Posted on

Could This Happen in America?

0b64b5_b509a7f44db64ef7ba1ec80676cd2702~mv2

Touch the Soil News #698 (photo courtesy of FOLO Farms) There is little question that market gardening is not economically and financially easy. Like everything else, it takes determination at really being efficient in every move the urban farmer makes. The story we are about to share has a rather unusual beginning. Two years ago in the country of Malaysia six families came together spontaneously for a common mission – grow organic and nutritionally packed food for our loved ones. The FOLO farm (Food for Our Loved Ones) was born. Malaysia is a Southeast Asian nation of 31.5 million people. Given the synergies of the six families, things began to…

Read more

Posted on

A Domino Effect

PhoenixRenews

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…

Read more

Posted on

Emerging Farming Model – It’s About Jobs and People Over Profits

b7d211_38daad22b0a64b1e9064758dd3432591_png_srz_p_205_183_75_22_0_50_1_20_0

Touch the Soil News #216 The entry of non profit oriented enterprises into food and farming is a theme we have frequently covered. There have been so many stories of connecting food, farming, jobs and social responsibility it has become a growing trend. Perhaps – in time – a mega-trend. RecoveryPark is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit in Detroit. To implement its vision of employing military veterans, ex-convicts, recovering addicts and others having trouble finding employment – they are starting a large urban commercial farm. Called RecoveryPark Farms, there will be greenhouses, hoop houses and hydroponic systems on 60 acres of blighted Detroit Land. About 35 acres of the project is…

Read more

Posted on

When Big Ag Corporations Think for Us

photo courtesy of Jkamyiu - contributed to the public domain

Touch the Soil News #209 The agriculture media is saturated with warnings about demand for food outpacing the world’s capacity to raise food. This “fear” so to speak is being leveraged by large industrial agriculture enterprises to gain public support for practices that are unsustainable and exploiting people. Food must be sustainable in order to sustain big populations (photo courtesy of Rakesh Krishna Kamur – Creative Commons 2.0) What would you say to a food security plan that says sustainable production doesn’t work and we need to change focus? That focus being full bore ahead with chemical farming, soil compromising practices and GMO foods that collapse seed diversity and promote…

Read more

Posted on

Airport Farm – Blue Potatoes – Jet Blue – FUN FUN FUN

FeaturePhoto

Touch the Soil News #203 Whoever thought there would be a demand for an urban farm and farmers at JFK airport in New York? That is exactly what is happening according to a recent press release by Jet Blue Airways. A recent collaboration between a set of partners shows just how deep local and sustainable food has penetrated into the American psychology. Here are the partners of this new “farm-to-air” collaboration: Jet Blue Airways Terra Vegetable Chips GrowNYC – a NYC non-profit supporting local agriculture and farmers markets Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Jet Blue’s rooftop container farm at JFK airport – photo courtesy of Jet Blue…

Read more

Posted on

Profits Through Small Scale Farming – Two Events Being Offered

Presentation1

Touch the Soil News # 180 If you’ve ever considered getting into raising food as a career, here are two events that can give you the scoop. Learn from experts and discover low-capital-cost models that make profitable entry possible to most anyone. Get introduced to skills and business techniques important to developing better economics for yourself and community. No previous experience is necessary for either event.   Event #1 What:             Cultivating Profits with Small Scale Farming Conference (in the classroom) When:              Friday, October 16, 2015 – 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Where:            Fayetteville State University, Fayetteville, North Carolina – 1200 Murchison Road Shaw Auditorium in the School of Business…

Read more

Posted on

When We Eat Salmon, We Become, in Part, What the Salmon Eats

salmon_farm_feature

Touch the Soil News #165 A couple of weeks ago we did a two-part series on Cargill – the world’s largest food company (See Touch the Soil News #145 and #146). To be a food company, also means you can be involved in the early stages of the food chain. For example, you could be involved in what farmed fish eat which ultimately ends up being in the fish you eat. EWOS, a world leader in feed for salmon farms, is being acquired by Cargill Last week, Cargill announced it entered into a purchase agreement to buy EWOS – a global leader in supplying feed to salmon-farming enterprises for approximately…

Read more

Posted on

When it Comes to Food – The Three Big Ominous Shadows Humanity Faces (Part 1 of 3)

OminousShadows.FeaturePhoto

Touch the Soil News # 161 An old wisdom says big future events cast big shadows in the present. This is not trying to predict the future, but simply looking at the shadows showing up on the paths humanity has elected to travel upon. If we don’t like the shadows, humanity can choose a different path if it so chooses. One of the difficulties that arise when detecting big shadows is what to do about them. Since our readership is made up of folks with diverse backgrounds, experience and knowledge, we’ll just leave answering that question to our readers. As we present the three dilemmas, we could not assess which…

Read more

Posted on

Growing Food – Help for War Veterans Getting Back to Normal

Featured

Touch the Soil News # 156 When a good idea hatches, it usually takes a little time for the word to get out and for a vision to take form. Back in 2012, U.S. Marine veteran Chris Brown co-founded Growing Veterans – an organization that combines sustainable farming with helping veterans re-establish some semblance of a normal life. Recently, Growing Veterans have been making news and the word is getting out. Brown, with three deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, knows of the injuries veterans come home with that are physical and mental – that can lead to isolation, substance abuse, unemployment and even suicide. Turning attention to growing food and…

Read more