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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture

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Sustainable Ag + Food News: Seedstock’s Weekly Roundup

February 5, 2016 |


seedstock1 Urban farming work sows discord [Toledo Blade]

Excerpt: A Toledo man’s effort to establish “urban agriculture” in Toledo’s central city is running up against nuisance complaints brought by neighbors. Thomas Jackson, 44, of 1489 Milburn Ave., has piled up wood chips on seven parcels centering on Auburn and Milburn avenues.

2 Pittsburgh’s St. Clair neighborhood to get an urban farm and new housing [Pittsburgh City Paper]

Excerpt: Last week, nearly 60 people gathered in the Ormsby Avenue Cafe in Pittsburgh’s St. Clair neighborhood to hear from the Hilltop Alliance about how their neighborhood could be transformed.                

3 Staten Island will be home to NYC’s first resident urban farmer [Gothamist]

Excerpt: New York City has long been the domain of supermarket, farmers markets and stock markets. But some urban farmers would prefer to turn SoHo into sow-hoe and reclaim empty, unused city space for the sake of fresh, uber-local produce.                  

4 Innovative partnerships models to advance nutrition and security [Huffington Post]

Excerpt: The food system is an essential part our lives in many respects. It is a very complex, integrated network that comprises not only supply chains of big companies, but also the institutions, the businesses and the people involved in the production, consumption, and distribution of the food we need to live healthy and productive lives.                  

5 Creating good ‘food citizens’ for future food equity and security [University of California]

Excerpt: Food equity, security and environmental sustainability are growing global concerns, and there is an increased interest in developing programs to alleviate such issues, specifically within the University of California system.             

6 Food insecurity plagues Missouri [Northwestern Missourian]

Excerpt: Missouri ranks sixth worst within the U.S. for food insecurity and continues to be a major issue that affects one in five households with children. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization defines food security as a situation that exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.                                  

7 Can Detroit become a food-sovereign city? [Model D]

Excerpt: Recent years have seen a rise in local food entrepreneurs facilitated by organizations like FoodLab Detroit and Detroit Kitchen Connect and an almost exponential proliferation of urban farms. Almost each week, it seems a new restaurant touting a locally sourced menu sprouts up somewhere in the city.                 

8 If there are no new farmers, who will grow our food? [Yes! Magazine]

Excerpt: Programs across the country are trying to make it easier for new farmers to get started and put down roots. Here’s why: There’s only one farmer under 35 for every six over 65. By 2030, one-quarter of America’s current farmers will retire.                

9 Corporate food beats small co-op for contract [New Food Economy]

Excerpt: The University of Maine System announced in a press release on Tuesday it will award its dining hall, retail and food catering services contract for six of the seven UMS campuses to France-based food service provider Sodexo.

10 Finding our way [Austin Chronicle]

Excerpt: You might not notice, but purslane weed and wild persimmons, feral mulberries and loquats dot Austin’s parking lots, backyards, and football fields. Even if you do see them, you probably opt out of nabbing these goodies because of heavy traffic or doubts about who owns the land.               

11 Environmental modelling of sustainability through local food []

Excerpt: There was a great deal of buzz last spring when a farmland mapping project by a UC Merced professor indicated that ‘most areas of the country could feed between 80 percent and 100 percent of their populations with food grown or raised within 50 miles.’                

12 In the dead of winter, farming in Philly []

Excerpt: The reformed marijuana grower and the ex-Wall Street banker make an unlikely duo, working side by side in an old South Philadelphia factory building where – despite the chill outside – the air is warm, humid, and sweetened by hundreds of basil plants.

13 Despite city commitment, not much edible landscaping in Asheville [Mountain Xpress]

Excerpt: Although Asheville City Council approved a 14-point Food Action Plan three years ago that included a goal of implementing underutilized city-owned land for agricultural purposes, to date little headway has been made in that area.                

14 Gardening: Aquaponics system fuels effort to grow organic produce to feed the hungry [Daily Progress]

Excerpt: A Hoosier-made aquaponics system for growing organic fruits and vegetables with zero waste will be used to feed the hungry. East Chicago officials and Glynn Barber, the inventor of the aquaponics system, were on hand for the unveiling at the greenhouse at Washington Park.                 

15 In big cities, a bigger focus on rooftop farms []

Excerpt: In a recent column, I contemplated on who I thought were the first entrepreneurs. Ever. One of these, I’m sure, was the farmer. Times have changed and many would say that as consumption and populations increase, so will the need for farming. And, therefore, the need for land.                 

16 FarmedHere has high ambitions with new 60,000 sq ft vertical farm [Gimag]

Excerpt: The US city of Louisville, KY, is set to become home to a major new vertical farm. The FarmedHere facility will be part of the new 24-ac (9.7-ha) West Louisville FoodPort that will be home to a community of food-related businesses. It will grow microgreens, herbs and vegetables.                 

17 Fair Food Network Testifies on Healthy Food Incentives in House Agriculture Nutrition Subcommittee Public Hearing [PR Newswire]

Excerpt: In testimony today before the House Committee on Agriculture Nutrition Subcommittee, Fair Food Network President and CEO Oran B. Hesterman shared the positive impact healthy food incentive programs such as Fair Food Network’s Double Up Food Bucks are having for families, farmers, and local economies.               

18 To fix food deserts, we need to address transit options and supermarket stigma [LSE US Centre]

Excerpt: Policymakers have become increasingly concerned about the rise of ‘food deserts’ – those areas with poor access to foods that are not highly processed and nutritionally poor. While policy solutions to address food deserts tend to include introducing supermarkets selling a wider range of foods into such areas, new research from Jerry Shannon may challenge this policy.             

19 Fish and plants at aquaponic farm on Long Island [Fox 5 NY]

Excerpt: Inside an 8,000-gallon tank are about 300 koi and goldfish. Patrick Durkin, owner of Fruit of Life Aquaponics in Manorville, Long Island, grows plants and fish together. He says hydroponics and aquaculture complement each other.

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