The Nation’s Largest Food Hub is Coming to Louisville, Kentucky
A 24-acre site formerly occupied by the National Tobacco Company will soon become home to a local food hub in Louisville, Kentucky. While Louisville has emerged as a new foodie destination in the past few years, this project is aimed more at supporting small farmers—and building a local food economy—than serving artisan sandwiches. But there will likely be plenty of those too. Civil Eats post.
Prescribing Vegetables, Not Pills
Alaijah Borden was 10 years old and significantly overweight when Dr. Sundari Periasamy, a pediatrician at Harlem Hospital Center in New York, enrolled the middle-schooler in an innovative program to increase her consumption of fruits and vegetables — and, hopefully, to reduce her weight. After two years in the program, Alaijah is an unqualified success story: She lost five pounds the first year by snacking on fruits and vegetables, then eight pounds more the second year, when she cut down on greasy foods. The New York Times story.
A Salad Chain’s Surprise Ingredient: Tech Money
Why is a venture capital firm led by online pioneers backing a farm-to-table salad chain? That is the question some tech industry watchers asked themselves two weeks ago, after Sweetgreen, a fast-casual salad restaurant with outlets on the East Coast, announced that it had raised $18.5 million in financing. “It has surprised people because it was not a typical technology or venture investment,” Mr. Case told me recently. But he says he believes Sweetgreen is tapping into a large, underserved market: wellness-minded consumers who want to eat healthier food in casual settings with quick service. The New York Times story.
New Countryside Stewardship Scheme (UK)
The new CSS will encompass elements from Environmental Stewardship, the English Woodland Grant Scheme (EWGS) and capital grants from Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF). The main priority remains biodiversity whilst water quality moves up the agenda. There will be a Higher Tier focusing on priority sites, and a Middle Tier focusing on wider areas. This latter element is open to all, but competitive – so only the best schemes will be accepted. There will also be a small scale capital grants scheme focusing on field boundaries. RuSource (An Arthur Rank Centre project) Briefing 2091.
Truss urges food producers to seek special status
Food producers in the North are missing out on the economic pay-off of Protected Name status for their products, Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss said today. Speaking at the Northern Farming Conference in Hexham, the Secretary of State said she wanted her department to receive more applications to legally protect the region’s unique homegrown food and drink. More than 60 foods are protected in the UK, including Yorkshire’s Forced Rhubarb and Wensleydale cheese but there are very few other examples in the North of the country. Yorkshire Post story.
Land, Co-ops, Compost: A Local Food Economy Emerges in Boston’s Poorest Neighborhoods
Today, City Growers is part of an emerging network of urban food enterprises in Roxbury and neighboring Dorchester. From a community land trust that preserves land for growing, to kitchens and retailers who buy and sell locally grown food, to a new waste management co-op that will return compost to the land, a crop of new businesses and nonprofits are building an integrated food economy. It’s about local people keeping the wealth of their land and labor in the community. Truth-Out post.
Urban Food Awards
The Urban Food Awards are here to celebrate small, good food enterprises. As such, the judges will be particularly interested in those that do great stuff in their local communities and work hard for the benefit of people and planet more generally. As well as turning out tasty tucker and having a sound business model, enterprises were encouraged to highlight on their ‘why vote for us’ forms any ways in which they: produce or use more sustainable food, offer social benefits, contribute to the local economy or enhance the health of people and our environment. The Jellied Eel post.
Local Matters – Grill’d Resturants
Local Matters is a community donation program operated by Grill’d Restaurant chain in Australia. Every local Grill’d outlet provides $500 a month to a local community project, and invites their customers via a token system to nominate which of three local groups should receive the money. We love to give back to the local communities we call home. We get lots of requests to support groups from all walks of life. The weird & the wonderful… but all of them worthy. Until now it’s been pretty difficult for us to fulfill all of these requests. So we’ve created Local Matters. It’s our community donation program. Every month your local Grill’d will donate $500 to the local community. Over the course of a year, we’d like to think we could touch well over 1,000 local groups. Our aim is to find and support the unsung heroes rather than the big groups who always get the limelight. We hope you’ll see some groups you never knew existed and develop a new-found appreciation for what goes on in your neck of the woods. Website.
Improvements to USDA Beginning Farmer Loans
USDA recently announced several changes to Farm Service Agency (FSA) loan programs, changes designed to help more beginning farmers and ranchers. The new “interim final rule” will increase the Microloan limit from $35,000 to $50,000. This program provides a simplified application process and a seven year payback. Microloans can be used for approved operating expenses, such as seed, fertilizer, utilities, land rents, marketing, distribution, living expenses, livestock, equipment, hoop houses, tools, irrigation and delivery vehicles. Center for Rural Affairs post
Marketing Hometown America
Four University Extension staff from Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota have produced a wonderful interactive resource called ‘Marketing Hometown America” to assist small US rural communities market their community and attract new residents. The resource is a way to bring local people together to build a plan and then act on it. It focuses on: what brings new residents to a community; the local assets that should be promoted; and how a community can reach potential new residents. https://edmedia.wufoo.com/forms/marketing-hometown-america/?mc_cid=0627633ca0
AND IF YOU HAVE TIME
Fair Food: The Documentary
Fair Food is Australia’s first feature-length documentary that tells the story of our farmers, social entrepreneurs and communities pioneering new approaches to food production, marketing and distribution. Our current food system is broken – two supermarkets control 75-80 per cent of the grocery market, cheap imports undercut local producers markets and farmers are walking off the land in droves. But Fair Food reveals a countercurrent to these trends – a fair food movement that’s gathering momentum, led by biodiverse family farmers, independent food enterprises, and communities and individual food buyers around the country. The Field Institute post. Trailer.