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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture

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Fermentation Bus Preaches Benefits of Preserving Local Food

February 8, 2016 |
Courtesy Fermentation on Wheels.

Courtesy Fermentation on Wheels.

Sourdough starters. Vinegar. Cider, kimchi, kefir, and a variety of misos. 

Up until this past October, these aging wonders, along with Oregonian Tara Whitsitt, were traveling around the United States in a school bus-turned-fermentation lab. Whitsitt and her crew were visiting cities and communities across the country to spread knowledge about fermentation.

Why?

It promotes the importance of staying connected to your local food source,” explains Whitsitt, “Fermentation on Wheels encourages sustainable food practices and values in addition to teaching empowerment and preservation through fermentation.” Read More

Can Small Farmers Make a Profit at Farmers’ Markets?

October 12, 2015 |
Orange Home Grown Farmers' and Artisans Market in Orange, CA. Photo credit Lisa David.

Orange Home Grown Farmers’ and Artisans Market in Orange, CA. Photo credit Lisa David.

The last decade has seen nothing short of a bonanza in farmers’ markets in America. Between 2007-2014, the number of farmers’ markets in the U.S. has grown by nearly 180 percent, according to a January 2015 USDA report. That’s accompanied by a 288 percent growth in regional food hubs and 430 percent in farm-to-school programs.

But the data also show that while food hub sales continue to climb, sales at farmers’ markets may have peaked.

So can farmers, especially ones who operate on a small scale, make enough money at farmers’ markets to make it worth their while? Or is the proliferation of farmers’ market we’ve seen over the last decade coming to an end? Read More

Boston’s Market District Just Got a Whole Lot More Local

September 15, 2015 |
The Boston Public Market, which opened on July 30, sources 92 percent of its food from Massachusetts, and the rest from other New England states. (photo courtesy of Andrew Farnitano/Boston Public Market)

The Boston Public Market, which opened on July 30, sources 92 percent of its food from Massachusetts, and the rest from other New England states. (photo courtesy of Andrew Farnitano/Boston Public Market)

Already home to iconic Faneuil Hall and the Haymarket open-air market, Boston’s new Boston Public Market sells only locally-produced fare.

The market, which opened on July 30, is unique due to its stringent focus on local. A whopping 92 percent of produce sold there comes from Massachusetts and the remaining 8 percent is from surrounding New England states, according to market manager Tiffani Emig.

Emig hopes the Boston Public Market can boost people’s passions for buying local, and in turn take food buying back to its roots. Currently the market has 37 vendors that sell an astounding variety of items ranging from dairy products, pastrami, honey, fish, meat, produce, beer, baked goods, wine, pasta, noodles, cider and more. Read More

Orlando Farmers’ Market Offers Full Local Food Experience

January 7, 2015 |
Patrons of East End Market in Orlando, Florida gather for a harvest dinner. (photo courtesy of Heather Grove/East End Market)

Patrons of East End Market in Orlando, Florida gather for a harvest dinner. (photo courtesy of Heather Grove/East End Market)

In a city known for recreation and tourism, Orlando’s East End Market offers its own attractions with chefs, artists, shops and a restaurant.

And this Central Florida food destination offers even more—in addition to its market, entertainment and education draws, East End Market is also a food hub, complete with educational opportunities and an incubator kitchen. Read More

5 Cold-Weather Farmers’ Markets to Keep You Fed This Winter

December 1, 2014 |
Badseed Market. Image courtesy of Badseed Market.

Badseed Market. Image courtesy of Badseed Market.

Just because the weather is frigid in many states across the nation, doesn’t mean local farmers aren’t producing killer produce. There’s no reason top forgo the pleasure and health benefits of connecting with your local farmers during the long, cold winter.

To that end, we’ve rounded up 5 cold-weather winter farmers’ markets that we think do a great job feeding their communities throughout the chilly, snow-covered season.

If we missed any winter farmers’ markets that you adore, please tell us about them in the comment section. We’d love to hear about what you buy at winter farmers’ markets, too. Read More

George Washington’s Produce: Five Historic Farmers’ Markets To Visit This Summer

August 19, 2014 |
POSTEaston-Farmers-Market-press-photo

Photo courtesy of Easton Farmers’ Market

One of the pleasures of late summer is a trip to a farmers’ market, when the fresh produce is in abundance.  No pale-faced supermarket tomatoes here: vendor stalls overflow with the fruits of their labor, and there’s not a shrink-wrapped zucchini in sight. While a plethora of new farmers’ markets have been established in many communities in response to the growing demand for local food, but they are hardly a new concept.

Here are five markets still thriving, even hundreds of years after their founding. Read More

New Data Reflects the Continued Demand for Farmers Markets

August 4, 2014 |

post_usdalogoNews Release – WASHINGTON, Aug. 4, 2014 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Administrator Anne Alonzo announced over the weekend that USDA’s National Farmers Market Directory now lists 8,268 markets, an increase of 76 percent since 2008. The data reflects continued demand and growth of farmers markets in every region of the country. Alonzo also announced that AMS is developing three new local food directories that will expand USDA’s support for local and regional foods by providing easy access to the most current information about the local food market. Read More

Michigan Market Serves Neighborhood with Incubator Kitchen, Indoor Market and Online Food Hub

July 22, 2014 |
Photo Courtesy of Allen Market Place

Photo Courtesy of Allen Market Place

Local food growers, consumers and entrepreneurs in the Lansing, Michigan area have had good cause to celebrate as of late. Last September, Allen Neighborhood Center, a community development agency that doubles as Mid-Michigan’s nonprofit food hub, opened the doors of a warehouse they’d spent months renovating.

Located directly behind their community center on the city’s northeast side, that building, the Allen Market Place, now serves as an incubator kitchen and indoor market. It’s also linked to an online market called the Exchange, that connects regional farmers and food producers with commercial and institutional buyers in a 75-mile range of Lansing. Read More