradition enjoyed during Independence Day celebrations in praying for safety and welfare of the nation. The Guinness World Record for the “Largest Tumpeng” was 2.08 meters tall and weighed 1,400 kilograms! To represent the date of the Independence Day - 17 August 1945 - there were 17 different side dishes, eight layers of tumpeng, and 45 small tumpengs which circled the main tumpeng. A logo of the Garuda was placed in the middle of the main tumpeng as a symbol of Indonesia, and red and white flags placed at every tumpeng peak. 

Congratulations on the Guinness World Record for the “Largest Tumpeng”!


Proud Indonesian