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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture
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Trailblazing Organic Farm in Maryland, One Straw Farm, Puts Soil and Overall Health of Farm Ahead of Organic Certification

January 20, 2012 |

In 1985, the word “organic” had yet to penetrate consumer consciousness. Joan Norman of One Straw Farm remembers fighting misconceptions of the word’s meaning when using it to classify the produce she and her husband, Drew, were growing on their 82-acre farm in Maryland. “In the beginning, if we said ‘organic’ people thought we were growing marijuana, or they thought they had to be vegetarian to eat our produce,” she said.

That changed in 1989. After a report that Alar, a chemical commonly sprayed on apples and other fruit crops, could increase cancer risk, public outcry led schools to stop serving apple juice and stores to take apple products off the shelves. “Everyone was asking for organic apples. Of course we didn’t have any,” Joan said. But One Straw Farm did have an abundance of other chemical-free food, and a growing base of customers seeking organic produce. Read More

Cardo’s Farm Project: Planting Seeds of Sustainability Deep in the Heart of Texas

January 13, 2012 |

Farms across Texas suffered widespread drought and wildfires during 2011, the Lone Star state’s driest year on record. Thanks to sustainable practices, however, two young farmers in northeast Texas are helping to set a smart agricultural example for a state and a country facing a rapidly changing climate. Cardo’s Farm Project, located in Ponder, TX, is a working vegetable farm and education center founded by Daniel Moon and Amanda Austin in December of 2010. Read More

Video – Presentation by Ralph Crevoshay of VermiVision on the Viability of Vermicompost

December 13, 2011 |

Ralph Crevoshay, President of VermiVision, a company whose mission is based on fulfilling the potential of vermicompost (VC) as the essential input for success in sustainable agriculture discusses his company’s dedication to enhancing farmers’ access to vermicompost through scaled-up production, … Read More

Frog Hollow Farm Strives to Fulfill Promise of Brentwood, CA Terroir and Raise New Crop of Organic Farmers

November 10, 2011 |

When Al Courchesne started farming on 13 acres in Brentwood, CA, he didn’t have a business plan; he had a shovel. So he dug holes and planted trees on the land he’d purchased with business partner Sarah Coddington.

“I was young and optimistic and strong,” said Courchesne. “I could work long hours. I was willing to do whatever I had to do to plant orchards.”

That was in 1976, and in the 35 years since, Frog Hollow Farm has grown from 13 acres to 133.

The farm produces enough fruit to feed both wholesale and retail markets in the San Francisco Bay Area, and has expanded its product line to include conserves and pastries. Read More

Research Team Led by University of New Hampshire Seeks to Improve Quality and Quantity of Organic Milk

November 9, 2011 |

Researchers from the University of New Hampshire (UNH) are heading up a multi-state project that aims to find ways for organic dairy farmers to increase the quality and quantity of milk that their herds produce. The project, comprised of researchers from the University of Maine and Cornell University, as well as the USDA, possesses financial backing to the tune of $2.9 million in grant funding from the US Dept. of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s (NIFA) Organic Research and Extension Initiative . Read More