Sustainable Farming

Locavore

How does my garden grow? With the aid of a pretty good digital planner

Steph Larsen’s digital farm plan takes shape in the material world.Photo: Steph LarsenWhat’s black and white and dirty all over? My garden plan! Last year’s was, anyway. Most farmers I know will say that keeping good records and plans is …

Sustainable Farming

Factory farms the only way to ‘feed the world’? Not so, argues Science paper

To “feed the world” by 2050, we’ll need a massive, global ramp-up of industrial-scale, corporate-led agriculture. At least that’s the conventional wisdom. Even progressive journalists trumpet the idea (see here, here, and here, plus my ripostes here and here). The …

Sustainable Farming

Bounty hunting: an inside look at a successful farmers market operation [VIDEO]

Last spring, I had the pleasure of following the farm-to-market process with one of the “successful” upstart organic farms in Minnesota. Laura and Adam from Loon Organics let me film and work through their Friday-Saturday operation. I had been idealizing the idea …

Food

Real-life Farmville kills the same amount of time, actually does some good

We knew things were going to get weird once we found out there was a real-world Angry Bird. Now a farm in England is turning itself into live-action Farmville. For a £30 ($49) annual fee, members of MyFarm will get …

Sustainable Farming

I’ve seen the future and I can’t afford it: Marketplace’s botched ‘feed the world’ story

Let’s have a real debate about organic vs. conventional agriculture.Photo: Bio BrothersIn a recent report entitled “The Non-Organic Future,” public radio’s Marketplace program considered the challenge to agriculture of feeding a world population estimated to reach 9 billion by 2050. …

Sustainable Food

Will the real food movement please stand up?

Image: Will Etling’s “Sustain,” originally for GOOD magazine and contributed to Green Patriot Posters. Farmer Bob Comis recently suggested that the food movement is suffering from “multiple personality disorder.” He argued that several vocal factions — foodies, locavores, and “smallists” …

Sustainable Farming

Give a cluck: Ask Umbra on secret backyard chickens

Send your question to Umbra! Q. Dear Umbra, Have you heard of the underground backyard chicken movement, and would you recommend it for people who want chickens, regardless of city ordinances? DenineWestminster (no state specified, maybe to protect innocent chickens) …

Sustainable Food

A star Silicon Valley investor puts his money where his mouth is for sustainable ag

Ali Partovi: Investing green in green ag.As antidote to those who argue that the future of food is all about technologies like genetic engineering and new pesticides, I refer you to entrepreneur Ali Partovi (full disclosure: Ali and I are …

Sustainable Farming

15 ways to celebrate agriculture on Earth Day

Agriculture: it doesn’t have to steamroll the environment to be productive. For over 40 years, Earth Day has served as a call to action, mobilizing individuals and organizations around the world to address environmental challenges. Agriculture, often blamed as a …