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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture

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organic farming

Organic Farming Research Foundation Releases Grantmaking Review

February 29, 2016 |

organicfarmlogoIn November, the Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) released a review of research and education projects it funded between 2006 and 2014. An update to their 2006 report, “Investing in Organic Knowledge,” the report offers detailed insights into the most recent period of the organization’s grantmaking.

OFRF has four main areas of focus: policy, education, grantmaking and community. During the 2006-2014 period, OFRF issued a total of $1,452,517 in grants, each averaging around $14,000. Read More

Go Green Agriculture Pioneers Large-Scale Organic Hydroponics

October 20, 2015 |
A five-acre hydroponics greenhouse in Encinitas, California is the centerpiece of Go Green Agriculture. It produces multiple varieties of lettuce, as well as basil and watercress. (photo courtesy Pierre Sleiman/Go Green Agriculture)

A five-acre hydroponics greenhouse in Encinitas, California is the centerpiece of Go Green Agriculture. It produces multiple varieties of lettuce, as well as basil and watercress. (Photo courtesy Pierre Sleiman/Go Green Agriculture)

Five years ago, with no farming experience, Pierre Sleiman founded Go Green Agriculture. Today, the Encinitas, California company is one of the largest organic hydroponic operations in the United States.

Go Green Agriculture, last featured in Seedstock here, grows a variety of certified organic crops hydroponically in its five-acre greenhouse. They include Butter Lettuce, Red Salanova lettuce, basil, and watercress.

Not only was Sleiman embarking on a new adventure when starting Go Green Agriculture — he was also leading the charge in large-scale hydroponics. Because there was a lack of established standards and best practices to guide organic hydroponics farmers, Sleiman became involved in the regulatory side of things by lobbying USDA and other organizations. Read More

Seedstock Names Former CA Secretary of Agriculture, A.G. Kawamura, as Sustainable Ag Conference Keynote

July 23, 2014 |
AG Kawamura

A.G. Kawamura

(Los Angeles, CA, July 23, 2014) Seedstock today announced that former Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (2003-2010) Arthur Gen “A.G.” Kawamura, will deliver the keynote address at the 3rd Annual Seedstock Sustainable Agriculture Innovation Conference – “Reintegrating Ag: Local Food Systems and the Future of Cities.”

The program, to be held Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 11-12, 2014, will focus on the economic, environmental and community benefits that result from the development of robust local food systems.

“As a progressive urban farmer, A.G. Kawamura has had a lifetime of experience working within the shrinking rural and urban boundaries of Southern California,” said Seedstock co-founder Robert Puro. “With his extensive knowledge of California’s agricultural landscape, and the challenges and opportunities associated with the development of strong local food systems, he will bring a unique and enlightening perspective to our conference audience.” Read More

Organic farmers hone in on supply issues at Organic Trade Association Policy Conference

May 23, 2014 |

content_img.2106.imgWASHINGTON, May 22, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The voice of organic farmers rang loud and clear at this year’s Organic Trade Association’s Annual Policy Conference in discussions convened by OTA’s new Farmers Advisory Council (FAC) on how to address increasing concerns over short supplies in the rapidly expanding organic sector. Read More

California Real Estate Company Creates Organic Farmland With Unique Business Model

March 12, 2014 |

postFarmland-logo-largeCraig Wichner and Jason Bradford thought they wanted to be farmers.

In 2009, the pair took a road trip from Northern California to Oregon with a couple of friends eager to scout out land for their new farm. It quickly became clear, however, that the kind of farming they were interested in, where livestock and crops utilized the same land, was more than a little beyond their reach.

“We realized that if we were going to be driving the tractors and managing the livestock ourselves, we would need $10 million worth of farmland and that didn’t fit in our credit limits,” Wichner says.

That’s when they realized they would need a different kind of business model. Read More

Oregon Farm Grows Organic Chestnuts for Roasting o’er an Open Fire

December 23, 2013 |
Dried Chestnuts Image Credit: Ladd Hill Farms

Dried Chestnuts
Image Credit: Ladd Hill Farms

This time of year, the airwaves fill with the soothing voice of Nat King Cole crooning about chestnuts.

Though this seasonal treat is not as common as it used to be when you could buy a handful from a sidewalk vendor or pick a bowlful from your own native tree, it is still possible to find fresh chestnuts to roast, boil, broil, or tuck into casseroles. Ben and Sandy Bole have owned Ladd Hill Orchards since 1988.

When they purchased it, the property was a neglected walnut orchard sixteen miles south of Read More

Organic Farm School Teaches Tomorrow’s Farmers Everything from Soil to Sales

December 18, 2013 |
Source: Greenbank Farm

Source: Greenbank Farm

In 2008, Greenbank Farm  established its Organic Farm School to teach sustainable agricultural methods to students from all walks of life. The farm, located on Greenbank, Washington’s Whidbey Island, teaches agriculture methods and emphasizes how to manage a farm as a viable business.

Farm manager and instructor Jessica Babcock says the Farm School’s emphasis on business management is what sets it apart from other organic agricultural training programs.

“Each student leaves the program with an extensive business plan they have written that they can use to start their own sustainable farm business,” says Babcock. Read More

Sustainable Ag Org. in Ohio Sees Increased Role in Supporting Influx of New Farmers

December 11, 2013 |
Source: Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association

Source: Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association

Ohio farmers new to sustainable agriculture can get a leg up on the learning curve with the help of the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA).

The non-profit organization, established in 1979, works to promote and support the sustainable agriculture community in Ohio from producers to consumers including those new to farming. OEFFA assists new farmers through a variety of networking events, an apprenticeship program, and an investment fund created to encourage the expansion of sustainable farming practices.

Read More