Case studies focus on sustainable agriculture
Sarah Stai couldn’t find all the information she wanted while researching how to become a successful farmer. Now she’s helping to put together a website for other beginners and those looking for new farming ideas. Stai is managing Profiles in Sustainable Agriculture, a website launched in May 2010 by the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture. She’s working with MISA to fill the site with case studies. Each study combines a farmer’s personal story with in-depth details about their business, including production, marketing and financial management. Also included are tips and links to more resources. Canadian Farm business Management council story.
Local grocer goes whole hog
Amidst a hubbub of local food politics, a neighborhood bodega is cutting back to its butchering roots: Plaza Meat Market, located at 207 Boylston St., is now offering local pork, butchered on the premises, fresh every other Friday. Owner Harry Perez teamed up with local food activist Jamey Lionette and Adams Farm, located in Athol, to take delivery of a whole hog every two weeks and sell every cut—from ribs and tender loins to belly, skin and trotters (feet), Perez told the Gazette in a phone intervie “The only thing they don’t bring is tripe [intestines]. Except that, they bring everything,” Perez said. Jamaica Plain Gazette story.
Consider how far food travels when buying
I am writing out of concern for a pertinent issue impacting Northern New York. I am a graduating senior at St. Lawrence University and a conservation biology major. I recently completed a semester-long research thesis in regard to food miles and the role of food miles in the north country. Food miles are defined as the distance that food has to travel to get from where it is produced to your plate. Because of industrialized agriculture, most food is produced in a centralized region and is then distributed across the country and around the world. Therefore, the practice of distributing food far distances from its production or growing site has negative impacts on the global climate because of carbon emissions. This research has led me to believe that it is important to the health of our society that we advocate for initiatives that reduce food miles of food products in the north country. Watertown Daily times story.
To be sustainable: U.S. agriculture needs transformational push
Improving the sustainability of U.S. agriculture requires broad, transformational shifts in market structure, policy incentives, and the type and availability of scientific knowledge, asserts a “Policy Forum” paper in the May 6, 2011 edition of the journal Science, co-authored by a horticultural scientist from North Carolina State Univ. The paper, written by members of a National Research Council committee charged with assessing the landscape of American agriculture, states that U.S. agriculture is at a crossroads. Farms must provide abundant and affordable food, feed, fiber and fuel, yet their economic viability is threatened by numerous factors, including—but not limited to—dwindling resources, climate change, and market volatility. R&D Magazine story.
Arkleton Trust Fellowship in Social Networking announcedSource:
The Arkleton Trust is a UK-based charity with a special interest in stimulating thinking about new approaches to innovation and education in rural areas throughout the world. The Trust has now invited applications for short-term funded fellowship support to explore issues surrounding the contribution of social networking towards sustainable rural development. The Arkleton Trust news release.
Three Restaurants Join The Sarasota-Manatee Originals
“We warmly welcome our newest member restaurants,” says Kate Atkin, SMO’s executive director. “These forward-thinking owners and chefs exemplify exactly what The Sarasota-Manatee Originals represents; each strives to preserve our community’s unique culinary heritage while offering inspired cuisine and exemplary service. Their work is a celebration of Southwest Florida’s culinary distinctiveness, and they understand that our regional cuisine is part of what sets us apart from other coastal communities.” Bradenton times story.
Urban Beekeeping a Honey of a Movement
Growing up, I had a morbid fear of stinging insects, but I’ve overcome it in part from learning about the good works that the bee population does. I’m not the only one with a new appreciation, either, as the field of amateur beekeeping has grown markedly in the past few years. Kim Flotum, editor of Bee Culture magazine, told ABC news recently that he estimates there are now around 100,000 beekeepers, up 10% to 15% in just the last few years. Dr. James Tew of the Honey Bee Laboratory at Ohio State University told me that he has been gratified by the number of amateur urban beekeeping he has encountered recently. They are valuable contributors, he said, to the recent stabilization, if not growth, in the world bee population. Tom Barlow blog in Forbes.
Minister to farmers: Go green or else
More farmers must support the Campaign for the Farmed Environment, said farm minister Jim Paice. The campaign, which covers England only, was set up by the industry 15 months ago as a voluntary alternative to a compulsory set-aside replacement. It aims to increase the amount of English farmland in voluntary environmental management by 30,000ha (74,000 acres). Farmers are being urged to make sure 70% of land is in an agri-environment scheme and double the number of in-field environmental stewardship options. Farmers Weekly Interactive (UK) story.
My Father’s Pig Hut on Wheels
My father is constantly creating solutions so that he can best utilize our pastures. Now that we have started raising pigs, creative solutions were needed to incorporate them into our farm. Pigs are omnivores and their manure is a great fertilizer but they can be extremely destructive. My father has built mobile feeders and huts so that we can move the pigs around our farm. Rotating the pigs minimizes their impact; an added bonus is that they help to spread manure and we reduce feed costs because they consume a lot of fresh grass. We have been fascinated (and enthralled) by how much grass they consume and also how minimal their impact has been on a large pasture. This system would be impossible without electric fences making this system very modern and new. Green State Fair post.
Food Miles – practical steps for New Zealand exporters
Discussion about food miles has recently escalated, with increased attention given to the implications of climate change. The distance to market for New Zealand exporters cannot be avoided. Repositioning New Zealand exports as a sustainable option for importing countries represents an opportunity rather than a cost. This brieﬁng paper describes options available to those exporters who believe the food miles issue represents either a threat or an opportunity for their business. It describes practical actions that can be taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions due to production and distribution. Land Care Research briefing paper.
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