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Football Field Turned into Urban Farm???

Touch the Soil News #916 (Feature photo – Michael Sorrell at the Farm (formerly a football field – photo courtesy of Paul Quinn College) Few of us have heard of Paul Quinn College. And few of us have heard of EdSurge news – a news company that focuses on the use of technology in education – including food growing technology. Recently EdSurge did a story on Michael Sorrell – President of Paul Quinn College. When Sorrell took over as head of the college in 2017, it’s football venue was broken, as was the colleges finances. As a result of the situation, Sorrell decided to cut the football program from the…

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Is Urban Farming a Must for our Future?

Touch the Soil News #915 (Feature photo – MUFI Logo – CCA SA 4.0 International License) Lorraine Chow from EcoWatch just published an article that takes the importance of urban farming to the next level – it’s a cornerstone of the future of food. She quotes the Thompson Reuters Foundation which concludes that “Urban farms could supply almost the entire recommended consumption of vegetables for city dwellers, while cutting food waste and reducing emissions from the transportation of agricultural products. Chow also cites Dr. David Suzuki who explains the story of one patch of Detroit – where 12 vacant houses were removed to grow food. This plot has supplied almost…

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Making the World a Better Place – Urban Agriculture

Touch the Soil News #909 (Feature photo – Home Garden – CCA SA 3.0 Unported) Leveraging data from the Food and Agriculture Organization and Google Earth Engine, researchers have been able to estimate the value of urban agriculture on a global basis. Through an open access venue, here are the findings of the global benefits of urban agriculture: The value of ecosystem improvements by urban agriculture are estimated to be $33 billion. Annual food production reaching up to 200 million tons. Energy savings up to 15 billion kilowatt hours. Nitrogen sequestration up to 190,000 tons. Avoiding storm water runoff for some 15 trillion gallons of water. With more than half…

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Seedling Farm – Quiet Social Revolution

Touch the Soil News #865 (Feature photo – CCA SA 3.0 Unported) The South Dallas area of Dallas, Texas is known for its poverty and lack of access to healthy food. It is considered one of the largest food deserts in the U.S. Folks in the South Dallas area are trying to lift themselves up by the bootstraps through an urban farming initiative. Called the Seedling Farm, here is how it works: Meet with a seedling farm manager to discuss your situation and resources. Select the best types of plants for your project. The selected seeds will be started at the seedling farm until they are ready to replant. You…

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Grass Roots Food – Is Still Alive and Kicking

Touch the Soil News #849 (Feature photo – courtesy of Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture) While the movement is decades old, trying to re-visualize what healthy food grown locally looks is capturing the passion of young people. An unusual video has been put together by “Feast TV” in which the stories and economics of urban farming are captured. It is interesting how much activity there is in the urban food arena by non-profits.   Featured in the documentary are three enterprises: Urbavore Urban Farm. Founded in 2011, farmers Brooke Salvaggio and Daniel Heryer have created a bio-diverse oasis in Kansas City, Missouri. Their 13.5 acre farm is also their homestead.…

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New York City is Concerned About Raising Food?

Touch the Soil News #848 (Feature photo – Bernie Sanders (left) with Rafael Espinal – photo courtesy of Rafeal Espinal) The New York City Council is considering a bill – proposed by Rafael Espinal – to develop a comprehensive urban agriculture plan. Wow, a city of 8.5 million people where there is an average of one person every 1,000 square feet. While it sounds quite far out, the point is that there is a lot of sentiment that the industrial food system has too many problems to fix. People have to fix it from the ground up. In specifics, the law proposed by Rafael Espinal seeks to establish a comprehensive…

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Go Marcy Kaptur

Touch the Soil News #799 (Feature photo courtesy of Marcy Kaptur) Never heard of Marcy Kaptur? Well, most folks have not. However, Marcy holds the distinction of being the longest running woman representative in the U.S. House of Representatives. In office since 1983 (34 years), Marcy is introducing a new kind of agricultural bill. Called the Urban Agriculture Production Act of 2017 (H.R. Bill #3699), the Bill intends to help create the next generation of local, urban farmers and food producers. At the heart of the legislation is to attack the food-security erosion in much of America – often found in what is termed “food deserts”. As a preface to…

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Seeds of Change

Touch the Soil News #760 (feature photo – Downtown New York – Alex Proimos CC SA 2.0) The history of New York City is the epitome of paving and urbanizing farmland. Since its founding in 1624, New York City and its surrounding metro areas have grown. Today, New York City proper has a population of 8.5 million people. The larger New York City metropolitan area has 23.7 million people. Originally, New York was the lands of the Algonquain Indians, which sold the island of Manhattan in 1626 to Peter Minuit. Minuit was charged with building of the New Netherland for the Dutch. A few days ago, New York councilman -…

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Is Shipping Container Farming for You?

Touch the Soil News #711 (photo courtesy of Alescalife) Chinese startup Alescalife is promoting shipping container farming. Their business model is to create and sell what they call the EDN (Every Day Nutrition). They refer to the EDN as the all-in-one solution optimized for growers of every size. Alescalife boasts that its shipping container farms can be operated by one person working about 2 hours a day. The farm comes with a one-year guarantee. The company does not publish a price. Alescalife recently came into the news because of the enormous agricultural problems China has. Estimates are that one fifth of farmland in China is compromised by chemicals and toxins.…

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Kelp4Less News – Discovering the Mega-Trends for You

Touch the Soil News #707 (photo – Kelp4Less News Editor Benjamin Gisin) For those of you familiar with our news postings, you know we cut a broad swath as relates to happenings in the food chain. We are now well into our third year of publishing the “News” page. During this time, we are keen to discover trends. Following are three (3) mega-trends we see unfolding that may have relevance to what you are doing: Food tremors (when things go wrong in the food chain) are increasing in size and number. There are two main reasons for this. 1) The financial world has pushed the industrial food chain into a…

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