Urban Farming (urbanfarming.org), the organization that uses abandoned city lots to grow food for the hungry, was conceived when singer Taja Sevelle, a protégé discovered by Prince, moved to Detroit to record an album for Sony Records. She was devastated by the struggles of the city’s poor, already in the throes of the recession. The food banks couldn’t keep food on the shelves and were appealing for donations. She also noticed that as people fled the city there were more and more empty lots.
To celebrate the onset of the weekend and the inevitable Saturday or Sunday trip to the local farmers market to stock up on sustainably farmed produce for the week, today’s digest features profiles on some of the local food software system companies out there in the marketplace that are working to develop tools to help small – midsize sustainable farmers grow their operations beyond the farmers market in order to maintain financial sustainability.
Some of the fish come from farms while others come from the ocean, but they all come with a story. The fish in these stories have all been produced or caught using sustainable practices and have names like Loch Duart Salmon, Fisherman’s Daughter Shrimp, and Nunavut Wild Arctic Char. The teller of these fish stories is CleanFish, a unique San Francisco-based startup that connects sustainable fish producers to conscious consumers, chefs and markets who have come to associate the company’s brands with sustainability, traceability and transparency.
Group Will Be Honored at California Agriculture Innovation Conference
SACRAMENTO, Calif., July 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Grow-California announced that 14 California agricultural businesses have been chosen as the 2011 “Game Changers of the Year” in Agriculture Innovation. The award winners — a combination of agribusinesses, agricultural technology companies, university initiatives and innovative nonprofit programs — will be recognized by California Secretary of Food and Agriculture Karen Ross at a luncheon during the inaugural California Agriculture Innovation Conference scheduled for July 20-21 at UC Davis’s Freeborn Hall.
Local Dirt (localdirt.com) is a site for suitors. However, instead of matching up locals who are looking for love, it matches up anyone who loves to eat local food with the farmers who are willing to feed them. The service is grounded in research that shows that given the choice people would prefer to eat food grown in their own community (even more than they would prefer to eat organic). And it is driven by the desire to help small farmers market their products without having to rely on the kindness of supermarket chains. “Farmers lose about 40% of their crops because they just can’t sell it,” says Heather Hilleren, who came up with the idea for Local Dirt in a social entrepreneurship course that she took while studying for her MBA. “The local foods movement has finally given me hope for the future of farming.”