Tag Archives: organic farming

Believe it or not, it may be illegal to grow your own food

Hermine Ricketts and Tom Carroll in their garden

A Florida couple was faced a $50-per-day fine for a front yard vegetable garden.

The city and town names may change, but the stories are strikingly similar. Every year, new tales of urban gardeners who are cited for “illegally” growing food in their yards or on vacant lots bubble up. Find out how some home gardeners are fighting these charges, and what you can do if your front yard garden get cited.

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An Investment in Organic Farmland

Chickens grazing on pasture at a Farmland LP farm

Chickens graze on a pasture at one of Farmland LP's farms.

A road trip to Oregon farmland crystalized a new business idea for partners Craig Wichner and Jason Bradford. “It was very clear farmland was a great asset and that it was basically being underutilized,” says Wichner, “that growing monocrops was operationally efficient, but it was the worst way to get returns from farmland itself.” With investment and the use of sustainable agriculture templates, they developed Farmland LP, a system of livestock, vegetable and grain rotations that could both reclaim land for organic farming and turn a profit.

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Open Source Farming

Farm Hack brings hi-tech innovation to the traditionally low-tech world of farming.

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Urban Farming Goes Multi-Locational

One of the critical hurdles that farmers in urban areas face is access to affordable land for growing food. The concept of a multi-locational or decentralized farm is an elegant solution to growing food in diverse urban and suburban settings. It seems that more and more farms are using the multi-locational model. We found quite a few successful operations in Canada in particular.

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Farmers: Coming to an Office Near You

workplace csas

Photo Credit: Suzies Farm via Compfight cc

For people who work late hours and have families to manage or long commutes, finding the time to shop at farmer’s markets or pick up a CSA box is often not feasible. So a lot of people who otherwise would love to have easy access to local fresh food get left out of the equation. A growing number of organizations are trying to bridge this gap by bringing CSAs directly to workplaces, which is a boon to all involved: workers, employers, and local farmers.

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Is Your State Locavore-Friendly?

Locavore Index 2013 date

Scroll down for full infographic

The second-annual Locavore Index, which ranks states in terms of access to locally produced food, was released recently by Strolling of the Heifers, a Vermont-based local food advocacy group. The rankings compare the number of farmers markets, CSAs and food hubs on a per capita basis. Like last year, Vermont came out on top by a landslide, which shows that it is possible for a state to build a thriving local food system. Also, like last year, we used the data to make an infographic. How does your state stack up?

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Oprah’s New Venture…Farming

rainbow chard

Photo Credit: looseends via Compfight cc

Oprah is known for starting contagious trends, and some hope that her decision to grow food on 16 acres of her Maui estate will spark a trend in local food production nationwide.

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Ron Finley’s Guerilla Gardens

Ron Finley wants everyone to understand “growing your own food is like printing your own money.” The group he founded is LA Green Grounds. Their mission: “Growing, working, teaching: changing turf into edible gardens in South Los Angeles.”

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Chicago’s FarmedHere Grows Local

FarmedHere turns a 90,000-square-foot abandoned Chicago warehouse into a food-producing powerhouse.

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Gleaning to Reduce Food Waste

Gleaning is the practice of gathering food that is left behind after harvest, usually to feed those in need. Modern-day permutations of this ancient practice are bringing food to the hungry and reducing food waste in America.

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By the Numbers

Currently 50 million households suffer from food insecurity, meaning that family members cannot always meet their basic food needs.

10 million people a year could be fed through the recovery of just one-fifth of food waste.

Only 2% of food waste is composted or otherwise recycled—62% of paper is recycled.

Consumers throw out about 40% of the fresh and frozen fish they buy.

The U.S. produced 208 pounds of meat per person in 2009—60% more than Europe.

Low income commuters spend a much higher proportion of their wages on gas—8.6% versus 2.1% at $4 per gallon.

Food prices rose 35-40 percentage points between 2002–2008.

Americans consume 25% of the world’s produced oil, but our nation holds less than 3% of the world’s proven oil reserves.

The International Energy Agency says greenhouse gas emissions rose 3.2% last year, with a 9.3% increase in China offsetting declines in the US and EU.

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