In 2016, at the height of the California drought, Julian Cantando and Clayton Garland envisioned a more sustainable farming model than traditional soil-based agriculture, which has always thrived in California.
“Last year was the seventh year of the drought, the lake was down, and the threat of not having water was real, at least for other farmers who aren’t on a well. It was kind of a bleak situation,” Cantando says.
He and Garland were classmates in the Horticulture Program at Santa Barbara City College and often discussed going into business together.
This article was originally published on Ensia.com
As word gets around that soil is alive, farmers have adopted a whole new attitude toward their land.
For three weeks every month, Ray Archuleta captivates audiences with a few handfuls of soil. He begins with two clumps, dropping them into water. The soil from a farm where the soil isn’t tilled holds together, while the tilled soil immediately disperses, indicating poor soil structure. Next, volunteers from the audience — mostly farmers and ranchers — pour water over a soil that grew a variety of crops, and it runs right through. A sample of tilled soil that grew only corn is like a brick, and the water sits on top. Water is the most precious resource for growing crops, and having a soil that is unable to absorb water is crippling for farmers.
News Release: WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced the projects selected to receive the USDA’s annual farm to school grants designed to increase the amount of local foods served in schools. Sixty-five projects were chosen nationwide.
“Increasing the amount of local foods in America’s schools is a win-win for everyone,” said Cindy Long, Deputy Administrator for Child Nutrition Programs at USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service, which administers the Department’s school meals programs. “Farm to school projects foster healthy eating habits among America’s school-age children, and local economies are nourished, as well, when schools buy the food they provide from local producers.”
News Release: BALTIMORE, MD. (June 9, 2017) — Teams of local architects, engineers, real estate developers, Baltimore city officials, urban farmers, and others will compete this June to design and devise the best plan for sustainably growing food in Baltimore. These crowdsourced ideas will contribute to an actual urban agriculture community center to be constructed in Baltimore in the coming years.