Texas A&M undergraduate initiates urban farm on campus

Urban farming comes in many forms, and now one of those, vertical farming, is helping feed students at Texas A&M University.

The project is part of an experiential learning initiative, which is a required part of the curriculum for undergraduates in the Texas A&M’s Department of Soil and Crop Sciences.

The department offers internships and study abroad opportunities to help students meet this requirement. Broch Saxton, one of the department’s December graduates, created his own internship as a student leader and greenhouse project director with Texas A&M’s Urban Farm United, or TUFU.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE: https://www.wacotrib.com/townnews/agriculture/texas-a-m-undergraduate-initiates-urban-farm-on-campus/article_16c8a60e-285b-503f-a422-77cd6deac43a.html

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Produce with a purpose: Aquaponics farm employs adults with disabilities

CHEVIOT, Ohio (WKRC) – An unconventional farm is helping it’s westside community in a unique way.

o2 Urban Farms uses aquaponics to grow fresh lettuce. It’s produce with a purpose. The farm employs adults with developmental disabilities to assist in germinating, transplanting and harvesting the produce at its Cheviot facility.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity,” Kevin Potts, executive director of the Ken Anderson Alliance, said.

Urban Farms is working in partnership with the Ken Anderson Alliance while utilizing the facility space provided by Vineyard Westside.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE AT: https://local12.com/news/local/produce-with-a-purpose-aquaponics-farm-employs-adults-with-disabilities

Should Children Be Taught How To Grow Food As Part Of Their Schooling?

Our children live in a fast-paced society, and their life has become much easier than the one we were used to.

I know countless applications that can do their tasks and assignments instead of them, and they can type just a few words on their computers and find everything they need, without having to jog their memory or use their knowledge.

Yet, many fear that in this way, we are raising slouches, irresponsible future adults, and a burden to our society. There is no doubt that new inventions have provided more comfort than we ever dreamed of living in.

Yet, it is every parent’s responsibility to encourage and stimulate their children to explore, learn, and succeed.

READ THE FULL STORY: https://www.healthyfoodhouse.com/should-children-be-taught-how-to-grow-food-as-part-of-their-schooling-2/?fbclid=IwAR3qNp8zpWBB8iUnTyAlkrG1YolUUVulZOlCQcO_P7p4cKr-c8ChiI-YRO0

Fighting Hunger: Urban Farming in Fort Worth’s Food Desert

Opal’s Farm is a 5-acre patch of land along the Trinity River, in the shadow of downtown Fort Worth. It’s part of the United Riverside neighborhood, which is located in a food desert.

“You look across the river and there’s downtown, but everything kinda stops at the river,” farm manager Greg Joel said. “The money stops at the river.”

The farm’s 5-acres were donated by the Tarrant Regional Water District. It’s named after Opal Lee, a well known 92-year old community activist who had a dream of helping feed communities in need in Fort Worth.

READ THE FULL STORY: https://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/fighting-hunger-urban-farming-in-fort-worths-food-desert/2292808/

Urban Farming: A Budding Investment Opportunity in Real Estate

As the demand for sustainable and locally sourced produce in urban areas increases, so does the chance to be a part of the solution. Urban farming, a new development in real estate, brings an opportunity for investors to profit by transforming commercial real estate into urban gardens.

The growing demand for urban farms

Environmentally aware consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about where their food is coming from and the impact our current food production system has on the earth.

On average, food travels 1,000 to 2,000 miles before reaching supermarket shelves, resulting in about 20 to 30 percent of food loss occurring during the transportation process.

According to the Natural Defense Resource Council, the average American meal is sourced from five foreign countries using multiple methods of transportation — resulting in food with lower nutritional value and more carbon emissions being released into the atmosphere.

With heightened consumer awareness of these facts, especially in urban areas, buyers are increasingly seeking local produce grown in a more sustainable, eco-friendly way.

READ THE FULL STORY: https://www.fool.com/millionacres/real-estate-investing/articles/urban-farming-budding-investment-opportunity-real-estate/

Lennar proposes ‘agrihood’ on Angeline project in Pasco

LAND O’ LAKES — Angeline, Lennar’s massive development planned for a former central Pasco ranch, is paying homage to its agricultural roots.

The company is proposing the area’s first agricultural neighborhood development or “agrihood” on a 63-acre parcel, according to preliminary plans filed with Pasco County.

The agricultural site, at the southwest corner of State Road 52 and the planned extension of Sunlake Boulevard, could potentially include a restaurant, playground, demonstration garden, a cattle barn and pasture, a community garden, a high-yield organic farm, a barn and pavilion for community use and parking for 75 cars, according to conceptual drawings.

READ THE FULL STORY: https://www.tampabay.com/news/pasco/2020/01/13/lennar-proposes-agrihood-on-angeline-project-in-pasco/

How 16 initiatives are changing urban agriculture through tech and innovation

The United Nations estimates (PDF) that nearly 10 billion people will live in cities by 2050. According to a recent publication by the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition, urban eaters consume most of the food produced globally and maintain more resource-intensive diets including increased animal-source and processed foods — rich in salt, sugar and fats. At the same time, many urban populations — particularly in low-income areas and informal communities — endure acute hunger and malnutrition as well as limited access to affordable, healthy food.

But there are countless ways that cities can feed themselves and create better linkages between rural and urban food systems. In Mexico City, the organization CultiCiudad built the Huerto Tlatelolco, an edible forest with 45 tree varieties, a seed bank and plots for biointensive gardening. In the United States, City Growers uses New York City’s urban farms as a learning laboratory for children to reconnect with nature. And in the Kalobeyei Settlement in northern Kenya, urban agriculture represents a tool for empowerment by improving food security, nutrition, and self-sufficiency among refugees.

“Agriculture and forestry in the city… answer to a variety of urban development goals beyond the provision of green infrastructure and food, such as social inclusion, adaptation to climate change, poverty alleviation, urban water management and opportunities for the productive reuse of urban waste,” says Henk de Zeeuw, senior adviser at the RUAF Foundation.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE: https://www.greenbiz.com/article/how-16-initiatives-are-changing-urban-agriculture-through-tech-and-innovation

Changes on the way for GMO labeling

Did that product come from a genetically modified organism (GMO)? From a consumer perspective, there isn’t always a clear answer.

Beginning January 1, 2020, though, genetically modified, or bioengineered, foods in the grocery store will likely become easier to identify thanks to the “National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard” brought forward by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). The standard requires disclosure, including use of the label seen above, on foods that are testable as containing genetically engineered ingredients. This January marks just the start of this GMO food labeling project . . . as there is a two-year phase-in to the standard.

More importantly, however, is the fact that the use of this label should make it clearer to consumers what foods are not genetically engineered.

Better understanding of our food system
Currently, AMS lists only 13 crops whose bioengineered varieties may be sold and produced in the United States:

  • Alfalfa
  • Apples (Arctic varieties)
  • Canola
  • Corn
  • Cotton
  • Eggplant (BARI Bt Begun varieties)
  • Papaya (ringspot virus-resistant varieties)
  • Pineapple (pink flesh varieties)
  • Potato
  • Salmon (AquAdvantage varieties)
  • Soybean
  • Summer squash
  • Sugarbeet

READ THE FULL STORY: https://hoards.com/article-26927-changes-on-the-way-for-gmo-labeling.html

The best indoor herb garden

Are you an herb aficionado or garnish lover? Add fresh herbs to every meal by investing in an indoor herb garden.

Sometimes you can’t make it to the store, or an outdoor garden simply isn’t in the cards. An indoor herb garden is a convenient and cost-effective solution. Not only are all your ingredients on hand in a pinch, but also you’ll have attractive greenery enlivening your kitchen or windowsill. It’s so easy to grow an indoor herb garden, that some children even have their own.

If you think the idea of having an indoor herb garden is growing on you, then take a peek at our buying guide. We’re including our top choice, the AeroGarden Bounty Indoor Garden, which can grow nine plants at once.