The Scoop

Landship Foods is inspired by the conviction that growing and eating healthy food is one of the most important things we can do for both ourselves and the broader communities of which we are a part. The name comes from the language of pre-industrial Europe. Before the enclosure movement and the associated rise in notions of private property swept England, the suffix “-ship” (as in "relationship," or "friendship") referred to an object or an abstraction with collective duties and mutual rights. Thus, the term “landship” suggests that land was an entity through which humans were joined to each other by a set of rights and responsibilities. I advocate for a revival of this awareness.

Friday, July 29, 2011

New Mexico News

Trying to grow food in the high desert keeps one busy. I have only been here a week, but it seems like at least a month.

Here is a taste of our recent harvest projects (vegetable and animal):

photo credit to the peerless Ellen Madden, who also appears in the photo below

more soon...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Backyard Garden News

After a few weeks of strong growth, the cucumbers might be on their way out due to a full-on assault by squash bugs...

But luckily the okra is coming on:

And the watermelon (the vining plant covering most of the garden at ground level) looks poised for a brilliant summer finale:

Monday, July 4, 2011

(Food) Independence Day

A few weeks ago I looked at the old sweet potatoes on my counter and decided that I would just stick 'em in the ground in the hopes that by fall they would grow into a whole bunch of sweet potatoes. I recalled my grandma's story about how every year as a child they would spend the morning of the Fourth of July planting a field of sweet potatoes and then in the evening the whole family would take a picnic - complete with watermelons - out to the cool spring-fed pool in "the ol' river swamp."

So, even though their sweet potato fields were a few hours south of here - hence warmer - I thought I would repeat this Fourth of July ritual just for fun.

Hopefully they will produce before it gets too cold this fall. Being on the roof should help: it gets full sun and is surrounded by lots of concrete and metal.

But more than just a sentimental ritual, I also think that planting (and hopefully harvesting) food on the Fourth of July might be one of the most meaningful ways to celebrate independence; with all of the lobbyists, governments, and corporations trying to shape what you eat, a heaping helping of food independence is pretty radical!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Volunteers Abound!

This past spring we started a re-design of the rooftop gardens which will be completed in the fall. The green roof itself is one of the oldest in the area and is still performing admirably in the "not leaking" category. But the soil was really compacted so amending that was one of the first tasks. In the process, seeds from the compost sprouted all over the roof and we now have a veritable forest of volunteer edibles. The melons are probably the most striking:

But I also really like the purslane:

Considered a weed by most Americans (commonly called pigweed), purslane is also a delectable edible. It is ridiculously healthy and can be steamed, stir-fried, eaten in a salad...Most botanists argue it originated in India, and many purslane enthusiasts claim it was Gandhi's favorite food.

Gather wild edibles responsibly, by checking out lots of reputable sources.