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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture
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Farm Profiles brought to you by Annies

Couple Establishes Farm to Feed Friends, Family and Neighborhood Naturally Grown Food

August 19, 2013 |

changing seasons farmLaura Casey of Changing Seasons Farm in Fall City, Washington is a very busy women. Not only does she run a small sustainable farm operation, but she works as an Environmental Scientist almost full-time on the side. Laura and her husband Dave do not employ workers, but instead collaborate with friends and family who help out on the farm.

I recently spoke with Laura to find out more about how the farm runs, what sustainable practices she employs, her Naturally Grown certification and more. Read More

California Aquaponic Operation Seeks to Play Role in Evolution of Farming

August 12, 2013 |
Photo Credit: Ouroboros Farms

Photo Credit: Ouroboros Farms

In June 2011, Ken Armstrong watched a YouTube video that would change the course of his life. The video was created by urban farmer Will Allen, founder of the sustainable agriculture nonprofit Growing Power, Inc. and avid proponent of aquaponic farming. A year later, in June 2012, Armstrong would break ground on his own aquaponic operation, Ouroboros Farms.

Armstrong and his business partner Kenji Snow started Ouroboros with a strong desire to join the future of farming. “We wanted to be innovators and a model for a new integrated, living ecosystem methodology of farming that partners with nature, rather than trying to overcome it,” said Armstrong. Read More

Police Chief in West Boylston, MA Buys Farm to Protect and Grow a Community

August 7, 2013 |
Dennis Minnich, West Boylston, MA Chief of Police and Owner of Stone's Throw Farm. Photo Credit: West Boylston Police Dept.

Dennis Minnich, West Boylston, MA Chief of Police and Owner of Stone’s Throw Farm. Photo Credit: West Boylston Police Dept.

Not content with just being Chief of the West Boylston police force in Massachusetts, Dennis Minnich became the warden of a locked pen of 70 miniature horses; and that was only the beginning. He noticed the huge property containing them was falling into disarray as its owner was aging and in his limited free time, Minnich volunteered to help take care of the horses. In 2011, when the owner put the property up for sale, Minnich realized that he wanted to become a farmer.

To save the farm from encroaching commercial developers, he scrounged together the money, bought it, branded it Stone’s Throw Farm, and registered it as an Agricultural Preservation Restriction. Read More

Awareness of Environmental Impact, Embrace of Sustainability, Defines 4th Generation Deardorff Family Farms

August 5, 2013 |
Photo credit: Deardorff Family Farms

Photo credit: Deardorff Family Farms

The Deardorff family has been in the produce business since 1937, helping local farmers in Venice, Hollywood, and Los Angeles distribute their produce. As the city of Los Angeles swelled in the early 1960’s, the Deardorffs followed many of their growers north to Ventura County and began to work the land themselves on their own 50-acre ranch. Since then Deardorff Family Farms has passed through four generations and grown immensely. Today, cousins Scott Deardorff, and Tom Deardorff II farm 2,000 acres of sustainably grown celery, tomatoes, greens, and mixed vegetables throughout Ventura County. They market their produce through wholesale distributors, at local markets, and directly to consumers. Read More

Organic Farm Thrives Amidst Illinois Monoculture

July 30, 2013 |

bluemoon farmVisiting Blue Moon Farm is a visual delight—an oasis of diverse organic vegetable production in a sprawling landscape otherwise filled with fields of conventionally grown corn and soybean. Long rows of kale, bok choy, and other greens dot the landscape while greenhouses filled with tomatoes and melons stand in stark contrast to the surrounding monoculture.

Jon Cherniss has been tending this land since 1997, finding ways of increasing profitability and longevity while maintaining a commitment to organic farming methods, which are often eschewed in favor of short-term gains in Central Illinois. Read More