Connecting communities and stakeholders with the knowledge needed to strengthen food systems
The Growing Food Connections Policy Database is a searchable collection of local public policies that explicitly support community food systems. This database provides policymakers, government staff, and others interested in food policy with concrete examples of local public policies that have been adopted to address a range of food systems issues: rural and urban food production, farmland protection, transfer of development rights, food aggregation and distribution infrastructure, local food purchasing and procurement, healthy food access, food policy councils, food policy coordination, food system metrics, tax reductions and exemptions for food infrastructure, and much more. Database website.
Local food has starring role on TV3
Dublin-born chef Simon Lamont travels all over Ireland cooking exquisite meals that are quick and easy to rustle up, but his first stop is Cork. Unlike most cookery shows which use elaborate and often lengthy methods, and extravagant recipes, The Lazy Chef cuts every corner to make effortless food, all the while showcasing some of the best produce on offer across the country. Simon’s first port of call is Toonsbridge Dairy, where Toby Simmons of the Real Olive Company and Johnny Lynch have joined forces to bring Italian Water Buffalo to Cork. Southern Star Newspaper story.
Advancing Eco Agriculture
As a farmer who grew up in and remains a part of the Amish community, John Kempf has a very special understanding of plants’ functional immunity. He sought out alternative approaches to prevent damage to his crops once they stopped responding to conventional pesticide treatments. To enhance plants’ natural immunity, thereby making them less susceptible to pests and disease, he developed a comprehensive, systems-based methodology founded on plant physiology, mineral nutrition and soil microbiology. With results proven on his own farm, John went on to found AEA to share his success and insight that healthy crops do not require chemical treatments or genetic modifications. Website.
TY Food Education Unit Formally Recognised by NCCA
Following the success of the pilot programme that was run last year, the transition year food education unit – The Future is Food – which was developed by the Taste Council of Ireland in association with Bord Bia, has been formally recognised by the National Council of Curriculum Assessment. The mission of the bodies behind this module is to educate the next generation about food in Ireland. The unit is tasked with broadening students’ knowledge and understanding of the local, artisan and speciality foods sector. Chefs and food producers visit local schools as part of the programme, where they work with the students on a voluntary basis. Careers Portal post.
One of America’s Most Famous Slow-Food Chefs Says Farm-to-Table ‘Doesn’t Really Work’
Barber has a few suggestions for how chefs and diners can support the whole system, the primary one being: Eat everything. If we redefine our diet to include more rotational crops, he said, we help ecology produce healthier and better-tasting foods. And stop puffing about how often you purchase dinner fixings from a small grower at the farmer’s market—it’s really the mid-level growers in America that need a boost. CityLab post.
Sustainable agriculture: What’s it mean to you?
“Consumers define sustainability in agriculture with a relatively narrow view, describing it as ‘environmentally friendly’ (22%) or the ‘ability to produce sufficient food to feed the population’ (18%). Globally, consumers listed one or two points when questioned about the meaning of sustainable agriculture,” says BASF Farm Perspectives researchers. On the flip side, farmers dug a little deeper into the meaning with 40% relating it to “soil protection,” 27% on “land use,” another 27% on “water use,” 25% on “biodiversity protection,” and 25% even going as far to relating it to “fair farm wages.” Drovers Cattle Network post.
Would you invest in a Beetcoin?
Slow Money Alliance, a collection of regional networks that invest in small food enterprises, introduced the Beetcoin concept on its website a week ago. Slow Money Alliance is about “taking some of your money out of Wall Street and doing something with it that you understand,” said Woody Tasch, founder of Slow Money Alliance. Beetcoins, which are investments in small enterprises, cost $25 to start off, though people can donate more. The goal is to raise $50,000 which will help fund two small business projects. One business will receive a $40,000, three-year, zero-interest loan, while the other will get a $10,000 loan. Louisville Business First story.
Building A Local Food System In A Rural State
It’s not just in big cities that people are buying up kale and bison jerky. Rural Wyomingites are trolling farmer’s markets for purple tomatoes and emu oil, too. The state now has 49 farmer’s markets that have done over two million dollars in revenue just this year. But some farmers and food advocates who want to expand the availability of artisan foods say Wyoming is struggling with some deep challenges. Wyoming Public Media post.
The First Step to Sustainable Agriculture
The Resilient Farm and Homestead (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2013) is a comprehensive how-to manual that will help the reader select, design, develop and manage land for self-reliance and sustainable agriculture, and presents a thriving model for productive, durable homesteads and farms in cold climates and beyond. In this excerpt, taken from Chapter 1, author and permaculture expert Ben Falk explains how the resilient homesteader is more concerned with fitting in and adapting to changing conditions. Mother Earth News book review.
Farm-to-table is heading for concourses across the country.
That’s right, airports—where not too long ago the range of food choices was pretty much between Burger King or Panda Express—are starting to dip their toes into the local food market, launching a handful of farm-to-table restaurants and upscale marketplaces selling regional products. One of the latest such marketplaces, Berkshire Farms, opened at Boston’s Logan International Airport earlier this year, offering travelers jams and syrups bottled in Massachusetts, locally baked breads and pastries, and nuts roasted in nearby Williamstown. It’s all the brainchild of Michael Levine, CEO of Tastes on the Fly, which curates culinary options at airports across America. Take Part story. Tastes on the Fly Website. O’Hare aeroponic garden.
AND IF YOU HAVE TIME
Let’s Talk About Soil!
The animated film Let’s Talk about Soil emphasizes human dependence on soils and describes how sustainable development is threatened by certain soil use trends; the film offers options to make the way we manage our soils more sustainable. Let’s Talk about Soil was produced by the designer and animator Uli Henrik Streckenbach for the First Global Soil Week 2012. Resilience post.