Posted on October 30, 2013
by Joyce Nelson
In early September, Rainforest Action Network (RAN) launched a major campaign targeting 20 of the largest snack food companies that use palm oil in their candy bars and potato chips. “Cut Conflict Palm Oil, Not Rainforests” says RAN, citing massive conversion of rainforests and peatlands to palm oil plantations in Malaysia and Indonesia. RAN’s campaign also highlights labour abuses, declining wildlife populations, and violent clashes between communities and palm oil developers.
RAN says these issues cause major risk to the reputations of
Posted on September 05, 2013
by Gavin Fridell
Photo Credit: Simon Granovksy-Larsen
A major coffee crisis is brewing in Central America. Its impact has already been felt by the poorest workers and farmers, and things could get a lot worse. In 2012 an outbreak of “coffee leaf rust” (a fungus that has long haunted the industry) hit Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. The outbreak is the worst in over thirty years, affecting over 50 per cent of the total coffee growing area in the region, causing a nearly 20 per cent drop in production and costing the
Posted on October 17, 2012
Seed exchange ensures the survival of genetic diversity.
by David Hiatt
I first started saving seeds when I discovered that a variety of squash that I was fond of growing was no longer being offered by Stokes; fortunately, I had about 10 seeds left, so at the end of the next year I saved a fruit for seeds and have been growing it and saving seeds for some time.
Posted on October 17, 2012
The community marketplace not only provides health benefits, it also contributes to the quality of life in rural settings.
Community marketplaces and related endeavours, such as farmers' markets, seed exchanges, and simple networking, are among the best features of rural life. Indeed, such amenities also produce benefits for city dwellers, as produce is frequently brought into urban settings to be sold country style. Vancouver's Granville Island is one of the most successful of such city marketplaces.
Posted on October 10, 2012
Cubans made the most of the break up of the Soviet Union. Losing their source of pesticides and fertilizers, they're growing some of the cleanest produce in the world.
by Robert E. Sullivan - Earth Times News Service
The Cuban revolutionary threat is back. In an innocuous, unmarked building in the Miramar suburb of Havana technicians from Fidel Castro's communist government are training cadres from all over Latin America.
Posted on October 09, 2012
Eventually it's many problems will overcome conventional industrial farming.
by Colin Graham
It is becoming stunningly clear that conventional, chemically based agriculture faces a grim future. Organic farming, on the other hand, seems to have blue skies popping up all over.
Posted on September 25, 2012
by G. Willow Wilson
The city government of Seattle, Washington has declared 2010 the Year of Urban Agriculture. The program, developed through the Department of Neighborhoods, aims to make locally grown produce affordable and available to as many of Seattle’s diverse residents as possible, while supporting the urban and exurban farmers who grow it. New zoning laws will allow backyard farmers greater flexibility in what they grow and raise on residential property. A bold pilot program is in place to create ten urban farms inside city limits.
This initiative is just the latest stride for a city that has long been the pacesetter for sustainability in the American Northwest. As a transplant to Seattle, I was immediately impressed by the vigor of the city’s farmers’ markets, where a variety of public benefit programs give struggling families access to the