"He who knows what sweets and virtues are
in the ground, the waters, the plants, the
heavens, and how to come at these
enchantments, is the rich and royal man."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

What the World Eats in a Week:

A Dollar A Day! $1/person/day

A Dollar A Day!  $1/person/day
We were blown away by all the Coke and other multi-national labels in the hungry planet video clip above that seemed to permeate the tables and kitchens all over the world! It would appear us Earthlings can't live without our sugar water (or make that high fructose corn syrup water). Our backdrop is the only Pepsi you'll see in this month's photos. Aleli has nicknamed this old half of a tin sign, " Food Shortage".

Friday, August 15

Hot off the French Press

Wake up sleepy head! It's time for free joe. A single serve coffee packet from one of our summer hotel stays worked out great in our french press.

Aleli (aka "Sunrise Medusa") starts the morning line up of baked apple on piping hot oatmeal.

Free apples from the elementary school community garden are an ideal match for our .07 cent a serving meal. A little half and half plus some cinnamon........ all I can say is this dish says yes to me!

So free lunch does exist after all. And this is what it looks like. Kelly, a food worker for the school system, says that the city has offered a grant for this service for the second year now. It's called "seamless summer". It's great for all the workers since they don't have to seek temporary summer employment and great for the 50 or so kids they serve each day per location. It turns out they also serve up breakfast every morning for free. Pop tarts and cereal and muffins. Who knew?

These free lunches get served in the park adjacent to the school. It's a great setting for food, conversation and fun. This city park fills their wading pool just in time to enjoy a good cool down with lunch. The boys hang out pool side with their free chow.

Everyone takes in the easy setting.

The anatomy of a free lunch. Up close and personal we see that sometimes you get what you pay for. And sometimes you luck out. The other ....customers.... told us that the turkey sandwiches were the best and that you could make a pretty decent frozen treat with the chocolate milk. Most of the lunches were just fine, but there were a couple rough spots here and there. We'll let the pictures do the talkin' this time. Look nice and close now.

Since the park was next to the school, and we were still buzzing from our apple find of yesterday, we headed back to the school gardens with our basket.

Inside the apple tree.

Notice all the fruit rot on the ground. A worker walked by to make sure every one was safe while climbing and to press the point that the principal welcomes all to pick freely. The kids found and explored this holey pumpkin on a nearby table. We all learned that rollie polies eat pumpkin. Never knew that before!

We also found some great big wild mushrooms growing in the parking lot, but, not being able to identify them, left them on the ground. One of Aleli's favorite websites for learning about and growing edible and medicinal mushrooms is http://www.fungi.com/. Also, if you've got a half hour to spare one day and would like to know how mushrooms could help save the planet, click on this link http://fungi.com/mycotech/index.html and watch the two videos of the genius mycologist, Paul Stamets. He is on the cutting edge of his field. (Stick through the first several minutes, it gets more and more interesting as it progresses!)

Here is the washing station the school has set up for kids to wash their community garden fruits and veggies. We are quite impressed with the great care this school has taken to make everything kid centered, clean, safe and nourishing.

Kayland, above, enjoys some fresh grapes by the mural in the lunch area of campus where squash and other edibles climb out toward the tables. Kayland and her brothers, Dion and Karon, helped us pick apples and we helped them pick grapes and sunflower seeds. Thanks guys! Really sweet kids!

Here are some of the fruit trees the third graders have planted just outside the classroom doors. EVERY school in America should do this! It is childsplay, science, and P.E. all rolled into one.

In all the excitement over getting to the free lunch on time, we sorta locked the keys in the car. Ooopsy. All turned out well though. Within minutes a triple A service (AAA) was able to free our keys and we were back on the road.

On our way home we spotted two of our favorite locals chatting on a city bench in front of the Grille. James urged Aleli to offer them some fresh fruit from our basket. She was ready to get out of the sun, but can rarely resist these two lovely people when she comes across them in town. As we chatted about local gardens and the origins of these fruits, a total stranger came up to Aleli to ask her if he could buy one of her apples that she was selling. He was shocked to find that they were not in fact for sale. Mind boggling to any modern consumer no doubt! We all made a new friend with the singer from Alabama (Ben), and traded secrets about where the best hidden fruit trees were in town. Ray, above, accepted Aleli's offer of free freshly picked fruit..... but got two for the price of one...... at first. He chose two apples that were stuck together on a tiny branch, but, being a good and fair soul, traded them for a store bought "tentation" apple that he literally pulled from his ( iconic ) straw hat. We gave his apple a mini patty pan squash hat so it would look like him. teehee. We love Ray! You'll probably be seeing him again in the days to follow.

In the evening our three oldest left for a weekend with some family. So it was just Papa, Mama and Baby J at home for a movie and simple pasta dinner. We celebrated the half way mark with of this experiment with a small glass of heart healthy $1.99 wine ( yes..... it WAS Charles Shaw Merlot aka "two buck chuck" for those of you wondering.....and not half bad at that ). We rarely drink wine and found it interesting that a bottle was less expensive than most beverages in the whole store including grape juice. Makes you wonder?? We then took a quick venture into town to take in some live music.

Today's meals came to a total of $4.85

More "pressing" matters:

Tomorrow an article about our experiment comes out in the Claremont Courier. Keep an eye out for it. We'll post a link. There is a photo gallery on the link, but the article will be in the actual paper for a few days before it makes its way onto the website. Make sure to pick up a copy if you get the chance.


Tomorrow we'll be "checking in" again to keep you up to date on what we've spent so far and what we've learned....... Pressing on

A food for thought video. A must see for all! Enjoy!

And now a word on organics. "Grocery Store Wars"

Food, Glorious Food!

A Dollar a Day is all it takes: Plumpy' Nut...... a life saver.....please watch and think