Tim and Lisa Meyers, owners of Meyers Farm, a sustainable farming operation in Bethel, Alaska, are in the process of opening up a new field to plant. In Bethel, 100 miles from the Bering Sea, that means scraping away topsoil and waiting a year or two for the permafrost to thaw.
Meyers farm is the region’s first and only farm. It started in 2003 as a small garden meant to feed the Meyers family and has since grown to 17 acres that feed the community. They grow a wide range of vegetables with an emphasis on cold weather crops that store well.
Valentine’s Day finds most romantics dashing to the neighborhood florist for a fresh bouquet of flowers for their sweetheart. But roses that have been doused with toxic pesticides and shipped half way across the globe, hardly inspire romance, especially for the environmentally conscious consumer. Thankfully, Tara Kolla of Silver Lake Farms in Los Angeles, dedicates herself to growing and selling locally-grown, organic flowers for those who like to keep it green even when they’re wearing red.
Kolla’s commitment to growing flowers sustainably, and the obstacles she has faced in doing so, has even helped change gardening laws in Los Angeles to allow more people to grow and sell fruits and flowers.
The owners of aquaponics-focused Future Farm Food and Fuel, LLC know how to maximize their resources.
The company’s operations take place out of a 27,000-square-foot greenhouse in Baldwin, Wisc., which houses fish tanks and growing bays that contain herbs and vegetables. Tubes run back and forth between the tanks and growing bays, recirculating water, otherwise known as effluent.
Trailblazing Organic Farm in Maryland, One Straw Farm, Puts Soil and Overall Health of Farm Ahead of Organic CertificationJanuary 20, 2012 | Kelly Hatton
In 1985, the word “organic” had yet to penetrate consumer consciousness. Joan Norman of One Straw Farm remembers fighting misconceptions of the word’s meaning when using it to classify the produce she and her husband, Drew, were growing on their 82-acre farm in Maryland. “In the beginning, if we said ‘organic’ people thought we were growing marijuana, or they thought they had to be vegetarian to eat our produce,” she said.
That changed in 1989. After a report that Alar, a chemical commonly sprayed on apples and other fruit crops, could increase cancer risk, public outcry led schools to stop serving apple juice and stores to take apple products off the shelves. “Everyone was asking for organic apples. Of course we didn’t have any,” Joan said. But One Straw Farm did have an abundance of other chemical-free food, and a growing base of customers seeking organic produce.
Farms across Texas suffered widespread drought and wildfires during 2011, the Lone Star state’s driest year on record. Thanks to sustainable practices, however, two young farmers in northeast Texas are helping to set a smart agricultural example for a state and a country facing a rapidly changing climate. Cardo’s Farm Project, located in Ponder, TX, is a working vegetable farm and education center founded by Daniel Moon and Amanda Austin in December of 2010.