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Public Orchards – A New Kind of Investment

Touch the Soil News #448 (feature art work courtesy of Louisville Grows) The industrial food chain is a reflection of massive investments whose ability to drain family food enterprises of their cash flows is legendary. As a result, most neighborhood grocery stores are gone, most family farms are gone and the largest grocery chain is the nation’s food banking network with over 50,000 partners that have a charitable feeding program. On the horizon, however, is a new kind of food chain struggling to emerge. Investments in this new food chain are building blocks that stay in place and serve humanity via food, jobs and environmental stewardship. Human-oriented investments have been…

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Pushing the Frontiers of Economics

Touch the Soil News #390 Do you ever wonder where dollars come from? The technical accounting acrobatics that banks and the Federal Reserve engage in to invoke dollars are too much for this short news piece. However, there is another sister question that also needs answering. How effective are dollars as a medium of exchange – or, more simply – how well do dollars circulate? Like a body’s circulatory system that takes oxygen and nutrients to the outer limbs, the circulatory system of dollars falls far short of reaching the outer limbs of American society. The U.S. circulatory system that distributes dollars is primarily the activities surrounding employment and the…

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The Food Chain Is Flirting With a Not-For-Profit Landscape

Touch the Soil News #385 Hundreds of NGOs (Non Governmental Organizations) around the world continue attacking the industrial “for-profit” food chain. And it doesn’t look like they are going to stop anytime soon. The indiscriminations arising out of for-profit corporate models – span everything from cost, environmental exploitation, toxicity, loss of diversity and failure to deliver health. The issues are not going away. Now national governments are singing similar tunes. In a recent Kelp4Less news piece #376 (posted 5/9/2016), the nation of Brazil has rang the alarm bell about farming with toxic chemicals and how GMOs drive that problem. Brazil has the highest per-capita use of pesticides in the world.…

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A Domino Effect

Touch the Soil News #289 Food and farming has become a domain of a growing number of non-profits. A recent story by Melanie Whyte of Arizona State University reveals just how far non-profit expressions of food and agriculture can go.   Domino #1 The city of Phoenix did a self-assessment and found that 43 percent of the total land in Phoenix was in vacant lots. The city helped form a coalition of local businesses and non-profits known as PHX Renews. PHX Renews began as a 15-acre project that embraces urban agriculture and other beautification projects. The ultimate goal is to find uses that are functional (urban food) and beautifying of…

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