Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Agriculture News Briefs - March 16, 2005
sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the
Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable
Agriculture Information Service Web site.
* 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
* Horticultural Research Institute Grants
* Rural Business Opportunity Grants
* Colorado Watershed Protection Fund
* 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
more news and resources, visit the National Sustainable Agriculture
Information Service Web site's Breaking News section: http://attra.ncat.org/management/geninfo.html.
Back to top
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.
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.
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.
additional funding opportunities, visit: http://attra.ncat.org/management/financl.html.
Back to top
Food and Society 2005 Networking Conference
April 27-29, 2005
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.
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.
3rd National Organic Tree Fruit Research Symposium
June 6-8, 2005
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
events at: http://attra.ncat.org/calendar/index.php.
Back to top
to the Weekly Harvest
Questions? Email the Weekly Harvest Newsletter editor
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.
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
Back to top