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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture
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Posts By Abbie Stutzer

Q&A: Iowa Land Trust Looks to Support New Farmers

July 29, 2015 |
Sustainable Iowa Land Trust (SILT)

Sustainable Iowa Land Trust (SILT)

The Sustainable Iowa Land Trust (SILT), which launched this past January, is off to a strong start with the contribution of 53 acres of prime farmland near Omaha. The organization’s mission is to support sustainable farming through land conservation.

To find out more about the organization and its plans, Seedstock spoke with Suzan Erem,  SILT’s president.

Seedstock: When and how was SILT founded? Read More

Buffalo’s Vertical Fresh Farms Aims for Big Production in a Small Footprint

July 8, 2015 |
Photo courtesy of Vertical Fresh Farms

Photo courtesy of Vertical Fresh Farms

Vertical Fresh Farms is a small aquaponic operation in Buffalo, New York. How small? The vertical farm is small enough to fit into owner Jeremy Witt’s garage.

That’s all by design. Witt and Matt Latham, the farm’s other co-owner, planned Vertical Fresh Farms’ small but sustainable layout.

From 2011 until spring of 2014, Latham and Witt intensely researched aquaponics to figure out how they could afford to build their own farm.

“Last year, we finally decided that we would start small and started out with a prototype,” Witt says. The prototype takes up an area that’s about 250 square feet. Read More

Countryside Initiative Invites Homesteaders to Work the Land at Cuyahoga Valley National Park

June 29, 2015 |
Photo courtesy of the Countryside Conservancy

Photo courtesy of the Countryside Conservancy

Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP) in Peninsula, Ohio, has nine homesteaders who reside on the Park’s land.

The CVNP has housed a non-profit farm conservancy since 1999, and recently, the conservancy opened up its program to new farmers once again.

The Initiative is inviting aspiring homesteaders and farmers from across the United States to apply to reside on the land’s two new vacant plots.

“The Countryside Initiative was first conceptualized by former CVNP superintendent, Jon Debo,” Tracy Emrick, partnership manager of the Countryside Conservancy, says.

Read More

Women in Food & Ag: In Her Own Distinct Way, Christina Traeger Sustains Family and Ranch

June 21, 2015 |
Christina Traeger. Photo courtesy of Christina Traeger

Christina Traeger. Photo courtesy of Christina Traeger

Christina Traeger is accustomed to hard work. After all, she runs a cattle ranch.

Traeger has to be tough to survive on her own and make certain her farm animals are happy and healthy. While she has faced a lot of hardships over the years, she’s quite content with her decision to become — and stay — a rancher in Minnesota.

Traeger grew up on a dairy farm about a half-mile down the road from Rolling Hills Traeger Ranch in Avon, Minnesota. Rolling Hills was first owned and operated by her great uncle, but after he was injured in an accident, she bought the ranch and started looking for a breed of cattle to tend. Read More

Women in Farming: Kari Spencer on Building an Urban Farm in the Desert

June 7, 2015 |
Kari Spencer at the Micro Farm. Courtesy of Kari Spencer.

Kari Spencer at the Micro Farm. Courtesy of Kari Spencer.

Kari Spencer has been smitten with farming since she spied her grandfather’s Midwestern garden when she was a little girl. But when Spencer grew up — and found herself in the middle of a desert — she knew she was going to have to invest in some training to successfully tend plants (and eventually animals) in the dry, Phoenix, Arizona climate.

But that’s just what she did, and since learning those valuable desert gardening skills, she’s successfully built an urban farm oasis: The Micro Farm Project.

Seedstock recently interviewed Spencer to find out how she learned her desert gardening skills, her experiences as a female farmer and more. Read More