|The Doylestown Food Co-op Opens its Doors
The Co-op at 29 West State Street in Doylestown is now open. Both members and non-members are welcome to shop. The grand opening will be February 8, 2014. Things are still a work in progress, with new product coming in daily and arranging and rearranging. Stop by and pick up your groceries, sourced from local purveyors, farmers and more. See the Food Co-op's website or Facebook page for up-to-date information.
|Local Winter Farmers' Markets
It may be winter but you can still find many of your favorite local producers at area winter farm markets like the Wrightstown Farmers' Market which holds a "mini-market" every 2nd and 4th Saturday from 10 am to 11 am through April 2014 at their regular market location (for more info, click here).
The Ottsville Farmers' Market is indoors in the greenhouse at Linden Hill Gardens every Saturday until February 22, from 10 am to 1 pm. For information on vendors, see their website.
The Hunterdon Land Trust Farmers' Market at Dvoor Farm in Flemington is also holding a winter market the third Sunday of every month through April. More information is available on their website. At any of these markets you'll find locally grown produce (yes, produce), pasture-raised meats, free range eggs, baked goods, prepared foods, crafts and more.
|New Bucks climate action group prioritizes local food
350 Bucks County is a new chapter of 350.org, the world-wide grassroots organization working to reduce carbon in earth's atmosphere to 350 ppm. 350 Bucks is targeting promoting local, sustainably grown food as a key priority in reducing our carbon footprint. The group was inspired by Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, who points to our food choices as key action steps everyone takes every day that effect our carbon emissions. McKibben will be the keynote speaker at Delaware Valley College's Precarious Alliance Symposium on Thursday, April 3rd. The April 3-4 symposium targets a different key issue for sustainability each year. This year the sustainability topic is food.
350.org encourages eating more food that is:
* Grown locally to avert fossil fuels burned transporting long distances
* Organic, i.e. grown without fossil-fuel burning pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers
* Vegetarian since methane from cattle and other ruminants is a key greenhouse gas and much energy is lost in conversion to meat
* Less processed, since processing and packaging are major greenhouse gas producers
In addition to promoting local food, 350 Bucks has begun work to promote local bike paths, divestment from fossil fuel companies, film showing, and an interfaith meeting with local policy makers. 350.org Bucks meets the second Saturday of each month at the Newtown Friends Meeting, 219 Court Street in Newtown at 6 pm for a local foods potluck and 7-9 pm for program, strategy and action. All are welcome.
|This GMO Apple Won't Brown
If you (or your children) turn up your nose at brown apple slices, would you prefer fresh-looking ones that have been genetically engineered? Neal Carter, president of Okanagan Specialty Fruits, in British Columbia, Canada, certainly hopes so. His company has created the new, non-browning, "Arctic" apples, and he's hoping for big orders from despairing parents and food service companies alike. Food service companies, he says, would no longer have to treat their sliced apples with antioxidant chemicals like calcium ascorbate to keep them looking fresh.
The new apples are waiting for approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. But they face opposition — including from apple producers who worry that this new product will taint the apple's wholesome, all-natural image. "Our concern is marketing," says Christian Schlect, president of the Northwest Horticultural Council, which represents apple growers in the major apple-producing areas of the Pacific Northwest. Schlect sees a risk that consumers who are viscerally opposed to genetic engineering will avoid apples entirely, and the industry will have to spend precious time and money keeping GMO apples separate from their conventional cousins. The article from NPR continues here.
|Tour of Doylestown Vertical Hydroponic Farm
Wednesday, February 5
The Bucks County Foodshed Alliance will present a tour of Veg-E Systems, a hydroponic, vertical farm in Doylestown on Wednesday, February 5, at 6 pm. The event is free and open to BCFA members and friends.
Dennis Riling, president, and Tim Sulzer, vice president, will show visitors the hydroponic growing system and explain the research, training and consulting operations behind the innovative vertical farming concept, including how they choose and grow the non-genetically-engineered plants they raise without herbicides or pesticides. Tour-goers will have an opportunity to sample and purchase from the recent harvest.
The evening’s pot luck meal will run from 6 to 7 pm, with the tour to follow. For more information: www.BucksCountyFoodshedAlliance.org, Rebecca.BCFA@gmail.com or 215.348.8249. For more on Veg-E Systems: http://vegesystems.com/
|Young farmers looking for land get creative
Across the country, there's a wave of interest in local food. And a new generation of young farmers is trying to grow it. Many of these farmers — many of whom didn't grow up on farms — would like to stay close to cities. After all, that's where the demand for local food is. The problem is, that's where land is most expensive. So young farmers looking for affordable land are forced to get creative. Read more in this piece from National Public Radio.
I’m a Family Farmer
(But Some People Call Me
a Factory Farmer)
John Sponaugle raises sheep and turkeys on his farm in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. With two turkey houses that collectively hold 36,000 turkeys at a time, some would say he runs a “factory farm.” Sponaugle would choose the term “family farm” – a different label with an entirely different connotation. Modern Farmer sat down with Sponaugle to talk about his life on his farm, whatever other people choose to call it. Read this fascinating interview here.
|Industrial Meat Bad, Small Farm Good?
It's Not So Simple
To feed all 7 billion of us, address climate change and live longer, we all need to eat less meat. From Al Gore to the Meatless Monday movement to Harvard epidemiologists, that's been the resounding advice offered to consumers lately.
But hold up a minute, says Mario Herrero, the chief research scientist at Australia's national science agency, the CSIRO. Writing off food animals as greedy, inefficient polluters of land and water, artery cloggers and robbers of food from the mouths of hungry babes is perhaps a bit brash, he says.
Instead, it's important to see the global livestock sector as a super diverse system of tiny backyards and massive feedlots that defies generalizations, Herrero tells NPR's The Salt. Shifting to this view is becoming more and more important as we plan for a future of 9 billion people on Earth by mid-century. Learn more about the complexity of feeding the world.
An evangelist for pastured pigs has many fans
Hog heaven, it turns out, is a place on Earth, a sun-dappled mountainside in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia where, one day this fall, a herd of Gloucestershire Old Spots, Hampshires, Yorkshires and Durocs contentedly gorged their way toward 300 pounds.
After star turns in Michael Pollan’s best-selling book “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” and the documentary “Food, Inc.” (as well as his own books and videos), Joel Salatin has been hailed as America’s proselytizer of the pasture, a busy advocate for the benefits of turning open land over to livestock so they can range freely and enrich the soil.
Among the nation’s most famous farmers, he has lately turned to preaching the gospel of the forest-fed pig. At a time when 90 percent of U.S. pork is produced in huge confinement operations, Salatin, 56, is urging the return of the pig to its ancestral home. In “Pigs ’n Glens,” the inaugural video in his new how-to series, Polyface Primer, Salatin contends that a simple electric fence can transform marginal land into an income source and an entry point for young farmers, while challenging the conventional wisdom that meat has to be produced on an industrial scale. The result, as he sees it: healthier soil, a greater diversity of plants, and animals that are happier (and better-tasting) because they’ve been allowed to revel in what he calls “the pigness of the pig.” Read more here.