Autumn 2022 SOFS Newsletter
October 22, 2022
Autumn 2022 Newsletter
As we come to understand our role to achieve sustainability in our current condition, and our responsibility to help restore balance, we also see our responsibility to keep democracy intact.
Please encourage your neighbors, family and friends to vote. If we want a better future, we have to create it, and voting is a great way to influence future outcomes.
Developments Around Outreach and Food Waste – This has been a busy season for Southern Oregon Food Solutions
- The Rotary club of Ashland sponsored program of offering a free food scrap drop off service resulted in over 13,000 pounds of food scraps have being collected since March 1. There are 60 households participating on a weekly basis. And an SOFS representative has been on hand every week to be a bin guardian, to help raise awareness, and to connect with folks on issues of food, composting, climate change or just chit chat. Connecting with people over food is one of the best ways to connect people to food. The harvest of this weekly activity is not just the food scraps, it’s also the goodwill, acknowledgement, awareness and support for the composting process that could play a vital role in our community going forward.
- Lessons learned from teaching a sustainability class this summer and the food waste class this fall – Since SOFS is about education, it follows that teaching techniques and style are important and they are improving. Teaching the subject of sustainability is especially challenging. This is a quote from journalist Oliver Burkeman from the Guardian: ” If a cabal of evil psychologists had gathered in a secret undersea base to concoct a crisis that humanity would be hopelessly ill-equipped to address, they could not have done better than climate change”. In addition to improving teaching techniques, promoting the class to increase registration also needs to improve.
- In Ashland, a setback has occurred on the issue of composting solutions. Hopefully, stakeholders are working to establish a replacement solution soon. See the Mail Tribune article through this link. https://www.mailtribune.com/top-stories/2022/09/08/stench-and-pests-sour-ashland-compost-service/
- The above image is from the Smithsonian. During World War II, the national messaging for all goods, not just foodwas: Don’t Waste Anything, Buy Only What Is Necessary, Salvage What You Don’t Need, Share What You Have. This is the sort of campaign needed now. The federal Farm Bill traditionally comes up for renewal every five years. It will be an issue in 2023. This is a critical opportunity to advocate for regenerative farm practices, to move subsidies away from corn and soy and try to influence healing for our current food system. When you sit down to consider what you’ll be focusing on in the next year, please consider spending time on this issue.
- In doing the research in order to teach the OLLI class this fall: “Everybody Eats; Feed People, Not Landfills”. there were many great articles on current developments with good graphics. Over the winter, some of that content will be making its way onto the Southern Oregon Food Solutions website. Having a current information resource might be helpful to you as you engage with your community on food issues. https://southernoregonfoodsolutions.org/
- Composting assistance from technology is being considered. Discussions have been had and hopefully these discussions will evolve into one or more solutions being realized that can accommodate larger volumes and be part of a longer term community solution.
- Southern Oregon Food Solutions has been asked to have a table and also to be a bin guardian for food scraps generated at the October 29th Monster Dash – which is a fundraiser event sponsored by the Ashland Schools Foundation at the Band Shell in Lithia Park. Do you have ideas for tabling events or for partnering with other groups over food issues? 2023 is a new opportunity for progress. As new city councils take their place, we’ll be working on effective ways to advocate to them that would help improve our food system, resilience and sustainability.
Did you know?
- …That the United States Botanic Garden in Washington D.C. has put together an exhibit on Agriculture. It’s highly informative. Although, it is whitewashed. Here is a link to an article about it. Please feel free to read it and leave a comment on what you think the Future of Food needs to address and what downsides we are living with as a result of the “Green Revolution”. https://www.aoc.gov/explore-capitol-campus/blog/cultivating-new-agriculture-exhibit-us-botanic-garden
- …That October is officially Farm to School Month. This website has great resources and suggestions for what we can do to strengthen the connections between schools and food. https://oregontaste.com/tasting-notes/oregon-harvest-for-schools
- …That Oregon DEQ is going for a larger impact with Food Waste Prevention Week in April 2023. For 2022, there was not very much advance notice, and it was still kind of Florida centric – since that is where the event originated. SOFS is now registered as a Partner, and provided feedback that if DEQ could put more influence at the County and City level, then local groups would have a better chance of spreading the word about it and raising awareness. This is the link for it. https://www.savethefoodfl.com/