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Brooklyn Informed: Farm City

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A celebration of urban agriculture in Brooklyn.

The way we see it, growing food in cities is a great way to address some of the social, environmental, and health problems faced by urbanites. Derek Denckla agrees. The Brooklyn-based green visionary helped launch the Farm City project (named after Novella Carpenter's excellent book on adventures in city farming) to explore and promote the practice of urban agriculture. Our intrepid Brooklyn......read more

Gary Hirshberg, CE-YO, Stonyfield Farm

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And now, a word from our sponsor.

What began 26 years ago as an organic farming school funded by yogurt sales is now a $320 million company supporting 1,400 organic farms across the USA. Stonyfield Farm co-founder Gary Hirshberg explains himself....read more

Hemp House

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Handy website helps consumers find out what farm their dairy products come from.

Do you know where your yogurt came from? That cheese in your sandwich? The milk in your cereal.? If you said, "A cow," you're quite right, but where do you know where the cow lives and works? At whereismymilkfrom.com, you can enter the code on the the packaging of dairy product and instantly find out what farm it came from. A welcome tool for all you conscientious dairy consumers.......read more

Billy Ray's Farm

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A modern dairy tale.

The small town of Oxford, Mississippi has played a disproportionately big part in American literature, having been home to a bunch of big-name authors, from William Faulker to John Grisham to Larry Brown. The title essay of Brown's final book, "Billy Ray's Farm," discusses his son's quest to become a cattleman. Now, six years after his father's death, the story is......read more

SHFT Sampler 7-1-10

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Essential links for your Memorial Day weekend.

The EU, which says it will meet 20% of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2020, gets set to switch on solar power in the Sahara Desert. Vertical agriculture takes off: 11 "farmscrapers" that build on the success of living walls and mobile gardens. A fake oil spill was staged at the Tate in London, as BP protestors railed against the unholy alliance between oil companies and......read more

Betting on the Farm

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Popular farming internships teach people how to plant and plow.

It ain't no cushy, high-paid summer position, but these days it's just as coveted. Farming internships are being flocked to by people of all stripes, eager to learn the tangible skills of food production. In the New York Times Sunday Magazine this week, Christine Muhlke writes about the increasing popularity of farming internships. She pays a visit to Tantre Farm in Chelsea, Michigan,......read more

Chickening Out

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How to appease a farm-obsessed six year-old? Pete Wells explains.

We all want our children to be enthusiastic about local, sustainable food, but there are moments when they can get a little too, er, focused on it. For Pete Wells, author of the always great (and too infrequent, in our opinion) Cooking With Dexter column in NYT Mag, that happened when his six year-old started demanding backyard chickens and rooftop beehives. After hiding his copy of "My......read more

Farmers Wage Organic War on Pests

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New developments in chemical-free pest control.

Since the 2008 U.S. farm bill, annual funding for organic farming research has increased from $3 million to $20 million. With more research dollars, scientists and farmers are delving deeper into organic pest control techniques and gaining a better understanding of the larger natural systems at work. Wild sunflowers, for example, are being planted not as a cash crop but as a home for beneficial......read more

Organic Orange Orchard

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Isabelle Cossart accidently joins the local food movement.

It's been a tumultuous few years for Isabelle Cossart. First, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, then Hurricane Katrina tore through her neighborhood, then her husband left her for her best friend. In the ensuing divorce she was left with a three-plus acre fruit orchard, and was suddenly transformed into a farmer. Turns out she's pretty good at it. The produce from Cossart's......read more

Going Nuts

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An Oregon couple's hazelnut orchard takes off.

In this week's NYT Mag, Christine Muhlke writes about the plight of Barb and Fritz Foulke, a middle-aged Oregon couple who left behind their professional careers to become hazelnut farmers. What they quickly realized is that growing, making, and selling food is a full-time job — and then some.  After a rough start involving broken down equipment and lots of second guessing ("If......read more

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