Foods Resource Bank Blog

Angela's Travels

I am sitting in Filer, ID looking out across dormant fields of wheat to the snow white mountains beyond and wondering just how lucky I am to be here. I spent yesterday with Isaac Hooley, a young farmer who works alongside his family on Stoneybrook Farm. Isaac runs The Seasonal Basket, an organic CSA that provides fresh vegetables and fruit his customers throughout the summer. After a tour of the farm, I ducked inside the warm greenhouse to help transplant lettuce and felt blessed to be part of the process of bringing food to a strangers table this summer.

03/14/2012 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Have you thanked a farmer today?

Since starting with FRB a year ago, I have had the privilege and pleasure of meeting farmers from around the globe.  Last week I wrote about my time spent in Filer, ID where I helped transplant lettuce and learned about growing wheat seed. I visited a small greenhouse operation that used hot spring water to heat the house in the cold Idaho winter. They grew micro-greens in one house and had citrus and even bananas in the other.

03/12/2012 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Kelsey Reflects on Her Recent Visit with Frate Sole Olive Oil


Last month FRB staff, board directors, and some volunteers traveled to out to the West Coast to the Sacramento area. There were two purposes for this trip: first was to hold a board meeting and second was to explore the potential for growing project development on the west coast.
Before I left, I was told that in Northern California they grow a lot of rice. Being from the Midwest, this sounded exotic and exciting … and it was. As my plane circled closer black fields of rich soil and glassy water stretched out all directions. The air often has a musty tang of rotting stalks and wet soil. As we drove north out of Sacramento toward the university town of Chico the rice fields continued but their vast darkness was punctuated by orchards clustered on alternating sides of the road. Being January, none of the orchards had leaves so brown dormant skeletons stood in row after row. Some were tall and majestic with spreading branches and some were short, stubby and sparse while others were twisted and rough barked.

03/05/2012 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Recipe of the Month: Stone Soup

From time to time, FRB comes across some amazing recipes from around the U.S. and World.   So, we decided to share them with our supporters.  Starting today, FRB will kick off the first weekend of each month with a yummy recipe we have learned in our travels.  

Our first recipe is for Bolivian Stone Soup.  We expected this to be the type of "stone soup" in the fairy tale for which a person starts boiling stones in the public square, and people, feeling sorry for him/her, bring whatever they have to add to it: a community effort.  These stones are to keep the soup hot and finish cooking.  Interesting!

03/01/2012 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

How to make "BOCASHI". Give it a try!

FRB visitors on a recent trip to Guatemala worked side by side with program participants to make an organic fertilizer called "bocashi" that they could use on their fields and in their greenhouses. Want to give it a try on your vegetable garden?  Here are the recipe and instructions. 


Bocashi is a solid fertilizer for soil only. It was created in Japan, and Bocashi is the surname of the person who invented it.

02/29/2012 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

"...But, what about pigs?"

Vernon Sloan has always self-identified as “just an old pig farmer from Williams County, OH.”  He and his wife, Carol, have been deeply involved with Foods Resource Bank (FRB) since its inception, as visionaries, planners, growing project leaders, and board directors.  They’ve also joined FRB on visits to program communities in the developing world, and are heartened by the many ways FRB “grows lasting solutions to hunger.”  

As FRB grew and its overseas programs began to include small animals – rabbits, goats and chickens for their potential for a fast turnaround on protein – Vernon would occasionally ask, “But, what about pigs?”

Well, several of FRB’s programs (in Colombia, Serbia, and Nicaragua, to name a few) now include improved pigs, often crossing them with native animals to combine improved red meat production with the hardiness of local breeds.  The local communities make the decision, when appropriate, to include pigs.  FRB, its implementing member organizations and their in-country partners provide training and access to the improved breeds.  In the Colombia-Sincelejo program, Durocky Landran pigs offer less fat, increased length and lean muscling.

02/27/2012 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

You are invited to Join FRB in Angola

Angola…now that is a country you don’t hear too much about. Part of what I love about FRB is our member’s willingness to work in difficult contexts, in places many of us have to look up on a map to truly know where it is. Honestly, I have yet to meet anyone that has Angola on their top ten list of places to visit before they die. That could be because most of the people I know don’t speak Portuguese, the national language of Angola, or perhaps because it was recently in the throes of a long civil war.

02/14/2012 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

The power of food

I watched a program this week that reminded me of the power of food.  The program is a travel show that documents the trip of a British chef, Jamie Oliver, who explores the US by seeking out the food and tastes of the local areas he visits.  This particular episode took him to the Navajo reservation in Arizona.  The community has been struggling to find a way to combat a high rate of obesity and diabetes, especially amongst the younger members of their community.  One way that they have been trying to combat these trends is to try and encourage the younger generation to once again become familiar with the traditional recipes.  This program only gave a quick glimpse into this world, but it showed that as the community came together over the planting of crops and the preparation of the traditional foods the community was becoming aware of ways to be healthier and was keeping alive cultural traditions that were generations old.

02/13/2012 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

With Dignity

A couple of years back, FRB had guests from our development programs traveling with staff and host families here in the US. We were having farmers and staff members of our in-country partners in the US for 10 days to visit a few of our community projects and participate in two significant events in the state of Iowa, the Iowa Hunger Summit and the World Food Prize.

02/10/2012 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Reflections from an Airport

It was 4 a.m. on a springlike day in February and I was in a taxi on my way to the airport, bound for one of my trips overseas. Following our exchange of “Good Mornings” and his confirmation that my destination was the airport, it was too dark to see the face of my driver as I sleepily wondered about his accent.

We rode in silence for several minutes before he spoke. “You have very heavy bags. Are you going to Africa?”

02/06/2012 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More