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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture
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Hive Income Promotes Hive Health

July 31, 2017 |

The Best Bees Company, founded in 2010, was delivering, installing and maintaining beehives across New England before branching out into several major cities including Washington D.C., Denver, Chicago and Los Angeles. Photo courtesy of The Best Bees Company.

When PhD graduate Noah Wilson-Rich looked around for a way to raise capital for bee health research, he stumbled upon the idea of starting a beehive installation company. Before long, The Best Bees Company, founded in 2010, was delivering, installing and maintaining beehives across New England before branching out into several major cities including Washington D.C., Denver, Chicago and Los Angeles. With a focus on creating a healthier bee population and preventative messages to combat multiple stress disorder, Wilson-Rich and his nationwide team of trained beekeepers are collecting regional bee data, disrupting traditional patterns of honeybee home choice and encouraging the restoration of America’s dwindling pollinator habitat.

“Everything we do is in Boston, it’s like our experimental area; then we scale that across the different sites,” says Wilson-Rich, founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Boston-based The Best Bees Company.  Custom built hives, installation and monthly maintenance as well as the bees necessary to make the whole thing work runs Read More

Nine of America’s Largest Urban Farms

July 17, 2017 |

The American urban farm comes in many guises but come it does. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 800 million people worldwide practice urban agriculture. That accounts for between 15 to 20 percent of the world’s food supply. As urban ag continues to build momentum across all 50 states, the influence and scope of the urban farm is growing. Most of us think of less than a couple of acres when we think urban farm, yet urban farms are getting bigger. And some are getting really big. Read More

Tufts University Online Graduate Certificate Program in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems

June 23, 2017 |

Sponsored Story: The Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University is currently accepting applications to the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems online graduate certificate program.

The online program is ideal for professionals engaged in a variety of food-related businesses and organizations, as well as others who would like to learn more about implementing sustainable practices for their organizations, partners, and communities. Read More

Sensing Opportunity in Drought, Two Horticulture Classmates Launch Eco Conscious Aquaponics Farm

June 21, 2017 |

The Eco Conscious Aquaponics team in their greenhouse in Goleta, CA. Owners Julian Cantando and Clayton Garland (pictured center left and center right) decided to launch the farm at the height of the California drought. Photo credit: Pamela Ellgen.

In 2016, at the height of the California drought, Julian Cantando and Clayton Garland envisioned a more sustainable farming model than traditional soil-based agriculture, which has always thrived in California.

“Last year was the seventh year of the drought, the lake was down, and the threat of not having water was real, at least for other farmers who aren’t on a well. It was kind of a bleak situation,” Cantando says.

He and Garland were classmates in the Horticulture Program at Santa Barbara City College and often discussed going into business together. Read More

How a New Way of Thinking About Soil Sparked a National Movement in Agriculture

June 20, 2017 |

This article was originally published on Ensia.com

As word gets around that soil is alive, farmers have adopted a whole new attitude toward their land.

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For three weeks every month, Ray Archuleta captivates audiences with a few handfuls of soil. He begins with two clumps, dropping them into water. The soil from a farm where the soil isn’t tilled holds together, while the tilled soil immediately disperses, indicating poor soil structure. Next, volunteers from the audience — mostly farmers and ranchers — pour water over a soil that grew a variety of crops, and it runs right through. A sample of tilled soil that grew only corn is like a brick, and the water sits on top. Water is the most precious resource for growing crops, and having a soil that is unable to absorb water is crippling for farmers. Read More