Sunday, 22 April 2012

Organic in Hanoi, Vietnam

Anyone traveling or living in Hanoi, Vietnam will find it difficult to locate Organic food here. I recently gave an interview to Thien Nhien News on Organic in Vietnam and the challenges that it faces here, which are many.

To folks who are new in the city, or new to Organic, Thanh Xuan Organics is the best place to start. They are selling Organic vegetables from groups of PGS farmers in Soc Son about 40km northwest along the Thang Long Highway near Noi Bai International Airport. It is run by a group called Action for the City. The Weekend Market off of To Ngoc Van also has some organic produce, and is run by the people at ASVELIS who sell the brand Naturally Vietnam chicken and eggs. These animals are being raised in great conditions and are the best available meat and eggs in the city.

Here is a short poem by Walt Whitman called A Farm-Picture:
Through the ample open door of the peaceful country barn,  
A sun-lit pasture field, with cattle and horses feeding;  
And haze, and vista, and the far horizon, fading away.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Local Food and Community Self-Governance Ordinance

BAck in March 2011 the town of Sedgwick, Maine passed a Local Food and Community Self-Governance Ordinance, since then six towns in Hancock County have passed the ordinance, Blue Hill is one of those towns. But now a farmer in Blue Hill, who sells fresh milk and other prepared foods is being sued by the Department of Agriculture and State of Maine for working without State licenses - selling without the use of state licenses is part of what the ordinance is all about and why it is catching on all across the country.

Recent rule changes by the Maine Department of Agriculture is set to make criminals out of farmers who are growing and processing food to share in their communities. This lawsuit is a serious threat to Maine's growing local food movement. It is very important that we make a stand on the side of small farmers, local food sovereignty and the Maine Constitution.

People are getting organized to protect the farmer Dan Brown and defend both Gravelwood Farm and the  Local Food and Community Self-Governance Ordinance. On April 17 the We Are All Farmer Brown Campaign will deliver a petition in Augusta, signed by thousands of people to Gov. Paul LePage asking him to drop the lawsuit against Dan Brown and Gravelwood Farm.