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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture
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Posts By Rose Egelhoff

Report: Young Western Farmers Conserve Water Despite Legal Barriers and Lack of Incentives

March 17, 2016 |
Courtesy National Young Farmers Coalition

Courtesy National Young Farmers Coalition

A new report by the National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) titled Conservation Generation: How Young Farmers and Ranchers Are Essential to Tackling Water Scarcity in the Arid West finds that young farmers in the west care deeply about water conservation and often conserve despite incentives to the contrary.

The country faces a dearth of young farmers, with six times as many farmers over the age of 65 as those under 35.  The report states that “If we fail to recruit enough new farmers, we risk furthering consolidation of our food system, increasing permanent losses of agricultural lands, and losing a generation of water stewards.”

In turn, young farmers face high land and water prices. Read More

Seattle Tilth Plans Expansion of Rainier Beach Urban Farm

January 20, 2016 |
Seattle Youth Garden Works participants and staff. Image courtesy of Seattle Tilth.

Seattle Youth Garden Works participants and staff. Image courtesy of Seattle Tilth.

After several years of fundraising and planning, including a $3 million capital campaign, construction on Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands is tentatively set to start in April 2016. Seattle Tilth, the “nonprofit organic gardening and urban ecology organization” that operates the farm, spearheaded the expansion, with help from the Seattle Parks Foundation.

The Rainier Beach Urban Farm, previously featured in Seedstock, is “Seattle’s largest urban farm.” It grows fruit and vegetables that are sold at farms stands or cooked up for free community meals. Educational programming teaches volunteers and visitors about how to grow and cook fresh, healthy food. Other programs focus on the restoration of the wetlands. Read More

At the Paris Climate Conference, Leaders Overlook Sustainable Ag

December 10, 2015 |
Benh Lieu Song/Wikimedia Commons

Benh Lieu Song/Wikimedia Commons

Global warming brings to mind images of gas-guzzling cars and puffing factory smokestacks. Globally, however, agriculture and land use—including deforestation—account for nearly a quarter of carbon emissions, more than either transportation or industry, according to the EPA. In the US, agriculture accounts for nearly ten percent of our country’s greenhouse gas emissions. If we are serious about cutting emissions, the way we cultivate crops and livestock must change.

At the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, world leaders are working on a new, binding climate change agreement that aims to keep global warming below 2˚C. Agriculture has not been a central part of the talks, a move that writer-activist Michael Pollan has called “a huge mistake and a missed opportunity.”

Climate Change and Ag

The importance of changing our food system is emphasized in a new report from the USDA, “Climate Change, Global Food Security, and the U.S. Food System.” Not only is farming a necessary part of the solution, but it is also threatened by climate change, according to the study. Read More

D.C.’s First Commercial Rooftop Farm Opens

June 30, 2015 |

by Rose Egelhoff

Up Top Acres’ farm at Oyamel. Photo courtesy of Up Top Acres.

Up Top Acres’ farm at Oyamel. Photo courtesy of Up Top Acres.

Something’s growing atop D.C. restaurant Oyamel. Seedlings poke young leaves out of four inches of soil. The new green roof, which opened in May, is part of Up Top Acres, a network of rooftop farms.

Up Top Acres, founded by Kathleen O’Keefe, Kristof Grina and Jeffrey Prost-Greene, installs and farms green roofs around the city. They hope to partner with D.C. restaurants to offer fresh, local produce. At the same time, their green roofs provide energy savings and stormwater retention for the buildings where they are located, and the farms can be community centers for education and events. Read More

Weiser Farms Dinner Raises Funds for New SoCal Grain Hub

June 28, 2015 |
Photo by Rose Egelhoff

Photo by Rose Egelhoff

by Rose Egelhoff

The spread is irresistible. A bevy of Los Angeles star chefs has been cooking all day, using grains and produce fresh from Weiser Family Farms. A Santa Barbara winemaker portions pours small glasses of a bright, sweet white wine to accompany appetizers. Sixty-two guests mill around the barn and a long, white-clothed table, framed by rows of apple trees, has been set for dinner. Read More