Agriculture and the Natural World
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Agriculture and the Natural World
This is an exploration of agriculture and how it relates to the environment.  Whether you call it agroecology or eco-agriculture or permaculture these all offer alternative approaches to industrial agriculture that are far more sustainable. This page will highlight good, bad and neutral news related to environmental, economical and socially sustainable agriculture.  
Curated by Darin Hoagland
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Ivy League Permaculture Flourishes at Cornell University - Boon for interested students

Ivy League Permaculture Flourishes at Cornell University - Boon for interested students | Agriculture and the Natural World | Scoop.it
Permaculture is alive and growing at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. The university recently offered its first Permaculture Design Certification course in the Department of Horticulture. Organized by FLPCI instructor and cofounder Steve Gabriel.
Darin Hoagland's insight:

Noticeable and encouraging trend for highly respected Universities to offer courses like this.

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Mexican farmer spreads the word on conservation agriculture

Some ecology environmental impact images: Mexican farmer spreads the word on conservation agriculture Image by CIMMYT CIMMYT partner and Mexican farmer Ricardo Canales on his farm in Chimalpa, Apan, in the state ...

Via CIMMYT, Int.
Darin Hoagland's insight:

We need more of this kind of advocacy.  Mexico has a long history of traditional sustainable agricultural practices on which to draw on.

 

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33rd Annual EcoFarm Conference Jan. 23-26, 2013. Asilomar Conference Grounds, Pacific Grove, CA -Preconference Organic Farm Bus Tour central coast (Pascadero) still open

33rd Annual EcoFarm Conference Jan. 23-26, 2013. Asilomar Conference Grounds, Pacific Grove, CA -Preconference Organic Farm Bus Tour central coast (Pascadero) still open | Agriculture and the Natural World | Scoop.it
Darin Hoagland's insight:

This conference looks great for those who are interested in ecologically sustainable agriculture.  While I cannot make the trip down to Pacific Grove, CA I have signed up for the preconference EcoFarm bus tour of four cental coast Eco-farming and eco-ranching operators on Jan. 23, 2013.  I am looking forward to it!

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Sustainable Agriculture Webinar : Green Power Conference Jan. 23, 2013.

Sustainable Agriculture Webinar : Green Power Conference Jan. 23, 2013. | Agriculture and the Natural World | Scoop.it
Darin Hoagland's insight:

A free and fascinating webinar on how sustainable agricultural practices can compliment green agricultural energy production (biofuels). Connecting the energy production and agricultural food production make a more complete picture of what we want to do in terms of sustainability.

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Cornstalks Everywhere But Nothing Else, Not Even A Bee : NPR

Cornstalks Everywhere But Nothing Else, Not Even A Bee : NPR | Agriculture and the Natural World | Scoop.it
You can go to almost any cubic foot of ocean, stream, coral, backyard, ice shelves even, and if you look, you'll find scores of little animals and plants busy making a living.
Darin Hoagland's insight:

I just recently got the book this came from. It is highly recommended.

 

This project and picture teaches us industrial agriculture dramatically reduces biodiversity in favor of one crop.  This is not sustainable and causes us to lose our connections to nature -- the true source of our food.

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American Farmers and Ranchers Reach 50M-Acre Mark in Voluntary USDA Conservation Program | USDA Newsroom

American Farmers and Ranchers Reach 50M-Acre Mark in Voluntary USDA Conservation Program | USDA Newsroom | Agriculture and the Natural World | Scoop.it
WASHINGTON, Dec. 13, 2012 – In just four years, America’s top conservationists have enrolled 50 million acres in USDA’s Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), a program that helps farmers, ranchers and forest landowners take conservation to the...
Darin Hoagland's insight:

Conservation Stewardship Program doing well.  Helping farmers and ranchers remain good stewards of their land makes a great deal of sense. I hope this program continues.

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The giving tree: Agroforests can heal food systems and fight climate change

The giving tree: Agroforests can heal food systems and fight climate change | Agriculture and the Natural World | Scoop.it
Growing numbers of farmers are using agroforestry -- integrating tree crops and grazing animals -- to create more resilient soil, a diverse range of foods, and even fight climate change.
Darin Hoagland's insight:

Agroforestry, agroecology, integrated farming and permaculture all are exibited here in this article about Wendell Berry.  It is amazing how many mutually beneficial ecological interactions a farmer can get when all these things mentioned above - and more -- are being executed.

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Darin Hoagland's comment, December 12, 2012 9:19 PM
The Wendell farm reminds me of Joel Salatin's famous Polyface farm. I think its the moveable foraging cages he uses for his pasture animals. http://www.polyfacefarms.com/
Daniel LaLiberte's curator insight, July 27, 2013 11:33 AM

Integrating with nature, rather than fighting it, is key to achieving the goal of Zero Footprint.

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How is a high oil price promoting sustainable agriculture?

How is a high oil price promoting sustainable agriculture? | Agriculture and the Natural World | Scoop.it

To what extent has the oil price affected the agriculture community?

 

A high oil price has resulted in innovation in agricultural practice. Some sustainable agricultural practices equate to a reduced need for oil usage which then equates to less of a correlation between the oil price and the agricultural commodity price.

 

What are your thoughts on the below agricultural practices that are making cuts in oil consumption? Are there any other ways that increased efficiency in agriculture can provide a further disconnect between agriculture and oil?

 

1. Reducing food miles by producing locally

2. Finding organic solutions to generating fertile soils

3. Focussing on perennial crop development


Via Marsha Irving
Darin Hoagland's insight:

This shows how energy use is tied to agriculture.  Reduced fossil fuel use helps bolster sustainable agriculture.

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Infographics

Agroecology vs. Industrial Agriculture. A very nice infographic comparing the two approaches. http://blogs.worldwatch.org/nourishingtheplanet/infographics/
Darin Hoagland's insight:

Guess which one is more sustainable? Agroecology or Industrial Agriculture?  This Inforgraphic makes it comparable and clear.

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Where the Jobs Are: Migrate Back to the Farm or to Agriculture

Where the Jobs Are: Migrate Back to the Farm or to Agriculture | Agriculture and the Natural World | Scoop.it
Experience on many different types of farms, interacting with food outlets and other ag-related businesses, is invaluable in helping to learn about how the agricultural economy works.
Darin Hoagland's insight:

More jobs in many agricultural areas?  This is an encouraging development because we need sustainable and alternative food systems going forward.

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Darin Hoagland's comment, December 12, 2012 5:25 PM
I hope this means revitalization of rural America. However, in order for agriculture to be sustainable it must be economically viable, environmentally sound and good for family and community.
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Crop Rotation and the Future of Farming

Crop Rotation and the Future of Farming | Agriculture and the Natural World | Scoop.it
Farming in America is losing the diversity needed to keep it alive. But Washington, Jefferson and Uncle Everon already knew that.
Darin Hoagland's insight:

We have much to learn about traditional farming and sustainable crop rotation and biodiversity. 

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Mapping Urban Agriculture From the Sky and Google Earth

Mapping Urban Agriculture From the Sky and Google Earth | Agriculture and the Natural World | Scoop.it
Google Earth could help quantify urban gardens much better than advocates on the ground.
Darin Hoagland's insight:

It's a useful realization in this news article about Google Earth assisting surveys of residential vegetable gardens but not surprising when you think about it. As an county agricultural aide monitoring for invasive exotic fruit flies, I search for fruit and vegetable host sites in the residential area I am assigned all the time. Many are obscured from the street view. I have used Google Earth to plot out where new streets are and realized it showed where vegetable gardens were, as long as they were sizable. Vegetable gardens come and go every year because someone has to take the initiative to start a veggie garden annually in most cases.

 

I like remote sensing in learning more about agriculture.  It has useful applications in both urban and rural agriculture.

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How Many Ag Articles Are Published?

How Many Ag Articles Are Published? | Agriculture and the Natural World | Scoop.it

We Can't Read It All! In Ag Over 15,000 digital agriculture related news and information articles in 14 months were generated world wide. Through Truffle Labs, AgToday.info has been collecting articles on a variety of topics related to agriculture to get a sense of some trends in ag media.

Link: http://www.agtoday.info/channels


Via John Blue
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Darin Hoagland's comment, January 4, 2013 1:32 PM
Oh no, I am so far behind!!!..lol Seriously, this is a great way to look at trends even if you can only read the headlines. Thanks for sharing.
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World Ag Expo 2013: International Agri-Center / Tulare, CA from 2/12/13 to 2/14/13

World Ag Expo 2013: International Agri-Center / Tulare, CA from 2/12/13 to 2/14/13 | Agriculture and the Natural World | Scoop.it
Darin Hoagland's insight:

Don't miss this annual international Ag. Expo held in California.  Its one of the largest of its kind in the world. It will open Feb. 12, 2013 and last for two days in Tulare, CA this year.

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2013 Resolutions To Change The Food System for a Sustainable future

2013 Resolutions To Change The Food System for a Sustainable future | Agriculture and the Natural World | Scoop.it
As we start 2013, many people will be thinking about plans and promises to improve their diets and health.
Darin Hoagland's insight:

This is a good set of resolutions to consider for 2013.

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How much do people really know about agriculture?

We asked people on the street in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago questions about agriculture. Watch the video to find out what their answers were to quest...
Darin Hoagland's insight:

This is an interesting but not surprising set of interviews about farming from everyday Americans on the street of two big cities.  Most people do not know much about farming and agriculture but also readily admit how important it is...once they think about it. It is a wonderful thing that agriculture now can feed so many and allow the vast majority of us to pursue so many non-farm careers. Unfortunately this means many are very detached from where their food comes from. This remains a challenge in a number of ways.

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Greener pastures

Greener pastures | Agriculture and the Natural World | Scoop.it
Joel Salatin calls himself a “libertarian capitalist lunatic”, but his organic farming methods have won him plenty of fans.
Darin Hoagland's insight:

Even in Austrialia Joel Salatin has much sway.  Polyface farm is agroecology at its best.  Sustainable and self-sufficient farming and ranching.

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Darin Hoagland's comment, December 12, 2012 9:44 PM
For more information see: http://www.polyfacefarms.com/
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An enthralling look at urban food growth

An enthralling look at urban food growth | Agriculture and the Natural World | Scoop.it
In Food and the City: Urban Agriculture and the New Food Revolution, Edmonton journalist Jennifer Cockrall-King exposes the world’s unsustainable food industry — but she doesn’t simply point out the problems. Cockrall-King spent several years researching and travelling to various cities across North America and Europe to discover solutions. She found people creating gardens and farms, on tiny and large scales, to produce organic food in their own cities.

 


Via Alan Yoshioka, FarmRoof®
Darin Hoagland's insight:

This is a compelling resource detailing the spread of urban food.  It is great to see solutions and case studies of sustainable agricultural alternatives to industrial agriculture.

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Interesting article on the potential of quinoa and its role in food secutiry .

Interesting article on the potential of quinoa and its role in food secutiry . | Agriculture and the Natural World | Scoop.it
Stefano Padulosi, Bioversity Research theme leader, Marketing Diversity, highlights the potential of neglected and underutilized species for food security, in this personal account about visiting B...

Via Bioversity Library, Plataforma DTR-IC
Darin Hoagland's insight:

Quinoa is a delicous and it may have a role in food security.

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What’s at Stake: Support for the Next Generation of Farmer-Stewards – NSAC

What’s at Stake: Support for the Next Generation of Farmer-Stewards – NSAC | Agriculture and the Natural World | Scoop.it
Due to Congressional inaction, the 2008 Farm Bill has expired without a new bill or extension to take its place.  In the absence of a farm bill, numer
Darin Hoagland's insight:

Retaining farmers and ranchers who are good land stewards is critical for conservation and the future of sustainable farming and ranching.  They maintain a great deal of land acreage. The 2012 Farm Bill waits for passage but can farmers, ranchers and our natural resources wait?

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How Millions of Farmers are Advancing Agriculture For Themselves

How Millions of Farmers are Advancing Agriculture For Themselves | Agriculture and the Natural World | Scoop.it
by Jonathan Latham The world record yield for paddy rice production is not held by an agricultural research station or by a large-scale farmer from the United States, but by Sumant Kumar who has a farm of just two hectares in Darveshpura village in...
Darin Hoagland's insight:

Encouraging evidence for sustainable farming the World over.  This is an important study and report about record yeilds and a System of Rice Intensification.

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Armitage’s Herbaceous Perennials for the Sun

The perennials "crash course" for the green industry

Perennials are easy to grow, easy to propagate, and offer gardeners a fascinating variety of colors, forms and textures.

Armitage's Herbaceous Perennials for the Sun is a self-paced, self-study online certificate program authored by the Dr. Allan Armitage, one of the world's leading experts on and researchers of perennials. In this professional development course, you'll learn the characteristics, propagation methods and optimal growing conditions of 20 species of sun perennials.

The course is online, so you can progress at your own pace, on your own schedule.

Darin Hoagland's insight:

This looks like a great online course. Education never stops.

 

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