weaning our waterways off nitrogen

posted December 29, 2011

Morgan Heim/AP -- Algae blooms in the mouth of the Elizabeth River in Norfolk, Va., on July 31, 2010. Rain, high temperatures, and pollution from agricultural runoff made for ideal algae bloom conditions.

Putting Farmland on a Fertilizer Diet by Dan Charles for NPR

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released a document yesterday that got no attention on the nightly news, or almost anywhere, really. Its title, I’m sure you’ll agree, is a snooze: National Nutrient Management Standard.

Yet this document represents the agency’s best attempt to solve one of the country’s — and the world’s — really huge environmental problems: The nitrogen and phosphorus that pollute waterways. (more…)

my mom saw this article & sent it to me

posted December 29, 2011

Good thing our parents are paying attention!

More young people see opportunity in farming from CBS News

(AP)  MILWAUKEE — A Wisconsin factory worker worried about layoffs became a dairy farmer. An employee at a Minnesota nonprofit found an escape from her cubicle by buying a vegetable farm. A nuclear engineer tired of office bureaucracy decided to get into cattle ranching in Texas.

While fresh demographic information on U.S. farmers won’t be available until after the next agricultural census is done next year, there are signs more people in their 20s and 30s are going into farming: Enrollment in university agriculture programs has increased, as has interest in farmer-training programs.

Young people are turning up at farmers markets and are blogging, tweeting and promoting their agricultural endeavors through other social media. (more…)

innovation in food processing

posted December 28, 2011

An Entrepreneurial Solution To The Problem Of Getting Local Food To Local Tables: Trust, Convenience, And Perceived Value
by Todd Essig for Forbes

Last August, shortly after Hurricane Irene did its damage, I wrote about “agricultural time” and mentioned Hudson Valley Harvest, a new company developing a “local food distribution model in which local products are bought at harvest, processed and frozen locally, and then made available throughout the winter.” They’re trying to get local food on local tables year round. (more…)

great piece on dinner bell farm

posted December 28, 2011

California’s young farmers break traditional mold
by Stacy Finz, Chronicle Staff Writer. Sunday, December 25, 2011

The average age of a farmer in California is creeping toward 60, and the California Department of Food and Agriculture is trying to attract newcomers to work the land.

The need is especially acute, given that experts are forecasting that the world will have to double its food supply to keep up with a booming population – growing from 7 billion people to 9 billion by 2050. California is a significant player in feeding the globe, providing 12 percent of the nation’s agriculture exports. (more…)

connecticut farm for lease

posted December 27, 2011

Established organic farm available for rent/lease with off-the-grid home and barn area. Great upside potential due to burgeoning local markets and restaurant opportunities. Total area is 13 acres. Two acres are currently deer-fenced and under cultivation (vegs/flowers/fruit/chickens in chicken-tractor). Current eight-acre hay field can be converted to cultivation. Greenhouse is 400 square feet. Experienced organic farmer on site, available to train new tenants. Farm currently generating $40,000 annual income from farmers’ markets and farm stand/CSA. Easy access and parking for farm visitors. Bordered by scenic land trust property. Located in the shoreline area of Connecticut, very near the Connecticut River, Long Island Sound, Route 95. Monthly rent of $2000. No utility expense. Contact owner directly at 860-575-2387 or hayhouseonline@gmail.com.