agriculture

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Why Proposed Food Safety Rules Could Hurt New England Farms
by Jenny Rushlow

Small farms are part of the fabric of New England, and now – perhaps more than ever – consumers are devoted to supporting local agriculture in our region.  Unfortunately, some proposed federal regulations do not reflect these local values.  The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) proposed new food safety rules  impose confusing and cumbersome restrictions…

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Cow Power, the Vermont brand electricity
by Sandy Levine

This article first appeared in the Sunday May 5 edition of the Rutland Herald /Times Argus. For over a decade, Vermont’s hardworking cows and farmers have been keeping our lights on, curbing greenhouse gas emissions and helping local businesses grow. The renewable energy produced by cow manure in Vermont now powers 2,990 homes and businesses,…

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Could Backyard Chickens Be an Answer to Food Insecurity in Woonsocket?
by Max Greene

Two weeks ago, I wrote about bringing backyard chickens back to Rhode Island and paid special attention to the ongoing effort to repeal Woonsocket’s chicken ban. A few days later, the Washington Post ran a feature-length article on low-income Woonsocket residents’ struggles to feed their families. My last post focused on the ways that historical…

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Mapping Food Accessibility: a New Tool for Urban Farming
by Maggie Williams

A new interactive map released by USDA shows where the greatest challenges, and potentially the greatest opportunities, exist for the growing urban agriculture movement. In many communities across the country, availability of fresh food is low, or even non-existent. A grocery store may be several hours away on foot, leaving families with little to no…

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Let’s Bring Backyard Chickens Back to Rhode Island
by Max Greene

All over Rhode Island, people want to keep backyard chickens. The trouble is that the law often doesn’t let them. Until 2010, Providence banned chicken-keeping entirely. That year, a coalition of residents worked together to overturn the ban. These efforts paid off – now, chickens peck away happily at sites ranging from Southside Community Land…

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The Rhode Island Local Food Forum: Getting Food Policy Right in RI
by Max Greene

Last week I attended the Ninth Annual Rhode Island Local Food Forum, organized by Farm Fresh Rhode Island. The forum’s theme was “Center of the Plate,” reflecting its focus on local protein production. Particularly enlightening was a panel discussion whose moderator, academic chef Bill Idell, posed questions that resonate across the region.  These questions ultimately…

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Good Food for All Families: New Hampshire’s New Roadmap to End Childhood Hunger
by Christophe Courchesne

Grounded in our Colonial history, America’s harvest feast – Thanksgiving – is a quintessentially New England holiday, a time to be grateful for our region’s rich agricultural traditions of hard-fought bounty and community-minded collaboration. As we head off to celebrate with our families (as the famous New England poem goes), it is worth remembering that…

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CLF Breaks Local Bread in Celebration of Food Day 2012
by Jenny Rushlow

On October 24, CLF will join with people around the country to celebrate Food Day as part of a nationwide movement for healthy, affordable, and sustainable food. This is a time for us to gather and reflect on the agricultural abundance our region can provide, and the importance of making sure that our food systems not only supply bodily nutrition, but also contribute in a healthful way to our community ecosystems.

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How Local Can You Go?
by Ruth Price

“Local” has become a new buzz word in America but what does it really mean, and why should we get on board? The reality is that within our own lifetimes we will witness the end of cheap oil and will have to learn to get by with less, whether we want to or not. In an attempt to practice just that, I planted a 600 sq. foot vegetable garden on some family property last year and found it to be very rewarding.