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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

The Promised Land

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A guide to sustainable food internships.

We're a month into the new year. If you're a student, that means it's due time to start figuring out gainful employment for the summer. Sucks, we know, but you can't just laze away four months in the sun. What you can do is work at something meaningful and productive in the name of local, sustainable food. Helene York, of Bon-Appetit, a sustainable food services company, has compiled a nice and......read more

Young Farmers Join the Food Shift

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Bolstered by demand for local and organic food, a new generation of farmers emerges in Oregon.

It's no secret that young people are psyched on farming these days. Nowhere is that more evident than in rural Oregon, where NYT writer Isolde Rafferty discovered a burgeoning movement of young farmers making a run at small-scale agriculture by doing things the old school way. Shunning the ways of industrial farming, the new generation of ranchers and growers are capitalizing on heightened demand......read more

World Water Day Photo Feature: The Chinese Dust Bowl

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Benoit Aquin's surreal color photographs capture the otherworldly beauty of a land without water.

The Chinese Dust Bowl is an arid 400,000 square mile wasteland representing the largest ever manmade conversion of productive land into desert. It has been called "one of the greatest environmental disasters of our time." Benoit Aquin's eerie, hazy photographs call awareness to "scarce water resources, desertification, and ecological refugees in China" by revealing the devastating effects of......read more

What is 'Sustainable Food' Anyway?

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Most people are down with sustainability. Too bad no one can agree on what it means.

In theory, there aren't too many people opposed to the idea of sustainability -- especially as it relates to food. But for all the people who agree that sustainable food is a good thing, there are just as many definitions of what it means. "Sustainability" is as ambiguous as it is appealing. That issue was addressed by a panel of experts at last week's Food Summit hosted by The Atlantic.......read more

Sustainable Food Leaders Recognized by NRDC

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Winners of 2011 Growing Green Awards announced this week.

We are in the midst of a food revolution. Urban farms are popping up all over the place. Wal-Mart is buying local, sustainable produce. Even the White House growing its own vegetables. Organic is the new conventional. This week, our friends at NRDC announced the winners of their 2011 Growing Green Awards, recognizing the incredible work being done to transform the future of our food system. The......read more

Anna Mia Davidson: Stewards Of The Land

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Stirring portraits of sustainable farmers in the Pacific Northwest

Anna Mia Davidson is an acclaimed documentary photographer whose editorial clients include The New York Times and Vanity Fair. Anna's personal interest in sustainability and rural America led her to travel around the Pacific Northwest, shooting farmers of organic food.   "These individuals represent the resurgence of sustainable farmers in the Pacific Northwest, who are passionate,......read more

Sustainable Meat Is Good for the Environment -- and the Economy

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New doc, American Meat, aims to ignite conversation about meat production

A new documentary about the U.S. food system hit its first round of theatres this month. American Meat, directed by Graham Merriwether, documents the lives of dozens of American farmers producing both industrially and sustainably raised meat. The film's main subject is Joel Salatin, a pasture-based pork rancher featured in Michael Pollan's "The Omnivore's Dilemma". Salatin has started producing......read more

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