Monthly Archives: September 2010

Farm-to-school programs can strongly impact local economy

chicken or egg?

Here’s an article on the economic effect of Minnesota’s Farm-to-School program. The impact is substantial…

The range of economic impact in the region varied greatly depending on the schools’ level of involvement—from $20,000 if every school featured one locally grown meal per month up to $430,000 if they sourced a large amount of certain products from local farmers. The analysis concentrated on foods most easily added to school menus right away and available from local farmers: apples, beef hot dogs, cabbage, carrots, oatmeal, potatoes, sweet corn and wild rice.

I think every school should have its own farm and farmer. The farmer can grow fresh, healthy food for the school, and the farm can be an extension of the classroom.

The report referenced in the article can be found HERE.

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Filed under ag education, local food

Worthy cause

help this family and save the earth too!

The topic of this post is not related to organic per se, but thought I’d post it anyway. My recent visit to Costa Rica opened my eyes to the beauty of the place and people.

It’s a really clever fund-raising idea that helps a needy family AND preserves a beautiful piece of land and all its ecological services.

Read more HERE and consider making a contribution.

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Filed under environment, small farms

Check out eOrganic

an growing source of information for organic producers

eOrganic is part of the eXtension project, an “educational partnership of 74 universities in the United States”, providing, “objective and research-based information and learning opportunities that help people improve their lives.’

This is the Extension of the future — collaborative, on-line, accessible 24/7 and peopleless. The Extension Agent of the past, who would actually come out to the farm and diagnose problems and mete out advice has gone the same way as the doctor who made house calls. Money has run out. Offices are being closed, people let go and moved around. Programs are being re-structured.

There are other planets in the eXtension galaxy. These are called Resource Areas. They include much more than agriculture. Lots of good information.

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Filed under ag education

New journal for ag and food systems

Cover of the inaugural issue of JAFSCD

Just received word that new international, peer reviewed journal is now available. The Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems and Community Development is “focused on the practice and applied research interests of agriculture and food systems development professionals and scholars.” The inaugural issue is available free on-line. Subscriptions are available for $30 to $50 depending on who you are.

A unique extra feature of the publication is the related opportunity of joining AgDevONLINE.com, a community of practice resource site for those working in the area of food systems and community development.

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Filed under agriculture, food, local food

Ag/food/art project

Here’s an interesting project by an artist trying to illuminate the disconnectedness of our food system.

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Filed under agriculture, food, policy

The ui sustainable student farm

students farming and smiling

This has been up and running a couple seasons now, the UI Sustainability Student Farm.

It’s student-run and located on University ground close to campus.

It’s not certified organic, but it is pesticide-free.

They sell to Dining Services and at a farm stand on the Quad once a week.

Students can volunteer labor and take home fresh veggies.

It’s about 3 acres, and also has three high tunnels.

Check out the website for more info…

http://thefarm.illinois.edu/

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Filed under ag education, local food, natural, small farms