This week’s Guests:
— BOB RANDALL of Urban Harvest on planting the seeds for food-growing
— JOSEPH GERSON on bases, bombs and empire
— BOB RANDALL of Urban Harvest, planting the seeds for food-growing
Monitor co-host Pokey Anderson welcomes our guest, Dr. Bob Randall, tonight, joining us live in our studio. He is executive director of Urban Harvest, which he founded in 1994.
We will talk with Bob about the intensely-local aspect of food growing and his group’s nurturing of area farmers (backyard and larger). On a macro level, Bob also can help us understand how world hunger relates to agricultural and trade policies. And, we’ll look at peak oil and how Houston can plan ahead for its future food supply.
Urban Harvest is the fourth largest community gardening program in North America. It is a local nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening communities through shared gardens and orchards, while promoting sustainable land use and earth-friendly, efficient, horticulture practices. Bob started with one community garden in 1987. Now, Urban Harvest works with more than 150 gardens in the Houston metropolitan area, including donation gardens, school gardens, and market farms and gardens.
Urban Harvest offers year-round classes on how to create community gardens and outdoor classrooms, how to grow fruit and vegetables organically, and how to use land in a sustainable manner.
An upcoming event for Urban Harvest will take place at their farmers market, Bayou City Farmers Market. Citrus Fest will be on two consecutive Saturdays, December 8 and December 15, 2007. Held at the peak of the citrus season in the Houston area, Citrus Fest will feature many varieties of locally-grown citrus fruit, including oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, satsumas, kumquats, limequats, limes, Meyer lemons, and other unusual citrus varieties that are not available in stores. “Citrus Professors” will be on hand to give information on how to grow your own citrus. Many varieties grow well in this area and are well-suited to backyard planting.
Next month, Urban Harvest’s annual Fruit Tree Sale will be held, January 19, 2008.
Bob is author of “Year Round Vegetables, Fruits, and Flowers for Metro Houston – A Natural Organic Approach Using Ecology.” It’s perhaps the best selling gardening book in Houston, now in its 11th edition and is widely recognized as the “bible” for vegetable and fruit gardening in the Greater Houston Area. Bob’s doctorate is in Ecological Anthropology, and he has lived in places like the edge of the Sahara Desert, and the Philippines. He was recognized in 2006 by St. Luke’s Episcopal Health Charities as the recipient of their Annual Community Leadership Award.
“If my contribution has been anything, it has been getting people to work together so they can see that their efforts make a difference,” Randall says, as he nears retirement early next year.
Year Round Vegetables, Fruits, and Flowers for Metro Houston – A Natural Organic Approach Using Ecology
Urban Harvest — http://www.urbanharvest.org
Saturday, December 8 and 15
8 am until noon, at the Bayou City Farmers Market
3000 Richmond at Eastside (between Kirby and Buffalo Speedway),
in the back parking lot behind the building.
TOP DOZEN VEGGIES TO PLANT IN HOUSTON:
Bob Randall’s top vegetables for Houston gardens are ‘Chioggia’ beets, ‘Nantes’ carrots, collard greens, cucumbers, green beans, lettuce, ‘Cream’ and ‘Sugar Snap’ peas, tomatoes, sweet corn and sweet potatoes. Let him add a fruit for a round dozen, and it will be ‘Ambrosia’ cantaloupes [Source: Brenda Beust Smith, Houston Chronicle].
VARIOUS FARMERS’ MARKETS IN HOUSTON:
Including central, Katy, and the Woodlands — http://tofga.org/index.php?page=22&idArticle=38:
— JOSEPH GERSON on bases, bombs and empire
Our second guest tonight will be DR. JOSEPH GERSON. Monitor co-host Mark Bebawi will discuss bases and empire with him, including the latest on US bases in Iraq.
His latest book, his fourth, is “Empire and the Bomb: How the U.S. Uses Nuclear Weapons to Dominate the World.” In it, he explains why atomic weapons were first built and used, and how the United States uses them today to preserve its global empire.
Dr. Gerson has served the American Friends Service committee since 1976 and is currently Director of Programs and Director of the Peace and Economic Security Program for the AFSC in New England. His program work focuses on challenging and overcoming U.S. global hegemony: its preparations for and threats to initiate nuclear war, and its military domination of the Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.
He has been involved in the U.S. justice and peace movements since the mid-1960s, when he became active on the margins of the Civil Rights Movement. As a Vietnam-era draft resister, he was Director of Arizonans for Peace and Field Representative for Clergy and Laity Concerned About Vietnam. Following the signing of the Paris Peace Accords, he joined the staff of the War Resisters’ International in London and Brussels, where he worked with extraordinary people who had resisted World War I, Nazi rule and occupations, leading figures from across the Middle East working for resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian and other regional conflicts, and with people who later launched the European nuclear disarmament movement of the 1980s. While in Europe, he served on the board of the International Confederation for Disarmament and Peace.
His work with AFSC has included helping to launch the nuclear freeze movement of the 1980s, preventing New England harbors from being transformed into nuclear weapons bases, helping to build the U.S. and global anti-bases and nuclear weapons abolition movements, and helping to create peace and anti-war coalitions in the Boston area, across New England, and to a lesser extent nationally and internationally.
His recent work has focused on ending the U.S. war and occupation in Iraq, preventing nuclear war and advancing the struggle for nuclear weapons abolition, and peaceful resolution of the U.S.-DPRK and U.S.-Iran nuclear confrontations. In association with Focus on Global South, he has worked to help launch the “No U.S. Bases” network, a network that includes more than 100 organizations in more than 40 countries. He is currently working with AFSC, Peace Action and the N.H. Council of Churches to influence the content of the 2008 presidential election – especially on U.S. nuclear weapons and war policies.
QUOTES by Joseph Gerson:
“With the media focused on Annapolis, little attention has been paid to an arrangement which will commit the next U.S. president to indefinitely maintaining a 50,000 strong U.S. foreign legion in Iraq. … Since shortly after the invasion, the U.S. has been building an infrastructure of permanent military bases — 14 in number — from which, over the long term, it can influence the political dynamics of Iraq and threaten military attacks against other oil-rich Middle East and Caspian Sea nations.” — November 28, 2007
“The threat [from Iran] is not to the U.S., but to its hegemony over the oil-rich Middle East.” — Speech to World Conference Against A&H Bombs,
Empire and the Bomb: How the U.S. Uses Nuclear Weapons to Dominate the World (March 2007)
LINKS to more speeches, etc. by Joseph Gerson:
“Planet Pentagon: How the Pentagon Came to Own the Earth, Seas, and Skies”
By Nick Turse
July 11, 2007
According to a previous Monitor guest, Chalmers Johnson,
the US military has 725 bases in 132 countries. In addition,
the US spends 37% of all the military money spent anywhere in the globe.