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Geography Education
Geography Education
Global news with a spatial perspective: Interesting, current supplemental materials for geography students and teachers. http://geographyeducation.org
Curated by Seth Dixon
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Rethinking Agriculture

"Growing Power is a national nonprofit organization and land trust supporting people from diverse backgrounds, and the environments in which they live, by helping to provide equal access to healthy, high-quality, safe and affordable food for people in all communities."

Seth Dixon's insight:

There has been a revitalization in urban gardening as many city dwellers feel disconnected from their food systems; urban gardening is a way for people to actively control what they are ingesting into their systems many fear some of the modern agricultural methods.  Based in Milwaukee, WI, Growing Power has created an interesting combination of vegetable gardening and aquaponics for the urban environment. 


Tags: food, agriculture, unit 5 agriculture.

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Steven Flis's curator insight, December 17, 2013 5:56 AM

with the increasing numbers of urban citizens in years to come the key to success in the city will be its ability to adapted to its growing enviroment. It would be nearly impossible for cities to exsit in the future with the current ways of agriculuture, there needs to be a change in the way things are done. Thats why this next gen way of agriculuture is going to take off in urban areas. with the ability to have full farms on rooftops the city will be able to self sustain itself more properly than it does in current times.

Jacqueline Landry's curator insight, December 17, 2013 6:40 PM

For the past three years I have had the luxury of having a garden in my backyard, it is a lot of work but there is nothing better than knowing where my food is coming from. I enjoy going in my backyard and being able to grab vegetables whenever I need them. I also go to farmers markets for vegetables that I don't grow in my own garden.  I would defeniately support local people to get good quality food. 

Lauren Shigemasa's curator insight, January 23, 1:28 AM

a powerful way to increase access to healthy foods! this organization called Growing Power is using urban gardening not only to create a sustainable food source for its neighbors, but also provides a system so we can donate and send a week's worth of fresh fruit/vegetables to any surrounding community in need. so amazing!

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How To Find A Food Desert Near You

How To Find A Food Desert Near You | Geography Education | Scoop.it
A new clickable atlas shows just how far it is to the grocery store, everywhere in the United States. "Food deserts" are the focus of state, local and federal anti-obesity efforts.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Tags: foodlocavoremapping.

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Dean Haakenson's curator insight, March 15, 2013 1:23 PM

Great for looking at agriculture issues in the US and the debate over the local food movement v. supermarkets.

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How Big a Backyard Would You Need to Live Off the Land?

How Big a Backyard Would You Need to Live Off the Land? | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Tags: infographic, food, agriculture, sustainability, urban, urban ecology, locavore, land use, unit 5 agriculture, unit 7 cities.

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Crissy Borton's comment, September 11, 2012 8:36 PM
Looking at purchasing a house in the next year or so and this is one thing we have been looking at. Although we don't want to raise our own meat we would like to grow everything else we eat.
Courtney Holbert's curator insight, February 3, 2013 10:44 PM

Good visual representation of what it would take to be self sufficient.

Chris Scott's curator insight, July 14, 2013 9:51 AM

If you need a backyard that is about 2 acres to live off the land imagine how big of a backyard you would need if you had a family of 8.

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What farms can do for cities

What farms can do for cities | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The author talks about her new book, Urban Farms, the difference between a farm and a garden, and how city farmers are moving beyond the trend factor.

 

Too often we teach about cities and urban systems one one side of a spectrum and agricultural and rural land use on the other.  Here is some fuel for the gristmill.     

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Alison Antonelli's curator insight, December 4, 2013 11:12 AM

I personally think that farms go unappreciated. If we did not have farms we would not have half or any of the food we have today. This interview puts a lot of things into perspective on how farms can help out our cities and improve the overall food industry. 

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Mega-Farms to Hit City Rooftops

Mega-Farms to Hit City Rooftops | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Plans for a rooftop farm are the largest in the world.

 

Brooklyn Grange Farm is Expanding to a 45K Square Foot Rooftop in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. This is a stunning example of urban agriculture designed to produce local food, even with limited spatial resources.  There is also a 3.5 minute video clip attached to the article. 

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Rooftop Farms

Rooftop Farms | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Brooklyn Grange, believed to be the world's largest rooftop farm, is expanding to the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

 

Brooklyn Grange Farm is Expanding to a 45K Square Foot Rooftop in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.  This is a stunning example of urban agriculture designed to produce local food, even with limited spatial resources.

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Steve Westgate's comment, February 8, 2012 8:51 AM
Urban agriculture has been an excellent project to form community bonding in all the United States cities that participate. Production of the foods that are provided by urban agriculture could not feed the local population as a hole, but part of the harvests are usually donated to the local food banks for the needy. So many roof tops in our cities could be used for farming. Most of our abandoned properties could also be used for agriculture. My community has had and will have local growers, who will sell their produce rather cheap and give a portion to local shelters, food banks, and state run faculties.
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Analysis Finds 3x More Farmers’ Markets in Areas with the Lowest Obesity Rates

Analysis Finds 3x More Farmers’ Markets in Areas with the Lowest Obesity Rates | Geography Education | Scoop.it
An independent analysis conducted by mapping analytics firm PetersonGIS shows that locations with the highest obesity rates contain the fewest farmers’ markets.

 

Agricultural production has become a big business, not only in total dollars, but in the scale of production.  In the last 50 years, the rise of 'agribusiness' has dominated the food industry and has redefined how food is produced.  In reaction to this, farmers' markets and organic farming is enjoying success within select demographic groups...and this study shows some of the results of that linkage.

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Urban Agriculture: Industrial-Sized Rooftop Farm Planned for Berlin

Urban Agriculture: Industrial-Sized Rooftop Farm Planned for Berlin | Geography Education | Scoop.it
It is hardly a logical spot for a farm, but three Berliners have earmarked a massive former factory roof for an unusual urban agriculture venture.

 

Urban agriculture within an industrial landscape is reshaping our cities, food systems and rural areas. What economic factors are making this happen?  What cultural factors explain the growth of this phenomenon?  

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Mr. Gresham's curator insight, April 10, 10:19 AM

I wonder what Von Thunen would think of this!

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Jamaica Focuses on Farming

Jamaica Focuses on Farming | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The country has taken on a bold new strategy in the face of expensive food imports: make farming patriotic and ubiquitous."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Jamaica's historical agricultural products are cash crops that were connected to the plantation economy and in turn slavery.  Today, Jamaica is restructuring their agricultural production to address local food security issues rather than global market commodities.  This push will increase food security and to do so the government started a campaign with the slogan “grow what we eat, eat what we grow.” Grocery stores in Jamaica now identify local produce with large stickers and prominent displays as school children, backyard gardens and local businesses are all a part of the new agricultural initiative.  


Tags: agriculture, locavore, Jamaica, Middle America.

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Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, November 27, 2013 4:34 PM

I have discussed Jamaica with some former classmates of mine, and they informed me that a lot of people are really poor there.  They said that the people there were very friendly, and hooked my friends up with some outstanding agricultural products at a really good price, but these people are very poor.  I think that because Jamaica was involved in the slave trade, and they didn't really as much of have slaves to do work like the US, but Jamaica was still involved in the slave trade, which ensured the presence of slaves.  While the US was building as a country, Jamaica was not thriving as much.  I think that the agriculture in Jamaica is (by what my friends say) fabulous as far as illegal crops go, but the agriculture FOR the Jamaicans (such as food) is lacking.  I read in the article that a European Development Agency sent money to Jamaica to help them be able to build chicken coops... So the chickens are enslaved too, and doomed to lay eggs or become a Sunday dinner.  That is kind of sad.  In all truth, I enjoy the taste of meat, but look forward to when meat and plants will be synthesized with no living tissue involved, because, after all, plants are alive too.  There are so many things that people have taken from the Earth, without giving anything back.  We are approaching the era where people should be more concerned with the environment, and what they can do for the Earth.  I think Jamaica should be given new technology that serves synthetic meat and synthetic vegetables, as a way to aid their agricultural and economic situation, rather than money for chicken coops from some pompous European cults.

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, February 8, 1:53 PM

The article describes how Jamaica and a couple other Caribbean nations are beginning to focus more on food crops than cash crops. Being dependent on imports for food can be disastrous for these islands when a global food shortage makes prices skyrocket. Being food independent will likely allow Jamaica to increase its net agricultural gains so long as the production and demand for its cash crops of bananas and sugarcane remain high.

 

Jess Deady's curator insight, February 18, 12:56 PM

Understanding how other countries survive their everyday lives is an important part of being a civil human being. As shown in one of the clips, a boy is putting on a tie before school and is on his way to eat breakfast. Not only does he have to eat breakfast at home, but he also is eating a stew that he picked the crops for. I could never imagine picking my own food in order to survive life. This scoop is enlightening in many ways.

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What You Need to Know About Genetically Engineered Food

What You Need to Know About Genetically Engineered Food | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Myths and facts about health, corruption, and saving the world

Tags: food, agriculture, agribusinesslocavore, unit 5 agriculture.

Seth Dixon's insight:

So many articles about organic or genetically engineered foods are written with someone with a very defined position on the subject (much like abortion, gun control or other controversial topics).  This article is an attempt to separate out the good the bad and the ugly regarding genetically engineered foods.   

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Zakary Pereira's comment, April 30, 2013 4:04 PM
An interesting article to read, it talked about the genetically modified seeds and food that is created by companies and then grown by American and other farmers worldwide. This article relates to the globalization point that we talked about in class. The seeds are genetically modified here or elsewhere in the world and then sent to farmers all over the globe to grow for increased profit typically. Many countries around the world, especially third world countries, have food shortages and by genetically modifying food so that farmers can get a bigger harvest, more people will be fed and less would die to famine and malnutrition. Like David, I tried to keep an open mind and not choose a side while I was reading. The article did seem quite vague regarding argument points however it gave facts left and right which I found to be new to me and fairly interesting, learning that 70% of food that we eat has at least one GE ingredient. Time will tell if this has prolonged pros/cons I suppose.
Gregory S Sankey Jr.'s curator insight, October 24, 2013 1:41 PM

I love the hard facts that this article presents, in a very unbiased way. I've heard many claims from 'both sides of the aisle' about GE crops, but have never in one article seen such a clear and concise representation on the actual truths (or myths) surrounding the GMO debate.  

Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, November 27, 2013 4:59 PM

I mentioned this through an allusion in another article, but GMOs and the movements against them perplex me.  I don't think that fossil-fuel burning engines are natural, but many anti GMO people that claim they are bad for the environment leave me completely stunned as to their intolerance for what could possibly  benefit other people.  I feel very much an outsider when I examine many topics of controversy related to GMOs, and I am quite sure that I have consumed them before -- and loved them?  as for the FDA... I don't approve of the FDA.  They like more money coming into their pocket more than bettered well-being of citizens.  When I mentioned to my doctor that I wanted to apply for medical marijuana for a series of conditions that I have following a severe accident, I was told that they refused because it was not fully endorsed, approved, or even allowed by the FDA.  That really pissed me off because I suffer from excruciating pain every day and night of my life.  Could you imagine being a poor person in need of food, and the only viable way of getting food was through the production of GMOs...? and then some pseudo-hippie activists that didn't live through the 1960s trying to be all like, "We don't want anyone to have GMOs!"... I pose that abstractly, because I view most everything with a level of abstraction and distance from the situation, sampling perspectives with which I may empathize or consider.  I keep thinking that this world around us all came from a big bang, with other possible universes before that, and something  before that... and I really can't see Capitalism ever becoming as bad as it is, with such disregard for other people's wellbeing, until I look at today's world.

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Understanding "Eat Local"

Understanding "Eat Local" | Geography Education | Scoop.it

This Oregon-based infographic succinctly summarizes the local food movement and taps into the cultural ethos that permeates the growing number of consumers that are demanding more home-grown products.

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Produce Calendars: Understanding Agriculture

Produce Calendars: Understanding Agriculture | Geography Education | Scoop.it

These three charts (Fruit, Vegetable and Herbs) are an excellent reasource for teaching about agriculture and food systems.  Many cultural festivals and  traditions revolve around the seasonal availability of crops and many modern eating trends often call for a return eating foods within their season.    

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Justin McCullough's curator insight, December 12, 2013 1:15 PM

I feel that when you do consume foods within their season of growth it tastes better. I like to believe that because they are in season, it is cheaper to buy them because they are in abundance but it don't think that is the case. Although there is the push to try to eat the foods within their seasons, it is probably not likely to happen since we live in a global economy, that urges food to be made regardless of what season they are best grown in. 

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Where is my Milk From?

Where is my Milk From? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Find out which dairy your milk comes from!


Seth Dixon's insight:

Too often we have heard the answer "from the grocery store!"  With more thought, the farm would be the next answer, but what kind of farm?  Which farm? Where is it coming from?  All you need to arm your students to make the commodity chain more personal is the code on the carton and this link, and they are on their way to exploring the geography of industrial agriculture (more likely than not).  This site is designed to help consumer become more aware of the geography of diary production and to get to know where the products that we are putting in are body are coming from.  My milk (consumed in Cranston, RI) is from Guida's Milk and Ice Cream from New Britain, CT.  So, where does your milk come from?

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Roland Trudeau Jr.'s comment, July 23, 2012 10:41 AM
I have the Guida's as well as Garelick farms, which is made in Franklin MA. an interesting tool.
Kim Vignale's comment, July 23, 2012 7:52 PM
This is a great tool to find out where your milk is coming from and it also helps you decide which brand to buy to support local farms and reduce carbon emissions from the transportation of these dairy products to your local supermarkets. I think this tool help promotes local farms which is also a great way of supporting local businesses.
Liam Michelsohn's curator insight, December 4, 2013 2:39 PM

I loved reading about this site and there idea. its so ture that too often we say "from the grochry store" when asked were this cheese or food product is from. However acutlly knowing that animal that produced the food, before it was packed and shipped out, is a very cool things that technollagy in the 21st century  is allowing us to do. Its funny when i was on my study abrod trip in mexico and we bought some goat cheese from a rancho there,, i tried to ask how he made it, but he thought i ment who made it and he walked me over and pointed to the goat that he had gotten it from. 

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'Locavores' Trend Takes Root

Increasingly, families are turning to locally grown food for more healthy and 'green' choices, reports Daniel Sieberg.

 

Many alternative food movements are embracing a space-based approach to consumptions where 'local' and 'community' are valued more than just price and accessibility.  


Via Mr. David Burton
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Mr. David Burton's comment, February 7, 2012 12:04 PM
Thanks Seth! I had a feeling that this would be a topic you would rescoop. Thank you for introducing me to the wonder that is "scoop.it"!!
sdion's comment, February 9, 2012 6:05 PM
this is really interesting and must be really hard/expensive to maintain for a year. i wonder if there are ways for locarvores to communicate and trade tips and locations of farmer;s markets or other food sources
Mr. David Burton's comment, February 9, 2012 6:17 PM
@sdion, I'm not sure what networking exists for Locavores, but I'm sure it must. I know there are restaurants that have emerged and aimed its menus at this group. In Oklahoma City we have Ludivine and Tulsa has Local Table; both are examples of places which feature a Locavore menu. I would bet there is networking through the restaurant industry.
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Food, Nutrition and Geography

Peter Menzel's beautiful photography and our Hungry Planet...

 

This video is a fascinating portal into global food systems and how globalization is impacting local foods.  He traveled around the world to see what families eat in a given week, and how much all the food cost and where it can from.  Many wealthy countries exhibit poor nutritional habits (eating food high in fat, sugar and salt) while some in poorer people have a very balanced diet.  This leads him to describe the 'Nutritional Transition.'  Warning before showing in class: there are brief instances of non-sexualized nudity in the video. 

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