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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture
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Posts By Trish Popovitch

From Shipping Container Farm, Casper, Wyo. Pastor and Hydroponic Lettuce Grower Preaches Local

March 13, 2017 |
skyline gardens hydroponic container farm

Pastor Matt Powell, the owner of Casper, Wyo.-based Skyline Gardens. Photo courtesy of Skyline Gardens.

Matt Powell opens the door to his hydroponic lettuce farm, housed in a used refrigerated storage container on the corner of his Casper, Wyoming property, and the Marriage of Figaro fills the air.

“My little Mp3 there is loaded up with Mozart and Bach. The study I heard said they tested growing plants in three sound proof environments. They had classical in one, death metal in another and silence in a third. Classical did the best, death metal did the second best,” laughs Powell explaining how his fresh hyperlocal greens are grown with the aid of some classic tunes as they stay cool in their farm-in-a-box environment. Read More

10 Sustainable Ag Degrees Worth Investigating

March 8, 2017 |

Whether you want to run a nonprofit focused on improving the food system or start your own organic farm, there’s a degree for that. In fact, America now boasts over 394 sustainable agriculture degrees and certificate programs. With so many great programs out there it’s hard to narrow down the best, so here are just ten of the great offerings for the budding farmer in you. 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

On Rich Soil Long Since Forgotten, an Urban Farm Rises to Reconnect Region to its Agricultural Roots

February 1, 2017 |
elliott kuhn founder of cottonwood urban farm in san fernando valley california

Elliott Kuhn, founder of Panorama City, CA-based Cottonwood Urban Farm. Photo courtesy of Cottonwood Urban Farm.

California’s San Fernando Valley, located in Los Angeles County, was once well known for its rich croplands and farming communities. From its founding in 1874 until the mid 1920s, an abundance of fruit orchards, cattle and sheep ranches, and large-scale wheat farms made agriculture the valley’s biggest industry. However, as a result of the arrival of affordable automobiles and rise of the aircraft and motion picture industries, urban development driven by a population boom encroached upon agriculture and the glory days of food production in the San Fernando Valley came to an end.

In San Fernando Valley today, however, on a formerly vacant plot of land a small urban farm has emerged to help reconnect the region to its agricultural roots. Founded in 2011 in Panorama City by Elliott Kuhn, Cottonwood Urban Farm is a sustainable farming venture that not only offers a reliable source of locally grown fruits and vegetable to area restaurants, chefs, and community members, but also functions as an educational resource for the community.  Read More

In Urban Gardens Without Borders, Project Sweetie Pie Plants Seeds for Food Justice and Freedom

January 18, 2017 |
Micheal Chaney founder of Project Sweetie Pie Filling compost bin

Michael Chaney, founder of Project Sweetie Pie, an urban farming movement based in Northern Minnesota to seed healthy changes in the community. Photo Credit: Karl Hakanson.

“North Minneapolis is going green
Give us a call and learn what we mean
Where once lay urban blight
Now sits luscious garden sites
Gardens without borders
Classrooms without walls
Architects of our own destinies
Access to food justice for all.” 

    – Michael Chaney, Project Sweetie Pie

In a collaborative effort to revitalize the economy and the community of North Minneapolis, Project Sweetie Pie, an urban farming movement working to seed healthy changes in the community, has as one of its principal goals the mentorship of 500 local youth in growing food, obtaining practical sales and marketing skills, and becoming leaders. Launched in 2010 Project Sweetie Pie has made great strides towards this goal by aligning dozens of community partners with hundreds of urban youth to implement community garden and farm stand initiatives, which together have resulted in a framework for a more self-sufficient and self-aware urban community. Read More