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  • Milwaukee’s Growing Power founder snags a much-deserved MacArthur

    Fifteen years ago, a former professional basketball player named Will Allen made a most unlikely career move: he decided to launch a farm in a low-income neighborhood in Milwaukee. His farmhands would be un- or ill-employed neighborhood teens. Will Allen. At the time, brutal economic conditions were pushing the nation’s few remaining African-American farmers into […]

  • Small-scale slaughterhouses are vital to the health of local food economies

    In “Dispatches From the Fields,” Ariane Lotti and Stephanie Ogburn, who are working on small farms in Iowa and Colorado this season, share their thoughts on producing real food in the midst of America’s agro-industrial landscape. —– A trailer load of chickens. Photos: Ariane Lotti In the cold and dark that is 5:30 a.m. in […]

  • The key political, economic, and cultural needs of young farmers

    This piece is co-authored by Severine von Tscharner Fleming, 27, director of The Greenhorns and farmer/activist in the Hudson Valley of New York. —– Coast to coast, though there are thousands inspired to dig in and grow food, but it is currently only a dauntless few who manage to gain access to the land, capital, […]

  • Finding nirvana in the coffee capital of the United States

    In “Mad Flavor,” the author describes his occasional forays from the farm in search of exceptional culinary experiences from small artisanal producers. —– While covering Slow Food Nation recently, I stayed in an unremarkable hotel located in a relatively uninteresting part of San Francisco’s Soma neighborhood. But I was as happy as a clam — […]

  • Two trends for bakeries, one encouraging and one dismal

    It’s hard to imagine a vibrant local-food economy without a vibrant bakery scene. The capacity to efficiently turn something as bland as flour into something delicious and substantial seems key. In energy terms, baking several hundred loaves of bread a day in a commercial operation makes more sense than every family cranking out a loaf […]

  • On the transformative potential of community-scale food production

    In “Dispatches From the Fields,” Ariane Lotti and Stephanie Ogburn, who are working on small farms in Iowa and Colorado this season, share their thoughts on producing real food in the midst of America’s agro-industrial landscape. —– This spring, someone transformed the vacant lot across the street from my in-town apartment here in Cortez, a […]

  • Can sustainable farming provide a sustainable living?

    In “Dispatches from the Fields,” Ariane Lotti and Stephanie Ogburn, who are working on small farms in Iowa and Colorado this season, share their thoughts on producing real food in the midst of America’s agro-industrial landscape. —– Should small-scale farmers who grow organically and sell locally or regionally be able to make a middle-class living […]

  • Urban gardening for the rest of us

      Photo: lucy and her dent via FlickrAbout a quarter of the U.S. population lives in apartments or condos, according to the 2000 census [PDF], and most Americans will live in one or the other at some point in their lives. But apartment dwellers don’t have to miss out on the joys of growing their […]

  • The limits of consumption-based food movements

    In “Dispatches From the Fields,” Ariane Lotti and Stephanie Ogburn, who are working on small farms in Iowa and Colorado this season, share their thoughts on producing real food in the midst of America’s agro-industrial landscape. This Olathe Sweet Corn is regionally renowned, entirely local, and grown entirely conventionally and industrially, meaning farmers use large […]