Agriculture

1:31pm

Thu November 15, 2012
The Salt

Cheaper Fruits And Vegetables Alone Can't Save Food Deserts

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 3:12 pm

Five days a week, the Peaches & Greens truck sells affordable fruits and vegetables to families on public assistance, people without a car, homebound seniors and even local workers who otherwise would grab fast food or candy for a snack.
Carlos Osorio AP

Tens of millions of Americans can't follow the government's guidelines for healthful eating because they can't afford or access enough fresh fruits and vegetables. Sometimes it's because they live in what's known as a "food desert," places devoid of markets with a good variety of quality fresh foods.

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2:28pm

Mon November 12, 2012
The Salt

Kind of Like 'eFarmony': Matching Farmers With Urban Landowners For Fun And Profit

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 4:15 pm

Chris Costa and one of her chickens on her farm in Downingtown, Pa. Costa and her partner, T.J., found the land for this farm through a sustainable agriculture program.
Emma Lee WHYY

Many farmers want their farms to be located close to a city - especially organic farmers who'd like to sell their produce at big urban farmers markets. But the price of land within range of a big city is sky high and only getting higher.

Most small farmers buy their land, but some are now looking to lease in suburban or exurban areas. And to do that, they're using something straight out of Fiddler On The Roof: A matchmaker.

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2:54pm

Thu November 8, 2012
Economy

Corn Belt Farmland: The Newest Real Estate Bubble?

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 4:02 pm

This field is part of a 160-acre tract in Saline County, Mo., that sold for $10,700 per acre in February — double what it would have gone for five years ago.
Abby Fentress Swanson Harvest Public Media

Howard Audsley has been driving through Missouri for the past 30 years to assess the value of farmland. Barreling down the flat roads of Saline County on a recent day, he stopped his truck at a 160-acre tract of newly tilled black land. The land sold in February for $10,700 per acre, double what it would have gone for five years ago.

Heading out into the field, Audsley picked up a clod of the dirt that makes this pocket of land some of the priciest in the state.

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8:52am

Tue October 23, 2012
The Salt

How Fly Farming May Help More Fish Stay In The Sea

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 2:19 pm

The fly larvae in the AgriProtein factory feed on cow blood and bran.
Courtesy of Jason Drew

What's the lowly house fly got to do with the $60 billion fish farming industry?

Quite a lot, says Jason Drew, a jet-setting British entrepreneur who is so enthusiastic about the potential of flies, he's just written a book called The Story of the Fly and How It Could Save the World. He thinks flies can solve one of aquaculture's most vexing issues: what to feed the growing ranks of farmed fish.

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1:23am

Fri October 12, 2012
The Salt

Kelp For Farmers: Seaweed Becomes A New Crop In America

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 9:02 am

Oyster fisherman Bren Smith on his boat, The Mookie. Smith decided to try his hand at seaweed farming, collaborating with ecology professor Charles Yarish.
Ron Gautreau Courtesy of Bren Smith

A new kind of crop is being planted in the United States, and it doesn't require any land or fertilizer. Farming it improves the environment, and it can be used in a number of ways. So what is this miracle cash crop of the future?

It's seaweed.

Charlie Yarish, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Connecticut, loves seaweed. In nature, he says, when seaweed turns a rich chocolate color, that means the plant is picking up nitrogen, a process called nutrient bioextraction.

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