Op-Ed: Urban Ecology and Rural Resources

Now more than ever is the right time to bridge the rural-urban divide. Cities are closing in on rural areas, with distances shrinking both physically through better road networks and also virtually through a better network of mobile phones and Internet connections.
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Urban Agriculture: Food Equity and Food Ecology

Home Garden

I don’t think there is anything easy about finding the right urban agro-ecology, but I do know it needs to happen. That it is, in fact, already taking place.
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Buy local? Why local? Time for the REAL story!

Charlies

Getting our food from the farm to the consumer – the “supply chain” – is certainly not as simple as it was the past. Once upon a time, the consumer, his/her family, and the local community WERE the growers and a supply chain didn’t exist. Transportation from the field and barn to the kitchen was a matter of feet or yards, not miles. What once was a simple connection with one or two stops along the way, has become a spaghetti-like tangle of connections, links, and cross-links to get fresh fruits and vegetables to your plate.
Read more: Buy local? Why local? Time for the REAL story!

Preserving Our Farmland: PCC Farmland Trust and Jubilee Biodynamic Farm

PCCFarmlandTrustJubileeFair_CAR_20120914_004

What does farmland protection have to do with what’s on your dinner table? Or maybe it should be put this way: What does what’s on your dinner table have to do with farmland protection? Think about it… Today, the typical American prepared meal contains, on average, ingredients from at least five countries outside the US. What if we had to grow our food “back home?”
Read more: Preserving Our Farmland: PCC Farmland Trust and Jubilee Biodynamic Farm

Can Western Washington Feed Itself?

Pages from WestWAFoodShedPresentation

Studies providing real information about food production and consumption, especially incorporating local and regional data from the private sector, are increasingly important yet difficult to obtain. Those people involved in food policy and urban planning are hard pressed for both the funding and access to accurate data to prepare adequate studies. Nonetheless, an accurate view of the amount of perishable food that is produced or comes into a region and is being consumed or disposed is critical to the improvement of the food system. The Western Washington Foodshed Study is one of those reports.
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Urban Farms or Urban Myths?

newroots1

HISTORY SHOWS URBAN FARMS CAN FEED CITIES WHILE PROVIDING ECOLOGICAL SERVICES – Perhaps the revival of urban farming will lead not just to a diet for a small planet but a diet for smaller people?
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Updating Land Use Policy Before It's Too Late

View from Mount Sentinel overlooking the city of Missoula MT.

A number of US cities have already instituted planning policy that protect both agriculture and open space. However, smaller cites without these land use policies are now feeling the consequences of sprawl and the need for action. Missoula – the City and the County – is a perfect example.
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Destruction of our soil destroys our food

UNEP Year Book 2012

Those of us who are not on the growing end of the food system tend to lose track of the soil which supports production of our food. Even the fish we eat are affected by soil destruction. A new report from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) tells us that we need to see dramatic improvement in the way we – that is, the world – manages our soils.
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Food Systems Planning at the Local and Regional Level

Local Food System Analysis

Ever more Americans are becoming urban dwellers and access to good quality, reasonably priced food grown sustainably is more and more challenging. Food is grown using chemical-laden agricultural methods and travels longer distances to kitchen or table. We need to find ways to bring sustainable food production closer closer to home.
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New Urbanism Meets Alternative Agriculture

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This will be the first of several columns and interviews resulting from a recent 4-day Congress for New Urbanism Conference, otherwise known as CNU 19, held this year in Madison, Wisconsin, home of dairy, bicycles, and wacky politics. How many other states have a quarter of their state senators up for recall or host tractor protest rallies around the state capitol, have 6 months of winter, and a burgeoning organic foods industry?
Read more: New Urbanism Meets Alternative Agriculture