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Weekly Updates

The Week of October 3, 2011Read/Post Comments

Youth Bill of Rights, Volunteer Opportunities, Weekly Recipe, Community Announcements, Updates


Brought to you by Earthworks Urban Farm, a program of the Capuchin Soup Kitchen


Peace everyone,

Earlier this year, a national network of youth introduced the Youth Food Bill of Rights.  The Youth Bill of Rights summarizes how the 2012 Farm Bill can help mobilize youth to help create a just and equitable food system in their own communities.

How can youth help create a just and equitable food system in your community?

I. Volunteer Opportunities for the  week o f 10/03/2011:
Wednesdays thru Saturdays, 9am-12:30pm; Regular Volunteer Hours:  Please join us after working in the gardens for lunch in the soup kitchen Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Jam making!  Earthworks are in need of volunteers for processing fruit berries into currant, gooseberry, elderberry and raspberry jams.  Tentative dates are:

October 6th, 11th and 26th from 5:30 - 9:30pm
October 21st from 1:00 - 3:00pm
November 8th and 15th from 5:30 - 9:30pm

All volunteers, please meet at Capuchin Soup Kitchen at 1264 Meldrum, Detroit, MI unless noted differently. For individual volunteers, feel free to just come on by.  No need to RSVP.  For groups, please contact us in advance to schedule a day. Please come dressed appropriately for the weather and work.  During summer months, water bottles, hats with brims, sunscreen and work gloves are highly encouraged.  Long pants and closed toe shoes are required.  For questions, please email Shane at or call (313) 579-2100 x 204.

II. Chef Alison's featured recipe of the week:
Chef Alison from the Capuchin Soup Kitchen highlights quick and easy recipes featuring produce grown in Earthworks gardens.  Recipes can be modified according to taste.

Pumpkin Tip Curry

8 pumpkin tips (just the top 6 " or so) with 1-2 leaves chopped into 2 " pieces and rinsed well
2  potatoes boiled and chopped into small dice
3 cloves
1 ½ dried red chilies
1 tsp. cumin seed
1 tsp. coriander seed
½ tsp. black peppercorns
2 tsp. sesame seed
Toast spices in pan until fragrant. Cool. Grind w/mortar & pestle or grinder. Adjust chili heat if wanted.

Add to spices:
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp. turmeric

About 1-2 " fresh ginger
3-4 cloves garlic
Chop fine 1 medium onion. Saute in oil, then add garlic, ginger, & spices.

Tamarind paste  (soak in water first) or use 1 tsp. vinegar
(to substitute tamarind paste use: 1 Tbsp. EACH of dates, prunes, dried apricot and lemon juice. Reconstitute, drain, add juice and process till smooth).

I have also added  a tsp. or 2 of lime pickle (I use Patak's) for added punch.

Add potato and tips with a bit of water, stir well, cover till wilted. Add some chopped cilantro. Sizzle a couple of tsp. of mustard seed in oil & pour over the curry at the end.

III. Community Announcements:
1. Repeal Public Act 4
Michigan Forward 600 W. Lafayette,Suite 100 Detroit,Michigan 48226

Michigan Forward is leading a coalition to REPEAL PUBLIC ACT 4 of 2011,"The Local Government and School District Fiscal Accountability Act". We are building a coalition of community leaders,young adults and small business owners against takeover of our cities and communities. Get in the fight for Michigan's cities,democracy and a better Michigan! Join our coalition and support the fight against Public Act 4!

View Q&A on PA 4 Petition Drive with Brandon Jessup.

Contact us:
Phone:(313) 965-2722

2. Fifth annual Green Screen Youth Film Festival makes call for entries
Sponsored by East Michigan Environmental Action Council, Green Screen provides a forum where students from across southeast Michigan and beyond showcase films with environmental themes. The work of these young filmmakers expresses what they think is most crucial to their health and to the natural environment. Some films also focus on making the world, their school or neighborhood environmentally healthier.

Deadline for entries is November 1st, 2011. Anyone interested entering a film for Green Screen 2011, sponsoring a film, volunteering or making a donation of support should call 313 559-7498 or visit for Green Screen entry guidelines.

3. Michigan's Harvest: Food, Farming and Community
The Lorenzo Cultural Center 44575 Garfield Road, Clinton Township, MI 48038
September 24 - November 20, 2011
Wednesday-Saturday, 10am - 4pm
Sunday, 1-4pm

Experience Michigan's rich agricultural heritage and traditions through appetizing exhibits, tasty activities, and an abundant crop of expert speakers sure to yield a bounty of knowledge.
The Lorenzo Cultural Center offers you a memorable presentation of Michigan's prominence in our country's food industry. From our farming heritage to health and nutrition, this unique exhibition serves up a nourishing harvest of fun facts, rich flavors, and Michigan-grown experiences for you to discover.

4. Cook, Eat, Talk: Building Community through Food Justice Documentary
UU Church 4605 Cass Ave, Detroit, MI 48201
Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Please join us for a community screening and feedback session for the Detroit Food Justice Task Force's documentary, Cook, Eat, Talk: Building Community through Food Justice.  We will be sharing the film at the new Cass Corridor Commons (the UU Church at E. Forest and Cass Ave.).  Light and healthy refreshments will be served.

5. Second Chance Jobs Fair
East Lake Church (E. Jefferson and Conner)
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. DOORS WILL CLOSE AT NOON.

Detroit City Council president Charles Pugh announces a jobs fair to help returning citizens get jobs.  For additional information, please call Mrs. Vera Cunningham at telephone number (313) 822-202. Please advise applicants to wear business attire, if possible!

6. FREE Progressive Latin American Cinema
Las Brisas Mexican Restaurant 8445 W. Vernor west of Springwells
(Springwells exit north off 75; or Central Ave exit south off 94)
Wednesday, October 5th, 2011 (every 1st & 3rd Wednesday of the month)

Water is the gold of the 21st century. Many feel it will be the major battleground of the 21st Century. Without water, we die.
And as corporations gain a tighter grip on this life sustaining resource, we will have no alternative than to fight for our lives.

And this is what EVEN THE RAIN is all about. The same issues that affect us here in Detroit. Two stories take place at the same time, a film within a film. The brilliant screenplay tells the story of a film crew shooting in Cochabamba, the town where companies attempt to privatize the public water supply. The film crew is making a movie about the arrival of Christopher Columbus, and his genocide against the Indians, almost 500 years earlier.  The movie shows what people can do to fight back.

The powerful story, with a haunting musical score and wonderfully acted by a cast including Gael Garcia Bernal (MOTORCYCLE DIARIES) is dedicated to the late Howard Zinn.

Joining us for the discussion after the film is special guest, MARION KRAMER from the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, a longtime activist very familiar with issues addressed in this film. Join us for a moving film and a lively discussion! And enjoy some great food in the meantime!  FREE secure parking, and GREAT FOOD if you¹re hungry.

Hosted by Bill Meyer (313-207-3904); co-sponsored by OneHamtramck LLC and

7. Meldrum Fresh Market
Capuchin Soup Kitchen - Earthworks Urban Farm 1264 Meldrum Detroit, MI 48207
Thursday, October 6th, 2011

Bring Cash or your Bridge Card to purchase fresh organic produce harvested right from our gardens!  Come support us and tell your friends!

8. Marketing the "Free Market": Public Policy and Racial Segregation in Metropolitan Detroit
Madame Cadillac Building, Marygrove College, 8425 West McNichols Road, Detroit   
Friday, Oct. 7, 2011
7 p.m.

The Marygrove College Institute for Detroit Studies announces a Defining Detroit event,
Lecture, Discussion, Booksigning: David M.P. Freund, Associate Professor of History, University of Maryland.  Free and open to the public

9. Apple Pie Bake Off
Eastern Market
Saturday, October 8, 2011
11:00 am

This year there will be two apple pie contest. One for adults (18 and older) and the other for youth ages 10 to 17. Be prepared to bring your best apple pie for this highly anticipated contest. Prizes are:

·     1st Place - $100 & Trophy w/photo and recipe on Detroit Eastern Market's website and in the Detroit Eastern Market's cookbook

·     2nd Place - Trophy

·     3rd Place - Trophy

·     4th & 5th Places - Medals

10. Organizers Meeting- Moratorium NOW! Coalition / MECAWI
5920 Second Ave., Detroit, MI
Monday, October 10, 2011
7:00pm - 8:30pm

Weekly organizing meeting of the Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures, Evictions, and Utility Shutoffs and MECAWI. All are welcome. The meetings are at 5920 Second Ave., at Antoinette, just north of Wayne State University, in Detroit

11.Take Action on and around World Food Day!
October 10-17th, 2011
October 10 ~ Food Week of Action begins
October 12 ~ Dia de la Raza (Indigenous People's Day)
October 15 ~ International Day of Rural Women
October 16 ~ World Food Day
October 17 ~ International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

Here are some events and actions happening that week!

·     Call the Senate about GIPSA to help save independent family farmers.

·     Get your congregation to join the Food Week of Action promoted by the global Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance -- October 10-17. 

·     Oppose the Colombia FTA and other pending trade deals with South Korea and Panama, all of which will bankrupt family farmers.

·     Join Millions Against Monsanto. Find an action near you or initiate one!

·     Read and publicize the Youth Food Bill of Rights.

·     Support CIW's Campaign for Fair Food against supermarkets that refuse to pay higher wages to farm workers.

·     Host a Food Justice Workshop to share food and information about taking back our local food systems (see Resources below).

·     Celebrate and organize community meals with local chefs, gardeners, farmers, and eaters to build community and dismantle racism and other forms of oppression. See box on Food and Faith Practices: Learn, Live, Lead.

·     Start rebuilding your local food economy so it works for low-income communities and everyone. Download City Fresh's Fresh Stop manual.

·     Right2Know March - March from NYC to Washington DC to demand labeling for GMO foods -- October 1-16.

·     Sign the Dakar Appeal Against Land Grabs to stand in solidarity with victims of land grabbing who will be in Rome for the UN Committee on World Food Security meetings right around World Food Day.

IV. Jobs in the Community

1. Part-time Youth Community Organizer
Michigan Roundtable

2. Cook
Coalition on Temporary Shelter

V. Update from Patrick

I'm not sure I was ready for fall to come this early. I've been having to put on extra layers for my morning ride. 

Pulling the tomato plants out this week surly made it feel more like fall.  The plants looked much sadder earlier in the season than previous years, but I suppose that a candle that burns that bright...  I couldn't stand looking at how poor the plants looked, and Chef Allison had kindly let us know that she had officially reached capacity for frozen tomatoes for the year!  The first time we have ever done that.  The snow peas that I had hoped would yield something bore the first peas.  Don't imagine that we will have more than a handful to harvest this week, but I'm still very happy.

The 10 day forecast still doesn't show any sign of frost, and the winter squash would benefit from another week of field growth, but we may harvest toward the end of the week.  We harvested the last of chard this week, making space for the garlic, also pulling up the last of the beans.  We were able to to get compost laid down on the beds where garlic will be going.  With some sunny weather this week it should dry out enough that we are able to till and prep those beds, to then plant this weekend with garlic.

The kale has been coming in nicely, and collards should be ready to harvest this week, cabbages are looking like they need a couple more weeks.  Squash is just about done for the year.  I thought about doing a late planting of squash in the hoop house, but I'm pretty sick of the prickly rash I get from picking squash, actually I'm just sick of squash.  Sunflowers too are done - but I'll leave them for the birds.  Spinach has been harvesting well, and we pulled the first little carrots this week, I'd only intended to thin them, but they looked so nice, I figured why not sell them.  They look as though they will be in much better shape than the summer carrots we grew and likely taste much better.  Beets will be ready in a couple of weeks.

Robbie has building some of the most epic compost piles and staying on top of managing them with a level of passion I can't help but admire.  Poking them with shovels is reveling a nice puff of steam.  Some of the older ones - built by Rachel are looking close to be ready for sifting - and look really good.  I'm feeling so much better about compost, after feeling so much dread over how overwhelmed I was feeling over our compost mismanagement.  The older compost piles have been getting sifted at an even quicker clip lately.  We are actually making a pretty big dent in the pile, and creating space enough to build more piles!  Still I think it's time to get the piles shaped up, as well as making more space for fall leaf deliveries.  I'm hopeful that I can borrow a bobcat again this week and move some compost closer to the hoop house for sifting down there, as well as flipping and consolidating the current pile.

In the hoop house we have pulled out all the summer crops, except for one row of tomatoes, just to see how late in the season they will go.  We have a bunch of collards planted, along with spinach, radishes, and lettuce that are already up.  Some of them are pretty spotty, I'm thinking we should go ahead and harvest them this week and resow.  The rest of the beds have been planted in a variety of winter greens, arugula, spicy salad mix, lettuce, chard, and carrots.  I've been mostly hand watering them to make sure they have good consistent moisture, which while a little bit of a pain, I've really been enjoying.  I feel a little extra special connection to the plants, as I carefully walk each row with the hose.

I'm looking forward to all the growth in the hoop house this fall and winter.  I think it will really help with the sometimes negative feelings I have in the winter.  In addition to planting the hoop house, we also need to get the path to the hoop house finished before winter,  we should be getting delivery on those materials this week and can begin on that, the side areas of the hoop house have also washed away a bit during this season, and we need to build those up, so we don't have gaps near the soil surface, letting in cold air.

In the greenhouse we ripped up the weed cloth that had been serving as the floor for the last eight seasons.  It had become pretty tattered, and the floor underneath was becoming pretty unlevel.  So we will be working to get the floor leveled out and new fabric put down over the next couple of weeks.  I'm looking forward to it.  I've been sick of the puddles of water that I end up stepping in during the growing season - getting a big dose of water down inside my shoes.

The growing season is winding down, but I'm feeling very excited about the coming year, looking forward to all that it brings, and all the possibilities.  I'm coming to value the slowing winter season, both for the more reasonable pace, and the time for reflection and planning.

until next week,



VI. Outreach Update from Shane

    What brought me to Earthworks was the opportunity to give back to my community.  One in which has already given me so much.  In a lot of ways, this work is very personal to me.  It gives me great satisfaction and reward to be able to be part of Detroit's healing and transformation.  In particular, I find myself very fortunate to make a difference in the lives of our youth.
    This week, Earthworks is as well as I are very excited to be hosting a couple groups of students from a local schools to volunteer.  The ability to interact with and engage youth from our community is really fulfilling work.  From what I've learned from young people in Earthworks Youth Farm Stand, there aren't that many places in their neighborhoods that cultivate their needs as valued members of society.
    Personally, that is why I am so excited about the Youth Food Bill of Rights that is mentioned in the reflection above.  This document outlines how youth, themselves can and want to be engaged in building healthy neighborhoods, their schools and families.  The Youth Food Bill of Rights is a youth-led declaration of solidarity from youth all across the country.  How exciting is that?  I am very interested to see and hear how our youth envision the Youth Bill of Rights playing out in the community.
    As the 2012 Farm Bill is being reauthorized, there is still room and time for us here in Michigan and Detroit to affect how it impacts the health of ourselves, our communities and our environment.  If you didn't already know, Debbie Stabenow, U.S. Senator for Michigan is also Chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.  Listen HERE to hear Senator Stabenow speak on opportunities in the 2012 Farm Bill for growth in Michigan.  Alternatively, HERE is text from the audio interview from Michigan Radio.
    Senator Stabenow recently attended an event down the street from Earthworks and the Capuchin Soup Kitchen at Gleaner's Community Food Bank called, Fighting Hunger.  Our Michigan Senator shared how she had to fight tooth and nail to introduce a new section on "fruits and vegetables".  Interestingly enough are considered "specialty crops" since farmers growing them do not receive federal subsidies much like corn, soy, wheat, rice and cotton farmers do.  According to Michael Pollan, these subsidies have a detrimental affect on our collective health.
    Fighting Hunger was more or less, a gathering of food pantries, social service organizations, non-profits and funders that provide food for youth and families in southeastern Michigan.  Hosted in part by the United Way of southeastern Michigan, the event was an attempt to gather "best practices" and encourage collaboration and inhibit duplication and competition for common resources.  United Way CEO, Mike Brennan also touched upon how the method of "asset planning" can further leverage the expertise and resources present in the room.
         Senator Hansen Clarke also showed up at the Fighting Hunger event and spoke on his own family's experiences of hunger and poverty and the importance of food assistance programs as a former recipient.  Hearing this made me wonder where our most valuable "assets" were.  In other words, where were the folks with "lived experiences" and in particular our youth, immigrant of indigenous populations.  These groups stand the most to lose if sufficient funding for SNAP benefits allocated in the 2012 Farm Bill are not secured.  This is further exacerbated when you also consider that statewide, 1 in 5 residents are receiving food assistance when compared to 1 in 7 in the country
    Also at Fighting Hunger, Oran Hesterman, President and CEO of the Fair Food Network emceed a panel that included Betti Wiggins, Executive Director of the Office of Food Services for Detroit Public Schools.  Ms. Wiggins shared that Detroit Public Schools was the largest supplier of food in the state second only to the Michigan Department of Corrections.  At that moment, I immediately recalled what Raj Patel shared during his last visit to Detroit, "That it's possible to be food secure, say, in prison. You've got access, after all, so you're not going hungry. But food security never talks about power in the food system-just your access to food."
    See you next week! In the meantime, I hope to see you at the Food Justice Task Force screening of Cook, Eat, Talk later tonight.  See announcement above. Peace.

Readers' Comments The Week of October 3, 2011


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