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Farm Lot 59 – What’s the Message?

Touch the Soil News #643 (feature photo courtesy of Farm Lot 59) In 1881, in what is now known as Long Beach, California, the city’s early founders identified a 4,000 acre area to create a new town. Of this land, 300 acres was carved out for the city portion and the other 3,700 acres were divided into 20 acre small farms numbered from 1 through 185. Farm Lot #59 is the last remaining plot that has not been urbanized. Owned by the city of Long Beach, Farm Lot 59 has been leased to Long Beach Local – a nonprofit that now oversees the operations of Farm Lot 59 as a…

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Should You Join the Urban Food Movement for Economic Reasons?

Touch the Soil News #495 Officials say the U.S. economy is getting better. Poverty has marginally decreased, hunger in America has gone down by a percent or two and average incomes are up by a hair. Who are we trying to kid here? Each year, the U.S. Census Bureau does what it calls the American Community Survey. In the survey, they divide the population up into 5 parts (quintiles). Each quintile represents 20 percent of U.S. households. The average household has 2.54 people. The following Info Graphic #1 illustrates income averages for the U.S. population broken up into fifths (quintiles): Translating labor into dollars is becoming more of a challenge.…

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SPIN Webinar – Grassroots Profits from Market Gardening

Touch the Soil News #486 In today’s world, economics and finding a business model are more important than ever. SPIN Farming is one of the most effective platforms (with lots of peer support) in building a market garden business. Each month they sponsor a Member Meet-Up where they review the finances, economics, marketing, production and work flows of a successful market garden. SPIN stands for small plot intensive – it’s the most effective route to a successful market garden business.   What: A one-hour Webinar featuring Justin Vandenbroeck of Fleet Farming   When: Thursday, September 22, 2016 at 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time   Registration: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7395569572806299651   Connect…

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SPIN Webinar – Chance to Meet Real Market Gardeners

Touch the Soil News #439 What: Meet professional SPIN market gardeners Annabel Khouri and Eric Stoffer. They are the owner/operators of Bay Branch Farm in Cleveland, Ohio. When: Friday, July 29, 2016 Time: 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time Zone How to Register: Click on the following link to register ahead of time: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6285720334624546562 Eric and Annabel’s first year’s gross was $4,517 on 5,000 sq. ft. working as a team about 20 hours per week. Since then they have moved, honed their growing skills, developed an impressively varied crop repertoire, and established multiple sales channels.  Now they’ve got 6,500 sq.ft. and a hoop house and are looking to maximize sales. But they…

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Following the Cities

Touch the Soil News #277 The local food and urban farm movement is catching the attention of cities across the nation. No, they are not directly subsidizing local farmers, but they are trying to implement new codes and regulations that are local food and urban farming supportive. In this news piece we are going to sample some of the cities in which grass-roots efforts have paid off. Mostly below the media radar, local food activists are getting cities to become urban farming friendly San Antonio, Texas (from the Rivard Report http://therivardreport.com) Effective 1/1/2016, the city of San Antonio created a new zoning designation called the “residential market garden” as a…

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