In a world filled with contaminated food outbreaks, low-quality fresh produce at the grocery stores and an emerging class of sustainable producers, the time to improve fresh food logistics is now upon us.
That’s why innovative and award-winning minds at Infratab Inc., incorporated in 2002 and headquartered in Oxnard, California, have spent years researching how to keep food fresh from field to consumer. The company offers small farmers, produce truck fleet owners and farmers’ markets Freshtime, a perishable food monitoring system at an affordable price.
Home to the University of Kansas and the City of Lawrence, Douglas County, Kansas is in the midst of developing a thriving local food and urban agriculture movement.
In 2010, the county formed a Food Policy Council to identify opportunities, challenges and benefits for a sustainable local food system.
Eileen Horn, sustainability coordinator for Douglas County and the City of Lawrence, serves on the Council with 24 others, including farmers, representatives from food retail establishments, Kansas State University Extension, Lawrence Public Schools, the Downtown Lawrence Farmers’ Market and the Douglas County Health Department.
Home to over 80 food trucks, approximately 25 mini-farmers’ markets, seven large farmers’ markets and 200 community food-producing gardens, the City of Minneapolis continues to lead the country in fostering urban agriculture and local food businesses.
“Community gardens make people work side by side,” says Jane Shey, coordinator of Homegrown Minneapolis, a city-led urban agriculture initiative that launched in 2009.
“It’s a community building exercise and I don’t think we can underestimate the value of that.”
In the early years of the twenty-first century, the environmental activism of former Vice President Al Gore inspired many people to action. Among them was president and co-founder of Calgary-based Livestock Water Recycling, Ross Thurston. In 2003, Thurston was so inspired by the former vice president’s work concerning the global water crisis that he decided to pursue a potential solution to this problem—global water treatment.
Thurston focused his water treatment efforts on livestock production, a largely underserviced global water market. He realized that although livestock production used 70 percent of the world’s water daily, wastewater treatment in the livestock industry was practically nonexistent. He also learned that the amount of waste created through livestock production is staggering.
Center for Sustainability at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo to Host Compost Training Course on March 24 – 28March 3, 2014 | seedstock
The Center for Sustainability, Cal Poly Agriculture, Food and Enviromental Sciences’ (CAFES) training course is a 4-Day Professional Development Certificate Series in large-scale composting. Additionally, there will be a 1-Day Industry/Grower Compost Symposium that will take place on Friday, March 28. More details are below:
Professional Development Certificate Series (Monday -Thursday)
A four-day comprehensive training on large-scale composting. This workshop will lead participants through the entire composting process from site selection and management techniques, to compost utilization and marketing strategies. Workshop includes a combination of classroom, laboratory and hands-on exercises including recipes, troubleshooting, regulatory issues, and end product evaluation. One day will be devoted to a tour of regional composting and organics recycling facilities. An optional ‘Certificate of Technical Ability’ will be available upon completion of the course.
NY Sun Works, a non-profit organization that builds innovative science labs in urban schools, partnered with a small group of parents at PS 333, The Manhattan School for Children, to found The Greenhouse Project Initiative in 2008.
“Through our Greenhouse Project Initiative, we use hydroponic farming technology to educate and teachers about the science of sustainability,” says Manuela Zamora, NY Sun Works director and director of education programs.
The Greenhouse Project was founded because parents and educators within New York City’s K-8 public school system were concerned about what they perceived to be shortcomings in the systems’ environmental science program.
Landon Jefferies knew he wanted to pursue farming as a career, but the options in the city were limited.
So after spending a year working farmers’ markets for The Food Trust, a Philadelphia organization that works to ensure access to affordable, nutritious food and information, and three seasons as the manager of Wyck Home Farm, a Philadelphia historic home, garden and farm, he and partner Lindsey Shapiro set about launching Root Mass Farm in rural Berks County, Pennsylvania in the summer of 2011.
East Baltimore, home to numerous once-beautiful but now decaying buildings, will soon experience revitalization if plans underway for a new food and agriculture project―the Baltimore Food Hub―take shape, thanks to American Communities Trust and a coalition of other partners.
The Food Hub will be the first of its kind in Baltimore and will sit on a 3.5-acre tract which includes the historic Eastern Pumping Station.
According to Greg Heller, interim president and CEO of American Communities Trust, the Food Hub should be up and running by the end of 2015. It will be home to an urban farm, farm stand and garden center, all of which will be open to the public. Spike Gjerde, a Baltimore-based award-winning chef, will have a production kitchen at the facility, which will utilize locally-grown produce and provide jobs.
Seedstock’s “Grow Riverside” Sustainable Agriculture Conference Enhances Event with Nationally Known ExpertsFebruary 26, 2014 | seedstock
RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Spearheading the movement to assist cities develop more urban sustainable farming within their environs, the “Grow Riverside: Citrus and Beyond!” conference continues to expand its stellar program lineup with notable authorities in resource management, agricultural growth strategies and public policy. The March 19-20 event presented by Seedstock in partnership with the City and Community of Riverside will be held at the Riverside Convention Center.
Appearing as opening night keynote is Richard Conlin, who created Seattle’s local food initiative while serving as a City Councilmember. Conlin will talk about how to develop and establish urban sustainable agricultural policies – from land-use to funding efforts.
“Local food policy is a key element in creating environmental sustainability, economic prosperity and improved public health,” Conlin said. “I hope my experience can help provide guidance on how to put this into practice.”
Josh Rittenberg, Ben-Yam Barshi, and Jared Kasner needed capital to fund the production of their modular home aquaponics system, the Aqualibrium Garden. They had created a prototype, but the industrial molds were very expensive. So the trio turned to Kickstarter, launching a campaign for 30 days in fall 2013.
“It’s really a marathon, it’s not a sprint,” Rittenberg says of the Kickstarter campaign, calling the experience amazing but also harrowing.
“We were all round the clock answering emails.” Because Kickstarter has an international audience, they would get the emails in the middle of the night from countries like French Polynesia, and they had to be sure to answer every email.