Monday, October 1, 2012

The End of the Beginning

In order to maintain the mental health of all 6-month interns, Ecology Action requires us to take a week of vacation in August. I postponed my week until the first week of September so I could witness cousin Rustin exchanging wedding vows with new cousin Amy. Co-interns Julio from Peru and Eduardo from Costa Rica joined me for what was in no way a relaxing vacation, but the invigoration that we were after was found! Bike, hike, urban garden, rural farm, Denver, Boulder, Frisco, party, dine, picnic, festival, BBQ, dance, friends, family… as seen here: PHOTOS (this album also captures the events below as well).

The 2nd annual National Heirloom Exposition was held in Santa Rosa the week after we returned from CO. Ecology Action shared a booth with our allies from Bountiful Gardens.  Thousands of people passed by, and hundreds engaged in conversation with us, some who have been farming for decades, some who claimed to possess brown thumbs. It was a pleasure to share the joy of gardening and the hope that responsible global small scale agriculture gives us. While not at the booth, we were able to attend demonstrations and workshops and heard globally popular speakers like Carlo Patrini, Eric Holt Gimenez, and Jeffrey Smith.  Our director, John Jeavons, was one of the featured speakers and was able to share with a few hundred people what EA is trying to do in light of the current world situation. 

A major component of many of the speeches and an underlying theme of the Expo was Proposition 37 which, if passed, would make the labeling of GMO's (Genetically Modified Organisms) compulsory on all foods sold in California.  This is already the case in much of the World including most of Europe and would fit nicely into the "Nutrition Facts" section that we're all familiar with.  Most surveys report that around 90% of consumers support the labeling of these products - not surprising as we're really just talking about basic  transparency of ingredients.  

But major corporations are opposing Prop 37, and have pumped millions into a campaign against the meausure.  Why would they do this?  Why would they not want people to be informed? FORBES   

I won't add more, but I urge any CA voters to carefully consider this one on November 6th, and to make a decision based on stewardship of the earth that we inhabit and the health of those we love.

Most international interns will be leaving the area in the next couple weeks.  They will be greatly missed, but a slower-paced fall and winter is a welcomed break in the action for those of us who will stick around. I’ll be transitioning into a more permanent presence here, taking on more responsibility as I continue to grow.  We have some great projects on the docket for the winter, but I do hope to spend as much time as possible tapping into the value of the extensive library on site as well as the wisdom and experience of those around me.

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