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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture

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Sustainable Ag + Food News: Seedstock’s Weekly Roundup

March 17, 2016 |

 

seedstock1 Farm to school census tracks local food growth [The Packer]

Excerpt: The participation rate for school districts in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s farm to school program ranges from a low of 21% in Oklahoma to 83% in Vermont, and new data shows total local food purchases by schools have more than doubled since 2011-12.            

2 Conservation is key to local agriculture [Greeneville Sun]

Excerpt: The Soil Conservation Service was established by the United States Congress in 1935. The agency’s first assignment was to awaken public concern for the problem of soil erosion.                         

Market site to be center of innovative food production [Detroit Free Press]

Excerpt: Detroit is looking for developers to turn a dilapidated empty building in the Eastern Market district into a food production center that will enhance the city’s emerging identity in the region’s multibillion-dollar food economy.              

Will urban agriculture last? [Fast Co.Exist]

Excerpt: Urban farming keeps growing: it’s now possible to buy your hyper-local lettuce from flatpack shipping container farms, hydroponic kits attached to unused wall space, old-fashioned community gardens, and state-of-the-art vertical farms run by robots.                

Urban farming is on like King Kong [San Diego Reader]

Excerpt: San Diego’s city council voted last week to implement the measures of Assembly Bill 551, a law passed in 2014 that provides tax incentives to owners of vacant parcels between 0.1 and 3 acres in size who agree to enter long-term leases to use the land for agricultural purposes.                  

A new weapon in the war on weeds: Flamethrowers [Smithsonian]

Excerpt: Meghan Fellows wants people to know that she isn’t a pyromaniac. Yes, she’s walking around in urban parks with a propane tank roughly the size of a beer keg strapped to her back and a four-foot flame-throwing wand in her gloved hands.             

Local food systems and small farms: Annie’s project a success in Coles County, Illinois [ Journal Gazette/Times-Courier]

Excerpt: “Annie’s Project — Education for Farm Women” was offered in Charleston for three weeks from Feb. 16 through March 3. The program, sponsored by the national Annie’s Project organization, the University of Illinois Extension and the Coles County Farm Bureau, was designed to help farm women develop their management and decision making skills in the dynamic, complex world of agriculture.                                

Bill Suhr: Solar is fueling our local food movement [VTDigger]

Excerpt: Eighteen years ago, I bought an apple orchard in Shoreham with the idea that we could grow food with a conscience. Today, Champlain Orchards does just that with our locally grown, ecologically managed apples and other tree fruits.

Millennials in the food movement [Comstock’s magazine]

Excerpt: When it comes to food, millennials are twice as likely as any other generation to give a whisk about organic and locally-sourced meals. Some even credit millennials’ disdain for junk food with the downward fiscal spiral of the country’s top 25 food and beverage industries.              

10 Baltimore’s virtual supermarkets bring fruits and veggies to food deserts [Fast Co.Exist]

Excerpt: “As a physician, it is difficult for me to say to a patient ‘You have to eat better’ when people don’t have healthy food options nearby.” So says Baltimore’s health commissioner Leana Wen, explaining why the city needs to create more “food assets” in poorer neighborhoods.              

11 Why so many prisons and jails are embracing aquaponics [City Lab]

Excerpt: Dressed in traffic-cone orange, a similar shade to the fish under their care, inmates at the San Francisco County Jail set about their weekly duties: checking for pests, pH levels and the overall welfare of the jail’s pilot aquaponics program, the first of its kind in the state.                

12 Hydroponics kit takes the dirty work out of kitchen gardening [Grist]

Excerpt: Here’s a new project to join the ranks of your Shiitake log, sourdough starter, and alfalfa sprout operation: an indoor hydroponics kit. The practice of hydroponics — a fancy term for growing plants in water and nutrients instead of soil — dates back centuries, according to Fast Company.                 

13 New U.S. dietary guidelines ignore broad support for food sustainability [The Hub]

Excerpt: A national survey commissioned by the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future has found that nearly three-quarters of adults believe U.S dietary guidelines should include environmental provisions and support sustainable agriculture practices.              

14 7 ways to build a healthy food system in Detroit [Model D]

Excerpt: Last week, the Detroit Food Policy Council’s sixth annual summit at the Benson and Edith Ford Conference Center Alfred A. Taubman Center for Design Education at the College for Creative Studies opened with a live performance of an Ojibway water song in praise of water, the creator, Mother Earth and the grandmother.            

15 Decatur, Georgia school uses fish poop to grow interest in STEM fields [WABE]

Excerpt: Researchers say the United States is short on students who are pursuing science, technology, engineering and math careers – the group of subjects known as STEM. And educators worry that even fewer students from minority and low-income backgrounds are receiving a high-quality STEM education.

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