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Second ‘Future of Food’ Field Trip Explores Community Development Endeavors in Los Angeles, CA

March 21, 2017 |

On Friday, March 17, Seedstock hosted the ‘Future of Food – Community Development Field Trip’, which provided attendees an excursion into the diversity of innovative food and farming ventures that have emerged to increase food access, reduce food waste, create jobs, advocate for food equity, and improve health and nutrition across Southern California. The tour was the second in a series of Seedstock ‘Future of Food’ field trips that was recently launched to facilitate the exploration of food system innovations that are generating economic and community capital. Participants were treated to lectures and sessions from experts in the fields of community gardening, urban farming, and food justice.

The trip kicked off with a stop at Lavender Hill Urban, a key project of the Los Angeles Community Garden Council (LACGC), which manages 42 community gardens in Los Angeles County. Comprised of four and half acres of land, Lavender Hill Farm is located alongside the 110 freeway near Chinatown in Los Angeles, directly behind the Solano Canyon Community Garden. It was launched to provide meaningful work for ex-cons, former addicts, and at-risk teenagers. Read More

California Farmers Face Difficult Decisions in the Wake of Trump Administration Deportation Policy

March 20, 2017 |

The 2004 film A Day Without a Mexican presented a scenario in which fresh produce from California’s farms were being sold on the black market and out of car trunks as a consequence of the sudden disappearance of the country’s Mexican population. Although satirical in nature, the message behind the film is becoming more relevant due to recent Trump administration policies regarding immigration and deportation.

According to statistics from the Farm Labor Survey of the USDA’s National Agriculture Statistics Service, in 2012, there were nearly 1.1 million farm workers, on average, working on the 2.1 million farms in the United States. Of those workers, approximately 50 percent were undocumented laborers. This percentage increased when broken down into specific crop production, with undocumented workers accounting for 67 percent of farm workers in the fruit and nut industry and 61 percent in the vegetable industry compared to nine percent and 17 percent, respectively, of farm workers who were U.S. citizens. Read More

Indoor Ag-Con Returns to Las Vegas to Discuss Farm Economics and New Technology Trends in Hydroponics, Aquaponics & Aeroponics

March 14, 2017 |

Photo credit: Robert Puro.

News Release — Las Vegas, NV – March 14, 2017 — Indoor agriculture – growing crops using hydroponic, aquaponic and aeroponic techniques – has become popular as consumer demand for “local food” leads growers to add new farms in industrial and suburban areas across the country. Indoor Ag-Con – the industry’s premier conference – will be returning to Las Vegas for the fifth year on May 3-4, 2017 to discuss the prospects for this increasingly important contributor to the global food supply chain.

The two-day event will be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, and is tailored toward corporate executives from the technology, investment, vertical farming, greenhouse growing, and food and beverage industries, along with hydroponic, aquaponic and aeroponic startups and urban farmers. It is unique in being crop-agnostic, covering crops from leafy greens and mushrooms to alternate proteins and legal cannabis. Participants will receive an exclusive hard copy of the newest edition in a popular white paper series, which is sponsored by Urban Crops and will focus on the US industry’s development. Read More

From Shipping Container Farm, Casper, Wyo. Pastor and Hydroponic Lettuce Grower Preaches Local

March 13, 2017 |
skyline gardens hydroponic container farm

Pastor Matt Powell, the owner of Casper, Wyo.-based Skyline Gardens. Photo courtesy of Skyline Gardens.

Matt Powell opens the door to his hydroponic lettuce farm, housed in a used refrigerated storage container on the corner of his Casper, Wyoming property, and the Marriage of Figaro fills the air.

“My little Mp3 there is loaded up with Mozart and Bach. The study I heard said they tested growing plants in three sound proof environments. They had classical in one, death metal in another and silence in a third. Classical did the best, death metal did the second best,” laughs Powell explaining how his fresh hyperlocal greens are grown with the aid of some classic tunes as they stay cool in their farm-in-a-box environment. Read More

10 Sustainable Ag Degrees Worth Investigating

March 8, 2017 |

Whether you want to run a nonprofit focused on improving the food system or start your own organic farm, there’s a degree for that. In fact, America now boasts over 394 sustainable agriculture degrees and certificate programs. With so many great programs out there it’s hard to narrow down the best, so here are just ten of the great offerings for the budding farmer in you. Read More