Food tenders: Aussie farmers want first bite
The powerful Australian Food and Grocery Council, the National Farmers Federation and the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union want more support for local industry and farmers and a change in public procurement policies. They want locally grown and made foods to win any government or public-sector supply tender as long as the Australian product costs no more than 25 per cent more than any overseas bid. About two-thirds of all food and drinks bought for government-run institutions were sourced from overseas, according to federal Finance Department figures published in 2012. The Australian story.
Food Systems Academy: an Open Education Resource for Transforming Our Food Systems
This site aims to help you increase your understanding of our food systems – where they came from, how they change, what the challenges are and how to meet them. The talks can provide a guest speaker in a class at college or university and an addition to set reading. Sometimes, follow-up question and answer sessions can be arranged with the speakers. Website.
Urban farming in Brooklyn: a return to the land
Farming in Brooklyn has come full circle. Obviously, the first people here more than 350 years ago worked the land, and now a new generation of dwellers are doing it, too. Only this time, they are growing food in land wedged between concrete and buildings, infrastructure and roads and even on top of buildings. It’s a return to the land, but not to land that’s uncharted. In urban areas, back to the land means claiming what is left. And that action, finding and utilizing open space, has defined urban agriculture in Brooklyn and across New York City. AM New York story.
Local Food Brand Gets The Green Light
Last Wednesday more than 60 members of the regional food community attended the second Australian Capital Region Food Hub event and agreed that building a stronger regional food sector with a Southern Harvest brand would be a useful way of identifying local produce. “The first Food Hub event in June showed us that there is a lot of confusion in the market place about knowing where and how local food can be sourced by consumers and restaurateurs,” said Mr McLean, “so we have developed interactive maps of where local food can be sourced and what support consumers, producers and retailers need to strengthen the local food economy”. Regional Development Australia post.
Carrboro becomes third Bee City USA community
Carrboro will soon be abuzz. The Carrboro Board of Aldermen passed a resolution Tuesday to support the designation of Carrboro as a Bee City USA community, which means the town will take a series of measures to promote healthy habitats for bees and other pollinators in the area. Bee City USA is a national program that aims to promote sustainable habitats for pollinators because honeybee populations have decreased in the U.S. in recent years. Carrboro is the third Bee City USA community, following in the footsteps of Asheville and Talent, Ore. Marty Hanks said Bee City USA will educate Carrboro residents so they can have a positive impact on pollinator communities. The Daily Tar Heel story.
Beauty is only skin deep but good taste is deep within
The Coffs Coast Growers Market and local food store Mother Nature’s are asking locals and schools to show that it’s the taste of their vegies – not their looks – that they love. “Food waste is a big issue in this country,” Growers Market co-ordinatorJan Rooney said. “According to Horticulture Australia, at least 25% of the major fruit and vegetable lines produced every year in Australia are wasted because they look a little unusual, quirky or simply don’t fit the mould of the perfect vegetable specimens we tend to see on supermarket shelves. Coffs Coast Advocate story.
Community Supported Agriculture — Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust Report
Community Supported Agriculture is viable for a small percentage of consumers and can allow a producer to earn a living from a small area of land. But CSA is disproportionately vulnerable to downturns in the economy. CSA can be the way into the business for new entrants. Other models using online shopping, although deviating from the true meaning of a CSA, can give producers a better return on their sales and can also offer an alternative to a higher percentage of consumers. Mainstream supermarkets are struggling with their existing structures as consumers are shopping more frequently and want a better experience from food shopping. Modern technology is making alternatives more viable and will continue to do so. RuSource Briefing 2063
Fair Food Farmers United
FFFU, the Farmers’ Chapter of the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance, brought together a small group of producers and food activists in Seymour, Victoria. Seymour is home of the Alternative Farming Expo and the wonderful Food eXchange – a group working to connect eaters and growers, while raising awareness of issues of sustainability and ethics in the food system. Website.
Volunteers build urban farm for Make a Difference Day
Most people wouldn’t view Asbury Park as a place where one might find a farm. But a group of volunteers on Saturday set out to change that. The volunteers, many of them employees of the Asbury Park Press, labored under a sunny autumn sky, constructing raised garden beds and planting fruit trees in a lot off of Springwood Avenue for what will become an urban farm. About 60 people grabbed shovels and lumber and screwdrivers to kick off the construction of Kula Farm as part of Make a Difference Day, an annual event started more than 20 years ago by USA WEEKEND magazine to promote community service. Asbury Park Press story.
Greenhouse gas mitigation on English farms
The proportion of farmers with a nutrient management plan for fertilisers and manures increased from 46% in 2006 to 60% in 2014. Fewer than 2% of holdings process their slurries by anaerobic digestion. 45% of farmers consider GHGs when taking decisions about their businesses. 22% of drained farmland requires some repair. 64% of farmers never calibrate fertiliser spreaders. 74% of livestock holdings have a farm health plan. 78% of livestock holdings had sown some or all of their temporary grassland with a clover mix and 58% have sown their temporary grassland with high sugar grasses. 53% of livestock farmers use a ration formulation programme or expert nutritional advice. 69% of beef cattle and 64% of lambs are bred from sires with a high estimated breeding value. RuSource Briefing 2017.
AND IF YOU HAVE TIME
With Style And Silo, ‘Modern Farmer’ Melds Agrarian With Urban Hip
If you cover food and farming, as we do, you end up looking at farm magazines and agricultural web sites. This means you see lots of articles about corn prices and ads for farm equipment. Then, a couple of years ago, Modern Farmer appeared. It’s a farm magazine like no other. It flaunts a look and attitude that sometimes make us laugh out loud. What self-respecting farm magazine would come up with headlines like “Inside the Mind of a Turkey,” or “Farmer Claims Someone Drove a Combine Into His Field and Stole $18,000 Worth of Soybeans.” National Public Radio blog.