Uncategorized fhking_csa_garden08_1494

Published on September 27th, 2008 | by Shirley Siluk Gregory


It’s Harvest Time, UW-Madison-Style

Jeff Miller at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.)Volunteers with the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s F.H. King Students of Sustainable Agriculture have begun the fall harvest at their 30,000-square-foot organic plot on campus. The green beans are coming in and more crops are on their way until the end of the growing season.

The F.H. King group, which has been around since 1979, does a lot more than a little gardening, though. It also offers workshops, lectures and other programs aimed at improving “knowledge and policies relating to sustainable agriculture in our community.”

What does that mean? Check out some of the workshops the group has offered in the past: organic pest management, vegan chocolate, raw foods, composting/compost-bin construction and — here’s one that should attract even some non-ag-minded college students’ attention — beer brewing. The group’s also got future plans for new workshops on home canning, cover cropping, bee keeping and mead making.

Pretty cool — and increasingly useful, considering our world’s current shaky state of affairs — stuff to know.

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About the Author

Shirley Siluk Gregory, a transplanted Chicagoan now living in Northwest Florida, represents the progressive half of Green Options' Red, Green and Blue segment. She holds a bachelor's degree in Geological Sciences from Northwestern University but graduated in 1984, just when the market for geologists was flatter than the Florida landscape. Just as well, though: she had little interest in spending her life either in a laboratory or, heaven forbid, an oil field. So, of course, she went into journalism. After extremely low-paying but fun and educational stints at several suburban Chicago weeklies and dailies, Shirley and her then-boyfriend/now-husband Scott found themselves displaced by a media buyout and spending the next several years working as freelancers. Among their credits: The Chicago Tribune, a publication for the manufactured-housing industry, and Web Hosting Magazine, a now-defunct publication that came and went with the dotcom era. Shirley's always been concerned about nature and conservation (and an avid pack-rat, as her family can attest to), but became even more rabidly interested in the environment primarily due to two factors: the growing signs that global warming was real and threatening, and the birth of her son, Noah, in 2003. Suddenly, the prospect of a world that might not be quite as habitable in 40 or 50 years took on a whole new, and personal, meaning. Living where she lives now also helped light the fire of Shirley's environmental awareness: her hometown was severely damaged by Hurricane Ivan in 2004, and beaten up again by Hurricane Dennis in 2005. That, and the fact that she and her family were vacationing in New Orleans until the day before Katrina -- and spent 12 hours driving home for a trip that normally takes 3 -- has made Shirley deeply appreciate how fragile our lifestyles are, and how dependent they are on sound management of natural resources and sustainable living practices. That's why she's become a passionate reader and writer about all things green and sustainable.

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