Archive for the ‘Local Food System’ Category

Local Montana Food Info Resources

Friday, January 11th, 2013

by Catherine Haug, January 11, 2013

It seems like things are really happening regarding local food sources in Montana and Western Montana. Here are just a few exciting projects:

If you are concerned about the future access to food, and food sustainability in our community, I urge you to become active in any/all of these projects. We may not always have Costco and Walmart.


Nutrient Decline in our Food Supply

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

by Catherine Haug, December 11, 2012

We all rely on the quality of our food to sustain us and keep us in good health. We trust that foods of vibrant color are rich in antioxidants and vitamins; for example, beets, oranges, carrots, cherries and berries. We trust that leafy greens with rich, dark color are rich in minerals, vitamins and bitters. We trust that fresh meats and dairy are rich in protein, essential oils, and vitamins.

But is our trust warranted? Certainly prior to the industrial age, that trust was well-placed. But modern agriculture is all about the bottom line, and food quality is often sacrificed in pursuit of that goal. Crops are treated with chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, and refreshed with contaminated waters. Animals are fed these inferior crops, and in many cases fed crops that are not their natural diet. All of this leads to nutritional deficiency in our foods.

Just how bad has it gotten? What can we do to reverse the trend? (more…)

Preparing for widespread drought

Saturday, August 11th, 2012

Dryland Farming-Palouse

by Catherine Haug, August 11, 2012

(Photo, right, from Wikipedia)

We’ve all heard about the disastrous drought in the high plains and midwest portions of our country – from Nebraska to Texas; Colorado to Kentucky. Just the other day, the Daily Interlake carried an article about the drying and heating up of rivers in Nebraska and Iowa, a problem that is cooking fish to death as the streams exceed 90° F.

While we haven’t yet felt the drought here in NW Montana (and the rest of the Pacific NW), that doesn’t mean that we won’t feel it in future years. Yes, it’s hard to look at the high water in our reservoirs and lakes, and think that a drought could happen. But our part of the state did experience drought during the dust bowl years.

As the drought conditions spread to more states, including ours, how will we cope? How will we feed and water our livestock? How will we nurture our gardens? Will our water supplies hold up? Where will our food come from? (more…)

Montana Co-op seeking new member-owners

Saturday, August 11th, 2012

by Catherine Haug, August 10, 2012

ESP’s July gathering was a presentation by Jason Moore about the Montana Co-op – A Virtual Farmers Market that promotes buying local food and Montana-made products through online access. While the Co-op is not yet ready for business, they are presently working on their on-line store/website and raising capital through new memberships and grants.  They hope to be up and running before the end of the year.

The Co-op’s intent is to provide access to fresh, local, affordable food – and Montana made products – to everyone in western Montana. Eventually they hope to encompass the entire state. But they cannot do this without member-owners who join now.

This project is about:

  • Montana people/businesses working with each other to improve the local economy and bring Montana products to Montana people;
  • Building a strong local and Montana community;
  • Creating Montana jobs; and
  • Feeding people and ensuring a sustainable food supply for all Montanans.

All of these points are consistent with ESP’s mission of building community and living sustainably. Read on for information on how to join, if this interests you. (more…)

Montana Co-op: Open to new Memberships

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

by Catherine Haug, June 20, 2012

The Montana Co-op is an online farmers market, for locally grown/produced food in Western Montana. In its last stage of development, the Co-op hopes to be operating by October 2012. I’ve added a link to their home page in the links column of our home page – scroll down to Food: Local/Organic Links and look for ‘Montana Co-Op‘.

We hope to have their steering committee make a presentation at one of our gatherings, soon, so stay tuned.

For more information about the co-op, see the Montana Co-Op Info files section, below. Or see Contact Info, below. For more information about organizational progress, read on.


Volunteer Code Writer Wanted

Friday, August 6th, 2010

by Catherine Haug

As I mentioned in a July newsletter, ESP would like to add a new feature to our website called The Stuff Exchange, to help our community members locate other community members who regularly have food stuffs or skills for sale or trade; for example, eggs, composted manure or yard work.

This directory of free listings would be for individuals and families, not for businesses.

Our blog format does not lend itself to such a directory, so we believe we would need to add new functionality to our site. None of us has the skills for this task, so we need the help of someone with development experience.

If you are interested, or know of someone who might be interested, please contact me: cat(at) (email address disguised for security).