Saturday, August 27, 2011

'Farmageddon' at the Roosevelt 2.0 in Ybor City, Tampa last night

 This was my first visit to the Roosevelt 2.0, an open airy space teeming with creative, energetic, positive-minded people dedicated to recycling a formerly condemned century old red brick building into a nexus of hope and activism. A fresh juice bar, creative art work, solar LED lights, and the various farm and garden-related vendors sharing their wares and knowledge, often for free, created a great social setting for meeting enjoyable, interesting people as we awaited the movie. As to the art, I love the huge human brain sculpture upstairs constructed of chickenwire...genius in conception and execution. The massive paintings drew me in with their evocative content and symmetries.

 We nibbled goat cheese dishes on crackers prepared by 'Dancing Goat' Pam Lunn who raises and milks the goats, chunks of a smoked pig leg, microgreens and I inhaled a huge $5 burrito that was superb, plus a delightful young man with Mother's Organics gave me a plastic bucket of probiotic compost to innoculate my own compost with. I enjoyed the aquariums in the expansive front windows, stocked with gambusia minnows, what looked to be native iris, and lush forests of algae. All that glass offers much potential for indoor gardening and air purification. Light poured in from the street until sundown for a relaxing ambience as the movie began.

 I liked 'Farmageddon' for it arousing ire about people in "the land of the free" being denied basic healthy food choices for themselves and their families due to extreme harassment of small family farms, especially those offering living dairy foods, while dead food and Monsanto get subsidized with tax payer dollars. I enjoyed seeing the iconoc Joel Salatin, inspirational, informative and funny as always, beaming on his thriving Polyface Farm. To see armed police and sheriffs and SWAT people, guns drawn, occupying homes and private co-ops then seizing the foods, at times under false pretense, as in the case with the couple raising sheep for milk, made me livid. I don't think it intended to offer specifics about farming or resisting these shocking raids non-violently, just to let folks what sheer hell that these farmers are being put through and get you pissed off...worked on me!

  I will be offering my skills and ideas to these good folks at Roosevelt 2.0 as their passion and positive focus is refreshing and inspiring at a time when social awareness and activism strikes me, as a fifty eight year old hippie environmentalist who protested the Vietnam War, has having been at a low ebb for too long now. Brian and Ryan told us all of planned changes involving agriculture incorporated into the building itself, aquaculture, further reduction in energy use, and more that I feel certain will be exciting for the Tampa area community to both witness and contribute to.


1 comment:

  1. John,
    I took my first class from you today. What an inspiration. I almost felt guilty sucking up your hard-won knowledge about growing your own food. I was completely inspired and thrilled. Thank you! The Roosevelt would be lucky to have you.