How Dingle became a top food destination
“How on earth did this poor, little fishing port evolve to become one of the most important towns in the Irish food world, the inaugural winner of the Restaurant Association of Ireland’s inaugural Food Destination Town, in 2014? Stella Doyle believes it all kicked off with the film, Ryan’s Daughter, filmed in the locality and starring Robert Mitchum. Many more in Dingle and beyond believe it actually kicked off with the arrival of Stella Doyle herself, most especially, when she and her husband, John, opened the now-nationally renowned Doyle’s Seafood Restaurant in 1973. Irish Examiner story.
Our best shot at cooling the planet might be right under our feet
Soil is the second biggest reservoir of carbon on the planet, next to the oceans. It holds four times more carbon than all the plants and trees in the world. But human activity like deforestation and industrial farming – with its intensive ploughing, monoculture and heavy use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides – is ruining our soils at breakneck speed, killing the organic materials that they contain. Now 40% of agricultural soil is classed as “degraded” or “seriously degraded”. In fact, industrial farming has so damaged our soils that a third of the world’s farmland has been destroyed in the past four decades. As our soils degrade, they are losing their ability to hold carbon, releasing enormous plumes of CO2 [pdf] into the atmosphere. The Guardian story.
Food swap initiative reducing waste for Riverland gardeners
The philosophy behind the food swap is simple: Bring what you have, take what you need. “No-one can eat a whole tree full of fruit so if they can share it with people who have a different tree in their backyard, that will help stop the wastage,” organiser Catherine Langford said. She has been one of the driving forces behind the region’s first food swap, an initiative which has popped up in towns and cities across the globe as green-thumbs exchange excess produce. ABC News story.
School greenhouse nearly complete
A barn-raising of sorts has been going on at the Rockport Public Schools as volunteers build a greenhouse between the two buildings on the Jerdens Lane campus. Superintendent Rob Liebow said the greenhouse will form the centerpiece of a new Health, Wellness and Sustainability Center for the schools. “It will provide environmental and healthy living education to all of our students K-12, provide fresh produce for our food service program, the local food pantry and also offer extension programs to the greater Rockport community through the provision for a student-run farmer’s market,” he said. Gloucester Times story.
Will This New Bill Level the Playing Field for Urban Farms?
Urban farming received a legitimizing nod last month when Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan) introduced the Urban Agriculture Act of 2016 in hopes of getting it included in the next Farm Bill. In a call with reporters, Stabenow described the act as an important document, “To start the conversation and create the broad support I think we will have in including urban farming as part of the next Farm Bill.” Civil Eats post.
Urban Agriculture on the Rise: Leeds Hydro Store Comments
One country which is leading the way when it comes to urban agriculture is Canada, with its largest city Vancouver set to be the greenest city in the entire world by 2020. Home to Canada’s first commercial aeroponics farm Vancouver utilises modern and innovative technology to grow the majority of the produce which is enjoyed in its restaurants and available at its markets. Many countries are already following in Canada’s footsteps also, and it is going to be interesting to see how much this style of growing has taken over in just a few years. Digital Journal press release.
Cities of Farmers: Urban Agricultural Practices and Processes
“In Cities of Farmers, Dawson and Morales perform the Herculean task of examining the historical, regulatory, production, and distributional aspects of urban agricultural systems while simultaneously exploring the significant benefits and challenges of urban agriculture. With a healthy mix of new and more established voices, the chapters will interest a range of audiences, providing clear concepts, lessons, and examples that render key messages actionable.” University of Iowa Press book review.
A farm bill just for urban agriculture?
Yes, if Sen. Debbie Stabenow has her way. The Michigan Democrat announced The Urban Agriculture Act in Detroit. The Department of Agriculture already offers support for city farmers, but this bill would add to those grants, loans, and education programs. It would also provide $10 million for urban ag research, $5 million for community gardens, incentives for farmers to provision neighbors with fresh food, and resources for composting and cleaning up contaminated soil. Grist briefly.
Good Food Business Accelerator’s Third Year Off to Strong Start
Nine competitively selected Fellows are participating in the third year of FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Business Accelerator, and they represent a wide range of exciting entrepreneurial ventures: from unique pies and clean meals to tea-infused energy bites and indigenous wild rice cereal, and from locally sourced juices and sparkling fruit tonics to pickled produce and sippable soups. Good Food on Every Table post.
Multifunctional peri-urban agriculture—A review of societal demands and the provision of goods and services by farming
Peri-urban areas around urban agglomerations in Europe and elsewhere have been subject to agricultural and land use research for the past three decades. The manner in which farming responds to urban pressures, socio-economic changes and development opportunities has been the main focus of examination, with urban demand for rural goods and services representing a driving factor to adapt farming activities in a multifunctional way. Working within the peri-urban framework, this review pays particular attention to the relevance of multifunctional agriculture. Science Direct abstract
AND IF YOU HAVE TIME
Amazon just opened a grocery store without a checkout line
Amazon is testing a grocery store in downtown Seattle that lets customers walk in, grab food from the shelves and walk out again, without ever having to stand in a checkout line. Customers tap their cellphones on a turnstile as they walk into the store, which logs them into the store’s network and connects to their Amazon account through an app. The Seattle-based company calls it, “Just walk out technology.” USA Today story.