Drought Conditions: Farming in a Time of Climate Change

About 175,000 farms produce more than $21-billion a year in food, hay, and flowers in the Northeast, according to the USDA. But with this summer’s dry weather, many fields across New England are severely dry and there are extreme drought conditions in parts of Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire. The dry conditions, and the changing climate, has many farmers thinking about how to manage soil, water, and land in the future.

In a story by New England Public Radio titled “Farming, Soil And Water, In The Time Of Climate Change,” reporter Jill Kaufman talked to soil and crop researcher Masoud Hashemi at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.


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How to Grow Your Own Hops

Editor’s Note: The owners of Homestead Hops in Starksboro will share their experiences with starting a hopyard at a UVM Extension-sponsored field day on Sept. 1. Kelly and Kathleen Norris will describe the investments, start-up challenges and other steps they took to establish their hopyard in 2014. This post by BrewingWork.com offers a glimpse into the process.

By Lynn McIlwee

Ever thought about growing hops in your backyard or at the brewery? Hops are pretty easy to grow and are a hearty plant that will return year after year if you tend to them properly.


Photo: Flickr

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A Farm-to-Food Shelf Story

By Mariah Notini

Last semester I took a class, Envisioning a Just Food System, at the University of Vermont. It was the first time in my three years of college that I realized the magnitude of social inequality in our food system nationwide. Even closer to home, my eyes were opened to the disparities that exist in the local food movement of Burlington. All of this led me to choose to glean for my senior capstone internship.

Photo: Flickr

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Food in the News: The Rise of Food Politics; Scientists Work to Save Pollinators; Hopyard Start-Up Planned

The Rise of Food Politics: A Conversation with Michel Nischan
(via Modern Farmer) Michel Nischan, founder of Wholesome Wave, a national food system advocacy group based in Connecticut, sees a future where food is as much a part of the political conversation as healthcare and the economy. He suggests that food could become the lens through which these hot button issues are the viewed, a missing link that politicians should, he argues, begin to leverage. Read more.

Photo: Flickr

Can These Scientists Help Our Pollinators Before It’s Too Late?
(via Civil Eats) The U.S. and Canada have lost one-third of their managed honeybee colonies for seven consecutive years now, and their wild bee counterparts are also suffering significant declines. The loss of bees matters because one out of every three bites we eat exists thanks to a pollinator. Fighting on the front lines against this pollinator loss is a dedicated band of bee researchers, many of whom share a deep, abiding passion for bees. Read more.
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New Report Reveals Farm to Institution Trends in Food Distribution

A new research report from Farm to Institution New England (FINE) surveyed food distributors to gather their perspectives on institutional demand for local products and identify the challenges and opportunities they face in serving this segment of the food market.

The report—the first publication in a series of FINE research reports—is designed to help food system stakeholders understand the impact of institutional markets on New England’s food system. Titled, “Getting it There: The Role of New England Food Distributors in Providing Local Food to Institutions,” the report presents in-depth findings and makes specific, data-based recommendations for food distributors—including food hubs—as well as government officials, funders, and institutions.

Photo: Flickr

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