The trip to the Science Barge is this Wed, Aug. 26! I’m so excited. Our tour starts at 12 noon and will be done by 2 pm.
Remember, the cost for the tour is $12 a person. Please bring cash. (Note that getting there on the Metro North will cost $13 – see below.)
Below are important instructions, so please read carefully and forward this to anyone else who is coming. I have sent messages to the people on Facebook who said they are coming, telling them to email me for these instructions.
If it’s thunder-storming, the Barge will cancel our tour. But the weather looks clear all week!
How to get there:
· The Science Barge is located on the METRO NORTH line, 1/2 block from the YONKERS STATION.
· You can leave from GRAND CENTRAL at 10:45AM (arrive YONKERS at 11:11AM) OR 11:20AM (arrive YONKERS at 11:51AM).
· OR you can leave from HARLEM-125TH STREET STATION at 10:56AM (arrive YONKERS at 11:11AM) OR 11:30AM (arrive YONKERS at 11:51AM). The station is at the corner of E 125th St & Lenox Ave (aka Malcolm X Blvd). It’s on the 2/3 subway line.
· COST for either route is $13.00. Buy a ROUND-TRIP OFF PEAK ticket in the station.
· When you get off of the train, you will be able to see the Science Barge on the Hudson! Exit the train station from the back doors – the ones facing the Hudson River – and walk toward the Barge!
· We will meet at the little park in front of the Science Barge at about 11:15 AM – after the first train arrives.
· RETURN TRIP: we will take the 2:31PM train back to NYC. It arrives at HARLEM-125TH STREET STATION at 2:56PM and GRAND CENTRAL at 3:07PM.
· If you want to drive, call the Science Barge for specific directions! 914-375-2151
Instructions from the Science Barge:
· Please dress appropriately. We prefer if students wear closed toe shoes and either pants or shorts.
· We will be utilizing an outdoor classroom. We do have umbrellas for shade but we also ask your group to wear plenty of sunscreen for further protection.
· Please tell all students to bring water bottles.
On the day of the tour, call the Science Barge if you get lost: 914-375-2151.
My cell phone is 347-204-2077.
I (Nora) reviewed the movie at my sustainability blog, 2050ad:
The 90-minute documentary will disgust, infuriate, and inspire you. Multinational food conglomerates, with the help of their cronies in government, have spent millions of dollars to make sure the average consumer never learns the things you learn in this film.*
As we watched pigs being roughly herded to their deaths in the nation’s largest slaughterhouse, I turned to Andrea. “So, will you join me? Twice a month and only if you know where it’s from?”
Without missing a beat, she said: “Oh, I made that decision back at the chickens” — the first segment of the film.
The movie has its flaws — as Ezra Klein put it, “It’s driven less by a thesis than by an intuition: Something is wrong with our food production system. It’s just not clear what.” — and you may feel powerless and hopeless by the end.
I think the best take-away is this: you vote for what kind of food industry you want three times a day. Consumers can change the system. You don’t need to give up industrially-produced meat and poultry full-stop, as I have, but you can significantly reduce (as Marco has). Try food writer Mark Bittman’s “Vegan Before 6” strategy or his “lessmeatism” philosophy. Whatever works for you, do it. But, please: reduce your consumption of industrially-produced meat and poultry (and corn-fed, farmed fish, while we’re at it).
Sadly, most non-meat foods are not much better, because they’re produced with corn- and soy-based chemicals, genetically-modified organisms, and travels thousands of petro-miles to your door. You know the drill: whenever you can, avoid packaged foods, especially ones with ingredients you don’t recognize, and eat what’s grown locally. (Here’s a guide.)
Alright, enough with the soapbox. I want to end with three images from the film that have stuck with me:
- A chicken farmer in Kentucky, contracted (and indebted) to Tyson. Driving around in his pickup, he’s overweight, red-faced, jowly, and unhealthy-looking. His chickens are stuffed into huge buildings with black curtains over the windows which Tyson doesn’t allow the film crew to enter.
- In contrast: Joel Slatin, the infamous “grass farmer” of Polyface Farm. If you got rid of his funky eyeglasses, he’d be a farmer from central cating: tan, fit, muscular, and at ease as he walks his land, drives a tractor, and butchers a chicken. His animals are the platonic ideal, the image most Americans still have when they think “cow” — grazing on grass, nuzzling one another, basking in sunlight (this is not what the vast majority of cows in this country do every day). The irony is that Slatin is the black sheep and the quiet revolutionary that undermines the supremacy of the angro-industrial approach.
- A machine spewing out slabs of a putty-colored, SPAM-like substance that is destined to be added to 70% of fast food hamburgers in America. It’s a meat filler “cleansed” with ammonia to combat traces of deadly E. Coli found in industrially-produced beef. That’s right: you are essentially eating bleach.
* Most of which is not news to anyone who’s read Michael Pollan and Eric Schloesser, but seeing bald corruption and abuse of people and animals on the big screen makes it all the more real.
PS: I just got the film’s companion book in the mail, which includes essays from Pollan, Schloesser, food policy maven Marion Nestle, and Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus, among others, so I’ll report back on what I learn.
Check it out! Restaurant opens a rooftop farm in Chicago Reblog
Restaurant opens 2,500-square foot Organic Rooftop Farm- first to be Certified Organic in the USA
Photo: Scott Stewart, Sun-Times. Helen Cameron inspects the veggies growing on the roof of her restaurant. “I come up once a day to see what’s ripe,” she said. Six tons of soil were carried up to the roof. Larger image here.
An uplifting aspiration - Uncommon Ground has reached new heights in its efforts to bring food production back to earth.
By Dave Hoekstra
September 3, 2008
In late July the folks at the Uncommon Ground restaurant, 1401 W. Devon, opened their 2,500-square foot organic rooftop farm. The lofty mission is to deliver organic produce for the downstairs restaurant and to use the garden to teach adult volunteers and children how to grow food organically in an urban, roof-top environment.
“There’s a lot of green roofs in Chicago,” said Helen Cameron, co-owner of Uncommon Ground during a roof top tour. “But they are not necessarily geared for full-on production and as an educational tool. We made an enormous investment with the idea of producing food for the restaurant. That’s the biggest difference between us and other green roofs.”
The uncommon farm is built on recycled deck material 20 feet atop the street. The farm currently has arugula, beans, beets, collard greens, cucumbers, peas, peppers, pumpkins, tomatoes and watermelon.