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Urban Farming News

8 hours 56 min ago
In Western Canada, we have few acre battles that get much attention, but one that intrigues our editorial staff every year is the battle of the canola herbicide tolerance trait race. It really is a three-way cage match that has swings in advantage every year. All three systems have unique characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses. So here... Read more »
12 hours 38 min ago


Shaun Ananko comes to the CSE greenhouse everyday to water the seeds that eventually will be planted at the Urban Farm. Photo by Mitchell Baker.

The Urban Farm grows food for the Interfaith Food Pantry and Morristown High School. Remaining produce is sold at cost via the farm stand.

By Mitchell Baker
Morristown Green
Feb 13, 2017

Excerpt:

Shaun Ananko is starting his seventh year as director of agriculture and education for Grow It Green Morristown, a nonprofit that provides fresh, locally grown food for Greater Morristown.

From two Morristown venues – the Early Street Community Garden, and the Urban Farm at Lafayette on Hazel Street–the organization pursues its mission of creating green space and educating residents about where their food comes from.

Ananko manages the Urban Farm, behind the Lafayette Learning Center, and runs its farm stand from June through October.

He also manages the greenhouse at the College of Saint Elizabeth in Morris Township, to grow plants to transfer to the farm in April.

Read the complete article here.

14 hours 7 min ago

2017 Growing Places Indy Summer Apprenticeship Program

Application Deadline:  March 15, 2017

Growing Places Indy is a non-profit organization committed to empowering individuals to cultivate personal, family and community wellness through urban agriculture, food access and mind-body education.

The Growing Places Indy Summer Apprenticeship Program empowers participants to understand what it means to Grow Well, Eat Well and Live Well in order to Be Well, and both challenges and encourages them to be the change they want to see in the world.

Mandatory Program Orientation:  Thursday, June 8 (time TBD)

Mandatory Program Dates:  June 12 – August 10 (8 weeks)

* There is a break from July 3 – 7.

Weekly Schedule:

  • Mondays – 8:00am to 1:00pm
  • Tuesdays – 9:00am to 2:00pm
  • Wednesdays – 8:30am to 6:30pm (time is built in for lunch)
  • Thursdays – 8:30am to 12:30pm and 3:00pm to 6:30pm

Locations:

  • Boner Learning & Fitness Center at the Chase Legacy Building
  • White River State Park
  • The Eskenazi Health Sky Farm at the Sydney and Lois Eskenazi Hospital
  • The Platform at City Market
  • Additional field trips occur weekly

Hours per week: Approximately 25-30

In addition to our regular schedule, participation in and attendance at additional events, networking opportunities, and enrichment activities are encouraged.  Growing Places Indy will facilitate these opportunities throughout the program and participants are encouraged to seek out others.

Compensation: $400 stipend, a weekly veggie share and yoga classes

Program Description:  The Growing Places Indy Summer Apprenticeship Program immerses participants in the work of Growing Places Indy, through hands-on farm work to community engagement, fundraising, youth education, personal development and more.  Participants are challenged to consider what change they want to see in the world and are trained in skills they can employ to take personal action.  Participants build a strong team relationship within their cohort and have the opportunity to meet many leaders and entrepreneurs doing transformational work in the Indianapolis area.

Apprentices will:

  • Learn about urban agriculture through hands-on experiences and educational lessons, obtaining information and skills to teach others. This includes general farming activities (planning, planting, transplanting, cultivation, weeding, etc.) and sales/marketing/distribution activities (CSA, farm stand and restaurant sales).  Physical work is a major part of the program, with daily outdoor tasks at Growing Places Indy’s farm sites as well as farms, gardens and organizations across the Indianapolis area.
  • Engage in the Indianapolis area food system with producers, consumers, advocates and educators, connecting into a network of relationships and opportunities. This may include attending presentations and leading workshops, speaking engagements and tours for community members.
  • Explore and apply practices for personal empowerment including yoga, self-study, cooking, gardening and mindfulness activities. Participants enjoy a daily yoga/mindfulness practice and explore how to apply the philosophy of yoga in day-to-day life and work.
  • Develop an integrated understanding of how food access and awareness, agricultural systems, individual and collective lifestyles (or lifestyle choices) impact personal and community wellness, as well as economic and environmental sustainability.
  • Investigate how community based food systems support community development. This will include site visits, guest lecturers as well as recommended readings.
  • Explore leadership and teamwork concepts by working as part of a small team of apprentices and program leaders to accomplish daily, weekly and season-long tasks and goals.
  • Learn to comfortably and safely navigate Indianapolis by bicycle. Bicycling is the primary mode of group transit between farms sites, restaurant deliveries and visits to downtown area locations.
  • Each apprentice will have an additional role he or she will play to accomplish our collective goals and gain valuable experience. Examples include but are not limited to: farm stand manager, social media assistant, photographer, CSAveggie share leader, after school program leader, restaurant harvest coordinator and fundraising project coordinator.

Application Eligibility:  Eligible participants must be 18 years of age or older and have at least one year of continuing education or work experience post high school.  To be accepted, a candidate must be able to fully commit to the weekly schedule for the entire 8-week program, be willing to work hard, have a sincere interest in the subject matter and activities, desire to take on leadership roles and to grow personally.  Strongest candidates will be able to articulate a sense of purpose for applying, as well as thoughtful ideas on ways in which they can contribute to the 2017 cohort experience, Growing Places Indy and potential ways they will pay forward the experience.  Prior experience in gardening, farm product sales, educational programming and/or the practice of yoga are not required.

Application Process:

  • Submit your application by March 15, 2017 to Sarah Adams/Program Coordinator at saraha@growingplacesindy.org.
  • After an initial application review, applicants will by contacted for an interview by March 31, 2017.
  • Interviews will take place April 10 – 21, 2017.
  • Applicants will be informed of a final decision on their application by April 30, 2017.

Previous apprenticeship schedules and testimonials can be found at: http://www.growingplacesindy.org/our_programs/summer-apprenticeship/

2017 Growing Places Indy Summer Apprenticeship Program

Application Deadline:  March 15, 2017

Applicant Information

Name:   _____________________________________

Email:  _______________________________________

Mobile Phone:  ______________________________

Date of Birth:  _______________________________

Emergency Contact Information

Name:  _____________________________________

Relationship:  _______________________________

Email:  ______________________________________

Mobile Phone:  _____________________________

We use bicycles as our primary mode of transportation between garden locations, site visits and produce delivery.  We require that apprentices provide their own bicycle.

Do you have a bicycle?    _______Yes  _______No

Do you have a bicycle helmet?  ________Yes  _______No

How comfortable are you riding a bicycle?

_____Very  ______Somewhat  ______Not really  ______Don’t know how

Are you able to meet in Indianapolis for an interview during April 10-21? _____Yes  _____No

If not, please indicate what methods would be possible for you and indicate contact details (such as Skype/Facetime/Video conference) ___________________________________

2017 Growing Places Indy Summer Apprenticeship Program

Application Deadline:  March 15, 2017

Application Materials:

  1. Current copy of your resume (one page maximum).
  2. One letter of reference (letters from family members will not be considered).
  3. Personal Essay — In a separate document, provide an essay of no more than 600 words addressing the following:
  • What is your primary motivation for applying to participate in this program?
  • What skills/talents/ideas do you hope to bring to the apprenticeship?
  • What do you hope to get out of this experience? Tell us about your goals and aspirations.
  • What previous gardening, farming, food system, yoga, personal development or other program-related experience do you have?

** Essays longer than 600 words will not be considered.

I certify that the information given in this application is complete and accurate to the best of my knowledge.

Signature:  ______________________________

Date:  __________________________________

Please submit your application by email to Sarah Adams/Program Coordinator at saraha@growingplacesindy.org by March 15, 2017.

 

The post Growing Places Indy Summer Apprenticeship Program appeared first on Beginning Farmers.

14 hours 19 min ago

If you ever find yourself stranded in the middle of nowhere and don’t know how to get out, you will need to be able to find food. One of the best sources of nutrition is one of number of wild animals that can be found most anywhere. However, these animals are not just going to […]

The post Survival Tips Using Snare Traps to Catch Your Dinner appeared first on The Homestead Survival.

14 hours 28 min ago

This tutorial of how to make a flexible gel ice pack project is a simple yet frugal first aid tool to keep handy in case of accidents. Reducing swelling can in fact promote healing. Make sure you like The Homestead Survival on Facebook, Shop on AMAZON with Us and explore our  PINTEREST BOARDS  for innovative […]

The post How To Make A Flexible Gel Ice Pack Project appeared first on The Homestead Survival.

14 hours 34 min ago

This delicious winter margarita jello shots recipe is light but a flavorful recipe perfect for the season. Make sure you like The Homestead Survival on Facebook, Shop on AMAZON with Us and explore our  PINTEREST BOARDS  for innovative ways you can become self-sufficient on a budget. Though it appears to be very complicated at first […]

The post Delicious Winter Margarita Jello Shots Recipe appeared first on The Homestead Survival.

14 hours 35 min ago

Growing all your own food is one of the highlights of the homesteading lifestyle. Knowing how to plant and grow vegetables in a garden is very important and having a good resource to be able to get answers to all your questions is equally important. This article was designed specifically to introduce the reader to […]

The post Homesteading How To How to Grow Beets appeared first on The Homestead Survival.

Saturday, February 18, 2017 - 6:21pm


Melbourne sustainability not-for-profit centre Ceres operates both a one-acre certified organic urban farm at its Brunswick site and a two-and-a-half acre market garden on council land. Photograph: Ceres.

Along with fresh fruit and vegetables, city farms are providing communities with jobs, start-up programs, knowledge and social connections

By Willow Aliento
The Guardian
Feb 15, 2017

Excerpt:

In Perth, Green World Revolution cultivates microgreens, edible leaves, edible flowers, baby vegetables and cut herbs on 400 square metres of land in the city. A combination of raised beds constructed from recycled and repurposed materials and outdoor hydroponics is used to grow the produce.

The chief executive, Toby Whittington, says the farm currently supplies 35 restaurants around the city with fresh produce four days a week. Deliveries are made by bicycle and the farm also has a number of private clients that buy directly from the site.

Geothermal cooling, cycle paths and jobs: what does it take to get six green stars?

As a social enterprise, the farm has created six ongoing jobs for formerly long-term unemployed people and employs six more on an as-needs basis for contract projects at other locations. “We currently have a contract project building indoor garden infrastructure for a restaurant and cafe,” Whittington says.

Fifty per cent of the farm’s income is generated from produce sales, while the balance comes from services including providing work-for-the-dole opportunities in conjunction with Communicare Inc.

Read the complete article here.

Saturday, February 18, 2017 - 6:09pm
//  

The Environmental Protection Agency is far from perfect, but few people realize just how bad of shape the United States was in, environmentally speaking, prior to its creation in 1970 (and before cleanup efforts were completed).

As the world waits for corporations and society to transition from dirty, polluting industries like oil, coal and plastics to cleaner “green” forms of energy and building materials, there’s a battle going on behind the scenes.

Needless to say, these industries are doing everything they can to hold on to their position of power.

The oil & gas industry spent over $117,000,000 lobbying Congress in the year 2016, and new President Donald Trump has been a vocal proponent in the name of helping the economy. He’s also not exactly a “huge” fan of the EPA.

Trump recently repealed a crucial transparency law that requires energy companies to disclose their payments to foreign governments, and his administration is ready to tackle tens of thousands of regulations that it says are holding back the natural gas and mining industries.

“We’re bringing back jobs big league. We’re bringing them back at the plant level, we’re bringing them back at the mine level. The energy jobs are coming back,” Trump said recently about the repealing of regulations. “A lot of people going back to work now.”

And according to key presidential aide Myron Ebell in The Guardian, Trump’s campaign trail pledge to abolish the EPA (or “leave a little bit” as he put it) could still happen “incrementally,” starting with a round of potential cuts and executive orders that could be announced soon.

Executive Orders Could “Suck the Air Out of the Room” at EPA

While repealing regulations might be good for the economy, advocates of clean energy and the environment have been left out in the cold — and they may have bigger problems to contend with now.

Recently Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida introduced legislation that would completely abolish the EPA. While it seems like a longshot to pass, it’s well worth noting that Trump himself may be in Gaetz’s corner if Ebell’s assertions (read the interview here) are true.

Trump’s new head of the EPA, Scott Pruitt, has said that he supports the agency, which has about 4,800 workers in Washington, D.C. and 11,000 nationally, but said believes it has become too bloated under the the Obama administration. A round of Trump executive orders and cuts that could “suck the air out of the room” is expected to happen soon, according to one EPA official as mentioned by Grist.org.

Many possible changes are likely to revolve around climate change and/or carbon emissions. Pruitt also has a track record of paving the way for a more toxic environment: he worked to eliminate restrictions on airborne mercury emissions and cross-state smog, according to State Rep. Susan Collins of Maine. He has also sued the EPA a whopping 14 times — and now he’s actually leading it.

The EPA is responsible, among other things, for enforcing the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Superfund Act (which helps clean up hazardous environmental disaster sites caused by companies like Monsanto). While the agency has been accused of kowtowing to chemical corporations on issues like glyphosate and cancer, its work in protecting the environment cannot be discounted.

//  

Pictures Show Pollution Ravaged America Pre-EPA

The EPA was created 46 years ago and works with a budget of more than $8 billion. Soon after it began in 1970, the agency announced its ‘Documerica’ initiative to capture “images relating to environmental problems, EPA activities, and everyday life,” undertaken by more than 100 freelance photographers.

From 1972 to 1977, more than 81,000 photos were taken relating to “environmental problems, EPA activities, and everyday life;” many were taken before the EPA instituted programs to clean up the country’s air, waterways, and landscapes.

As you may have guessed, these pictures of America don’t look too inviting; in fact, they’re downright “filthy,” as the Huffington Post put it.

“By the late 1960s, the American landscape was ravaged by decades of unchecked land development, blighted by urban decay in the big cities, and plagued by seemingly unstoppable air, noise, and water pollution,” C. Jerry Simmons, an archivist and historian at the National Archives in Washington, is quoted as saying in 2009. “The project takes rightful credit for the United States’ first serious examination of its rapidly decaying natural environment.”

What will happen as Trump’s new EPA takes shape is anyone’s guess, but it’s important to know the true history of the United States before the EPA was able to carry out its mission.

Take a good, hard look at the pre-EPA America, courtesy of these photos shared from the U.S. National Archives:

//  

The former World Trade Center buildings tower over piles of garbage in New York City in this spring 1973 photo. Not exactly the most inviting picture of the Big Apple, is it?

trump epa

Illegal dumping off of the New Jersey Turnpike, photo by Gary Miller/U.S. National Archives.

 

The Cuyahoga River in Ohio literally “caught fire” in 1969. Extensive coverage from Time Magazine led to the signing of the National Environment Protection Act (NEPA) into law on Jan. 1, 1970, creating the EPA and leading to the river’s cleanup. Below is a sample of the suffocating pollution residents faced.

trump ban epa ohio

Clark Avenue and Clark Avenue Bridge in Cuyahoa. Photo via Frank J. Aleksandrowicz/U.S. National Archives

 

While the skyline above the New York metropolitan area is far from clear, this picture shows just how bad it was in the 1970s, with smog not unlike that of modern-day China.

Chester Higgins

Smog over the George Washington Bridge, looking toward the New Jersey side of the Hudson River in 1973. Photo by Chester Higgins/U.S. National Archives

 

People across the country have suffered, including these residents in Birmingham, Alabama.

epa trump

A child tossing a frisbee in North Birmingham, AL in 1972. Photo by Leroy Woodson/ U.S. National Archives

Houston, Texas is the subject of this shocking photo of unchecked pollution.

Smog in Houston

Pollution blankets the sky in this photo captioned ‘Burning Discarded Automobile Batteries’ by photographer Marc St. Gil in Houston, Texas. Via the U.S. National Archives

The EPA oversees cleanup programs aimed at removing debris, illegal dumping, and other environmental hazards such as this one in Queens.

epa ban trump

Rusty oil cans pile up near Broad Channel in the Jamaica Bay area in Queens in 1973. Photo via Arthur Tress/U.S. National Archives

Since the EPA was created, “aggregate national emissions of the six common pollutants alone dropped an average of 70 percent” according to the EPA’s website.

trump epa evil

Children play near a smokestack in Tacoma, WA in 1972. Photo via Gene Daniels/U.S. National Archives

Without the EPA or with a scaled-back one, big-time polluters will have free reign, advocates fear.

Tires and trash line the shores of Baltimore Harbor in 1973. Photo via Jim Pickerell/U.S. National Archives

Final Thoughts 

Whether the EPA is “bloated” or not is up for interpretation, but the truth remains: we need to remember our roots if we have any hopes of creating a better future.

Serious issues like the pending Dakota Access Pipeline, pollution, fracking in general, the plague of toxic agrochemicals decimating bee and monarch populations, and many more all need our attention, and the natural world is suffering as big oil and gas continue to pollute everything in sight.

As Simmons wrote in 2009:

“When we look at images of today’s environment, we can see that what troubles the environment in the new millennium is what troubled it in the early 1970s, and DOCUMERICA confirms it. Thousands of images of pollution, strip mining, crowded cities, and land abuse could well be photographs taken in recent times. Though a great deal has been done over the past 30 years to correct problems depicted in the photographs, there is a common consensus that there is so much left to accomplish in the race to save America’s natural resources.”

Recommended Reading: 

Nearly One-Third of the Iconic Monarch Butterfly Population Has Died in the Last Year (A Shocking 80 Percent Decline Since the 1990s)

Trump’s Decision to Study Vaccine Safety with Controversial Activist Backed by Undeniable Evidence

Denied! Federal Judge Strikes Down Monsanto Claims, Orders Trial for Massive Environmental Damage to Proceed

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Saturday, February 18, 2017 - 1:21pm

farm internships in Alaska

Farm Internships in Alaska – Talkeetna Grown & Birch Creek Ranch - 2017

Birch Creek Ranch is a diversified produce, flower, and berry farm located in Talkeetna, Alaska.  Its mission is to provide area residents and restaurants with flower and vegetable starts in spring continuing into the season with fresh, sustainably grown produce, while maintaining the agricultural and rural value of the farm property. ABOUT THE FARM: The farm currently consists of 2 ½ acres of fully-irrigated fields used for vegetables, two 20’ x 96’ heated greenhouses, four 30 x 96’ hoop-houses, a small barn, a shop, two homes, and several storage structures.  Equipment includes a Kubota 4300 utility & tillage tractor and others including hay equipment.  There are an additional 100 acres of cleared land on the farm, currently fallow hay fields for future expansion potential.  Since 2010 we have farmed using only organic practices for vegetable production.  Production of flower starts remains non-organic, however best practices are used including separated greenhouses and limited pesticide use. As a semi-remote off-grid farm, we employ a variety of northern latitude growing methods to create an extended season. FARM INTERNSHIPS IN ALASKA: We are seeking a few energetic, organized, team-oriented Farm Interns to help run our vegetable production operations. Salary is based on previous experience and includes on-farm housing rental.  End of season performance-based bonus offered. The interns participate in all aspects of growing and marketing vegetables at Birch Creek Ranch.  He/she will work directly with owners/farm manager, as well as work independently and may sometimes lead a small crew of workers or volunteers.  This is a paid internship and a great experience for those wanting to pursue a professional future in small CSA/market vegetable operations and who appreciate hands-in-the-dirt learning. DUTIES -  including but are not limited to: 
  • Starting and maintaining seedlings and transplanting for retail sales or field planting.
  • Field planting and weeding by hand, hand tools and small powered equipment.
  • Watering and irrigating of field, greenhouse, and tunnel crops.
  • Managing pests and disease in a sustainable fashion.
  • Harvesting for CSA and restaurant deliveries.
  • Harvesting for retail sales at Farm Stands and Farmers Markets (two or three).
  • Leading volunteers and laborers on specified tasks and projects.
  • Produce quality control from harvest through storage and packing for market.
  • Participate in value added product production.
  • Participate in community events, including farm to table dinners, farm tours, youth education, and other farm events.
REQUIREMENTS: One season on farm experience with CSA and Market experience is desired.  Relevant Wwoofing will be considered.  Experience can be substituted with two years education with focus on agricultural production or horticultural science program. DESIRED SKILLS including but not limited to:
  • Demonstrates passion for sustainable/organic agriculture.
  • Ability to maintain a professional and positive attitude.
  • Self motivated and able to maintain a fast pace of work for a whole day, sometimes many days in a row.
  • Ability to follow directions, ask questions and pursue follow up with owners.
  • Strong attention to detail and organization.
  • Enjoy working outside with plants, produce and people.
  • Ability to multi-task.
  • Must be able to work independently as well as in a team setting.
  • Ability to work under challenging ergonomic conditions, including frequent crouching, bending and kneeling.
  • Ability to regularly lift loads of 50 pounds or more.
  • Must be able to work outside in all weather conditions.
  • Must have current drivers license and good driving record.
  • Must not have substance or alcohol abuse or dependency issues. Tobacco use is prohibited.
  • Must provide personal and professional references.
TO APPLY FOR THE FARM INTERNSHIPS IN ALASKA: To get a feel for our Northern farm operation please visit www.talkeetnafarm.com and facebook.com/birchcreektalkeetnagrown. Serious applicants should send cover letter, resume and references to brian@talkeetnafarm.com.

The post Farm Internships in Alaska appeared first on Beginning Farmers.

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