Tiny House, Tiny Living, The Tiny Life.

Posts Tagged Charlotte NC

In Search of Local Food

Not too long ago I talked about my two focus areas of my life: Affordable housing and sustainable food. I have recently picked up Barbara Kingsolver’s book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle which has been a really good read.  The author talk about the many issues of our food system, primarily stemming from large agribusiness.

None of this is new, in fact it is rather old news to me, but something spurred inside of me to take a look at buying local.  I once made a big push for this, but when I arrived at the farmers market and discovered them simply repackaging produce from Argentina and placing it under the “produced in North Carolina” sign, I gave up.

I think what really motivates me is that I want real food, actual real food, not some chemically, induced genetically modified, adulterated and processed food.  After taking a look around, I realized something, it is hard to find real food.  Today’s companies market the fact that they use real sugar as if they are somehow an industry leader, I can only think “you are proud to say “our food is actually real food” “.

The other day I was at Walmart – I know, I know – and was excited to see that they had a “seasonal foods” aisle,  I rounded the corner to find seasonally thematic candy.  Not what I was expecting.  How far as a culture have we gotten away from our food when our seasonal foods are candy, simply repackaged?

A mental picture always comes into mind of the bumper stickers all over Asheville, NC and beyond “local food: 1000’s of miles fresher”  and it is true, the food we find in the stores is a bastardization of mother nature’s brilliance aka fruits and vegetables.  I have tried to find a local place to start buying milk – let’s not get into the whole raw vs. pasteurized debate – and have found it can be quite difficult to procure without driving an hour.  For eggs I soon will be producing my own, I could raise meat chickens, but I think it would be easier to just find it locally.  For cheese I plan to start making my own from the local milk.

I know there are simply some things I must resign myself  from getting locally such as flour, rice, and a few other things.  In all honesty, I love fruit so much that I don’t think I will ever stop buying out of state or country fruit, just can’t.  But it has caused me to rethink things and discover the local side of my food.  I think once I can get it buttoned down pretty well I can then start sharing my experience within my community, to show the ins and outs, the pros and cons.

Share your thoughts on local food  in the comments

The Case For Mass Transit

train
Recently one of the hot topics for our local political race for Mayor of Charlotte, NC has been what we call our light rail.  It has been debated heatedly on both sides and recently had some wins for it.  The big issue with the light rail and street cars is that it has been historically not very well managed.  Charlotte’s sprawl is pretty insane for the population it has roughly 1.8 million people in the “city” of Charlotte.  I put The word city in quotes because it’s about the looses use in terms of a densely packed city as you can get.  Our city or downtown area is no more than 10 block by 10 blocks, where everyone lives outside the city.  The sprawl is immense, going over a hundred miles in any direction.

It’s pretty funny when you are in Fort Mill South Carolina and you ask them where they live and they reply “Charlotte” but that is the mentality of the Charlotte area, we all want to live in Charlotte, but we want a full on house with a 2/3 acre lot.

I found these great videos about Cincinnati’s push for mass transit and it sounds like our own here in Charlotte in a way.  Now being from Charlotte, not Cincinnati I can’t really speak on house close these two scenarios are, but they do share some similarities and makes a case for mass transit in general.

First up is a viral marketing ad they made about their street car which is pretty funny.

What impact did/does mass transit have?

Here is a news report about the street car