Food - latest news and research

Corn prices are only going up

Plan ahead for the biggest threat to your food budget

corn-on-the-cob

Ray Gaesser, a corn farmer in Corning, Iowa, endured the effects of climate change last year when heavy rains made it more difficult to dry his crop. “We had to put [the corn] in our grain storage and run air through it at least for a few weeks,” Gaesser said, and the drying process led to higher energy costs.

Extreme weather over recent […]

The CSA: a more climate-proof food source

You get better food, and better food security.

CSA basket

As national food supplies may become less reliable from the impacts of climate change, establishing a local food source is predicted to be increasingly important in lowering your food costs. The Community Supported Agriculture program (CSA) has become a popular way for consumers to buy seasonal food at a less cost directly from their local farmer. Stimulate your local economy, eat better, save money.

CSAs are a locally-based […]

Agrihoods can help climate-proof the cost of your food

A new type of neighborhood comes with its own farm.

Several new housing developments are moving away from the more traditional centerpieces of a community (golf courses, swimming pools, clubhouses, etc.) and making communal vegetable gardens the heart of the neighborhood. These “agrihoods” allow homeowners to buy into the garden in exchange for cheap produce. As climate change contiAn agrihood can help climate-proof your food suppynues to drive up food costs, this local growing initiative can help climate-proof […]

Are local regulations hurting future food supplies?

If local vegetable farms are to grow, they need fewer constraints from government.

Urban garden in Chicago helps food securityScientists project warming will make extreme weather events more likely to threaten our crops. And food costs already take a growing percentage of our income. We should look for ways to climate-proof the security and cost of our food supply. Urban agricultural projects are a growing part of a more climate-proof food economy, but in many places […]

High tunnels can increase local food security

Lengthen the growing season. Increase yield. Your grower should apply now for a high tunnel – at 75% off.

Cheap access to higher agricultural yieldsNew studies confirm that drought, heat and other pressures from climate change are hurting America’s breadbasket regions, but local and regional food supplies in your neck of the woods may help lower your food costs, avoid crop failure, and raise nearby food security.

Many towns, however, don’t have enough farmland nearby, so the Natural Resources Conservation […]

Can marijuana help climate-proof us?

Urban agriculture may make our food supply more secure. Here’s one way to acquire the skills.

Screen Shot 2017-03-01 at 9.35.17 AMWhether it’s large scale or home scale, hydroponics promises high quality, high-efficiency growing. But, like anything new, it takes skill and experience to get quality and efficiency. Here’s an unusual suggestion from Climate-Proof Your Personal Finances:

“Another place to look for mentors and equipment, for indoor growing in particular, is your neighborhood pot farmer. In states that permit cannabis cultivation, look […]

New farm productivity AND more agricultural jobs?

Agriculture has been losing jobs for decades. Could things start going the other way?

Deeper topsoil can fight climate change.Amidst the increasing heat and scarcity of water in California, a farmer in Sebastopol has managed to grow $100,000 of food per acre, using one-tenth the normal water, creating four-foot deep topsoil, and getting 5 – 7 crops a year – without plowing, weeding, or spraying.

Reading this feature-length article about his work and the principles behind it, I instantly became […]

Floating structures. Sustainable? Or not so much?

Good: we safeguard them from sea-level change. Bad: it’s like we’re paving over farmland.

screen-shot-2016-11-23-at-11-40-48-amSwale, an open-to-all garden on a 130′ x 40′ barge in Brooklyn, floats in the East River. It not only provides new public space but, because it’s on the water, Swale avoids the city’s prohibition on growing and picking food in public areas.

A 6-mile floating pontoon on the Chicago River is being planned to serve as a bike path.

There are clusters of houseboats in […]

An Airbnb for vegetable gardens

Growing your own vegetables is – growing! And doing so with others is growing even faster.

Sharing land and skills for vegetable gardensThere are 37 million home vegetable gardens in America. Since 2008, community gardens have tripled from 1 million to 3 million. The average gardener invests $70 to grow $600 in food.

But many would-be growers – maybe you – are held back by lack of land, skills, and mentors. Or the chance to sell, rather […]

Fighting drought in, yes, New England

Drought from falling aquifers is mostly in the West, right? Not this year! Check out some solutions.

screen-shot-2016-10-14-at-10-26-14-amNew England got about half the rain it needs last summer. Much of northeastern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire are in an extreme drought, and wells are going dry all over the place. The drought is expected to last through the fall. On top of problems for agriculture, a shortened fall foliage season could really hurt tourism as well.

There’s no immediate solution, but many […]