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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture
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Posts By Melinda Clark

NZ Social Enterprise Bucky Box to Simplify Distribution for Sustainable Farmers with Web-based Application

January 16, 2012 |

It’s not much of an exaggeration to say that these days, there’s an app for everything. Soon, that will include an app for increasing the efficacy and efficiency of CSAs and box schemes. Bucky Box is a Wellington, New Zealand-based social enterprise dedicated to building software to improve the world’s food systems. Their product is a simple web app that automates billing and delivery logistics for CSAs and box schemes. It’s still in the testing phase, but will open to the public in the next couple of months – simplifying distribution and making life much easier for smaller sustainable farming operations, and ideally encouraging more farms to join the sustainable agriculture movement.

Will Lau, Bucky Box’s creator, describes the app as being “like a digital operations team for a box delivery business.” It’s comprised of a front-end marketplace where customers can order veggie boxes, and an administration site that’s basically a massive customer database. Users can enter specific details, such as who will be out of town and not want their box delivered on a particular week, and the app runs through a scheme that schedules deliveries. It also automates all of the billing, saving users hours that they might otherwise spend manually creating invoices. Read More

In Demand Worldwide, Portable Farms Seeks to Address Food Supply Issues and Profit with its Aquaponics Systems

January 3, 2012 |

Is life sustainable in the 21st century and beyond?

That’s the question Colle Davis, inventor of Portable Farms™ Aquaponics Systems, posed in a recent article. In it, he writes that the answer is no, that “Life as it has been known in the Western world is coming to an abrupt and chaotic end. There is no way to stop the demise of societies that refuse to stop growing and consuming.”

So why did this man who claims that sustainability isn’t possible invent an aquaponics system? Well, as he puts it, “With a portable farm set-up, you can be a lot closer.” That, and it’s good business. Read More

Washington-based Incubator Farm Program Grows Next Generation of Sustainable Farmers

November 17, 2011 |

Enthusiastic, entrepreneurial youth wanting to farm. Young, skilled farmworkers who have been farming all of their lives. A population of aging farmers, whose average age is 57 years. Rich, fertile land that’s rapidly being sold for purposes other than farming. What do these all have in common? It’s part of Viva Farms’ mission to help them.

Viva Farms is a 33-acre incubator farm and farming program that helps beginning farmers get established, with the goal of eventually getting them onto their own farmland. It’s a joint venture of Washington State University (WSU) Extension and GrowFood.org, an international nonprofit dedicated to recruiting and training the next generation of sustainable farmers. Viva Farms is located in the Skagit Valley in Washington, a region renowned for having “some of the best soil on the planet,” says Sarita Schaffer, the director of Viva Farms. Read More

From Farm Development to Biodynamic Compost, Farmer D Finds Success in Sustaining Agriculture

October 28, 2011 |

‘Farmer D’ is a man, a brand, a consulting business, a retailer and a successful entrepreneurial venture – to name just a few attributes. Farmer D Organics is dedicated to making sustainable farming just that – environmentally, socially and economically sustainable.

Farmer D, the man, is actually named Daron Joffe, and he seems to have done it all when it comes to agriculture, from running organic farms across the country to implementing a ‘farm to table’ experience at Richard Branson’s exclusive spa in New Jersey. Farmer D Organics, the business, based in Atlanta, Ga., is similarly diverse. Read More

Los Angeles-based Org Food Forward Gleans the Way to Urban Food Security

October 21, 2011 |

It sounds like an elementary school word problem: If Sally has 10 oranges and Josh has zero oranges, how many oranges will Josh have if Sally gives him hers? It’s a problem with a simple enough solution on paper, but one that often gets complicated when it’s transferred to real life.

That’s where Los Angeles’ Food Forward comes in. The nonprofit takes surplus food and distributes it where there’s a deficit. The result? Winning to the fourth power. Read More