Geoffrey Wells Letter #10: The local planet.

I’m writing this blog on the first day of spring, Friday, March 20, 2015. It’s snowing. A host, of golden daffodils; Beside the lake, beneath the trees…, well, they are shivering and shaking in the ground. The fluttering and dancing in the breeze will come later. The farm stands are still shuttered for the winter. While we eat California strawberries from the supermarket, I try to erase the sight of Long Island Sound (almost) covered in ice.

SoundIce

That thin black line is the Connecticut shoreline. Taken from Goldsmith’s Inlet, Peconic.

I have been recording on video, the Peconic Land Trust’s Spring Lecture Series: Long Island Grown – Food and Beverage Artisans at Work. After the lecture on The Appetizer, we pretended that spring was here: we took home microgreens grown in Long Island greenhouses; heavenly sweet thai basil, pea tendrils, and arugula from Good Water Farms. GoodWaterMicrogreensI made a lime/horseradish/Dijon vinaigrette, which got me thinking about what local means to us.

https://vimeo.com/91641765

Microgreens = Love from Good Water on Vimeo.

Talk to anyone about what they do, and sooner or later the obvious fact emerges: we live locally, though we are not prepared to act locally. Not easily do we give up the convenience of easy access and the homogeneity of packaged food. The reason that I love the Essential New York Times Cookbook is that I can’t find Spicy Orange Salad Moroccan-Style in my local market–I have to make it myself. The implication of acting locally is that our work and our activities revolve around ourselves, our communities and our local interests. Some Long Island restaurateurs who buy greens and fruit from local farms in the summer act locally, but in winter they buy elsewhere–from California, South America, New Zealand. Then, in winter, it’s too late to act locally, because they do not really think locally. For years conservationists have urged us to think globally and act locally. And yes, I get it: I am reminded of climate change as I drive to the supermarket, burning cheap gas. So, perhaps we should throw out the clever slogan.

Perhaps we need to think then act to sustain BOTH our neighborhood and our planet.

Is that too much to ask? If there were enough greenhouses, restaurants and local residents, we would have enough fresh, affordable and sustainable produce–year-round. As Brendan Davison of Good Water Farms says, “Turns out, come wintertime, we were left with little choice but to venture into the city in order to sustain the business. Luckily, we caught a break by being introduced to Whole Foods during our city jaunts, but what about the community we left behind?”

Local support should help farmers. Towns restricting greenhouses is not helpful. Go figure. They should think, then act.

Otherwise, we’re just fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Sustainable cybersecurity:

In case you missed it, the FED and corporate America are making progress in information sharing. (A theme that runs through THE FACES IN THE RAIN).

Senate approves bill that encourages IS companies to share information about cybersecurity breaches.

https://www.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/senate-bill/2588

Hear what Leo Taddeo, (special agent in charge of the Cyber and Special Operations Division for the FBI’s New York Office) says about this:

pi in the sky:

10 stunning images show the beauty hidden in pi
Data art celebrates the magical, mathematical and infinite constant of pi.

http://wapo.st/1FewpYH

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