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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture

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Sustainable Ag + Food News: Seedstock’s Weekly Roundup

April 22, 2016 |

seedstockThese start-ups are changing the way we eat [CNBC]

Excerpt: “These are spoiled plants,” says Gotham Greens co-founder and CEO Viraj Puri, gesturing toward seemingly endless rows of perfectly symmetrical leaves — butter lettuce, arugula, basil — in vibrant, uniform shades of green.

‘Whole foods effect’: When small food makers get the call to go big [New York Times]

Excerpt: Elation can quickly turn to fear as small companies must suddenly learn how to produce at larger volumes while maintaining quality and consistency.

Doggy bags to pig feed: 10 things we learned about food waste [The Guardian]

Excerpt: A panel of experts joined us online to talk about preventing and getting value from food waste.  

Cities have a role in making sure “local food” is local [Next City]

Excerpt: From open-air farmers markets to community gardens to farm-to-table menus, the local food movement has been a powerful catalyst in urban placemaking.  

Farmers get biggest subsidy check in decade as prices drop [Bloomberg]

Excerpt: The agriculture slump is getting so bad in the U.S. that farmers are about to get more government aid than at any time in the past decade, signaling the rising public cost of crop surpluses and cheap food.

Northeast

Do you eat? Then you should care about agriculture policy [Baltimore Sun]

Excerpt: Even though only 2 percent of Americans live on farms in 2016, agricultural policy remains extremely important. Why? Everyone has to eat.

New York’s newest urban farm floats [Smithsonian]

Excerpt: It used to be that people who fancied the idea of eating local were out of luck, unless they were cool with eating random weeds and nasty trash mushrooms. Slowly but surely, though, urban farms have taken root, popping up between and atop buildings, even along traffic mediums.

Massachusetts Springfield’s Wellspring Cooperative plans to build worker-owned greenhouse in Indian Orchard; Baystate, Big Y will buy its produce [Mass Live]

Excerpt: Wellspring’s goal is to create a network of worker-owned companies that will provide jobs for low-income Springfield residents, while simultaneously meeting purchasing needs of the region’s largest buyers of goods and services — mostly hospitals, colleges and universities.

South

Urban farming a growing trend for Triangle home buyers [ABC 11]

Excerpt: Home buyers in the Triangle are thinking beyond garden tubs, to actual gardens. And chicken coops, and greenhouses. That’s the contention of Redfin, a real estate company that says the Raleigh-Durham area is one of the Top 10 most popular spots in the nation for urban farming.

$6.5 million urban ag system to be built at Santa Fe Community College in New Mexico [Albuquerque Journal]

Excerpt: A private New Mexico company is partnering with Santa Fe Community College to build its first urban agriculture system that will yield enough food to provide vegetables and fish for more than 16,000 people.

Global Gardens installs aquaponics system for community use [Tulsa World]

Excerpt: Mother Nature must have approved the work that Global Gardens is doing for the community because she offered the best conditions for a bonfire on the day the aquaponic system was installed.

Pine Grove breaks ground on hydroponics lab in Georgia [The Valdosta Daily Times]

Excerpt: Pine Grove Middle School broke ground on its new hydroponics laboratory at a ceremony to celebrate the impending construction of a hydroponics laboratory Monday.

Midwest

Cleveland praised for climate change resilience efforts by Center for American Progress [Cleveland.com]

Excerpt: The Washington D.C.-based Center for American Progress praised climate change resilience efforts in Cleveland in a new report on how Midwestern cities can address the needs of their most vulnerable residents.

Bloomington startup cultivates patents for novel way to garden [The Indiana Lawyer]

Excerpt: Entrepreneurs in Bloomington have a new and improved answer for the question, “How does your garden grow?” The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on March 29 issued a design patent for the Garden Tower 2, and other patents are pending for an invention that allows up to 50 plants to grow in a compact space that would fit on the most modest apartment patio.

Detroit Food Academy makes teens food industry ready [Civil Eats]

Excerpt: A free after-school program, the Detroit Food Academy gives young people hands-on food business experience. Learn more on food education blog Civil Eats!

The organization turning unused Chicago buildings into aquaponic fish farms [The Architects Newspaper]

Excerpt: On Chicago’s far South Side, tucked into a postindustrial strip of Cottage Grove Avenue that hugs the Metra tracks, Sweet Water Foundation is farming fish in a former shoe warehouse.

West

Cuban thaw may aid Oregon agriculture [The Register Guard]

Excerpt: It’s too early to tell what will come from this week’s visit by President Obama and his family to Cuba — both politically and economically — but one outcome could be increased agricultural sales of Oregon products to the island.

Hatching good ideas – An Eggs-planation of Urban Agriculture [ThurstonTalk]

Excerpt: Urban agriculture is sprouting up in yards all over Thurston County. People want to know where their food came from and how it was grown. This interest has triggered a growing number of urban farmers, who are raising chickens for eggs and meat.

Can food hubs boost rural farming economies? [High Country News]

Excerpt: Dan Hobbs farms 30 acres of land east of Pueblo, Colorado. For years, he spent weekends traveling hours to farmers markets to sell his produce, always losing a day in the fields and returning home with leftover vegetables that didn’t sell.

 

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