Thursday, June 16, 2005

Still kicking/toward a more robust Bitter Greens

Bitter Greens Journal has entered a period of dormancy, laid low by intensive time demands from Maverick Farms.

We're just putting the finishing touches on a massive overhaul of our farmhouse kitchen and bathrooms, designed to streamline our cooking activities and boost our agritourism operation. Amid the chaos of the remodel we're gearing up for our first farm dinners of the season, June 25 and 26, five-course feasts for 30-35 at the farmhouse. Meanwhile, we're farming like mad, supplying local chefs with greens, running our 11-share community-supported agriculture (CSA) operation, and maintaining our weekly stand of veggies and baked goods at the farmers market in Boone.

Along with harvesting comes maintenance--weeding, pest control, staking tomatoes, as well as planting new beds for our succession-planting schemes.

That, along with the odd off-farm freelance-writing job and two trips to visit ailing family members, has left little time for research-heavy blogging.

Toward a more robust Bitter Greens
Yet the dream of creating an excellent sustainable-ag web site burns bright. I envision a site brimming with information for farmers, consumers, even scholars and journalists. Blistering critiques of industrial ag alongside tales from this farm and others. Reports from farmers markets and farms around the country and world. Bite-size news morsels alongside tightly written essays, personal and otherwise. I'd like BGJ to become a Freedom of Information Act machine, exposing the government's role in shaping the allegedly free market that's ruining our food system and the world's. And a corporate scourge, taking a sharp pencil to proxy statements and annual reports.

The vision sounds ambitious, to put it gently, given all that's happening on the farm. But I have a plan: I've groped for the ever-elusive way forward, and found it (I think): collaboration.

In short, I need help. First of all, I need an HTML maverick to help design a more flexible site (clearly, away from blogger) and set up new features like perpetually updating news feeds. I need far-flung correspondents passionate about local food willing to write about issues in their area. I need... well, anyone interested in collaborating on this project is invited to contact me at

Meanwhile, there are posts percolating in my fevered brain, which I hope to find time to deliver soon—realistically not until after farm-dinner weekend.

And now, to the field, to the soil, from whence all of our sustenance, sustainable and otherwise.


Blogger T Kemp said...

I'm glad to see your still out there, and even happier to hear that you intend to grow the site.

I appreciate your writings on the food industry and related issues. I wish I could offer help, but tech guru and knowledgeable food correspondent aren't part of my resume.

Thomas Kemp

6/16/2005 10:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Nadir said...

Do your thing, Tom! Your blog is always informative and I look forward to your growth.

I'm also looking forward to sampling those greens around harvest time.

6/19/2005 04:03:00 PM  
Blogger Zurma said...

Hi, Tom;

Try this guy. He does non-profits and 'good for the community' commercial sites at cost. Even sets up the ad revenue to cover that cost permanently.

He's in Iredell County, but covers all of NC.

Keep pluggin' in any case. Someday we'll all get to live like Maverick Farms -- whether we want to or not!


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