People all over the country are raising backyard poultry these days. Some raise birds to have a steady supply of fresh eggs, some as part of their commitment to eating locally, some to sell eggs to their friends and neighbors at the local farmers market. Read more »
Every summer since I was four years old, I’ve been returning to a small glacial lake in Northern Wisconsin where my family had summer cottages. As a child, I’d spend all day swimming in the lake that was darkened by the tannins secreted by the surrounding hemlock trees. The lake was often so cold that my lips turned purple, but not enough to break a determined child’s spirit. Read more »
This September we announced the 2010 awards for our Specialty Crop Block Grants (SCBG), a program geared toward increasing access to fresh fruits and vegetables by offering grants to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops.
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), which administers the program, funds projects across a broad spectrum of activity, such as research related to increasing crop yields, state marketing campaigns like “Minnesota Grown,” and improving supply chain management for emerging local and regional food systems. These grants can propel burgeoning projects to the next level and help drive local economies and assist farmers. In many cases producers have benefited by diversifying their farms to include specialty crops, such as blueberries and pistachios, to meet consumer demand. Read more »