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Green Sense Farms – Deeper Insight to the Change Coming

Touch the Soil News # 133 When it comes to raising food, most farmers think about things like land, tractors, harvesting equipment and chemicals. For some crops this may not change much. For other crops, particularly lettuces, micro-greens and herbs, the future may be totally different. Green Sense farms, working with Royal Phillips – a global leader in lighting – is taking a completely different approach. Capital expenditures for setting up farming include specialized LED lighting, a large indoor facility, growing towers and a physical location that puts them within 100 miles of 20 million people. Photo courtesy of Green Sense Farms – from left to right Rob Schlyer -…

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Jon Lockhart – Taking Up the Trend and Following the Leads to Urban Farming

Touch the Soil News # 117 Jon Lockhart with niece and nephews Bryce, Mee Mai, and Miles Meet Jon Lockhart from Oakdale, Minnesota. Oakdale is on the eastern edge of the much larger Minneapolis / St. Paul metropolitan area – a population center of 3.8 million people. Lockhart explains that while Minneapolis proper has a thriving local foods culture, the St. Paul area and East into Oakdale is far less developed when it comes to a local food chain. Feedback that Lockhart is getting is that local food in his area is on a trend upwards. Lockhart has an established wholesale propagation business raising and selling perennial and shrub plant…

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Dacha Gardening – Small Gardens Produce 51% of Food in Russian Federation

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The discussions will rage onwards in terms of dependence upon industrial food systems – and why there should be an exodus. In an interesting twist of fate, turns out home gardens produce 41.1 percent (in terms of value) of the crops and meat produced in the Russian Federation. Small peasant farms produce another 10.2 percent of the Federation’s food. (Source: Federal State Statistics Service of the Russian Federation for 2013 – most recent year for which numbers are available.) Popularly called Dacha Gardens, these home enterprises produce approximately 80 percent of the Federation’s fruits and berries, over 66 percent of the vegetables, 80 percent of the potatoes and nearly 50…

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Food Hardship – Is the Solution Food Gardening?

The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) recently published its 2014 National, State and Local Index of Food Hardship. Food hardship is a state of being in which there is struggle to put food on the table.  According to the report, food hardship afflicted between 17.2 and 18.6 percent of Americans at various times over the last seven years – that’s between 55 and 61 million people. Here are some of the highlights: Mississippi has the highest food hardship rate of any state at 24.7 percent. About one out of every 4 people in Mississippi is food challenged. North Dakota has the lowest food hardship rate of any state at…

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Katie’s Krops – How One Girl Re-instates the Connection Between Gardening and Solving Hunger

KatieWithCropsNow

As much as we may try, the connection between eating and raising food is permanent. From subsistence farming, the world passed the gavel of raising food to farmers and now to industrial farming. In world almost exclusively organized around dollars, hundreds of millions of people have been externalized from the money it takes to buy from the farm via the grocery store. It took a nine year old girl to figure out that solving hunger was somehow related to raising food. Back in 2008, Katie Stagliano – a third grader, took on a school project to raise a cabbage. Her cabbage turned out to be a 40 lb. wonder. She…

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The Future of Food – A Grocery Store That Has a Controlled-Environment Farm

Living Produce Aisle

March 20, 2015 │Vancouver, Canada Imagine a cold winter day. You go to your local grocer and viola – you get fresh living greens and herbs. Instead of buying a pre-cut and packaged bag of greens – that may have traveled a long way – you pick up a fresh growing flat of greens to take home and harvest just before eating.  The magic comes from state-of-the-art appliances (Urban Cultivators) that are mini-farms working 365 days a year. Tarren Wolfe, the founder of Urban Cultivators in 2010, got his inspiration from a challenge his wife was having – allergic reactions to pesticides in commercial produce. Wolfe developed the lighting, climate…

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