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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

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

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

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

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