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Weekly Harvest Newsletter

Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - March 16, 2005

Weekly sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service Web site.

News & Resources
* Building Community through Access to Healthy Food
* Organic Farming Conference Proceedings Now Available
* Research Produces Garlic Bio-Pesticide
* UK Study Touts Local Food as 'Greener than Organic'
* Iowa Project Aims at Improving Water and Soil Quality
* UK Launches Environmental Stewardship Scheme

Funding Opportunities
* Horticultural Research Institute Grants
* Rural Business Opportunity Grants
* Colorado Watershed Protection Fund

Coming Events
* Food and Society 2005 Networking Conference
* Community Food & Farm Festival
* 3rd National Organic Tree Fruit Research Symposium


News & Resources

Building Community through Access to Healthy Food
A feature article on SFGate examines the role of People’s Grocery, a West Oakland nonprofit, in providing high quality food to community members in the city. Despite having about 30,000 residents, West Oakland has neither a supermarket that caters to its predominantly Hispanic and African-American residents nor one that sells healthy food. People’s Grocery has an ambitious plan to address West Oakland’s food insecurity issues, and by extension hopes to help residents take control of their lives and community. The Mobile Market, essentially a natural foods store on wheels, introduces customers to organic produce and helps fulfill one of the first goals of the plan, that of education and the distribution of healthy food to West Oakland residents.
URL: http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/g/a/2005/03/09/gree.DTL

Organic Farming Conference Proceedings Now Available
Tapes and CDs of workshop sessions and keynote speeches at the 2005 Upper Midwest Organic Farming Conference held in La Crosse, Wisconsin, in February are now available. The workshop sessions addressed an incredible range of topics, from growing garlic and flax, to managing pests and parasites, to producing poultry and livestock, to marketing tactics and growing food in the city. Keynote speakers included Dana Jackson, Jim Riddle, and Audrey Arner and Cynthia Vagnetti. Tapes are available for $7 each or four for $20. CDs are $9 each or four for $30. Complete sets of the proceedings are also available.
URL: http://www.mosesorganic.org/

Research Produces Garlic Bio-Pesticide
Research funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Bangladesh has resulted in development of a garlic tablet that acts as a bio-pesticide, says Australia's ABC News. Inexpensive garlic tablets are dissolved in water to create a dip for seeds. Bahadur Meah, head of the Integrated Pest Management Laboratory, reports that "garlic-treated seeds have 95-100 percent germination as against 56-60 percent in untreated seeds." The practice offers an alternative to use of pesticides that can damage soil fertility.
URL: http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200503/s1318076.htm

UK Study Touts Local Food as 'Greener than Organic'
A study published in the journal Food Policy calculated the hidden costs of produce, and found that buying food from within a 12-mile radius is even more helpful to the environment than buying organic food, reports BBC News. Professor Jules Pretty, from the University of Essex and Tim Lang, from City University, UK, estimated the environmental costs of producing and transporting food, and found local food the clear environmental winner. They acknowledged that it is hard for consumers to know where food comes from, however, due to inadequate labeling. "The most political act we do on a daily basis is to eat, as our actions affect farms, landscapes and food businesses," commented Pretty.
URL: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4312591.stm

Iowa Project Aims at Improving Water and Soil Quality
Organizations working to improve water and soil quality in Iowa have launched the Iowa Learning Farm project, an effort to demonstrate and promote conservation systems with an emphasis on conservation tillage, cropping systems, and nutrient management, according to Iowa Ag Connection. "This five-year, state-wide project will be key to helping farmers see first-hand how conservation practices can work together in a system to best protect our state's soil and water," said State Conservationist Rick Van Klaveren. Project partners include the Conservation Districts of Iowa, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension, Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Natural Resources Conservation Service. The first phase of the project will involve six to ten on-farm field demonstrations in each of five geographic areas of Iowa. Education and outreach are another key component of the project, and field days and a state conservation systems conference are also planned.
URL: http://www.iowaagconnection.com/story-state.cfm?Id=204&yr=2005
Related ATTRA Publication: Protecting Water Quality on Organic Farms

UK Launches Environmental Stewardship Scheme
On March 3 England's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs introduced a new Environmental Stewardship scheme that will allow farmers to earn payments for undertaking environmental protection and enhancement work on their land. The program is hailed as a new era for farming in the country, with a broad and shallow approach to offering incentives. Farmers will receive land-area-based payments for actions that create habitat or help protect water quality. The program has several different levels: Entry Level Stewardship, Organic Entry Level Stewardship and Higher Level Stewardship.
URL: http://www.defra.gov.uk/news/issues/2005/farm-0303.htm

For more news and resources, visit the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service Web site's Breaking News section: http://attra.ncat.org/management/geninfo.html.

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Funding Opportunities

Horticultural Research Institute Grants
The Horticultural Research Institute seeks to direct, fund, promote and communicate research which increases the quality and value of plants, improves the productivity and profitability of the nursery and landscape industry, and protects and enhances the environment. The group issues a list of its priorities for research, which this year includes weed control and integrated pest management. Grants under $5,000 and grants over $5,000 have separate programs. The application deadline for FY 2006 is May 15, 2005.
URL: http://www.anla.org/research/grants/

Rural Business Opportunity Grants
The USDA’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS), an Agency within the Rural Development mission area, announces the availability of grants of up to $50,000 per application from the Rural Business Opportunity Grant (RBOG) Program for fiscal year (FY) 2005, to be competitively awarded. For multi-State projects, grant funds of up to $150,000 will be available on a competitive basis. The primary objective of the RBOG program is to improve the economic conditions of rural areas. The deadline for the receipt of applications in the Rural Development State Office is May 27, 2005.
URL: http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/01jan20051800/edocket.

Colorado Watershed Protection Fund
Two categories of grants will be available under the Colorado Watershed Protection Fund program: (1) Project Grants, and (2) Planning Grants. Project grants will support projects that promote the improvement and/or protection of the condition of the watershed. The suggested maximum for this grant type is $50,000. The second category of grants will support planning efforts such as data collection and assessment, analysis of project alternatives, project permitting, acquisition of funding for a project, and outreach efforts to ensure the education, involvement and support of the local community. The suggested maximum amount for this type of grant is $25,000. A grant application may be submitted by any locally-based Colorado watershed group that is committed to a collaborative approach to the restoration and protection of lands and natural resources within Colorado’s watersheds in concert with economic development. Applications are due by April 29, 2005.
URL: http://coloradowater.org/

For additional funding opportunities, visit: http://attra.ncat.org/management/financl.html.

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Coming Events

Food and Society 2005 Networking Conference
April 27-29, 2005
Landsowne, Virginia

Food and Society (FAS) is a Food Systems and Rural Development initiative of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Annually, the Food and Society initiative convenes a meeting of stakeholders which brings together community activists, business leaders, farmers, ranchers, scholars and thought leaders to explore and discuss the community-based food system concept and its opportunity to improve rural communities, the environment and public health.
URL: http://www.foodandsociety.org/default.aspx?ListID=11&Item=31

Community Food & Farm Festival
April 30 - May 1, 2005
St. Paul, Minnesota

The Community Food and Farm Festival is an annual event co-sponsored by the Land Stewardship Project and Minnesota Grown. This event provides an opportunity for consumers to network with local farmers who are producing food using sustainable methods.
URL: http://www.landstewardshipproject.org/foodfarm-main.html#links

3rd National Organic Tree Fruit Research Symposium
June 6-8, 2005
Chelan, Washington

The WSU Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources in collaboration with the Washington Organic Tree Fruit Growers Association, the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission, and the Institute for Rural Innovation and Stewardship, present this event that follows on two previous events where researchers from across the country working on organic tree fruit production shared their experiences and results. A tour, speakers, and poster session are planned.
URL: http://csanr.wsu.edu/Organic/OrganicTreeFruitResearch05.htm

More events at: http://attra.ncat.org/calendar/index.php.

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Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews Archives Available Online
Digital versions of recent Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews newsletters are now available online. ATTRAnews is the bi-monthly newsletter of ATTRA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.
URL: http://attra.ncat.org/newsletter/archives.html

National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home pageThe National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service is the Web site of the ATTRA project created and managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), and funded under a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Business-Cooperative Service. Visit the NCAT Web site for more information on our sustainable agriculture projects.

© Copyright 2005 NCAT

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