10 American Cities Lead Urban Agriculture
Small growers and urban farms are springing up across the nation, but many cities lack the infrastructure, zoning laws and foresight to truly leverage this transition. Over the past several years, however, city governments, often working with local stakeholder groups and food policy councils, are changing that. Urban agriculture ordinances help light the way for would-be urban farmers, providing guidance and a sense of legitimacy. Here is Seedstock’s list of ten cities leading the way with innovative urban agriculture ordinances that provide a blueprint for a new economic future grounded in sustainable food production in urban centers. AgFunder News post.
Coming Soon: A Summer of Ugly Fruits and Vegetables
If you’re like me, when you’re buying fruits and vegetables to cook or make a salad with, you seek the most aesthetically appealing examples: the unblemished apple, the bright-red tomato, the zesty looking leaves of spinach. But I’m reforming my ways. This summer, I’ll be looking for ugly produce instead. Barbara J. King poston NPR.
Wall-to-wall “fresh” in food courts
The concept of provenance has hit the food court. It is not quite the kitchen garden at London’s River Cafe, but franchise chain SumoSalad is installing hydroponic walls in its stores for growing fresh vegetables and herbs. “We see people coming in and picking lettuce off the wall and eating it, it’s quite interesting for us to see that interaction with the produce and eating it as they’re waiting to place their order,” says co-founder and managing director Luke Baylis. The Border Mail story.
Tempting Europe with Ugly Fruit
Isabel Soares went shopping for produce on a recent morning, carefully selecting her fruits and vegetables with a discriminating eye. She picked up some spinach whose leaves had turned an unappealing yellow. Then some tomatoes whose skin had been damaged by sunburn and insect bites. Finally, she set on some zucchini that had grown so large and deformed that they curved almost into a doughnut shape. They were perfect for her. New York Times story.
Food and Online Sales on Menu at Dublin Food Chain
Food and online sales were both on the menu at the Dublin Food Chain event in the capital last night, as the Local Enterprise Offices announced details of a new grant scheme to help more small businesses in Ireland trade online. Organised by the Local Enterprise Offices, the Dublin Food Chain is a collaborative forum to promote food heritage throughout the Dublin region. Last night’s seminar, ‘How to Build Your Brand Online’, included a local food showcase with tastings by 20 up-and-coming food producers. Engage Ireland story.
Local produce is best
LOCAL Is Lovely is about embracing a love of fresh seasonal food, farmers and their produce. It is a gorgeously illustrated seasonal guide to the fruit, vegetables and meat that Australian farmers produce. Beautiful recipes, tips for the home and family, and stories and interviews with and about local producers because local is lovely. Follow Sophie Hansen as she takes us on a journey with the farmers and producers she loves to cook with. Newcastle Herald book review of Local is Lovely by Sophie Hansen, Hachette Australia.
CSU Board of Trustees Approves State-wide Sustainable Food Policy
As the state of California struggles with record droughts and wildfires, today the California State University Board of Trustees, including Governor Jerry Brown, approved a long-awaited sustainable food policy will govern the more than $100 million spent on food across the 23-campus system. Under the new policy, each campus will have until 2020 to ensure that at least 20% of all food spending goes to farms and food businesses that meet Real Food Challenge—a national student group advocating for just food systems—guidelines: local and community-based, fair, ecologically sound, and/or humane. Real Food Challenge post.
Ireland’s First Food Sovereignty Assembly, May 16
A panel of distinguished speakers will lead discussions at Ireland’s first food sovereignty assembly in Castlebar, County Mayo this weekend. Food sovereignty practitioners from around Ireland will also attend and contribute to this important event which is organised to coincide with the annual Doolough Famine Walk which takes place the following day. Action from Ireland post.
How Vermont Could Become the Napa Valley of Hard Cider
For months, David Dolginow and Collin Davis, founders of Shacksbury Cider in Shoreham, Vermont, had been eyeing a hulking, overgrown apple tree perched on a little-used grazing hill of Roberts Dairy Farm. Finally, after months of waiting, this October, after a week of rain — “one of those fall days full of optimism,” as Dolginow put it — the tree was ready for harvest. Like contemporary Johnny Appleseeds, Davis and Dolginow are determined to reincarnate the cider industry by repopulating the Northeast with these apple orchards of yore. Modern Farmer story.
From Quads to Plots: Colleges with Great Campus Farms
Along with gender neutral bathrooms and YikYak downloads, a farm is the hottest collegiate accessory. College farms and gardens are practically traditional by now, taking root over the last decade to teach and feed the modern undergraduate. In part, this effort is in keeping with new sustainability goals set by colleges, and in part, it’s a reaction to the local food movement within and beyond the ivory tower. To round up a working list of exceptional campus farms at general, liberal arts colleges, we contacted Campus Farmers, a resource which grew from a downloadable student garden guide produced a few years ago. Modern Farmer story.
AND IF YOU HAVE TIME
Syngenta Has $50,000 Contest for Ag-Entrepreneurs
Aspiring ag entrepreneurs: Have a good idea but no money to start? Listen up; there’s a contest for you. Syngenta is going to be giving away a total of $50,000 to those who want to start bringing their ag-ideas to reality. The Good Growth Plan Grant Contest will give a grand prize of $20,000, and three runners-up $10,000. AgFunder News post.