California is enduring its third consecutive year of drought and the impacts to agriculture and its economy are profound. The limited ground water and dry wells are impacting everything from the price of organic almonds to the connoisseur’s grass fed beef. In my previous blog entitled California, the House of the Rising Sun, I highlight the effects the drought is having on farmers and ranchers, and the emergency measures being implemented to conserve water and change the way we manage it. The untold story behind the headlines is the significant impact the drought has on agricultural workers and entire communities as its arid grip tightens across the land. Continue reading “Agricultural Workers on the Front Lines of California’s Drought”
A veteran returns home war weary, sometimes shattered and frayed. Protecting our interests in foreign lands requires focus and tenacity with a different set of rules. Re-entering civilian life can be difficult because the same rules just don’t apply. A great shift must be facilitated in order to bring the veteran to a place of peace and a meaningful return to life without combat. So too does our agriculture require a shift away from the paradigm of combating the soil, the weeds and the pests. Is it possible that returning veterans who return to the earth and the things thereof can also hasten the paradigm shift we need by returning harmony in agriculture?
It has been quite a few years since the green movement of the 1960s and 70s gave root to the “back to the land” ethos that was the birthplace of organic foods. Global climate change is part of the daily discussion now, and there are very few naysayers willing to deny that we are changing the very ecology of our planet. Companies that make and sell organic products not only promote products that are good for the planet, they are also on the cutting edge of reducing the ecological footprint while doing business. Continue reading “11 Companies Making a Green Difference”
We hear the words sustainable agriculture bantered about in various places. In fact, it is one of the top search engine phrases on the Internet. There are many farming associations with sustainable agriculture in their missions and many organizations with the term in their names. I believe the USDA organic symbol is the GOLD STANDARD of sustainable agriculture, but because the words are used in such a myriad of contexts, some clarification has long been needed. Before now there wasn’t a firm and definable definition of the concept. The Leonardo Academy recently announced a new draft standard named the LEO-4000 National Sustainable Agriculture Standard, which aims to define exactly what sustainable agriculture means. It will reward individuals and organizations who follow the standard with a new label. Continue reading “What does sustainable agriculture really mean?”
EDITOR’S NOTE: Today we’re taking a break from the usual format to publish the blog’s first ever guest contribution. This article is an excerpt from a blog previously written by The Organic Center Director of Science, Jessica Shade. You can read the full blog here. If you’re interested in submitting a guest blog, send your article and pitch to firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Eat more fresh fruit and vegetables…and make sure they’re organic Continue reading “Top New Year’s Resolutions from The Organic Center”