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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture
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Mission Driven Publisher Seeks to Enact Change; Espouses Sustainable Ag in Print

August 14, 2013 |

CowsSavePlanetChelsea Green has been publishing books “for the politics and practice of sustainable living” since 1984. While such a tag line could easily be seen as green washing, a quick look at their titles shows that this mission-driven publishing house is looking to sell more than words.

Books they publish are helping push forward sustainable agriculture, either on a very functional level, through how-to’s, or in broader terms, supporting the kinds of thinking required to envision and enact change.

A strong seller on their backlist is Elliot Coleman’s The Four Season Harvest. This book led to a lot of winter spinach in the Northeast, and its legacy can be traced to the USDA’s pilot project on high tunnels. Read More

Police Chief in West Boylston, MA Buys Farm to Protect and Grow a Community

August 7, 2013 |
Dennis Minnich, West Boylston, MA Chief of Police and Owner of Stone's Throw Farm. Photo Credit: West Boylston Police Dept.

Dennis Minnich, West Boylston, MA Chief of Police and Owner of Stone’s Throw Farm. Photo Credit: West Boylston Police Dept.

Not content with just being Chief of the West Boylston police force in Massachusetts, Dennis Minnich became the warden of a locked pen of 70 miniature horses; and that was only the beginning. He noticed the huge property containing them was falling into disarray as its owner was aging and in his limited free time, Minnich volunteered to help take care of the horses. In 2011, when the owner put the property up for sale, Minnich realized that he wanted to become a farmer.

To save the farm from encroaching commercial developers, he scrounged together the money, bought it, branded it Stone’s Throw Farm, and registered it as an Agricultural Preservation Restriction. Read More

Awareness of Environmental Impact, Embrace of Sustainability, Defines 4th Generation Deardorff Family Farms

August 5, 2013 |
Photo credit: Deardorff Family Farms

Photo credit: Deardorff Family Farms

The Deardorff family has been in the produce business since 1937, helping local farmers in Venice, Hollywood, and Los Angeles distribute their produce. As the city of Los Angeles swelled in the early 1960’s, the Deardorffs followed many of their growers north to Ventura County and began to work the land themselves on their own 50-acre ranch. Since then Deardorff Family Farms has passed through four generations and grown immensely. Today, cousins Scott Deardorff, and Tom Deardorff II farm 2,000 acres of sustainably grown celery, tomatoes, greens, and mixed vegetables throughout Ventura County. They market their produce through wholesale distributors, at local markets, and directly to consumers. Read More

Seedstock 2nd Annual Sustainable Ag Conference to Kick Off with Sustainable Farms Field Trip

July 31, 2013 |
Phil McGrath of McGrath Family Farm. Photo: George Simian.

Phil McGrath of McGrath Family Farm. Photo: George Simian.

LOS ANGELES, CA- The 2nd Annual Seedstock Sustainable Agriculture Innovation Conference – Farming: Fundamentals and the Future will kick-off its two-day event on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013 with a field trip featuring visits to a number of Southern California sustainable farming operations including McGrath Family Farm in Camarillo.

Known for its impeccable strawberries, McGrath Family Farm sits on a 30-acre parcel of the Oxnard Plains and will be one of three stops on Seedstock’s tour of sustainable farms. Owner-operator, Phil McGrath, is a fourth-generation Southern California farmer whose great-grandfather, an Irish sheep farmer, first acquired the farmland back in 1868. Read More

Market Nurtures Relationships with Farmers, Brings More Local Foods to Populace

July 31, 2013 |

healthy living marketWhile local is a buzzword that businesses are trying to seize and use – think of McDonald’s Washington State billboards that bragged about local potatoes – Healthy Living Market gives more than lip service to the term. This independent grocer recently opened a second 35,000 square foot store. Located in Wilton, New York, just north of Saratoga, “Healthy Living Loves Local” is their summer campaign, and also, a part of their mission and practice.

“I was tasked immediately to go find producers who were local,” said Lyndsay Meilleur, general manager at the new location. “I would hang out at farmers markets, and I shamelessly passed out business cards.” Read More