It’s Friday afternoon, and that means it’s time for me to give you a little weekend reading from around the web. Here are a few food related items that I thought might interest you.

Before you get to all this interesting reading, I wanted to remind you that I’m always open to your questions. If you’ve got a eco-food related question that you’d like answered, feel free to leave it in the comments. I’ll see what I can do about finding the answer for you.


Willie Nelson is fighting for family farmers. In an op-ed piece in the Boston Globe, the singer is calling on the USDA to do the right thing by them.

WHEN Abraham Lincoln formed the US Department of Agriculture in 1862 he referred to it as the "People's Department" because it served the common interest of so many Americans. America's concerns about food and the economy were addressed and investments in cutting-edge research guaranteed the nation's food security.


More than 200 years later, we are in the midst of a historic financial crisis and part of the solution lies with the "People's Department." It's time for our newest federal leaders to recognize the unmatched ability of family farmers to strengthen local economies. We can all learn from the ingenuity and innovation that family farmers demonstrate time and time again in the face of challenge.

Click here to read the full story.


Do you have a special bottle of wine you’ve been saving for some special, but unknown, occasion. Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher of Wall Street Journal’s Tastings column, have just the occasion for you. The 10th Open That Bottle Night on February 28th.

When we started writing this column more than a decade ago, the most common question we received then was the same one we receive now, the one from the DeBrunners: When is a bottle ready to drink -- specifically, this bottle I've been saving for a special occasion? Just this month, Lee Hanson of San Francisco wrote: "We have been given many bottles of nice wine over the years which we have mistakenly held onto for too long, waiting for the perfect occasion. We are now trying to drink them down, with mixed results."


This is exactly why we invented Open That Bottle Night, a celebration of wine, friends and memories during which all of us finally pull the cork on that bottle and enjoy the aromas, tastes, tears and laughter that always spill forth. Open That Bottle Night, which takes place on the last Saturday of every February -- around the time we all need a break -- will be celebrated on Feb. 28 this year and it's a big one: It's OTBN 10.

Click here to read the full story.


On Tuesday, I pointed you to an episode of Wine Library TV where Gary Vaynerchuk interviewed biodynamic “nature assistant not wine maker” Nicolas Joly. If you enjoyed what you saw, you’ll want to make sure to check out part 2 of the interview.


Click here to see the second half of this entertaining and educational video.


Finally, MNN’s home blogger Matt has an unexpected idea for using up leftover carpet in your kitchen. Click here to find out what you can do with it to help make your home more energy efficient.


Image: Matt Callow

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Friday food news roundup 2/27/2009
Food news from around the web for your weekend reading.