Drumroll, please… UNPROCESSED has a cover! Visit the lovely blog, Classic Play, for the official cover reveal and a Q&A with yours truly. Or just… read more.
A review of A Bushel’s Worth: An Ecobiography by Kayann Short for Terrain.org: A Journal of the Built + Natural Environments.
I always believed that I was lucky to be raised without weather. I grew up in the mountains above Los Angeles where it was either sunny and warm or sunny and cold and sometimes it rained. We played basketball outside on Thanksgiving and camped on the beach for Christmas; when it did rain, traffic accidents piled up on the freeways because no one remembered to slow down to accommodate the weather. I was, of course, living in the ignorant bliss of the urbanite. In A Bushel’s Worth: An Ecobiography, Kayaan Short sets us firmly in a world where the whims of weather matter. Short co-owns and operates Stonebridge Farm, an organic, community-supported agriculture farm in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. A Bushel’s Worth is the memoir of this place—it is as much Short’s story as it is the story of a community, of a piece of land that’s been farmed continuously for more than a hundred years.
This article was published in the Sunday, June 22 Op-ed section of the Arizona Daily Star.
Lorien Tersey is a rare Tucsonan who tends chickens legally. She and her husband live on an acre plot tucked near North Country Club Road and East Glenn Street, so she can easily comply with the current zoning regulations that mandate all chicken coops be set back 50 feet from property lines.
Most people who tend chickens in Tucson don’t have this luxury of space. If your chicken coop is within 20 or 30 feet of your property line, it doesn’t matter how many chickens you have — they’re all illegal under Tucson’s current zoning code.
The city is trying to fix that. A proposed update to the urban agriculture zoning code would codify much of what is already happening in backyards and community gardens across the city.
“The zoning code related to agriculture is of a different era,” says Jim Mazzocco, the planning administrator for Tucson’s Planning and Development Services Department. An era when commercial agriculture reigned, when there would be no reason for residents to produce their own food.
“No one was thinking that there would be this integration of urban areas with agriculture as some part of them,” says Mazzocco.
On a cold Tuesday in November—the first cold snap we’d had in Tucson this winter, with hard freezes promised throughout southern Arizona—I left work in early evening darkness and biked to a conference room in a nondescript building just off Tucson’s funky Fourth Avenue. I wasn’t going to go—it’d been a long day. But I’d already said that I would, that I’d join farmers and food activists to contribute comments to the FDA’s proposed amendments to the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).