Locavore Labs build relational foodsheds

Tada! The Local Food Lab is dead (for me) … long live The Locavore Lab. As mentioned before on this blog, Local Food Lab is the name I’ve been using for intensives where eaters, farmers and everyone in between works together to map and evaluate their local food system, and dream into projects, businesses and organizations that can help build the food system they want. It’s part education, part design charette, part networking, part eating, 

Local Food Lab – Permaculture of Community

How can communities take hold of their food destiny? How can people-in-community even understand themselves as part of a food system (a permanent culture) they might care about – and reclaim? Given my background in personal finance, dialogue and now local food, I’m developing one answer I think might help: the Local Food Lab. It’s a one-day to several day facilitated workshop for people with diverse roles in a food system to educate, inspire and

Perma-community 2: comments on comments

I posted the Permaculture of Community essay on Facebook and drew some interesting comments. I’d like to explore – not contradict – them here. First: Isn’t it all social permaculture? Isn’t this Transition Towns emerging with a new name tag? Well, of course. That’s why I took to the Transition Towns model like a duck to slugs… no water. I think there’s more to this idea of a permaculture-of-community, though it’s certainly implied in the

A Permaculture *of* Community

Take dandelions. You can plant a perfect lawn but if your neighbors don’t eradicate their dandelions, you’ve got them again. Or take the common cold. You can take vitamins, eat great food, work out, but if your co-workers have the flu or if your kid’s kindergarten has the flu, you’ll likely get it. We are told we are all powerful individuals. With enough intention and work we can climb any mountain, solve any problem and

Local Food is not a Local Food System

My 2010 10-mile diet turned into a blog, then a book, Blessing the Hands that Feed Us, and now a passion not just for promoting “local” as a way to belong and to be well-fed, but “local food systems” as an important focus for communities to counteract our dependency on a global corporate industrial food system that is actually overproducing undernourishing and often chemical saturated food and pumping these foods into the American-style diet with

New audio/video interviews – one free only until 3/25

The tour is over – hallelujah – but on the internet it lasts forever, though free is time limited. Here’s an audio interview with Justine Willis Toms that’s really rich and it’s up online for one more week. Please click now and enjoy! She gives me plenty of time to develop my story telling and ideas from the book. Here’s a video where the interviewer wanted to delve into my philosophy rather than just the book.

Pot the new oil?

While I have nothing but my gut to go on – yet – I wonder if the trend of state by state legalization first of medical marijuana and now pot sales in general will lead smaller-scale farmers to shift out of specialty crops (fruits and veggies) and into the more profitable weed. And whether eventually mid-scale growers will go for increased profits. Shifting big ag to big corn ethanol production resulted in food shortages. Will

TV on the Tour Trail

Yes, I did a cooking segment! KING-5 in Seattle wanted me to do a demo so I chose to teach people how to cook grain! What do you think of this? Click here to see my on KATV in Portland. The back story of this interview: I’d driven since before dawn from Olympia in driving rain in a tiny 2-seater Honda Insight, away in rooster tails from passing trucks (probably carrying food!). I arrived with

Help! from the tour road

I need your pin pointed help just now. I need you to Like my Blessing the Hands that Feed Us Facebook page to stay updated. I need you to Follow Vicki_Robin on Twitter. That way I know you’re getting my dispatches. Would you also forward the below tour schedule to friends in my tour cities while I am still touring (now!). I’m traveling intensively and I’ve already gone to one city where someone who wanted

Cholesterol – or is this too personal?

Tricia’s part of the bargain was to feed me. My part of the bargain, beyond not cheating, was to get my blood work done before and after the 10-mile diet experiment. So here’s the numbers. total cholesterol down 3 hdl (good) up 7 ldl (bad) down 9 risk ratio from 4.2 (about average) to 3.7 (low range) These are the kind of numbers in a month that the doc says “Whatever you are doing, keep

Vicki’s 7 food rules from 10 mile eating

I’m noticing that the heightened awareness and savory, sweet flavor of being on a 10 mile diet is fading as I expand my circle of food to nuts and cheeses and things that come in jars with labels and more than 5 ingredients.  I’m inclined to develop some “food rules” to remind me of the clarity that came through eating here – very here. Rules, values, ethics, covenants, pledges – these all direct our wayward

Book Tour begins! Please share!

1/7 @ 5PM Langley, WA Moonraker @ Living Green 1/8@ 7PM Seattle, WA Third Place Books 1/9 @ 7PM Olympia, WA Orca Books 1/10 @7:30PM Portland Powell’s 1/13 @ 7PM Seattle, WA Elliott Bay 1/16@6PM San Francisco, CA Book Passage Ferry Building 1/17@7PM Santa Rosa, CA Copperfield’s Montgomery Village 1/18@1PM San Rafael, CA Copperfield’s 1/19@3:00PM Rockridge, CA Diesel 1/20@7PM Point Reyes, CA Point Reyes Books 1/22@7:30PM Sonoma, CA Reader’s Books 1/23@7PM Santa Cruz, CA Bookshop Santa Cruz 1/27@7PM, Vancouver, BC

Tools of the Trade

When Tricia and I tell you at the end of the month how much food I’ve eaten, you’ll wonder how I got all that into my mouth. Or should. Processing all this food is not quite like opening a box of Trader Joe’s soup and a bag of TJ nuts or maybe some TJ plastic wrapped already bite sized salad greens (do you ever wonder what keeps that bag puffy? I didn’t until now.) It’s

Y’all come over now

A friend is in from out of town and I wanted to visit before she left. “Let’s have breakfast.” “No can-do on my 10 mile diet, why don’t you come to my house and I’ll make you breakfast?” But the next moment I was wondering how I could feed someone on limited stores – and no store? Would there be enough? Would it be good enough? Panic gave way to a sense of privilege and

Gratitude for the global food system

I went into our loaded-to-the-gills super market yesterday to buy a battery and was flooded with memories of just 4 weeks ago when I would walk in the door once a week after my improv class, grab a basket and make a quick light-hearted (not light fingered) swing through the sale aisle, the produce, the dairy, the meat (do you know the supermarket trick – for the sake of your pocketbook and much more, shop

Fast food (not)

I woke after a late afternoon nap hungry and cold. When you live alone no one has been cooking dinner while you’ve been out (&) cold. You have to deal. Okay, let’s see. To get some hot food on a 10 mile diet there’s nothing I can nuke. No box or can to open. No carton of Chinese take-out in the back, flaps popped, drying out, ready to heat. I’m now skilled enough in this