sustainable agriculture news
Despite losing its federal funding and suffering staff cuts across all of its offices, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service (ATTRA) remains committed to its goal of providing sustainable agriculture services. To make up for this budgetary shortfall, ATTRA, a 501(c)3, is exploring funding options that range from charging a small access fee for its publications to bolstering its efforts to procure donations from foundations, corporations and individuals. Kathleen Hadley, Executive Director of National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), which oversees ATTRA, says that it “cannot just abandon those individuals who have come to rely on our expertise and research-based solutions to agricultural challenges.”
Tomorrow Seedstock joins the rest of the planet to celebrate Earth Day!
Earth Day shines a spotlight on sustainable agriculture, and Seedstock is thrilled that the industry that we’re so passionate about is getting some sustainable recognition! From people who are pledging to foster, support, and employ sustainable agriculture methods and technologies to corporations like Chipotle, Coca-Cola and Home Depot that are doing their part – Earth Day is becoming sustainable agriculture’s big day.
Before returning from his final tour in 2006, he and his wife, Karen, started working on rehabilitating a three-acre avocado farm they purchased just north of San Diego, which they christened Archi’s Acres. When the first month’s water bill came, though, they were shocked. It was $845.
“That’s the moment we became a sustainable farm,” Colin said. With water rates between $1200 and $1300 per acre-foot in that part of San Diego County, the Archipleys decided they needed to adopt agricultural methods that used less water.
Growing Power, Inc., a non-profit urban sustainable agriculture organization based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has been awarded $425,000 to erect 150 hoop house gardens on vacant lots in the city of Milwaukee. Hoop houses are inexpensive greenhouses constructed using a plastic roof that is wrapped over flexible PVC piping. Growing Power has promised to match the $425,000 contribution from the City of Milwaukee’s Common Council with its own funds. Growing Power’s hoop house initiative called “Growing Capacity for the Green Economy” will create 150 new jobs over the next 3 years in the emerging field of urban sustainable agriculture for unemployed residents in Milwaukee. The initial phase of the project will focus on hiring around 20 people to construct the hoop houses.
It wasn’t too long ago that making car fuel out of corn seemed like a brilliant idea. It’s local and abundant — American farmers have planted more than 85 million acres of corn a year since 2007. And unlike petroleum, it’s renewable: use corn, plant more. No drilling required.
Turns out, though, that using corn to make ethanol, the fuel source that is blended into gasoline, has some serious unintended consequences. At the end of 2005, the front-month contract for a bushel (56 pounds) of corn was about $1.86. When the U.S. government started pushing corn-based ethanol production in 2006 and 2007, demand for corn increased, pushing prices to over $4 in early 2007. Today, the price is $7.62 a bushel.