James Carr Discusses The Jig Is Up & Local Food Movement

»Posted by on Dec 3, 2014 in Blog, Featured | 0 comments

I recently saw the documentary Occupy The Farm and linked up with executive producer Steve Brown. He connected me with an associate of his, Jonny, to film my reaction to their film, which you can check out here.

After the interview, Jonny asked me a few questions about The Jig Is Up, local food, sustainability and community in the Atlanta area. We sent Jonny along some photos from our forthcoming documentary and he was kind enough to put together the following video.

Much love!

Buy The Jig Is Up: How Georgia Can Lead the Way Towards a Sustainable Future eBook on Amazon today.

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Russell Brand’s Revolution Meets The Jig Is Up

»Posted by on Oct 27, 2014 in Blog, Books, Featured | 0 comments

Russell Brand announced via Twitter he would read chapters from his book Revolution at the legendary Strand bookstore in Manhattan in October 14. As one of the first people profiled in The Jig Is Up for his legendary interview with Jeremy Paxman, and a particular inspiration for writing it, I was eager to see what Brand had to say about the coming revolution.

Before his reading, I managed to speak with him for a few minutes, showed him The Jig Is Up and managed to open it to the exact page in which I introduced him in chapter 2 “The System” — the same title he gives the consolidation of power between finance, government, media and food. It clicked for him, and he turned to his cameraman and said “Oi, he’s written a book about Ol’ Russ!”

“It’s a book about the revolution, inspired by Ol’ Russ,” I replied.

He laughed and gave me a hug. “I’m gonna tell everyone about this,” he said. The following video was shortly after.

Here is a video of the entire show from Strand.

 

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The Jig Is Up: Back Cover

»Posted by on Sep 3, 2014 in Blog, Books, Featured | 0 comments

We jig-headerare controlled by those who control our food. As self reliance withers on the vine, dependence and addiction blossoms and the board room, the new world opiate of the people, fattens corporate purses. In a mad, mad world, nothing makes sense in our own back yards.

People are divided… corporations united. The political system obeys power, of which the people have little.

Solutions start with a simple question: who grows your food?

The Jig Is Up begins with this question and expands beyond the dinner table to wealth inequality, rising healthcare epidemics, systematic racism and taking back political power through a world fueled by self reliance and strong communities committed to sustainability first and foremost.

Author James Carr spent 14 months researching the local food movement in Atlanta and the surrounding rural areas, along with the lack of progress in sustainable energy, to determine how the region could lead the way towards a self reliance that, if understood and followed, may reshape the globe and save our world.

Independent artists, scientists, teachers, farmers and chefs around the world change the dynamic of corporate greed by thwarting the system, harnessing the power of the internet to share their knowledge and creations. As financial, media and political institutions continue failing the people, these local voices speak truths the people can relate to, understand and benefit from.

The Jig Is Up hopes to be the first of many voices detailing what can be done in metropolises around the world. Each landscape is different; each has its own story. We invite you to read and get a taste of some good, Southern living from Atlanta, rid your life of corporate addictions and join the sustainable revolution taking place in the Underground.

BUY YOUR COPY OF THE JIG IS UP HERE

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Trailer: The Pastures of Rose Creek

»Posted by on Aug 27, 2014 in Blog, Featured | 0 comments

Check out the following trailer for The Jig Is Up documentary, featuring William Powers, manager of the Pastures of Rose Creek in Watkinsville, GA.

 

BUY YOUR COPY OF THE JIG IS UP HERE

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Planting SEEDS For A Better Future

»Posted by on Aug 7, 2014 in Blog, Featured | 0 comments

This is an excerpt from my series on local farming and sustainability for NorthFulton.com. Several paragraphs and quotes from these columns are taken directly from the book The Jig Is Up, which you can pre-order below via IndieGoGo.

Georgia is the perfect place to set an example for how a state can work with communities to provide their own food and energy.

SEEDS Global is one of the participants making a change. The nonprofit hopes their projects will bring healthy food to people living in Atlanta’s inner city. Their motto is: “One house, one garden; one community, one farm.”

“Atlanta has a great climate for growing food, but it’s one of the biggest food deserts in the country,” said Todd Mitchell, Alpharetta resident and founder of SEEDS Global. “With all the available space here, it doesn’t make sense.”

SEEDS Global aims to transform lower-income housing into an urban food paradise that hopes to supply its own energy, as well as help area schools plant gardens and grow hydroponic produce.

The hydroponic systems grow food without soil, often under grow lights.

Mitchell made significant progress after he met David Kessler of Atlantis Hydroponics.

After expressing interest in hydroponics and aquaponics, Kessler connected Mitchell with “The Hunger Games” movie producers. Kessler had installed 35 hydroponic towers at the Atlanta set.

Those towers now belong to SEEDS Global.

“We’re planning on building a mall for nonprofits that help inner-city communities,” Mitchell said. “We don’t want to do it all. We want to partner with everybody.”

Mitchell’s plan is rooted in his belief that success is dependent upon collaboration, not competition. Mitchell says more people rising above the poverty level and becoming independent is better than fewer people earning more while the rest lack opportunity, funding and, most importantly, healthy food.

To continue reading, please visit NorthFulton.com.

 

BUY YOUR COPY OF THE JIG IS UP HERE

 

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Trailer: The Jig Is Up

»Posted by on Aug 1, 2014 in Blog, Featured | 0 comments

Here is a quick trailer for our upcoming documentary, featuring Rashid Nuri of Truly Living Well in Atlanta. We hope to bring this documentary to the public as soon as possible. Please donate to our IndieGoGo campaign to help make it happen, and be sure to buy a copy of The Jig Is Up.

 

BUY YOUR COPY OF THE JIG IS UP HERE

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VIDEO: Truly Living Well in Atlanta

»Posted by on Jul 22, 2014 in Blog, Featured | 0 comments

Rashid Nuri was one of the first people I spoke to in preparing to write the book about the sustainable revolution.

Nuri is the founder of Truly Living Well that owns 10 plots around the city of Atlanta, all dedicated to gardening.

Some plots are small, others are large enough to sustain a market. TLW provides CSAs for local neighborhoods as well as educational opportunities for kids.

TLW also offers a degree in urban agriculture for adults.

It’s all a part of Nuri’s vision. He believes our salvation is in the soil, that Atlanta is poised to grow new cities, new economies and new ways of life.

You will get to meet Nuri in the book as well as the documentary associated with this movement, but his 2013 TED Talk is very inspirational and paints a beautiful picture of the future. Take a listen and see what you think.

 

BUY YOUR COPY OF THE JIG IS UP HERE

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Gardening Eliminates Corruption

»Posted by on Jul 22, 2014 in Blog, Featured | 0 comments

This is an excerpt from my series on local farming and sustainability for NorthFulton.com. Several paragraphs and quotes from these columns are taken directly from the book The Jig Is Up, coming this Fall.

For the next generation to create a separation between the people on Main Street and the people on Wall Street — or for that matter, Capitol Hill – we need to grow more of our own food locally alongside an independent, sustainable energy system. Without bureaucracy, corporate subsidies and an inefficient welfare system, we can be free to make genuine choices and have a positive impact on our community.

It won’t just appear — it will take years to grow. But we must start somewhere.

Any garden is a great place to start, because it immediately removes you from the big government, big oil arrangement to ship subpar food thousands of miles across the country and the world.

This arrangement leads to big money for big business. That business corrupts our political system, as companies spend part of their excess profits buying congressmen or hiring them as lobbyists when they lose an election.

More than half of our of so-called representatives in Congress are millionaires, and 50 percent go on to take lobbying jobs that pay an average of 1,456 percent better than public service compared to just 3 percent of politicians who became lobbyists in 1974.

This arrangement, along with armies of lobbyists, paves the way for massive tax breaks for big oil and big farmers, hidden costs behind our decision to buy from chain grocers or to eat fast food, making food appear cheaper on the shelves because the money has already been taken out of our paychecks.

To continue reading, please visit NorthFulton.com.

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Amana Academy Gets Hands-On With Gardening

»Posted by on Jul 15, 2014 in Blog, Featured | 0 comments

This is an excerpt from my series on local farming and sustainability for NorthFulton.com. Several paragraphs and quotes from these columns are taken directly from the book The Jig Is Up, coming this Fall. 

Students at Amana Academy get to know their food.

The future of the sustainable revolution isn’t really up to us. At worst, we can get in the way and try to slow down the momentum. At best, we can help put the next generation in a position to thrive.

This process is taking place in schools throughout North Fulton.

Amana Academy – a relatively new charter school, which occupies a former grocery store – is one of the schools taking their own measures to improve the viability of the farm-to-school movement.

Amana doesn’t have the resources of a private school, nor do they have the power of associating with public school funding.

Though they still have to follow the guidelines set out by city and state governments, Amana is often squeezed into a place where they have to get creative in order make strides toward their goal of providing fresh, local food for their students – a goal established in the early planning stages of the school itself.

“There’s just a lot of red tape that you have to go through,” said Ehab Jaleel, executive director at Amana Academy. “They don’t make it easy. From a pricing perspective, there’s limits as to how much we can charge for certain things, and as a charter school, we’re not a big bulk buyer, so we’re kind of being squeezed into a place that makes it difficult to do what we want to do.”

This difficulty became a source of frustration for institutional advancement specialist and leader of the Gardening Club Niki Fox. One day, she wanted to improve the frontage of the school with useful plants.

“Niki came up to me and said, ‘We’ve got a bunch of bushes in the front yard, can we just get rid of them all?'” Jaleel said. “Because I want to use that as a starting point for the garden.”

Shortly after, she did exactly that as a part of Amana’s farm-to-school expedition program. In this program, students visit local farms, discuss where their food comes from and study the entire food process.

This year, the process had even deeper meaning for the students.

“This year, they were actually able to plant it, grow it, harvest it, make salads and eat them, and really see that process from seed to table,” said Fox. “It was really powerful for them to see what they did and watch it grow, to understand how much work goes into that. To actually get to eat the fruits of their labor was really rewarding.”

They also hope to open the eyes of a few parents, too. The garden is right in front of the building, immediately in front of the drop-off and pick-up zone. Jaleel, a former marketing executive at Coke, likened it to certain types of marketing that break through norms and capture people’s attention for the sheer fact that isn’t not supposed to be there.

“When [parents] see it, that’s when they become engaged,” said Jaleel. “When I see it on television, I see it at Wills Park, but here, it’s interrupting you. It’s right there. You have to force people to see it in unexpected areas.”

To continue reading, visit NorthFulton.com.

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Stop Giving Your Money To Billionaires

»Posted by on Jul 9, 2014 in Blog, Featured | 0 comments

Wealth inequality managed to get some attention from the mainstream media shortly before Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine. Since then, we’ve had non-stop coverage of the invasion, a missing plane, the terrorists taking over Syria and Iraq (though little mention of the fact that the situation is almost entirely the fault of the US military-industrial complex), and, of course, where LeBron James will play basketball next season.

Despite all the coverage, we still have almost no clue what happened to the plane, what will happen in Ukraine, Syria or Iraq, and even less about where LeBron will take his talents. It’s all a rouse designed to keep the people distracted from things like wealth inequality, something we actually know quite a bit about and know how to fix it.

The chart below shows how just ten multi-national corporations control almost every processed food item we purchase–meaning any time you buy any of these products, one of ten corporations takes a cut. Throw in the fact that these ten companies put 263.7 million tons of carbon emissions into the atmosphere just to ship all that food, and you realize that oilmen get a cut of every purchase we make.

As we complain about wealth inequality, we give our money to the resource-controlling elite every time we go to a grocery store.

We give our money to the resource-controlling elite every time we go to a grocery store. (Click to enlarge)

 

We must stop shopping at grocery stores because it hurts our environment, weakens our democracy by allowing the resource-controlling elite greater financial sway over our politicians and is worse for our health.

Instead we must shop at farmer’s markets and create neighborhood CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture). CSAs provide healthy food, create local jobs and minimize our carbon footprint. The money you spend stays in your community and tax pool instead of funding some warehouse in China. There aren’t any middlemen taking a cut, any chemical companies profiting from the spraying of your food, any oilmen raking in money money from shipping it across the globe.

Just people helping people live happier, healthier lives.

Why else are we here?

If you’d like to know a bit more about the benefits of CSAs, check out this link.

And as always, let ‘em know The Jig Is Up.

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How a Roswell farmer gives genocide survivors hope

»Posted by on Jul 9, 2014 in Blog, Featured | 0 comments

This is an excerpt from my series on local farming and sustainability for NorthFulton.com. Several paragraphs from these columns are taken directly from the book The Jig Is Up, coming this Fall.

Sarah Buchanan greets families of Rwandan farmers during a recent trip

 

I first met Sarah Buchanan at Table & Main’s garden in Roswell in the fall of 2013.

A friend of mine put me in touch, as Buchanan founded a nonprofit organization in 2012 called “The Kula Project.”

Their goal is to eliminate poverty by giving one billion farmers the tools to make it happen, largely through donations and fundraisers, like their annual #forthefarmer campaign that takes place on Aug. 14.

Kula means “to eat” in Swahili and “community” in Sanskrit, and the Kula Project aims to help farmers in Africa support themselves, their families and their communities.

One of their earliest projects brought drip-tank technology to an orphanage in Kenya which enabled them to harvest every 21 days.

Before, the farmers were using seeds that were seven years old, but with their new methods, the orphanage was able to feed all of their children for the very first time — and even made $400 at a local market.

Their latest project will help genocide survivors in Rwanda grow coffee beans and bananas, which will double their income for the next thirty years.

To continue reading, please visit NorthFulton.com.

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