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Posts By seedstock

12 SoCal Food System-Focused Organizations that Need Your Support

November 27, 2018 |

As Seedstock is based in Southern California we wanted to make you aware of 12 organizations in the area focused on food access, community gardening, food justice, local food system development, fighting food waste, and food education that you can support. We probably missed a number of organizations, so please post your organization’s info in the comments section below to add it to the list. Happy Giving!!! Read More

Women in Food: Karen Washington Forges Path for Black Farmers

August 1, 2018 |
Photo courtesy of Karen Washington

Photo courtesy of Karen Washington

Faced with an empty lot in the Bronx, NY, Karen Washington decided to start growing.

“I had no knowledge. I took some seeds and put them in the ground. I knew that they needed water and sun I just did it.”

That was in the 1980s. Since then, Washington has become a practiced urban and rural farmer and community activist. However, she warns, “When someone says they’re an expert in farming and gardening, they’re not. Because it’s mother nature… and you’re always learning.”

Washington points to elders as an important source of learning. By picking the brains of those who had farmed and gardened before her, she was able to make her first forays in the soil.

Then in 2008, Washington attended a six-month program with The Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Read More

Episcopal Diocese Plants Seeds of Hope to Address Food Insecurity in Southern California

June 27, 2018 |
Tim Alderson,

Tim Alderson, executive director of Seeds of Hope, a food justice ministry that provides universal and affordable access to basic nutrition.

One of the largest diocese in the nation, the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles has made food justice a top priority. In 2013, it created Seeds of Hope, a food justice ministry that “provides universal and affordable access to basic nutrition,” says Seeds of Hope Executive Director, Tim Alderson. “In the six California counties that make up the Diocese of Los Angeles, that condition does not exist. Our job is to do what we can to address these issues.”

The idea for Seeds of Hope was conceived when Bishop Jon Bruno was diagnosed with leukemia and admitted for his final treatment at City of Hope. Though not his patient, he met endocrinologist Raynald Samoa, M.D. who was covering rounds. The two men spent over two hours talking about food related illnesses, food access issues and disparities of food health in communites. Dr. Samoa also knew Alderson, who was working on a farm project for City of Hope. Read More

10 Cities Pushing the Bounds of Community Gardening

June 13, 2018 |
Fenway Victory Gardens photo: By M2545 (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Fenway Victory Gardens Photo: By M2545 (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

“Community garden” can mean a lot of things–from a neighborhood vegetable plot to a cooperative farming business. As the phrase evolves, Seedstock takes a look at ten cities which, through scale, creativity or a combination of both, are stretching the limits of what community-scale agriculture can accomplish.

Fairbanks, Alaska

You might think of central Alaska as a frigid and snowy place, and it can be. But for about 90 days in the middle of the year, the sun gets up around 4 a.m. and stays up until about midnight, making for a compact, but intense growing season. The Fairbanks Community Garden takes advantage of this, as well as the enthusiasm of Arctic gardeners who want to get outside and put some food by for the winter while they have the chance. With the help of some plastic mulch and other ground covers to warm up cold soils, Alaskan gardeners in this city demonstrate the influence determination can have on our ability to produce our own food. Read More

Urban Agriculture Incentive Program Seeks to Increase Farming Opportunities in Local Communities

June 12, 2018 |

In September 2013, California passed Assembly Bill 551 (AB551), Urban Agriculture Incentive Zones (UAIZ), which allows cities and counties within the state to incentivize land owners to donate vacant or undeveloped land for urban agriculture use over a five-year period, according to information from the Los Angeles Department of Regional Planning. Land owners who participate will receive reduced property tax assessments in exchange for this allowance.

The requirements to participate include parcels between 0.10 and 3 acres, a minimum contract of five years, complete use of the land for agriculture purposes, and no prior physical structures existing on the property. Many California communities have already passed or are in the process of approving the ordinance including San Francisco, San Diego, Long Beach, San Jose, and Sacramento; however, only a couple of contracts have been processed in those areas combined.

The ordinance has already passed through Los Angeles County, but this motion only applies to unincorporated areas. The incorporated city of Los Angeles is currently in the process of approving the ordinance, according to Iesha Siler, a policy associate for the Los Angeles Food Policy Council (LAFPC). Read More