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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture

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Sustainable Ag + Food News: Seedstock’s Weekly Roundup

January 8, 2016 |

seedstock1 ‘Buy Local’ group gets $59K to boost agriculture in central Massachusetts [Metrowest Daily News]

Excerpt: After forming in 2014, a nonprofit working to promote local agriculture in central Massachusetts will get a major boost this year from the state’s Department of Agricultural Resources.                  

2 An indoor agriculture startup is bringing ‘local farming’ to every corner of the US [The Guardian]

Excerpt: In early October, a little more than a hundred people gathered in an unlikely event space in New York City to talk about farming. They discussed water usage and efficient transportation, the price of LEDs and intellectual property concerns.              

3 Detroit urban farming prompts career hopes [Detroit Free Press]

Excerpt: For people working the Hantz Woodlands project on Detroit’s east side, it came as a simple request. “A lot of kids would stop by and say, ‘Can I drive your equipment?'” said Mike Score, president of Hantz Farms.               

4 Urban agriculture for one New York [Huffington Post]

Excerpt: On December 12, 2014, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) issued a request for qualifications that offered-up more than 180 vacant city parcels to affordable housing developers. It turned out, however, that 20 weren’t really vacant – they were community gardens, 18 of which were actively growing food.                  

5 Rodent control is essential for urban agriculture farmers [Michigan State University Extension]

Excerpt: During a recent urban farm visit, the tell tale signs of a rodent infestation were discovered. Specifically a large number or rat burrows, damage to fruits and vegetables, and rat droppings were present.                

6 Fences and good neighbors: Detroit may re-examine urban farming ordinances [Michigan Radio]

Excerpt: For years, some Detroiters have raised animals that are usually associated with rural farms: chickens, goats, rabbits, and more. Although it is technically illegal to keep livestock, residents of Detroit have been able to do so because of bureaucratic dysfunction.                

7 Closing the farm-to-table gap in Alaska [New York Times]

Excerpt: The quest for a crisp head of lettuce has opened the door to two start-ups with starkly different visions for growing fresh produce in a frozen state.

8 Farming is a growing business in cities [Toledo Blade]

Excerpt: On Canyon Drive in dense, residential Clintonville, a sign in the window of a particular small house reads: “Organic farm, please do not spray.” Step into Joseph Swain’s backyard and it is clear that this is no residential garden.                  

9 Vertical Harvest: Testing urban farming In Wyoming [Circulate]

Excerpt: A startup called Vertical Harvest is in the process of putting together one of the most extensive experiments in urban farming to date. Vertical Harvest are working with the Jackson, Wyoming municipality to create a three-story greenhouse filled with micro greens, herbs, tomatoes and other crops.    

10 Whole Foods partnering with urban farming project to improve food security in Chicago neighborhood [Food Tank]

Excerpt: In 2013, Whole Foods Market announced that it would be opening a store in Englewood, one of the poorest neighborhoods of Chicago. One of the pillars of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration has been to improve access to healthy, fresh, quality food in the city’s poorer neighborhoods and has been in discussing this partnership with Whole Foods Market for a year and a half.

11 Young Michigan farmers talk about the challenges they face [Michigan Radio]

Excerpt: It’s called a “discussion meet,” and the Farm Bureau’s been doing it for decades. It’s a way to bring young farmers together to talk about the challenges they face. And it’s also a competition.           

12 Hydroponic lettuce start-ups want to bring local produce to Alaska [Grub  Street]

Excerpt: Finding fresh and affordable produce in rural Alaska has essentially been impossible, but two new start-ups, Alaska Natural Organics and Vertical Harvest Hydroponics, want to change that by bringing local, year-round farming to a state where officials say as much as 95 percent of food is imported.          

13 There’s a place that’s nearly perfect for growing food. It’s not California [New Republic]

Excerpt: It’s time to ‘de-Californify’ the nation’s supply of fruits and vegetable supply, to make it more diversified, resilient, and ready for a changing climate.                            

14 Report explores the global vertical farming market size, share, growth, trends, demand and forecast 2020 [WhaTech]

Excerpt: The report, ‘Global Vertical Farming Market’, also contains detailed information on clientele, applications and contact information. Accurate forecasts by credible experts on critical matters such as production, price, and profit are also found in this brilliant study.                 

15 Growing Power raises 100,000 fish and 1 million pounds of food year-round on just 3 acres [Inhabitat]

Excerpt: Gardeners and farmers who live in colder climates are well aware of the limitations posed by a short growing season. But these challenges often yield outstanding innovative practices, such as those used by Growing Power in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.            

16 Local food action plan for Massachusetts taking root [Going Green]

Excerpt: Here’s something to chew on as you digest a holiday feast: After two years of work on a new “local food action plan” for Massachusetts, agricultural advocates and legislators will start the new year making hay from the 416-page document.               

17 Rio Grande Community Farm launches farmer training program [Albuquerque Business First]

Excerpt: New Mexico’s position as a mid-latitude state, as well as its current progress about 100 years into a 300-year arid cycle, are both factors that posture the state to become an industry leader not only in water technology, but also desert farming.                 

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