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Sustainable Ag + Food News: Seedstock’s Weekly Roundup

February 18, 2016 |



seedstock1 Birmingham, Michigan man champions chemical-free farming methods [Detroit Free Press]

Excerpt: Meat farmer and public speaker Jeff Rasawehr said there is a biological and natural solution to any farming question you throw at him. “We took the wrong road when we went chemical and industrial. We should have stayed biological,” Rasawehr said of the contemporary history of meat farming and farming in general.                 

2 Mississippi food deserts [WTVA]

Excerpt: There’s no such thing as a quick trip to the grocery store for many Mississippians. It’s something that requires pre-planning and a drive. In many communities—a convenience store or gas station is the closest thing you’ll find to a grocery store.          

3 How a Chicago startup is fighting for transparency in the food industry [Built in Chicago]

Excerpt: In today’s hyper-connected world, consumers are smart. Or — at least — they want to be.With one hand on their shopping carts and the other glued to their smartphones triple-checking the nutritional value of a box of mac and cheese, consumers are hungry for as much information about their food as possible.                

4 Food desert bill in Nebraska proposes to increase access to healthy food [The Daily Nebraskan]

Excerpt: As many rural Nebraska communities continue to shrink, the number of food deserts across the state is increasing, with people driving long distances to obtain nutritious and affordable food.      

5 Google quietly got out of the vertical farming business last year. Yep, you heard right. [The Next Web]

Excerpt: Your first two questions should definitely be: ‘what the heck is vertical farming and why the heck was Google doing that?’            

6 Enough with the vertical farming fantasies: There are still too many unanswered questions about the trendy practice [Salon]

Excerpt: Five-plus years after the publication of Dickson Despommier’s book The Vertical Farm: Feeding Ourselves and The World in the 21st Century, his dream — originally conceived as the production of food in the interior of tall urban buildings — is gaining momentum, despite many unanswered questions about its feasibility.       

7 Urban farmer reflects On Kansas City’s organic scene [KCUR]

Excerpt: Brooke Salvaggio isn’t your typical urban farmer. She grew up in the suburbs, in an upper-middle class family in Johnson County. “I grew up like most typical suburban kids: vast mowed green lawns, the SUVs in the garage, food out of boxes, microwaves,” she told guest host Brian Ellison on KCUR’s Central Standard.

8 Missouri State University leases downtown silos to urban farming startup [Springfield News-Leader]

Excerpt: Two clusters of downtown silos owned by Missouri State University could soon be used to grow lettuce, mushrooms and other vegetables. The governing board of MSU voted Wednesday to lease the 21 silos to a Springfield startup company, Vertical Innovations, which plans to use water-based methods to grow food.                           

9 Earth Institute students help an urban farm rethink its future [EcoWatch]

Excerpt: In the Fair Haven section of New Haven, Conn., rates of obesity and diabetes are high, and access to healthy fresh food can be limited. For some residents of this low-income neighborhood, New Haven Farms is just what the doctor ordered.         

10 Local food systems at work in the driftless area [USDA Blog]

Excerpt: So called because it was left untouched by retreating glaciers that flattened much of the Midwest, the Driftless Area of northeast Iowa, southwest Wisconsin, and bits of Minnesota and Illinois is home to more than just beautiful rolling hills.                

11 Elgin, Indiana making chickens permanent residents [Daily Herald]

Excerpt: Elgin is permanently allowing backyard chickens, setting a maximum of 25 single-family homes permits. City council members voted 7-2 to make the ordinance change at their committee of the whole meeting Wednesday.          

12 Notes for the beginning gardener: Seed catalogs and mind-gardening [Model D]

Excerpt: The seed catalog is a lifeline for the gardener in the winter months. And in a strange way, seed catalogues have come to represent a rarified form of literature, tangentially related to gardening but existing in their own space, the way maps and atlases lose their reference value and become objects unto themselves.                 

13 Consumer demand bolstering organic production and markets in the U.S. [USDA Blog]

Excerpt: Organic food sales in the United States have shown double-digit growth during most years since the 1990s, and this trend shows no sign of slowing.        

14 Obama to sign law banning US imports of fish caught by slave labor [The Guardian]

Excerpt: Barack Obama is set to sign a law that would ban all US imports of fish caught by slave labor in south-east Asia, closing a loophole that has allowed seafood from forced labor to enter the country for decades.             

15 The complex ecosystems of cities, where plants meet politics [Wired]

Excerpt: A biologist might study, let’s say, a particular species of rabbit, spending years in the field observing a population of them. A botanist might do the same with a specific grass or tree.                

16 Cultivating relationships, connecting kids and schools back to real food [Second Wave]

Excerpt: After farming abroad, followed by food co-operative work and community organizing around community gardening, Jeremy Andrews founded Sprout, an urban farm and food hub in late 2009.

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