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Food
Lisa Waterman Gray

Urban Farming Organization Visualizes a Franchise Model to Produce Fresh Fish and Vegetables

By Lisa Waterman Gray

On a cool September morning, Dre Taylor dodged raindrops while talking with several people tending beans, peppers, tomatillos, collards and more outside of a 4,500-square-foot building. This is Nile Valley Aquaponics, a vibrant fixture in Kansas City, Missouri's urban core. The name came from Egypt where people cultivated plants and fish thousands of years ago. Goats and picnic tables share outdoor space and offices occupy a nearby house.

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Studio023 / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Can Hemp Become a 60 Million Acre Crop and Billion Dollar Industry?

With low grain prices and the loss of the soybean exports to China because of a trade war, Iowa's farmers face dark times. But one Iowa farmer sees a light of hope with a crop that fell out of favor, but may be poised for a big comeback. Ethan Vorhes, a farmer in Charles City, Iowa sees great potential for growing industrial hemp.

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Cows graze on Brown's ranch. Gabe Brown

How Did Farmer Brown Bring His Dying Land Back From the Brink?

By Jeff Turrentine

Sometimes enlightenment arrives as a flash of epiphany: a gravity-obeying apple that falls from a tree, for instance, or a blinding light that freezes you in your tracks on the road to Damascus.

Other times, though, it's more of a process. That's how Gabe Brown came to regenerative agriculture. About 20 years ago, Brown nearly lost his 1,760-acre farm outside Bismarck, North Dakota, which he had taken over upon his in-laws' retirement in 1991. Just as his wife's family had done since the 1950s, Brown continued to till, fertilize, graze and chemically treat the land—all of which were considered best practices at the time.

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Jaime Betancourt grows hydroponic vegetables in his Guaynabo, PR home for sale in local farmers markets. Preston Keres / USDA

A Local Food Revolution in Puerto Rico

A year has passed since Hurricane Maria first made landfall in Puerto Rico, destroying homes, roads and vehicles in its path—and taking thousands of lives. The island languished for months as an insufficient emergency response campaign attempted to restore basic services like water and power. After a recent independent study, the official death toll was raised from the initial 64 to 2,975; analysis done by The New York Times, citing malnutrition and other food-based ailments as possible culprits for surging mortality in the storm's aftermath, estimated that number could be more than 4,000.

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Logan Mock-Bunting / Aurora / Getty Images

North Carolina Produces 60% of the Country’s Sweet Potatoes. The Crop Is in Trouble

By Dan Nosowitz

North Carolina dominates the country's production in sweet potatoes the way few other states dominate few other crops.

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North Carolina hog CAFO in Hurricane Florence floodwaters, Sept. 18. Larry Baldwin / Crystal Coast Waterkeeper / Waterkeeper Alliance

In a Warming World, Carolina CAFOs Are a Disaster for Farmers, Animals and Public Health

By Karen Perry Stillerman

In the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, I've joined millions who've watched with horror as the Carolinas have been inundated with floodwaters and worried about the various hazards those waters can contain. We've seen heavy metal-laden coal ash spills, a nuclear plant go on alert (thankfully without incident), and sewage treatment plants get swamped. But the biggest and most widely reported hazard associated with Florence appears to be the hog waste that is spilling from many of the state's thousands of CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations), and which threatens lasting havoc on public health and the local economy.

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rotofrank / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Here’s What Agriculture of the Future Looks Like: The Multiple Benefits of Regenerative Agriculture Quantified

By Ricardo Salvador

At the Union of Concerned Scientists, we have long advocated agricultural systems that are productive and better for the environment, the economy, farmers, farmworkers and eaters than the dominant industrial system. We refer to such a system as our Healthy Farm vision. Based on comprehensive science, we have specified that healthy farm systems must be multifunctional, biodiverse, interconnected and regenerative.

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Scott Olson / Getty Images News / Getty Images

Duke University Study: N.C. Residents Living Near Large Hog Farms Have Elevated Disease, Death Risks

By Olga Naidenko and Sydney Evans

Residents of communities near industrial-scale hog farms in North Carolina face an increased risk of potentially deadly diseases, Duke University scientists reported in a study released this week.

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Vladimirovic / iStock / Getty Images Plus

The Many Hazards of Toxic Algae Outbreaks

By Sarah Graddy and Robert Coleman

This summer, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) is tracking outbreaks of potentially toxic algae across the U.S. We have been startled to find that these outbreaks are erupting everywhere: from the East Coast to the West Coast, from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico.

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