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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture
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Posts By Hana Lurie

7 Young Farmers Get Down & Dirty, Establish Big Muddy Urban Farm to Supply Sustainable Produce to Omahans

June 14, 2012 |

In just under three months, seven young farmers have taken the germ of an idea to create a sustainable urban farm to supply a community in Omaha, Nebraska with fresh vegetables and herbs and made it into a reality in the guise of Big Muddy Urban Farm. Big Muddy Urban Farm consists of five decentralized plots situated in North Omaha. The urban farm’s founders, who collectively brought Big Muddy to life and work its urban fields, aspire to create a new source of sustainably grown produce and herbs for their city, to become a self-sustaining farm operation and inspire other area residents through educational and volunteer opportunities to grow their own food.

I recently spoke to Tyler Magnuson and Ali Clark, two of the founders of Big Muddy Urban Farm, to learn more about the story behind the farm, how it operates, the farming practices that it embraces, the challenges that it faces and more. Read More

For a 4th Generation Organic Cherry Farmer, Sustainability is a ‘Big Thing just for Survival’

June 12, 2012 |

It was while studying engineering that Bill Razey of Razey Orchard, a family owned farm growing organic cherries and a variety of other fruits, came to the realization that he wanted to continue his family’s farming legacy in Washington State. “I left school and went back to the farm and I’ve been poor ever since!” says Bill, somewhat jokingly.

Razey Orchard sits 150 miles southeast of Seattle and is home to fourth-generation farmer Bill and his wife Mary Kay. Initially a conventional farm, Bill decided to make the conversion to sustainable and organic farming in the mid 90s. Read More

With Mobile Greenhouse as Pulpit, Two Friends Criss Cross Nation Preaching Gospel of Sustainable Agriculture

May 30, 2012 |

Photo Credit: Compass Green

A thriving organic and sustainable greenhouse on wheels, you say? It sounds whimsical and impractical, but longtime friends Justin Cutter, age 27, and Nick Runkle, Age 26, have brought the concept to life with the hope of positively influencing the growth trajectory of sustainable agriculture across the country.

A waste vegetable-powered converted box truck outfitted with growing beds containing herbs and vegetables ranging from bok choy and swiss chard to broccoli and quinoa is the centerpiece of Compass Green, a mobile greenhouse project that the two partners founded to raise awareness of the importance of sustainable agriculture and teach Bio-intensive methods. Read More

Former Insurance Claims Supervisor’s Move to Country Spurs Foray into Sustainable Farming

May 29, 2012 |

Phil Noble of Sage Mountain Farm. Photo Credit: Sage Mountain Farm.

Phil Noble of Hemet, CA-based Sage Mountain Farm never imagined himself living the life of a farmer. Before moving 30 miles outside of the city, Phil was a supervisor for a claims department at an insurance company. His initial foray into agriculture was a small, simple garden. Today, along with his wife Juany, he sustainably farms over 150 acres of land on which he grows certified organic fruits and vegetables and raises grass-fed cattle.

I recently spoke with Phil to learn more about why he decided to become a farmer, what types of sustainable practices he employs, the challenges that he faces and more. Read More

With Focus on Pasture-Raised Livestock, Two 1st Generation Farmers Forge Sustainable Path in the Ozarks (Part 2)

May 24, 2012 |

The following is Part 2 of the interview (Check out Part 1 here) with Cody Hopkins of Falling Sky Farm. This portion of the interview focuses on the farm’s business model, how Cody and Andrea found the funding to start the farm and advice to budding sustainable farmers just starting out. Read More