Category Archives: Farming

Decoding Animal Welfare Labels | CUESA

nicasio_cowsOur food labels are a hot topic these days and rightfully so.  If you care about the origin, care and quality of what you eat, this is a must read.

Pasture raised. Hormone free. All natural. Which ones are just greenwashing, and which ones can you trust?

Source: Decoding Animal Welfare Labels | CUESA

U.S. Crop Diversity Declining but…5 Ag Regions Buck This Trend!

9 Farm Regions Map from journal PLOS ONE

A new USDA study (published in the journal PLOS ONE) tracked crop diversity across farms in the US from 1978 to 2012 using five year ag census data.

While the overall data confirms the dominance of monoculture farming – a practice known not to be sustainable in the long-term – there is evidence that in five of the nine Farm Resource Regions where fruits and vegetables reign supreme crop diversity was either maintained or increased slightly.  Check out the map for specifics and read more…

Source: U.S. Farms Becoming Less Diverse Over Time | Civil Eats

What’s an Agrihood? Check Out Davis, CA’s The Cannery for Housing+Farmland Community

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The Cannery agrihood in Davis, California, will place an educational incubator farm in the middle of a planned community.  Morphing from last century’s model of housing surrounded by a golf course, this new development seeks to transform an industrial site into a 21st century organic farming and living experiment.

Source: Northern California’s First Agrihood Will Bring Organic Veggies to Former Industrial Land | Civil Eats

Breeding Organic Seeds (with a little help from Clif Bar)

Organic farmers say they need crop varieties that were bred specifically for conditions on their farms. Clif Bar & Company decided to back their cause with up to $10 million in grants.

Source: Do Organic Farmers Need Special Seeds And Money To Breed Them? | Bay Area Bites | KQED Food

Meat Labeling–Grass-Fed or Not?–Why You Should Care 

hamburgersMore of us are asking for grass-fed beef at the meat counters and restaurants.  With few or no consistent regulations in place, ranching operations and labels vary and consumers are left to trust what marketers tell us.  If that is of concern to you, follow the Source link…

Source: Is Your Grass-Fed Beef for Real? Here’s How to Tell and Why it Matters | Bay Area Bites | KQED Food

Norway’s Bee Highway-A Response to Concerns for Pollinator’s Future

We found a recent Smithsonian.com article that describes one country’s plan to support bee populations that are increasingly dying off from exposure to toxic pesticides and decreasing habitat.  In this story, another current article is quoted Bee red rose GGas saying America’s recent research data indicates that in the last year, ending in April 2015, bee populations declined by as much as 40%.  Yet bees are responsible for over a third of our food supply as the necessary pollinators in the chain of events from flower to fruit.

We all could think about how we, as consumers, can have positive influence in this increasing threat to our food supply.  Buy organic ingredients where possible and include bee-attracting plants in your garden are two of the most obvious.  A USDA website explains the situation from many angles for those who want more in-depth information about causes and the impact to the food system we know today.

Food Policy & Capitol Updates (on-going from Roots of Change)

ROC’s Capitol Updates – Roots of Change.

From our friends at Roots of Change, we will periodically post their summary of current legislation related all aspects of our food system and our state’s agriculture.

A Boost for Urban Farming in Santa Clara County!

IMG_6544Leveraging a state program that encourages cities and counties to approve active farming or ‘Urban Agriculture Incentive’  zones on unused land within their boundaries, two Santa Clara County supervisors are hoping to recreate our Valley of Heart’s Delight.  Within the next two or three months, they are calling for a detailed proposal to reclaim vacant lots for potential use as community gardens…(read more)