This week I will be attending the Society of Environmental Journalists Annual Conference in Palo Alto, California, http://www.sej.org/. This five-day meeting is one of the best for meeting people and learning about what's happening professionally.
Thursday is tour day, bringing journalists out to sites in the field, from Monterey Bay Aquarium to kayaking on Elkhorn Slough. I'll be visiting fields in the Salinas Valley on the "Our Nation's Salad Bowl: Who Washed the Dishes?" tour. The site describes it as: California serves up the bulk of our country's produce, with commercial vegetables traveling an average of 1,500 miles from farm to table. It's lovely to enjoy a Caesar salad in a Manhattan restaurant while a winter Nor'easter blows mightily outside, but at what cost? Peak oil, climate change, food-borne illness, childhood obesity, world trade and more, all connect to dietary choices and food production and distribution. Come with us as we explore California's food system on both a grand and intimate scale and talk with farmers, foodies and scientists about what's working and what needs fixing. We'll even enjoy some of the produce that made the Salinas Valley famous for its bountiful harvests (and E. coli problem) with salads for lunch at a local eatery.
This tour will give me the opportunity to learn more and to be a resource on small flock poultry raising. I will continue to blog from there as well as blog to the SEJ's site, http://agahran.typepad.com/sej2007/2007/08/nytimes-andy-re.html.