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Fighting Eviction, a Gardener Turns to Organic Industry Giants for Help- April, 2017

A community garden in Los Angeles that is threatened with eviction has gained the support of some high-profile leaders from the organic and natural food movements.

Now, the heads of Annie’s Homegrown, a division of General Mills, and other food companies have taken to social media to help raise the $500,000 needed to buy the property that Mr. Finley rents and uses to grow a variety of fruits, vegetables and flowers for his neighborhood.

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A Staten Island Urban Farmer- NY Times Mar 10, 2017

Formerly farmers at Happy Acres Farm in Sherman as Empress Greens.  Very happy to read that they are doing well in Staten Island:


Zaro Bates operates and lives on a 5,000-square-foot farm on Staten Island, which may make her the city’s only commercial farmer-in-residence. But instead of a shingled farmhouse surrounded by acres of fields, Ms. Bates lives in a second-floor studio in a midrise apartment complex built on the site of a former naval base overlooking New York Bay.  Read more here.

Got Almond Milk? Dairy Farms Protest Milk Label on Nondairy Drinks, Feb. 13, 17, New York Times

If milk comes from a plant, can you still call it milk?

Not according to the dairy industry. Facing growing competition from dairy alternatives like almond, soy and coconut milk, the nation’s dairy farmers are fighting back, with an assist from Congress. Their goal: to stop companies from calling their plant-based products yogurt, milk or cheese. Dairy farmers say the practice misleads consumers into thinking that nondairy milk is nutritionally similar to cow’s milk.

Read more here.

Goats, Alpacas and (of Course) a Hen: Life on a Hobby Farm, Feb. 11, New York Times


They sometimes earn a small profit — though they mostly just break even — by selling some of their herd, along with the soft alpaca fleece and fleece products that Ms. Conn learned to knit and crochet. “I’m not in it to make money,” she explained. “I’m in it because I like the lifestyle. It’s a fun lifestyle.”

Read more here.


As School Gardens Spread, so do Teaching Moments- Dec. 7, 2016, Washington Post

Some lessons are obvious, such as the biology of growing a radish from seed. But the garden offers insights that go far beyond the brass tacks of cultivation. Geology, hydrology, poetry, music, ecology, cooking and microbiology all find a home in this arena we call a garden, as well as dozens of other subjects beyond most people’s imagination.  Read more here.

Most Primate Species Threatened with Extinction, Scientists Find- Jan. 18, 2017, New York Times

Primates are threatened by the wholesale destruction of forests to make way for agriculture. In the Amazon, the jungle is being converted to cattle ranches and soybean fields, while in Madagascar, rice paddies are taking the place of lemur forests.  Read more here.


Life on the Farm Draws Some French Tired of the Rat Race- Jan. 17, 2017, New York Times

More younger people are making lives as small-scale farmers in France, drawn in some cases by idealistic notions of tilling the land and of getting away from the rat race of the cities. They often leave behind well-paid jobs, as well as relatively comfortable lives that they nonetheless find unfulfilling.

Read more here.