Sustainable Ag + Food News: Seedstock’s Weekly Roundup
January 29, 2016 | seedstock
Excerpt: The local food movement stretches way, way back, to a time when produce didn’t arrive from thousands of miles away in a semitrailer to land in shrink wrap or under a mister at a supermarket.
Excerpt: Let me ask you a question: When it comes to our food supply, what do you care about?Think about it for a second. Make a mental list. Now, let me ask you another question: Do you care about farmworker exposure to pesticides?
Excerpt: An unseasonably warm sun beamed heat into the refurbished greenhouse more than an hour outside Washington, making it feel like a place where tomatoes might not mind growing, even in mid-December.
Excerpt: As part of the Food Justice and Sustainability weekend, dozens of local environmentalists came out on a frigid Sunday to learn more about Chicago’s new composting ordinance. Set to go into effect this spring, the ordinance will give urban farms and community gardens the chance to improve their compost piles. Some will even sell the finished product.
Excerpt: What would happen if the vacant land around Phoenix was converted to urban farms? Could such a conversion bring sustainable and locally grown food closer to consumers? Arizona State University is taking the lead on a national project to answer just such questions.
Excerpt: Planning for spring? Make sure the plan for the vegetable garden includes cool-season crops. You’ll be able to start the growing season as early as mid-March. With a few tricks, you might get a bit of a harvest before it’s even time to plant the tomatoes.
Excerpt: The White House Rural Council (WHRC) and its federal collaborators have announced the 27 “Local Foods, Local Places” (LFLP) partner communities that will receive technical assistance during 2016 as they work to increase economic opportunities for local farmers and access to healthy foods
8 At five year mark Vermont Farm to Plate reviews progress and challenges [Vermont Business Magazine]
Excerpt: Increases in local food consumption, jobs, and overall economic activity in the farm and food sector over the past five years are highlighted in the 2015 Farm to Plate Annual Report, released by the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund. 2016 marks the halfway point of the release of the Farm to Plate Strategic Plan and the Farm to Plate Network is entering its 5th year implementing Vermont’s food system plan.
9 Kentucky Chefs collaborate with schools to serve fresh local foods to students [ABC 36 News]
Excerpt: According to the KY Department of Agriculture, chefs will be visiting schools in eight Kentucky counties to give instruction on how to prepare and serve fresh, local food. This move is part of a pilot project by Kentucky’s DoA, Farm to School.
Excerpt: Cupcakes and brownies have long been absent from Quincy’s public school cafeteria menus in favor of apple crisps with granola or yogurt and fruit parfaits. Cereals and pastas are among the many whole grain offerings that are paired with a wider range of fruits and vegetables, as mandated by federal school nutrition guidelines.
Excerpt: An analysis shows that the closing of more than 150 Wal-Mart’s nationwide will create food deserts in Alabama, Kansas and Arkansas.Stores slated to shut down Thursday will leave residents in parts of Fairfield, Alabama; Coal Hill, Arkansas; and Wichita, Kansas, without a supermarket.
Excerpt: Composting keeps waste material out of landfills, avoiding the production of methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide (CO2). It also eases the burden and extends the life of landfills that are stressed to handle the waste our lifestyles create.
Excerpt: Fourth grade students at Andrew Cooke Magnet School in Waukegan lined up Monday morning for a post-breakfast salad that took freshness to a different level — the greens were cut from plants in the school’s greenhouse minutes before hitting their forks.
Excerpt: FRESH Farm Aquaponics, of Glastonbury, was born start several years ago with a college student on a bus, holding a 20-gallon fish tank filled with black sand, fish food, a few air and water pumps and a trio of platy fish darting around in a water-filled bag.
Excerpt: Aldi is stepping up its game in the organic food space. The grocery chain is expanding organic food brands, removing some artificial ingredients from its products, and adding more gluten-free items in hopes of attracting more health-conscious shoppers.
Excerpt: Poultry farmers are increasingly raising chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese in environmentally greener and healthier habitats, according to the American Pastured Poultry Producers Association.
Excerpt: Tommy Romano never thought he’d be a farmer. On the surface, his professional background seems about as far from agriculture as you can get. He studied Bioastronautics at the University of Colorado Boulder, and after graduating, worked for several aerospace companies in California and Colorado.
Excerpt: Cushioned deep in the foothills of Appalachia Ohio, southeast of Athens proper, lies the learning enterprise Woodland Ridge Farm, where hymns of cooperative farming and energy resilience ring loud and true.