Urban Farming Catching on in Europe and the US

A story in today’s International Herald Tribune finds that urban farming and beekeeping are growing in popularity in both American cities and Western Europe. The story focuses on Omlet, a new company based in Oxfordshire, England, that began producing pre-fab hen houses and beehives for urban farmers as early as 2004. (See the video at the bottom of this post) Continue reading Urban Farming Catching on in Europe and the US

Trading the Pool for an Organic Greenhouse

During a severe drought in the 1970s, many homeowners were forced to drain their swimming pools, creating a venue for the Z-Boys, a group of underground skateboarders, to invent aerial skateboarding. This summer, a family in Mesa, AZ drained their swimming pool and is looking to start a similar groundswell in the realm of organic food production. Continue reading Trading the Pool for an Organic Greenhouse

The Southwest Tour Motel 6 Awards

When Motel 6 opened in the 1960s, a room only cost $6. Nowadays, six bucks will buy you a couple of internet cards ($2.99 + tax for 24 hours of Wi-Fi at most locations), but Motel 6 is still one of the most affordable motel chains in the country. The best advice I can give someone who’s planning to stay at Motel 6 for 22 consecutive nights is to bring something from home — for us, it was a duvet and pillows — to keep you grounded. After a few nights you get into a rhythm: Check in, throw back the existing blankets and put down your own, buy some internet cards, hit the ice machine, and call it a night. Continue reading The Southwest Tour Motel 6 Awards

The Art of Urban Mobile Gardening

The local food movement has opened the door to a new crop of would-be gardeners who lack access to a patch of earth on which to plant a garden (myself included). For some, the land dilemma can be resolved by planting seeds in a shared community garden. Other space-challenged gardeners install planters and flower boxes on roofs and balconies, like this enterprising New Yorker, who developed a self-watering vegetable garden on his Manhattan fire escape last summer, using PVC buckets and two-liter soda bottles. Continue reading The Art of Urban Mobile Gardening

Food Activists Win Brower Youth Awards

The Brower Youth Awards is an annual national award recognizing six young people for their outstanding activism and achievements in the field of environmental advocacy. This year, it was truly inspiring to hear about two remarkable young people who have made sustainable food a priority in their work. Continue reading Food Activists Win Brower Youth Awards

Students Dig In at Yale’s Sustainable Farm

During our recent East Coast tour, we stopped at Yale’s organic farm in New Haven, Connecticut where we found students hard at work building, digging and weeding in the sunshine. As more and more young people rediscover farming, Yale’s program has proven to be one of the best in the country.

The Yale Sustainable Food Project was founded in 2001 by Alice Waters and members of the Yale faculty, and the Project now operates a one-acre organic farm in New Have, where more than 300 varieties of vegetables, herbs, and flowers are produced. Over 850 students take a course related to food and agriculture, and the university also offers a sustainable dining program.

During our visit, we met with Yale Sustainable Food Project Director Melina Shannon-DiPietro who told us about the explosion of interest in organic farming among students at Yale and across the country.