Sustainable Food

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 …

Climate Change

Hot stuff: chile peppers, climate change, and the future of food

Getting hot in here.Photo: Josh KelloggClimate change is the issue of our time. Its ill effects will fall heaviest on the people who have least contributed to it: billions in the global south. But no one will escape the impact …

Industrial Agriculture

Girl Scouts censor Facebook criticism of palm oil in cookies

Critter-killing cookies?Photo: Laura TaylorLooking for a lesson of how not to respond to green consumer demand in the internet age? Check out Girl Scouts USA. The Scouts’ CEO Kathy Cloninger has for several years rebuffed polite requests from individual scouts, …

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) …

Food

Royal wedding will be slightly greener wretched pile of excess than usual

I've noticed that I have zero posts in my Twitter feed about how awesomesauce the royal wedding is, and 2930820385 about how nobody else will shut up re: the royal wedding and its awesomeness. But clearly somebody somewhere is into …

Sustainable Food

Students fight to save innovative garden-based public school in Detroit

When I visited Detroit last summer, I found it to be a place of extremes. On the one hand, a city buckling under the weight of decades of deindustrialization, white flight, and abandonment — a city so gripped by economic …

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 …