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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture
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2nd International Congress on Controlled Environment Agriculture Slated for May in Panama

February 27, 2017 |

Panama City, Republic of Panama — The Foundation for the Development of Controlled Environment Agriculture (FDCEA) announces the 2nd International Congress on Controlled Environment Agriculture (ICCEA 2017) to be held in Panama City, Republic of Panama at the Hotel El Panama Convention Center May 17, 18 and 19, 2017.

This educational gathering brings together growers, agriculture-related companies and educational institutions from around the world. The focus of the ICCEA 2017 will be on learning and applying the foundations of controlled environment agriculture (CEA) from renowned experts in the applied fields of science, horticulture, lighting, robotics and engineering. Read More

A Small Campus Farm in Indiana Spreads Big Ideas about Urban Agriculture

February 27, 2017 |

A small farm on the campus of Butler University in Indiana serves not only as a living example of the potential for urban agriculture, but is also functions as a hub for “research, education, and outreach.” The farm is managed by the University’s Center for Urban Ecology (CUE). Started in 2010 by CUE and student members of Earth Charter Butler, the farm initially occupied about a quarter of an acre of land on the university’s campus, which grew to an acre when grant money allowed for its expansion.

In 2011 the farm hired its first full-time manager and staff member, Tim Dorsey. Like many people drawn to urban farming, Tim didn’t have a background in agriculture. In fact, he graduated from college with a degree in Philosophy and only afterward became interested in issues affecting the food system, such as diminishing farmland and disappearing farm communities. Influenced by authors like Wendell Berry he soon started his own backyard garden that grew and expanded, along with his knowledge. Now Tim applies what he’s learned to the CUE farm and has embraced the project’s multiple objectives, which include creating awareness about the local food system and being a practical, living demonstration of sustainable agriculture. Read More

Five Unique Sustainable Ag Programs

February 22, 2017 |

A basic course in sustainable agriculture or organic food production may be the ideal route for many folks considering their own urban farm or community program but what if you are thinking a little more outside the sustainable box? Whether you want to grow fish, cannabis, trees or bees, there’s a sustainable agriculture program out there for you. Here are five unique sustainable ag opportunities for the adventurous agriculturalist. Read More

In Fight Against Food Poverty, L.A. Kitchen Embraces Imperfect Fruit and Intergenerational Workforce

February 13, 2017 |
Robert Egger, founder of L.A. Kitchen

Robert Egger, founder and CEO of L.A. Kitchen, a non-profit in Los Angeles that engages, empowers, and nourishes the local community. Photo Courtesy of L.A. Kitchen. Photo Credit: J Wiley Photography.

Fighting hunger is more than just about food for Robert Egger, founder and CEO of L.A. Kitchen, a non-profit in Los Angeles that engages, empowers, and nourishes the local community “by reclaiming healthy, local food that would otherwise be discarded, training men and women who are unemployed for jobs, and providing healthy meals to fellow citizens,” according to the organizations mission statement.

“Fighting hunger is a political act, a social act, an economic act,” says Egger. “I want to be a source and develop a model that shows how you can feed more people a better meal with less money.”

L.A. Kitchen is modeled after Egger’s first enterprise, D.C. Central Kitchen in Washington D.C. A chance experience of accompanying friends to feed the homeless there highlighted some inadequacies Egger couldn’t ignore, such as purchasing the food when so many people in the food industry he knew lamented over wasting food at the end of the night. Read More

To Transform the ‘Hood for Good’ Urban Farmer Chanowk Yisrael Plants Seeds not only in the Ground, but in Minds

February 6, 2017 |

Chanowk Yisrael, founder and farmer at the Yisrael Family Urban Farm teaching children how to plant and grow food. Photo Credit: The Yisrael Family Farm.

A common perception of farming encompasses the process of growing food and selling it to the masses. For many American farmers, this process represents their entire enterprise. Yet, for Chanowk Yisrael, being a farmer has greater significance for his family and community. With his wife and nine children, Yisrael operates the Yisrael Family Urban Farm on a half-acre plot in his backyard in South Oak Park, a historically working-class neighborhood in Sacramento, California.

Started in 2007 as a way to safeguard his family’s livelihood in the event of a recession, it took time before Yisrael got the hang of urban farming. However, once he did and came to understand the value of farming in a community, he transitioned full-time to life as a farmer. Read More