System Logic

“The underlying reason industrial agriculture cannot meet humanity’s food needs is that its system logic is one of disassociated parts, not interacting elements. It is thus unable to register its own self-destructive impacts on nature’s regenerative processes. Industrial agriculture, therefore, is a dead end.”

Local Futures, “Farming for a Small Planet”

image via


Song Circle

January Song CircleThis week marks the return of our Tuesday Night Song Circle here at Common Ground.

We’re excited to see your faces again.

In the time between Circles we put up and took down our holiday tree, co-hosted a holiday potluck with the Organic Produce Club, baked a few dozen cookies, served a few hundred lunches, enjoyed an entire week off, and rang in a whole new year.

Now we’re ready to play some tunes.

We’ll be gathering at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, January 9, in the Common Ground dining room.

Consider yourself invited.

Natural Farming

“Natural farming practitioners stress that the aim of natural farming is not to regenerate the health of the soil, but simply to cultivate a good relationship between human beings and nature, and to allow nature to decide how how best to grow crops. The result of this is that nature is allowed to enact its biological regenerative abilities, with limited help or interference from human beings.

This is an important distinction to be understood, because most natural farmers work with the belief that once you purposefully aim to restore the health of the soil through your own human logic (eg: without proper input and direction from nature itself) you have already begun on a path to destroying the health of the environment.”

Final Straw: Food, Earth, Happiness

Soup to Go


thai red curry soup cropped

Soup to go!

Our refrigerated, ready-to-heat soup will be available for purchase in the café beginning next Tuesday, January 9, and you can start reserving this week.

Available by the pint or quart, sold in glass canning jars, these soups will keep up to a week in your fridge. Enjoy them as soup, or serve them over rice or other grains for a heartier meal. Gluten-free, always vegan.

We’ll make one soup each week to start. Here’s what’s on offer for January: Continue reading “Soup to Go”

Cheap Food is an Illusion

“Cheap food is an illusion. There is no such thing as cheap food. The real cost of the food is paid somewhere. And if it isn’t paid at the cash register, it’s charged to the environment or to the public purse in the form of subsidies. And it’s charged to your health.”

Michael Pollan

On Holiday

kettles 2The kitchen is on holiday. The ovens are off, the pots are shelved. Plans are being made for the new year. Next week, in other words, and the weeks after.

Is it winter where you are? We have a little snow here and there, not much, just granular white bits on the edges of rooftops, along the sides of the roads.

We are closing out our first year of serving lunches as Common Ground Kitchen. We managed to do a lot this year. We served more than 3600 of plates of food. What? Lots of it local, much of organic, all of it vegan, fresh, made-from-scratch. Continue reading “On Holiday”


“(Y)our commitment is yours to make, and you can make the deepest commitment with a total detachment about where it will take you. You want it to lead to a better world, and you shape your actions and take full responsibility for them, but then you have detachment. And that combination of deep passion and deep detachment allows me to take on the next challenge, because I don’t cripple myself, I don’t tie myself in knots. I function like a free being. I think getting that freedom is a social duty because I think we owe it to each not to burden each other with prescription and demands. I think what we owe each other is a celebration of life and to replace fear and hopelessness with fearlessness and joy.”

Vandana Shiva

Able and Willing

“Our present ideas of conservation and of public stewardship are not enough. Duty is not enough. Sentiment is not enough. No mere law, divine or human, could conceivably be enough to protect the land while we are using it.

“If we want the land to be cared for, then we must have people living on and from the land who are able and willing to care for it.”

Wendell Berry
“Private Property and the Common Wealth,” 1995

Small Scale, Big Impact

Glenway Street Farm, Boston. Photo credit: Urban Farming Institute

Boston urban farm innovator Glynn Lloyd helped turn vacant lots into commercial market gardens.

It started with a drive through his urban neighborhood.

While driving down Harold Street on the way to my cousin’s house, I noticed a vacant lot on my left and then, just a block down, I saw two large vacant lots on my right. At the end of Harold Street—right before Howland Street—stood a huge half-acre vacant lot. (…) Later that week, intrigued at the amount of vacant space, I walked the streets and tallied approximately 1.5 acres of land sitting vacant among the homes and apartment buildings.

Continue reading “Small Scale, Big Impact”