Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture

Scroll to top

Top

Sustainable Ag + Food News: Seedstock’s Weekly Roundup

March 6, 2015 |

seedstock1  Partnership Aims to Advance Sustainable Agriculture Reporting (Environmental Leader)

Excerpt: The Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops (SISC) and The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) have partnered to align measurement and reporting of sustainable agriculture throughout the food industry. Read More

Urban Farm Raises Awareness, Offers Different Flavor of the Good Life in Affluent Southern California

March 5, 2015 |
Rishi Kumar. Courtesy Rishi Kumar

Rishi Kumar. Courtesy Rishi Kumar

Often, urban farming startups focus on bringing food options to underserved communities.

In the case of The Growing Home and its latest venture,  Sarvodaya Farms, the community in question is educated and affluent.

After interning on a sustainable farm in India, Rishi Kumar wanted to bring his experiences back to affluent Diamond Bar. He is now offering his well-heeled neighbors a different flavor of the good life. With chickens for eggs, compost and bees for honey, the Kumar is bringing the world of locally grown to a community that doesn’t have to think about self sufficiency in the same way many American communities do. Read More

New Orleans Nonprofit Incubates and Connects Local Farmers and Growers

March 3, 2015 |
Image courtesy of New Orleans Food and Farm Network

Image courtesy of New Orleans Food and Farm Network

Since its inception in 2002, the New Orleans Food and Farm Network (NOFFN) has been sponsoring growing projects and providing technical and financial support to local agriculture.

But their latest project, Food & Farm Works @ Edible Enterprises — a collaboration between them and St. Charles Parish — takes the New Orleans local food movement a step further by incubating small food producers through a commercial kitchen and business education program.

“This is the time to think about food security in a very practical way; how do you incubate projects that are self sustaining? How do we help people make a living doing it?” asks Sanjay Kharod, Executive Director of NOFFN. Kharod took over the nonprofit four years ago, bringing with him a strong background in food justice.  In his previous position, he worked as a partnership developer in New York’s highly successful Just Food organization. Read More

Toronto Aquaponics Startup Works Toward a ‘New Normal’ in Local Food Production

March 2, 2015 |
Photo courtesy of Aqua Greens.

Photo courtesy of Aqua Greens.

Pablo Alvarez and Craig Petten are Toronto natives with a combined 40 years of experience in the food industry. By starting  a new aquaponic farm in their home city, the co-founders hope to both increase Toronto’s food stability and increase people’s connection with their food.

Alvarez and Petten first discovered aquaponics during their time at Humber College, where they majored in Sustainable Energy and Building Technology. After 20 years working in the hospitality industry in Toronto, the pair founded Aqua Greens. As Petten explains, their work in hospitality allowed them to see first hand the lack of connection between food and its source. Read More

Women in Food: Jo Ann Baumgartner and the Wild Farm Alliance Unite Conservation and Agriculture

March 2, 2015 |
Jo Ann Baumgartner. Image courtesy of Jo Ann Baumgartner.

Jo Ann Baumgartner. Image courtesy of Jo Ann Baumgartner.

Jo Ann Baumgartner’s interest in wild farming—the practice of integrating agriculture with local ecosystems to support both high crop yields and a healthy, biodiverse environment— started when she and her husband worked their own organic farm.

Baumgartner “came from an  understanding and love of wild nature,” and had always relished a chance vacation or outing that let her be in the outdoors. While farming, she began to see connections between the land she cultivated and the wild places she loved. While working on a book about California’s endangered species, she noticed that many creatures were rare precisely because of agriculture, which has replaced the natural habitat of many species with crops grown in monoculture. Read More

Sustainable Ag + Food News: Seedstock’s Weekly Roundup

February 26, 2015 |

seedstock1  Hoosier Farmer Honored with National Sustainable Award (Hoosier Ag Today)

Excerpt: Andrew Fansler who farms 4,500 acres of no till corn and soybeans in Shelby County was presented with the national Young Farmers Sustainability award Wednesday in Phoenix, AZ. Read More

New Hampshire-based Nonprofit Helps Immigrants Find a Fresh Start in Farming

February 26, 2015 |
Refugee farmers produce and sell both American and ethnic produce for the New Hampshire farmers’ market scene. Photo courtesy of Fresh Start Farms.

Refugee farmers produce and sell both American and ethnic produce for the New Hampshire farmers’ market scene. Photo courtesy of Fresh Start Farms.

Growing food is a universal need. One nonprofit is leveraging that fact to create a path for immigrants and refugees to transition into a new life in America.

At Fresh Start Farms, a project of the Organization for Refugee and Immigrant Success (ORIS), immigrant and refugee entrepreneurs participate in the New American Sustainable Agriculture Project (NASAP). The program has been in operation since 2008, and helps new arrivals to not only establish a food source for their family, but to begin a sustainable small business in their adopted community.

Read More

Neighborhood Alliance Plans to Convert Vacant Lot into Urban Farm, Housing Complex

February 24, 2015 |
Image courtesy of Grow Pittsburgh

Image courtesy of Grow Pittsburgh

The Hilltop Alliance, a Pennsylvania nonprofit, is working on a project that could drastically advance urban agriculture in the state. The organization wants to turn a vacant 107-acre lot into Hilltop Village Farm, a multi-use development that would include 120 townhomes, a 20-acre urban farm incubator, a youth farm and CSA. If the plan is successful, the farm could be one of the largest urban farms in the country.

The Hilltop Alliance was formed in 2009 as a multi-neighborhood community development organization. Read More

Riverside, CA Restaurant Owner Ronaldo Fierro Sees Multiple Benefits of Sourcing Food Locally

February 24, 2015 |
Ronaldo Fierro (right), owner of The Salted Pig and W. Wolfskill in Riverside, California, is a big proponent of local foods. He is also sponsoring a dinner featuring locally-grown food at the upcoming Grow Riverside conference in June. (photo courtesy Ronaldo Fierro)

A Persimmon Salad, featuring locally-grown produce, is featured on the menu of The Salted Pig. This Riverside restaurant is owned by Ronaldo Fierro, who is sponsoring two upcoming Grow Riverside dinner events, each featuring local foods. (photo courtesy Ronaldo Fierro)

Riverside restaurateur Ronaldo Fierro believes in locally-produced food—it tastes good, it’s good for the economy, and it’s important for the health and vitality of Riverside, California, and its residents.

Owner of The Salted Pig, a downtown Riverside gastropub, and W. Wolfskill, a Riverside craft cocktail bar, Fierro has always strived to source ingredients as locally as possible.

“Since the beginning, our goal was to use local produce,” he says. Fierro defines local as within a 30-mile radius of downtown Riverside. Read More

Southern California Farmer Strives to Build Community and Food Sovereignty

February 23, 2015 |
Hop Hopkins is co-founder of Panther Ridge Farm, located near Southern California’s San Gabriel Mountains. (photo courtesy of Hop Hopkins)

Hop Hopkins is co-founder of Panther Ridge Farm, located near Southern California’s San Gabriel Mountains. (photo courtesy of Hop Hopkins)

Panther Ridge Farm is a four-year-old, first-generation family farm in the foothills of Southern California’s San Gabriel Mountains. Founded by farmer and community organizer Hop Hopkins and his wife, Adalila Zelada-Garcia, the farm is focused on sustainable organic (non-certified) agriculture.

A variety of items are grown and raised at Panther Ridge Farm, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, herbs, flowers, mushrooms, heritage fowl and bees. A prime aim at the farm is to help increase food sovereignty, especially for poor people and those impacted by degradation of the land.

A second objective is education, which is fulfilled through the farm’s Outdoor School, where children and families learn about agriculture and the wilderness through hands-on, experiential programs. Participants learn how the natural world connects and sustains all living things, and the link between nature and agriculture is emphasized. Read More