Nov 232011

Abolish the death penalty

We are writing to witness our opposition to the Death Penalty and, in particular, our revulsion at the recent execution of Troy Davis by Georgia officials who refused to grant a re-trial when new circumstances came to light that made his guilt extremely doubtful. Quaker Testimonies on peace and justice strongly oppose the death penalty and all other cruel, degrading and irrevocable acts of vengeance by the State.

Criminologists and others who have seriously studied crime and criminal justice systems agree that among the primary purposes of a criminal justice system are: (i) the restoration of victims, (ii) the rehabilitation of wrong-doers, and, (iii) the deterrence of future crimes. It has been conclusively found that the death penalty contributes to none of these purposes. Continue reading »

Oct 262011

The case of the Gilo Black Stem

By BOB McKinley

I’m a restless gardener, and a bit of a dilettante in the vegetable patch. I get bored growing the same things year after year, and with the exception of some tried and true heirlooms like Sara Black tomatoes, I’m always looking for something exotic to shake things up. So in the cold and gloom of deep winter, when the gardening itch is just starting to stir from its hibernation, I scour the seed catalogs for vegetable inspiration. My wife calls it Garden Porn. I’ve found heirloom treasures that originate from all over the world. Belarus, Sri Lanka, Korea, Russia, India, and a host of vegetables from right here in the good old USA.

Last winter a seed saving acquaintance from Pennsylvania contacted me about a rare African eggplant she had come across.  Being aware of my propensity for the unusual, she wanted to give me first crack at the seeds. The eggplant was called Gilo Black Stem and purportedly originated from Uganda. She described it as tasting similar to cooked carrots. An eggplant that tastes like carrots? Sign me up. Continue reading »

Jul 282010

Vacant Lot on N. Lime starting to grow

NoC News

Danny Mayer

"Beans are coming on soon.Pick anytime."

Slowly but surely things are starting to take off at the In Feed garden located on the 500 block of North Limestone next to the liquor store on Sixth Street. The bush beans planted by seed in the early days of June have begun to come on. People are already picking them. Two of the tomato plants succumbed to blight. The others, planted as small seedlings less than two months ago at the same time as the beans, are still small, but they’re all starting to set flowers, and some are producing fruit. An Italian heirloom zucchini and an avocado squash have been added, and both are prospering. Wood mulch now fully surrounds the growing plants.

The vacant-lot garden here was established less than two months ago as one of a series of garden projects for the group In-Feed. The group is one of a growing number of local gardening activist organizations that have begun to form during the past couple of years. In-Feed uses gardening as a tool for making under-used urban spaces more productive. It wants both to viscerally point out how little of urban space is used and to offer productive models for putting all that waste—private residential green space, vacant lots, business properties, church grounds, alleyways, sidewalk easements and city parks—back into use. Continue reading »