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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture
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CSA

More Than Just a Pig Farm, Jake’s Country Meats Bridges Gap Between Food Production and Consumption

July 18, 2013 |

Jake’s Country Meats is more than just a pig farm—it is a family legacy. After six generations of raising pigs in the Michigan countryside, the Robinson family has developed a special connection to the land and remains dedicated to their mission of bridging the gap between food production and consumption.

According to the Robinson’s youngest daughter Renee, her father, Nate Robinson, has pig farming “in his blood” and he does a top-notch job of raising his Heritage breed pigs on pasture.

Renee, who came back to work on the farm after earning a degree in Marketing from Western Michigan University, takes part in all aspects of the family business. Read More

A Fresh Start on Second-Generation Applecheek Farm with Focus on Pasture Raised Livestock

July 15, 2013 |
Photo Credit: Applecheek Farm

Photo Credit: Applecheek Farm

John Clark grew up on his father’s dairy farm – Applecheek Farm of Hyde Park, Vermont – and began working on the farm full-time in 2005. Clark purchased the farm from his father three months ago, and is already diversifying and reengineering the operation. Applecheek Farm raises all kinds of livestock, from hogs to cows, while providing education and agricultural tourism. Clark focuses on sustainability and simplicity on the farm with big dreams for the future of his local food community.

I recently spoke with Clark about how the farm began, the sustainable practices that he uses and his future goals for a food hub on the farm. Read More

High Schoolers at Pasadena’s Muir Ranch Connect to Food, Support 150 Member CSA

July 11, 2013 |

John Muir Ranch in Pasadena, Calif., has only been in full operation since 2011, but during the past two years, the once small, test garden has grown into a large, vegetable and flower producing farm.

The Ranch resides at the John Muir High School campus. When Doss Jones, former biology teacher, master gardener and founder of Muir Ranch, planted the Ranch’s first plot, she only used it as a learning garden for one of the high school’s elective courses. “It was six rows. [At the time,] she was working with another master gardener and they had a little bit of grant money to try and build a curriculum, but the money, after two years, it was gone. They couldn’t really do much more with the garden [at the time],” Erika Redke, former CSA manager at Muir Ranch, said. Read More

Seedstock Names “Farm Fresh To You” CEO as Sustainable Agriculture Conference Keynote Speaker

July 8, 2013 |
Thaddeus Barsotti of Farm Fresh To You

Thaddeus Barsotti of Farm Fresh To You

LOS ANGELES, CA – Seedstock today announced that Thaddeus Barsotti, co-CEO of Farm Fresh To You and Capay Organic, will deliver the keynote address at the 2nd Annual Seedstock Sustainable Agriculture Innovation Conference – Farming: Fundamentals and the Future. The program, to be held Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 5-6, 2013, will explore solutions and business models with the potential to assist local producers in increasing their presence in the supply chain.

Born on his family’s Sacramento-area farm, one of the first in Yolo County to be certified organic, Barsotti grew up imbued with the philosophy of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). He holds a degree in Agricultural Engineering from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and, as the company’s chief farmer, heads up farm management in growing and maintaining over 60 types (130 varieties) of fruit and vegetable crops on the company’s farm operations in Capay Valley and Imperial and Ventura counties. Read More

Closing in on Four Centuries, Nation’s Oldest Farm Continues to Support Local Food System

July 8, 2013 |
Photo Credit: Appleton Farms.

Photo Credit: Appleton Farms.

Appleton Farms of Ipswich, Mass. is the nation’s oldest continually operating farm. Nine generations of Appleton’s have farmed the land since 1636. In 1998, the family donated the farm’s 1000 acres of farmland, pasture, and woodlands to The Trustees of Reservations, a non-profit land conservation organization that manages over 26,000 acres of land in 75 communities throughout Massachusetts.

“When we took over Appleton Farms from the family in 1998, the goal was not to compete with current farming operations, but to help support the momentum for local, healthy food and engaging the community and the public in a way to get people involved in land,” said Holly Hannaway, a spokesperson for Appleton Farms and The Trustees of Reservations.

Today, Appleton Farms supports a 550-share Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Program, donates 10,000 pounds of food annually to local food pantries, trains farming apprentices to be able to establish their own farms, manages a year round dairy store, offers farm-to-table dinners and cooking workshops for kids and adults and maintains 12 miles of trail for recreational use. Read More