Apply Today to Win a $15,000 Gardens for Good Grant
Urban farmers across North America are giving our concrete jungles a green makeover. These green-thumbed visionaries take vacant lots and rooftops and transform them into solutions for many of the struggles facing urban populations, with food insecurity topping that list—and companies like Nature’s Path are helping them make their visions a reality. The organic food company’s Gardens for Good grant contest will award three $15,000 grants to nonprofit organic garden projects that bring healthy, organic food to those who need it most.
Thousands of city dwellers have little or no access to affordable, nutritious food, thanks to urban food deserts, lack of access to transportation and poor food literacy. Urban farmers are on a mission to change all that with acres of unused urban land converted to productive green spaces. And for these growers and the people they serve, growing food is all about changing our food system to truly benefit communities.
Urban Farmers For Food Justice
“Building a garden in a city is an opportunity to challenge the status quo, to open peoples’ minds to a real alternative to our current system,” says Jesse Schafer, garden manager at GroW Gardens. Based in Washington, DC, GroW won a Gardens for Good grant from Nature’s Path in 2011 and has been busy giving the White House garden a run for its money ever since. More than just a community garden, GroW works towards a more just food system by getting people excited about growing food—mobilizing the community to get their hands dirty, then sharing the resulting bounty with a non-profit that feeds 200-300 homeless people daily.
Help Good Things Grow In Your Community
Do you have a vision for an organic garden project? A desire to improve access to healthy food in your community? And a plan to put your idea into practice? Now entering its 6th year, Nature’s Path’s Gardens for Good grant contest is connecting urban farming projects dedicated to feeding their communities with the funds to help make it happen.
If you’re a nonprofit with an established garden project or a piece of land and a great idea, submit your application to Nature’s Path before June 22 and you could win one of three $15,000 Gardens for Good grants to help you grow your garden, as well as technical design and production mentorship from Rodale’s Organic Life magazine. Once your application is submitted, get your community excited about the voting phase of the contest, where the six projects with the most votes advance to the next round, where three winners will be awarded the $15,000 grants.
Make Your Green Dream Come True
Jesse at GroW Gardens has some words of wisdom for aspiring urban farmers and food justice advocates: “People need to simply go out there and try it. It’s all about the will and the attempt. We believed so strongly that we just willed the garden into existence: If you will it, it is no dream.”
Together, we can build a better food system. Change starts with you, so submit your application today, or share this Gardens for Good grant opportunity with your green-thumbed community!
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By Katherine Kornei
Clear-cutting a forest is relatively easy—just pick a tree and start chopping. But there are benefits to more sophisticated forest management. One technique—which involves repeatedly harvesting smaller trees every 30 or so years but leaving an upper story of larger trees for longer periods (60, 90, or 120 years)—ensures a steady supply of both firewood and construction timber.
A Pattern in the Rings<p>The <a href="https://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/coppice-standards-0" target="_blank">coppice-with-standards</a> management practice produces a two-story forest, said <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Bernhard_Muigg" target="_blank">Bernhard Muigg</a>, a dendrochronologist at the University of Freiburg in Germany. "You have an upper story of single trees that are allowed to grow for several understory generations."</p><p>That arrangement imprints a characteristic tree ring pattern in a forest's upper story trees (the "standards"): thick rings indicative of heavy growth, which show up at regular intervals as the surrounding smaller trees are cut down. "The trees are growing faster," said Muigg. "You can really see it with your naked eye."</p><p>Muigg and his collaborators characterized that <a href="https://ltrr.arizona.edu/about/treerings" target="_blank">dendrochronological pattern</a> in 161 oak trees growing in central Germany, one of the few remaining sites in Europe with actively managed coppice-with-standards forests. They found up to nine cycles of heavy growth in the trees, the oldest of which was planted in 1761. The researchers then turned to a historical data set — more than 2,000 oak <a href="https://eos.org/articles/podcast-discovering-europes-history-through-its-timbers" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">timbers from buildings and archaeological sites</a> in Germany and France dating from between 300 and 2015 — to look for a similar pattern.</p>
A Gap of 500 Years<p>The team found wood with the characteristic coppice-with-standards tree ring pattern dating to as early as the 6th century. That was a surprise, Muigg and his colleagues concluded, because the first mention of this forest management practice in historical documents occurred only roughly 500 years later, in the 13th century.</p><p>It's probable that forest management practices were not well documented prior to the High Middle Ages (1000–1250), the researchers suggested. "Forests are mainly mentioned in the context of royal hunting interests or donations," said Muigg. Dendrochronological studies are particularly important because they can reveal information not captured by a sparse historical record, he added.</p><p>These results were <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-78933-8" target="_blank">published in December in <em>Scientific Reports</em></a>.</p><p>"It's nice to see the longevity and the history of coppice-with-standards," said <a href="https://www.teagasc.ie/contact/staff-directory/s/ian-short/" target="_blank">Ian Short</a>, a forestry researcher at Teagasc, the Agriculture and Food Development Authority in Ireland, not involved in the research. This technique is valuable because it promotes conservation and habitat biodiversity, Short said. "In the next 10 or 20 years, I think we'll see more coppice-with-standards coming back into production."</p><p>In the future, Muigg and his collaborators hope to analyze a larger sample of historic timbers to trace how the coppice-with-standards practice spread throughout Europe. It will be interesting to understand where this technique originated and how it propagated, said Muigg, and there are plenty of old pieces of wood waiting to be analyzed. "There [are] tons of dendrochronological data."</p><p><em><a href="mailto:email@example.com" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Katherine Kornei</a> is a freelance science journalist covering Earth and space science. Her bylines frequently appear in Eos, Science, and The New York Times. Katherine holds a Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of California, Los Angeles.</em></p><p><em>This story originally appeared in <a href="https://eos.org/articles/tree-rings-reveal-how-ancient-forests-were-managed" target="_blank">Eos</a></em> <em>and is republished here as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.</em></p>
Earth's ice is melting 57 percent faster than in the 1990s and the world has lost more than 28 trillion tons of ice since 1994, research published Monday in The Cryosphere shows.
By Jewel Fraser
Noreen Nunez lives in a middle-class neighborhood that rises up a hillside in Trinidad's Tunapuna-Piarco region.