Posts By Traci Knight
Farmers just received a bit more help from the technology sector with a new app created by George Lee, founder of FarmPlenty, located in San Mateo, CA.
With credentials as a software engineer at both Google and Twitter, Lee quit his job at Twitter to focus on consulting and technology development in sustainable agriculture.
According to Lee, more focus is needed on pressing issues of public health and climate change. Although agriculture is topping his list right now, Lee also cares deeply about education, the environment, health and poverty alleviation.
Located in Pierce County, Washingon, Mother Earth Farm is founded on land that has been passed down through generations of women. And now the farm works to inspire new women to join agriculture through its educational program for incarcerated people.
The farm is an integral part of the Emergency Food Network, a nonprofit that aggregates and distributes large amounts of food from the federal government, private donations and grocery surpluses. The organization also leverages its purchasing power to maintain adequate supplies for 73 area food banks.
A newly minted portable food waste digester hopes to revolutionize small-to-medium scale kitchen operations in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.
The system, called HORSE (High-solids Organic-waste Recycling System with Electrical output), looks to fill demand for small, affordable food waste digester technology. Designed by Seattle-based company Impact Bioenergy for use in campuses, restaurants and municipalities, the system uses biomimicry to process food waste into natural gas that can be stored for 24 hours.
The HORSE system can produce hot water, heat and electricity, and comes equipped with three kinds of odor control in the form of a biofilter, charcoal filter and an atomizing misting system. It also contains extra controls for fire pits and barbecues. According to Jan Allen, President of Impact Bioenergy, great effort was taken to make HORSE compatible with an urban environment. The unit boasts exterior lighting and a pleasing facade.
For the past eight years, the Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness initiative has focused on school wellness, activities and increasing local food for young people. The group took advantage of new federal government nutritional requirements and worked with Iowa school systems to help create a seasonal, local menu for students in six districts. Funding for the project was obtained through the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University.
Despite the lack of a robust agricultural program at Oakland University, located in Rochester Hills, Mich., a growing movement to fuse ecology and sustainability into the curriculum of this science and arts driven academic institution is emerging.
Both undergraduate and graduate students can gain 12 to 13 credits working on OU’s student organic farm and up to 20 total credits with cross-disciplinary electives that focus on the history of agriculture and food system development.