Thursday, August 29, 2013

Genevieve’s Farm and Food Roundup

GenevieveThere's a popular movement for labeling of food products that contain genetically engineered ingredients but did you know there's a demand for GMO-free music? Whole Foods Markets is selling GMO-free vinyl records in five locations in California. Now you can get your Frank Sinatra, Rolling Stone, and Bob Marley records GMO free, along with a side of “locally sourced” wooden headphones!

Kansas farmers are encouraged to start conserving water now, as new studies of western Kansas land predict a timeline of when their wells will go dry. For “the family farmer who’s trying to see into the future, and trying to pass on his or her land to their grandchildren,” this raises concern and preparation.

The USDA’s Rural Development Agency has requested that a 4-year old girl shut down her vegetable garden in her South Dakota backyard so the property can be re-landscaped. Rosie’s mother and the Kitchen Gardeners International organization are working to save this little girl’s garden, arguing that the government meddling in the matter is unnecessarily crossing a line.

Recent surveys from the National Young Farmers Coalition prove that fewer young people are driven to become farmers than in years past. Therefore, it is not a surprise that the average age of the American farmer has reached 60. Young people are finding it difficult to gain access to land and capital, and are taking more of an interest in smaller-scale operations as part of an environmentally friendly generation. This raises the question, what does this mean for the future of the American farm?

Good news for farmers! Just after celebrating National Farmers Market week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has confirmed the growth of farmers markets, proving them to be a critical part of our nations food system. The USDA’s National Farmers Market Directory lists 8,144 established farmers markets across the country, up 5,000 from 2008.

An heirloom corn cultivated by Native Americans hundreds of years ago has been revived under the name New England Eight Row Flint corn. Already extremely popular in Itlay, grain enthusiast Glenn Roberts is eager to expose the US to this “phenomenally flavored” corn, and sent a sample to chef Dan Barber in the Hudson River Valley years ago. Now, Barber has been growing the heirloom corn at the farm next to his restaurant, creating a popular dish among customers.

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