The Weekly Feed: December Ninth
Fort Collins collaborators Liz Gaylor and Kelsi Nagy had been chatting up the concept for about a year and got serious about it last summer. With a few weeks of time, $15,000 in credit-card money and the help of photographer Darren Mahuron, they created the first “Farmers of the Front Range 2012 Calendar” — all in a few weeks.
“We love the farming community and Colorado, and we want to get more people connected to it,” said Nagy. Bad news about industrial food, such as the “Food, Inc.” documentary, makes people feel powerless, she added. “So supporting these local, living economies are one way we can take back control.”
Each month features a photograph of people you may have met who produce vegetables, fruit, meat, cheese, or honey, along with an epigram, a recipe, and a description of the farm and farmers. Gaylor and Nagy plan to return all or most of the profits for the 2012 version to the featured farms.
Jonathan Ward’s music room in his second-floor Angeleno Heights walk-up is a tight, comfortable space with three walls full of records and itsy speakers hung high on the walls in acoustically precise intervals. The 39-year-old writer, archivist, collector and perhaps most important, listener, has just received his copy of a project that has consumed him for the last 14 months. “Opika Pende: Africa at 78 RPM,” is a four-disc, 100-song collection and companion book of never before compiled regional African music from the early 1900s through the ’60s. Much of it is culled from fragile original shellac recordings that have miraculously survived a journey across space and time to land on Ward’s shelves.
He pulls out a recent acquisition: a Mauritanian record that he places on the turntable. The speakers fill the room with hiss and crackle, and a female voice moans while a high-lonesome stringed instrument meanders along. It’s profoundly moving and resurrects long-buried voices within its crackling grooves.
Today, the bronze bull — that icon of the OWS movement — is the lone farm animal you’ll find in the financial district. And the barricades are back, but only to keep Zuccotti Park’s mic checkers in check. That surprisingly fertile concrete plaza has yielded a bumper crop of grassroots activists, to the discomfort of (most of) the 1% and the shills who bill them. But the voices of farmers — a.k.a. the 1% that grows the food that 100% of us eat — have been largely missing from this movement to reclaim our democracy, despite the fact that food has become a commodity that enriches a few at the expense of the many.
That all changed this past Sunday, though, when a group of farmers from around the country marched to Zuccotti Park accompanied by their allies: food justice activists, community gardeners, and other advocates for a more equitable, ecologically sound, re-localized food system.
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