FoodCorps – Supporting Farm to School Programs Across the US

Many of us in the farming world know exactly where our food comes from – we grow it, we raise it, and we buy it locally.  However, much of our society has lost touch with the food they consume—where it comes from, how it is grown, even how it is cooked. With processed foods lining our supermarkets and conglomerates such as Coca-Cola and Kraft sitting on the boards of our nutrition organizations it is no wonder that childhood obesity has become... Read More

Spotlight Charlottesville: Local Food Communities

For those interested in agriculture and food, it is impossible to escape the inundation of buzzwords surrounding the latest agricultural/food movements. Words such as “locavore,” “local food community,” “community food systems,” and “food heritage” are sprinkled heartily throughout most articles on sustainability and agriculture, though the majority of people cannot envision the realization of these terms. What would a local food community... Read More

Filmmaker Dan Susman on Filming the Urban Agriculture Revolution

I’m from farm country. Well, sort of. I grew up outside of Omaha, Nebraska in a little town called Elkhorn. We had a big yellow house with two towering maples out front, an old barn, and a couple acres of land. Don’t get me wrong, we weren’t farmers—although my parents showed me at a very early age the importance of growing my own food. Every year I planted pumpkins with names like “Big Max,” “Atlantic Giant,” and “King Jack,”... Read More

New USDA Report Analyzes Local Food Distribution

A recent report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) discusses the distribution practices of eight producer networks and their partners distributing locally-grown food to retail and food service customers.  This report shows how these networks take advantage of the growing consumer demand for local foods while, at the same time, creating new economic opportunities and expanding access to healthy food. The... Read More

FoodCorps Opens Applications for 2012 School Food Change-Makers

FoodCorps, a national organization that works to address food issues in underserved communities, has called for applications for its second annual class of service members. The organization will be hiring up to one hundred people for positions in 12 states across the country. The 2012 corps will work full-time for one year in school food systems, expanding hands-on nutrition education programs, building and tending school gardens, and sourcing fresh,... Read More

Proposed farm-to-WIC program to enable greater access to fresh produce

Changes in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) are allowing new partnerships between local farmers and WIC outlets.  WIC aims to increase fruit and vegetable consumption by distributing cash vouchers to low-income women with children to buy produce.  The University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) recently conducted a survey of the buying habits and produce preferences of WIC participants in... Read More

Restaurants Offer Local Farmers a Growing Market

Chef Jacques Legros of Au Gout d'Autrefois Restaurant in Quebec City, Canada. (photo by Au Gout d'Autrefois) There is welcome news for those of us entering the field of farming–a new study by the National Restaurant Association shows that local and sustainably-grown ingredients will be some of the most popular food served in restaurants this year.  Locally-raised meats and seafood ranked number one on the list of the hottest menu... Read More

USDA Report Shows Local Farms Earned $4.8 Billion in 2008

A new report by the USDA’s Economic Research Service, “Direct and Intermediated Marketing of Local Foods in the United States,” has some important implications for those interested in farming or marketing local foods to consumers.  The USDA studied local farm production and sales during 2008, then compared farms that sell directly to customers with those that sell their products through an intermediary such as a supermarket or a restaurant. ... Read More

Farm-to-Table Inspiration in Quebec

Rooftop herb garden at the Chateau Frontenac - photo by Chris T. On a recent visit to the province of Quebec, I was quite inspired to see many strong examples of support for sustainable local agriculture.  In Quebec City (where it is illegal to use pesticides), I took a tour of the Château Frontenac, the City’s most prominent landmark. I was surprised to learn that this famous hotel has had an impressive rooftop garden in place for 18 years,... Read More