Working for Good, Clean, Fair Food for All - Slow Food Urban San Diego Convivium of Slow Food International


Head, Heart, Hands & Health

To many city-dwellers, the mention of 4-H conjures images of the county fair: kids chasing greased pigs, chicken cages with red ribbons, white and black cows towering over smiling youngsters. While this perception of the century old organization is partly true, the history and current mission of 4-H (Head, Heart, Hands & Health) is much more expansive.

4-H clubs started in Ohio in the late 19th century as the USDA’s Cooperative Extension System were beginning to disseminate new farming technology through land grant universities and regional offices. As it often happens, older farmers were less keen on experimenting with new “advances” in their field (literally). So clubs were formed to attract the younger farmers-to-be to learn about leaderships skills, local economies, and, of course, agricultural innovations.

Nowadays the scope has widened to encompass a number of community activities to help students to learn leadership, citizenship and life skills. Here in San Diego a 4-H club member could be participating in activities from veterinary sciences to marine biology to animal husbandry to ham radio. (Here’s a full list of 4-H activities in San Diego).

Not to say that the agricultural side of 4-H has been abandoned: Slow Food Urban San Diego had the pleasure of working with Henry Kraus, a local 4-H student committed to raising his pigs organically. He is learning about leadership, economics, and agriculture in his community in a big way: bucking the “conventional” model amongst the pressure of adults and peers to raise his pig non-organically must not have been easy! But he stuck to his guns and raised a beautiful healthy pig that fetched a price tag well above the conventionally raised pigs in his midst. As everyone who attended last months Pig Picking at Roots Community Kitchen, the outcome was delicious! Henry, leading by example, is in turn helping to educate other local farmers (or farmers-in-training) about the benefits of raising livestock organically. The four leaves of the 4-H clover (head, heart, hands, and health) are certainly being grown and nourished by such an effort.

Through the support of local 4-H programs here in San Diego we can assist our youth in fulfilling the 4-H pledge and subsequently set the stage for a healthier, kinder, and more educated foodie/farmer community:

I pledge my head to clearer thinking,
My heart to greater loyalty,
My hands to larger service,
and my health to better living,
for my club, my community, my country, and my world.

For more information about 4-H, check out their website.

 


Mama’s Kitchen Pies!

It’s not too late to help a great organization and enjoy some tasty Thanksgiving pies. Here’s the lowdown from Mama’s Kitchen’s Pies website:

Mama’s Kitchen’s Pie in the Sky Bake Sale Sells Thanksgiving Pies from October 1st through November 21st

Each November since 2005, dozens of San Diego restaurants, bakeries, and caterers donate thousands of pies that volunteers then sell to family, friends and colleagues. Delicious apple, pumpkin, pecan and no-sugar-added apple pies cost $20 each ($15 is tax deductible), providing over six hearty home-delivered meals to a Mama’s Kitchen client and a tasty Thanksgiving dessert to the buyer.

Mama’s Kitchen is the only organization that prepares and delivers free nutritious home-cooked meals for every day of the year throughout San Diego County to men, women and children affected by AIDS or cancer.

For more information and to order pies, go to Mamaspies.org.

Pig Pickin’ in Support of Organics in Local 4H Programming

Here are some photos from today’s tasty pig pickin’ at Roots Community Kitchen in Santee. Thanks Henry for raising such a delicious pig as well as raising awareness among your fellow 4H members about organic animal husbandry! And a round of applause for all the chefs and local beverage purveyors for cooking up and complementing all those pork dishes!