local food systems
Interest in sustainable agriculture is growing at quite a clip, at least if attendance at North Carolina Sustainable Agriculture Conference is any indication.
The number of people attending this year’s conference, which was held at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park surpassed 1,200 this year, nearly double what it was just few years ago. According to an article by Colin Campbell in the News Observer, the average age of the conference-goers has also begun to drop.
The United States Department of Agriculture has awarded 10 grants to help underserved communities across the country in order to start “People’s Gardens,” addressing problems such as malnutrition, food insecurity and other health issues.
The grants, totaling $725,000, will support 155 People’s Gardens, or sustainable community gardens that give residents direct access to fresh fruits and vegetables, according to a USDA press release. They are the first grants awarded under the People’s Garden Grant Program. The USDA received more than 360 proposals requesting more than $4 million.
The Georgia Sustainable Agriculture Consortium has a mission to bring local food back to Georgia, a state that currently relies on imports from the rest of the country for much of the food and produce that its citizens consume.
While the state’s largest economic sector is agriculture, a staggering 80 percent of the food that Georgians purchase comes from out of state, a University of Georgia expert told Georgia FACES News. The Consortium is proposing the creation of food hubs in order to shift the focus of agriculture back to local markets by making it easier for farmers to sell their produce locally and or regionally.
Press Release – agrowculture, New York City’s newest food-tech startup, is trying to alter the way people grow, buy and sell their food. While the company has only just launched in alpha, it aims to help neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs develop sustainable, fresh local food networks.
In the advent of New York City Council’s Food Works legislations (Local Laws 50, 51, 52 and 49), agrowculture hopes to increase local food sourcing and stimulate local commerce through online markets and local sales networks.
Wisconsin consumers seeking an easy way to find locally and organically grown food have a great resource to point them in the right direction: Wisconsin’s Farm Fresh Atlases.
The Farm Fresh Atlases have been around since 2002 and are produced yearly with five different editions for the various regions of Wisconsin. The Atlases are distributed at farmers markets, participating farms and businesses, tourism and convention bureaus, public libraries, and events like county fairs. The goal is to put “sustainable farms, farmers markets and local businesses and organizations that promote local food ‘on the map’,” according to the organization’s website.